How far would agree that the strength of the British government was the main reason for the failure of Daniel O’Connell’s campaign to repeal the Act Of Union? In the post-emancipation time period, O’Connell was undoubtedly the leading politician in Ireland. He was able to maintain this position over two decades, despite occasional slumps in popularity until his eventual death in May 1847. As a radical, O’Connell believed that good government meant representative government.
His political radicalism was reinforced by his position, inside the Catholic majority as an upper-class landed gentry, only enjoying token participation. O’Connell campaigned for “an Irish Parliament, British Connection, one King, two legislatures.” This shows that he was certainly not in favour of complete separation. After all, he was a landlord as unrelenting in his defence of private property rights as in his condemnations of agrarian secret societies. In essence, O’Connell’s Repeal movement simply meant the old system under new and better management.
Yet, for all O’Connell’s social conservatism, no sizeable group in British politics gave any thought for supporting Repeal, or even thought of it as any more than a revolutionary movement. This was because some in the ascendancy simply refused to believe what O’Connell had to say. Radicals and moderate liberals, who had supported him in his emancipation struggle, were also against Repeal. A Parliament in Ireland, no matter how limited, could potentially undermine the Union, as it was believed that it could have given a focus point of loyalty and support for Irishmen.
Unlike in the Catholic Emancipation campaign, all groups were united against Repeal, except O’Connell’s supporters. In this sense, Repeal was doomed to fail from the beginning. Nevertheless, O’Connell embarked on the campaign of Repeal with the same formula as had worked a few years previously, but this time ended with less positive results. Most of the Irish liberal Protestants who had accepted emancipation withdrew their support at any attempt to disrupt the Union.
The Presbyterians of the North became the staunchest defenders of the Union. The middle-class Catholics, whose support was vital to O’Connell in the emancipation movement were in no hurry to plunge into Repeal. They felt that their energies would have been better spent in pressing for reforms in local government, tithes and law enforcement, which was also the attitude shared by most of the Catholic bishops. O’Connell did, in fact, have the support of some of the lower clergy, but frequent exhortations to the priests not to become involved in the politics of Repeal were an acute embarrassment to him, and his demand for the restoration of the 40/- freeholders in the counties was ignored.
The Whig government, in control in the early 1830s, were faced with problems of popular discontent throughout the country. Following various revolts and revolutions throughout all of Europe at this time, from the July Revolution of 1830 in France to the revolts in parts of Germany and Italy, there were many radical voices whose demands were considerably further than what the Whigs were prepared to grant, and this, coupled with popular discontent arising from widespread social distress posed a potentially explosive situation. However, the government’s response to this was to try to keep Ireland under control by any means necessary. The law and its agents were stretched to the limit.
The military and police were used in the implementation of the civil law. Above all, a considerable effort was made to crush the Repeal movement which the Whigs viewed as the biggest threat of all. In early 1831, O’Connell was arrested and a long list of charges were brought against him, although to be later dropped. The Government obviously meant business.
However, the Government’s Irish policy during 1830-32 did not solely consist of a tough line on law and order; there were carrots as well as kicks. A scheme of State-sponsored elementary education was started; the Board of Works was overhauled; an attempt was made in 1832 to solve the tithe question; Ireland was included in the plans for parliamentary reform. In the reform struggle in parliament, O’Connell’s support was invaluable and the numerical support of his followers indispensible to the Ministry’s survival. Some members of the government realised that it would be better to have O’Connell as a friend rather than a foe.
As a result, the Government dropped the charges against O’Connell. O’Connell originally expected the Irish Reform Bill to be a sweeping measure that would strengthen his influence and pave the way for an easier route to Repeal, however, all these expectations were soon disappointed. The Irish Reform Bill proved to be a timid measure. Also, the ‘reformed Parliament’ displayed even less sympathy with Repeal than its predecessor. Alarmed by the soaring crime rates, Parliament passed one of the toughest Coercion Acts of the entire century in early 1833.
The Lord Lieutenant had the powers to: >proclaim districts where no meetings of any sort could be held >postpone habeas ensemble These power were primarily intended to live in place intended for only one 12 months. Even Irish Bishops, The english language Radicals, Irish Liberals and a few Repealers acknowledged the need of a few measure to crush criminal offenses. The Intimidation Act had two results. Firstly, it had a considerable effect on law and order in Ireland, however it put leaf spring shackles on the kind of mass mobilising politics O’Connell had practised in Ireland in europe. When O’Connell raised problem of Repeal in 1834 asking for a home Committee to investigate into the effects of the Union, the movement was defeated by 523 votes to 38 – Repeal was dead.
Regardless of parliamentary defeat, O’Connell extended to preach repeal in Ireland nevertheless within a 12 months, he had laid it apart for an alliance while using Whigs. The actions of the doj that led to this was the break-up with the Grey Ministry in the summer of 1834. A brand new tithe costs had elevated the question of appropriating church revenue to get secular purposes. Lord David Russell who have supported the appropriation, was opposed by Edward Stanley, staunch defense of Chapel interests and, as a consequence, Stanley left the ministry in June with three of his colleagues.
Weakened at this time secession, plus the impending termination of the coercion act, Grey resigned plus the cabinet was restructured beneath Melbourne. With Grey and Stanley taken care of, this opened the way for better relations among O’Connell and the Whigs. In the General Political election of 1835, he once again made repeal the main concern, but when the election was over, having been quite all set to help Melbourne and Russell build up a parliamentary the greater part.
An informal appreciate (‘The Lichfield House Compact’) was come to in March 1835. Inside the following month, Peel was forced to decide and Melbourne once again became PM with Russell because Home Secretary. In these situations, O’Connell hoped for a change in the Whig frame of mind to Ireland in europe. O’Connell was, using his words, “testing the Union”.
The Whigs were given to be able to prove that the Union can work. If perhaps they been successful, well and good; in the event that they failed, the union must go: “We desire no more, we can not take fewer: a real effectual union or no union – such is definitely the alternative”. This kind of alliance was going to last pertaining to six years.
However , the Whigs’ independence was limited by the heterogeneous character of its vast majority in the House of Commons, plus the House of Lords proved to be an immovable barrier to even the modest proposals intended for reform. Three best areas for change during this time had been tithe, poor people Law and Municipal Organizations Acts. The tithe work that was passed was only maintained O’Connell when he realised the fact that ministry was too weak to carry the act on its and to accomplish a more significant reform. The fundamental Roman Catholic complaint, that the church with the minority was supported in the public charge still remained.
Richard Whately, archbishop of Dublin, inquired into the requirement of a Poor pain relief system in Ireland. The commission when ever ready to present their statement, were advised that the English Poor Rules would be prolonged to Ireland in europe. The commissioners reported the fact that English ‘workhouse system’ was wholly unsuited to Ireland, that the reason behind the cause of Irish poverty was the lack of career and this could be remedied by simply extensive techniques of general public works.
These types of recommendations were hardly even considered. A bill to extend the English Poor Law to Ireland was introduced to the property of Commons in Feb 1837, and gained Noble ascent in July 1838. O’Connell initially supported the us government scheme, yet , he distrusted the economic principles where it was primarily based. He dreaded that the incredibly existence of State alleviation would weaken the non-profit instincts with the people. In the long run O’Connell the best performer against the Expenses instead recommending State help for emigration and open public works.
Following the Municipal Corporations Act of 1840, the Melbourne administration continued another year, nevertheless the death of Drummond taken off the helping spirit of its Irish Administration. Drummond did a whole lot for Ireland, but he was not in office long enough to make a long term change in the smoothness of the administration. His fatality, rather than Melbourne’s resignation 16 months after, marks the end of a period in Irish history. At the begining of 1843 a large number of factors resulted in a focus around the Repeal motion.
Many bishops pledge support for Repeal. Priests throughout the country started to participate in the movement. One particular key strategy in the advertising campaign was the holding of huge group meetings at different places. By the autumn of 1843, O’Connell had proved helpful the country into a fever pitch of excitement. Brinkmanship was used again in opposition to the Tory party who were hesitant over working with the Irish situation.
However , O’Connell was living precariously. O’Connells terminology was becoming more and more violent. For Mallow, specifically, he had hinted at the risk of physical force if Repeal was refused. At the end of 1843, Peel finally chosen his Irish policy – it was a crack-down upon agitation, and then an extensive plan of reform. It was the first of these types of points which had the most effect on the Repel movement.
In August 1843, on the eve from the largest getting together with yet, for Clontarf, Peel issued a ban on the appointment and introduced armed soldiers to prevent that taking place. O’Connell called the meeting away, unwilling to risk bloodshed. His empty threats and brinkmanship was exposed. Weekly later, having been arrested and charged with conspiracy and later sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and recharged with conspiracy. In conclusion, due to the varying workers who commanded the Uk government during this time period, it is partly down to the government’s boldness in driving O’Connell to breaking stage.
However , it truly is plausible to assume this kind of secret could have been exposed anyhow with federal government pressure, whether by provincial violence or perhaps violence in the O’Connell movement itself. Especially others, considerably Grey and Stanley, it absolutely was Peel’s impact that brought the Repeal movement straight down. It was as well the inexperience of the successors to O’Connell brought throughout the Repeal frustration, most notably, John O’Connell due to his lack of ability to control the same standard of power of the movement because his dad had been able to.