Act of Union Is Passed by Parliament (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Act of Union is passed by Parliament, creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and unifying the Churches of Ireland and England.
Summary of Event
While Great Britain was battling revolutionary France, there was fierce unrest and rebellion in Ireland; as a result, the prime minister of Great Britain, William Pitt the Younger, proposed the Act of Union.
Although nominally an independent kingdom ruled by the British king, Ireland in the eighteenth century was actually little more than a British colony with a subservient parliament and government. All political, governmental, religious, legal, social, and economic power was hoarded by the tenth of the nation belonging to the Anglican Church of Ireland as established by law. The Roman Catholic majority, comprising three-fourths of the population, were a subject people, disfranchised, excluded from Parliament and every kind of office on religious grounds, deprived of most of the land, obliged to pay tithes to the established Church of Ireland, and oppressed by law. The Presbyterians in Ulster fared only slightly better.
Discontent arose in Ireland during the reign of King George III. Anglican patriots, led by Henry Grattan and Henry Flood, yearned for an independent parliament, the growing Catholic middle class longed for emancipation, and the peasants desired to be freed from exploitation. During the American...
(The entire section is 1421 words.)
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