How Effectively Did Irish Catholic Essay Example
How Effectively Did Irish Catholic Essay Example

How Effectively Did Irish Catholic Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1610 words)
  • Published: November 3, 2017
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Many Catholic and Irish nationalist leaders attempted to advance their cause in the years 1801-1921, but to what extent they were effective, was dependent on the methods they adopted. However, some Historians have argued that the Economic and Political situation within Ireland, for example the Famine in 1845 and continued changing public opinion dictated how effective each leader would be. O' Connell mobilised the Catholic Church, made them more politically aware, and gained mass support by setting up the Catholic association in 1823 and the introduction of the Catholic rent.

Hoppen claims making the Catholic Church more politically aware was a huge success for the cause as it laid down a platform for the whole movement. In 1828 another success was achieved when O'Connell became an MP for county Clare even though he was a catholic which bu


ilt upon the platform which had already been created therefore making this achievement seem more successful. Kee argued "The real victory consisted in the fact that the trodden Catholic masse had taken on the government and won".A major success in 1829 was the Emancipation and many historians do believe it was passed due O'Connell being able to gain mass support making Peel's government fear a mass uprising. Other Historians however believe Peel's government feared a revolt from the rural classes which had been growing ever stronger since the late 1700' with more groups emerging for the same cause, for example the Whiteboys.

Unfortunately when the 1829 Catholic Relief Act was passed, the movement actually took a step backwards as the whole point was to allow more people to vote regardless of religion however the £10 fee meant even less peopl

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could vote than before, thus the electorate shrank dampening his earlier success. The Irish temporalities Act in 1831 got rid of ten Anglican Bishoprics in Ireland , but whether or not this can be seen as a real success for O'Connell is debatable, as it did not really advance the movement in any great way, but it revitalised the movement adding hope to it. A more significant disappointment for O'Connell was the repeal of union failure. In 1842 Charles Duffy and Thomas Davis founded the Nation, as the voice of a movement which becomes known as Young Ireland.

Together the Young Ireland leaders and O'Connell organised mass demonstrations, which became known as monster meetings. A particularly large meeting was arranged in 1843 near Dublin at Clontarf which alarmed Peel's government. O' Connell decided to call it off and came under great criticism from Young Ireland for his conservatism. O'Connell therefore advanced his cause more effectively in the 1820's with moderate successes adopting a conservative method which kick-started the whole movement.He was less successful in the 1930's when he tried to bide his time with a reforming Whig administration and just as unsuccessful in the 1940's with the failure of the repeal, however some historians have argued his monster meetings still took the movement a step further. One Young Irelander who joined the Repeal Association in 1843 was Mitchell who then became a political leader writer for the Nation in 1845.

The method he adopted to advance his cause was a more radical one than O'Connell was, by creating unity in Ireland by fighting directly against the English. He blamed the English for their role in the

Famine. It was God who sent the blight, but the English who made the Famine. " He began publishing the "United Irishmen" which was an organ of the failed revolution of 1848.

(battle of Widow Mc Cormack's cabbage patch)Only a few issues of this revolutionary paper, which was in fact a manual on how to attack British troops, were published before Mitchell was arrested for treason under the Treason Felony Act in May 1848 and transported to Tasmania. F. S Lyons claimed any hope of causing a threat "Vanished in the face of their own inefficiency and the vast indifference of the population..

. demoralised by hunger and disease to have any will to fight. By 1853 he had managed to escape Tasmania and found his way to America where he wrote his jail journals which suggested a rebellion could only be successful if the British were occupied elsewhere, "England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity" thus having an impact on other nationalists. (Pearse adopted this idea for his Easter Uprising in 1916) It was in the USA that he came in contact with Fenians. Mitchell was less effective in advancing the cause as he decided to use radical methods when the Irish people were not quite ready for it, especially coming out of a period of conservatism with O'Connell.

Out of the rebels that escaped to America, John O'Mahony founded the Fenians who recognized the importance of the rural community. Again, the Fenians decided to use radical means to advance their cause but this was still less effective as the people of Ireland were not ready for it, even after the famine. In 1867 they failed in their

attempt of a nationalist rising centered on Dublin. Also in 1867 they managed to free Captain Kelly but whether this can be seen as a success which advanced the cause is also debatable, however it did gain sympathy as five Irishmen were killed (Manchester Martyrs), none of whom fire a shot.They were also responsible for destroying Clerkenwell Prison where many nearby houses were also ruined, lost support (especially from the Catholic Church), thus less effectively advancing their cause.

The cause was furthered through the Fenians however, as the intense violence actually scared the English Prime Minister into making small concessions such as the Irish Church Act in 1869 and the Land Act in 1870. Isaac Butt continued to advance the cause during the 1870's with limited success. A highly ambitious man that he was, meant he was often away from the front of the movement pursuing a legal career.Founding the Home Rule Association only gained him limited support and this conservatism frustrated more radical members which led to his downfall. From the late 1870's onwards Parnell led the movement to advance the cause, and by 1879 he had already achieved a major success by setting up the Irish National Land League which was immensely popular because of the effects of the famine.

Parnell seems more successful but it is doubtful whether this would have had such a big impact on his effectiveness before the famine, thus economic factors have made Parnell seem more successful.Another success (this time definitely his own making) was to become an MP at Westminster and while he rejected violence gaining the support of the Fenians was a major success, as it

meant more radical groups would not lead to his downfall. His success continued through the 80's with help of Davitt, managing to get the second Land Act passed in 1881 delivering the three F's. Thus Parnell had forced the government into land reform but would not have been successful without Davitt who was leader of the Agrarian struggle.Parnell worked closely with Gladstone, eventually getting the Kilmainham Treaty signed in 1882. The Phoenix Park murder marred his successes as it showed he too could not control the radicals, while Gladstone could not get support for the Home Rule Bill in 1885 and after his divorce scandal, Parnell could not try again.

While Davitt was a major reason for Parnell's early success in advancing the cause, he was also a major reason why it was hindered the movement after the O'Shea scandal.He divided the movement openly being an anti-Parnell supporter by standing for his seat in County Meath. Davitt's effectiveness on his own was limited, his only success coming in 1898 founding the United Irish League which aimed to give western grass farms to small farmers. The 1900's saw Redmond attempt to advance the cause through his Home Rule campaign which only carried limited success. He united the Irish Parliamentary party and offered the government good behaviour to show the worth of home rule, which was effective due to Ulstermen increasing their violence.

By 1916, he was considered a failure for postponing the 1912 Home Rule Bill and the collapse of his movement after the 1916 Easter Rising when he failed to control the movement due to the "Irish Volunteers". Pearse was to use violent methods to advance

his cause who was involved in the Gaelic League as a teenager and supported Home Rule. He also helped set up the Irish Volunteers and joined the Young Ireland founded Irish Republican Brotherhood. He became the prime mover of the 1916 Easter Rising (commander in chief of Volnteers and president of Provision Government).However, this turned out to be a major failure for Pearse as he had used deceiving methods in order to get the Uprising into action. He had told the Volunteers that the English had treacherous plans to make the Rising inevitable.

When Eoin MacNeill heard of Pearse's deception, he ordered his men to stand down. The plan also failed as he found out all his arms had ended up at the bottom of the sea. He therefore continued the Rising with 1500 ill-armed men. (He knew he would fail by this stage but wanted to gain sympathy by "spilt blood.

) This part of his plan failed too making him less effective overall as the Irish people felt it unfair to attack the British while they were fighting a World War, however Irish public opinion did begin to sway after his and the other rebel's executions, thus boosting Sinn Fein. Collins and De Valera intended to advance the cause in the same way as Pearse; using violent methods. Both became involved with Sinn Fein after their involvement in the Easter Rising.

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