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Why was Daniel O'Connell's campaign for the achievement of Catholic Emancipation a success?

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Bethany Meban

on 2 October 2012

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Transcript of Why was Daniel O'Connell's campaign for the achievement of Catholic Emancipation a success?

Why was Daniel O'Connell's campaign for Catholic Emancipation a success? O'Connell's Role He could speak Gaeilge. He was Catholic. He used persuasive United Irishman-esque rhetoric. Witnessed French revolution and abhorred violence. The majority of Irish peasants could relate to him, therefore trust him and ultimately support him. Therefore he had the ability and passion to fully commit to constitutional nationalism. "O'Connell's oratorical and organisational skills ... and mastery of political theater were crucial for the eventual success of the campaign" -MacDonagh Catholic Association Other aims included; electoral reform, Church of Ireland reform and tenant rights Offered emancipation as a panacea. Founded in 1823. Held mass public meetings. O'Connell's way of organizing the increasingly influential radicals, Whigs and liberal Tories. These pro-emancipation MPs had passed the 1821 Catholic Emancipation Bill in the House of Commons before the Tory-dominated House of Lords rejected it. Created a vague, 'catch-all' movement with the greatest chance of achieving mass support. Allowed peasantry to become associate members by only charging 1d for monthly membership. Meant peasantry felt a part of and invested in the movement; ensuring their support. Obtained funding from 'Catholic Rent'. Role of Catholic Church "restored unity to the emancipation movement" -Jackson "a crusade of an irresistible mass movement" -Contemporary Collected Catholic Rent after mass. Applied social pressure so that 85% of population would support O'Connell. "The parish protests was of crucial importance in spreading the message of the Association and helping to collect the Catholic Rent." -Adelman "important and effective" -Adelman New national seminary at Maynooth meant Irish priest could stay at home to be ordained. Catholic Education provision grew - first Christian Brothers school opened in 1802. The Emancipation movement could piggy-back off the increasingly organized Church - the further reaching the Church was, the further reaching the Catholic Association was. Role of British Government Wellington and Peel, leaders of the Tory party were unorganized in 1928 after the resignation of PM Lord Liverpool in 1827 and the death of his successor, Canning in 1928. This meant Wellington as new PM was unprepared to prevent the repeal of the Test and Corporations Act in February 1928 giving dissenters in Ireland full legal and civil rights. Role of Elections Clare by-election allowed O'Connell to become an MP. "produced final climax" -Adelman 1928 by-election was forced in Co. Clare as the incumbent Vesey Fitzgerald had to stand for re-election after receiving a promotion. Despite Fitzgerald being pro-emancipation O'Connell stood against him and won by a landslide - 2,057 votes to 982. O'Connell couldn't take his seat at Westminster as he was a Catholic - the government was forced to change the law. 1826 General Election allowed CA to get pro-CE MPs in Westminster. In the Waterford Election, O’Connell put forward a pro-emancipation candidate Villiers Stuart to compete against Lord George Beresford.

The victory at Waterford was significant as the seat won by Stuart was in the Beresford family for years and was viewed as their safe seat. “the first of a series of significant victories over the Ascendancy” -Jackson By Bethany and Joanne
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