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Catholic Emancipation: 1760-1829

Mark Anthony Frassetto

Georgetown University Law Center

January 9, 2013

This paper will primarily address Catholic Emancipation from the mid-eighteenth century to the passage of the Roman Catholic Relief Act in 1829. Catholic Emancipation serves as an interesting example of a pre-twentieth-century civil rights movement. Part I addresses the rise of Catholic repression beginning with Henry VIII’s split with the Catholic Church and continuing to the Glorious Revolution in 1688. Part II examines the legal impediments imposed on Catholics in the years after the Glorious Revolution, as well as the role that informers played in Catholic repression. Part III addresses the role of an activist judiciary as a crucial first step in the process of Catholic Emancipation. This section also addresses the relief provided by the Papists Act of 1778, and the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1791. This section will also address the Gordon Riots. Part IV deals with the unification with Ireland under the Union with Ireland Act of 1800, the promises made by Prime Minister Pitt to ensure passage in Ireland, and how George III used the Coronation Act of 1688 to refuse Irish Emancipation. Part V addresses the final push for emancipation beginning with the rise of the Catholic Association under Daniel O’Connell and ending with the final passage of the Roman Catholic Relief Act in 1829. Finally, this paper treats briefly the subsequent history of Catholics in the United Kingdom as well as how Catholic Emancipation can be seen as a road map for future civil rights movements.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: Civil-rights, Catholic, English History, Catholic Emancipation, George III, Pitt the Younger, Wellington, Daniel O'Connell, Catholic Relief Act of 1829, Papists Act of 1778, Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1791, Union with Ireland Act of 1800

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Date posted: January 9, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Frassetto, Mark Anthony, Catholic Emancipation: 1760-1829 (January 9, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2198549 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2198549

Contact Information

Mark Anthony Frassetto (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
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