The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. 3

The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. 3

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The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. 3

The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century - Vol. 3

Read FREE!

Excerpt

DUNDAS had alleged the recovered independence of the Irish Parliament as the explanation of the anxiety of the Catholics to obtain admission to it. The veiled sarcasm perhaps explains the motives which were working in the mind of Mr. Pitt. He was told from Dublin Castle that he had only to be firm for order to be restored. But had order in Ireland, as understood by the Protestant gentry, been so very beautiful a thing? Was the power of England to be exerted to maintain rackrents and absenteeism ? -- to maintain a Parliament which could be held to its duties only by systematized corruption? England was again on the eve of a desperate war. The Protestant Parliament of Ireland had taken advantage of her embarrassment, in her last great struggle, to extort the Constitution of '82. Nine years had already passed since a Volunteer Convention, composed exclusively of gentry of the Established Church, and headed by a bishop, had made an armed demonstration of rebellion. Annual motions directly hostile to England had been brought forward by revolutionary patriots, and had been defeated only by lavish bribery. Protestant Belfast bad declared itself a disciple of Tom Paine, and the National Assembly at Paris was offering mus-

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