British and Irish Relations - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Embassy plays an important role in the strong partnership between the British and Irish Governments that supports reconciliation, recovery and prosperity. Economic Relations between Independent Ireland and BritainIreland won its independence armed with the strong conviction that its poverty relative to Britain . The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union , It restored good relations with France and the United States, and ended tensions with Russia, while the confrontation with Germany became a naval.
Historians have found very few signs, noting that social movements such as Methodism strongly encouraged conservative support for the political and social status quo. Public and elite opinion strongly favoured the Queen and ridiculed the king.
The fiasco helped ruin the prestige of the monarchy and it recovered a fraction of the power wielded by King George III in his saner days.
Historian Eugene Black says: The sovereign was increasingly a symbolic contradiction in his own age. Through madness, stupidity, and immorality Victoria's three predecessors lowered the stock of monarchy.
Only thirty years of the narrow domestic virtues of Queen Victoria finely retrieved the symbolic luster of the sovereign. Ultra-Tories The Ultra-Tories were the leaders of reaction and seemed to dominate the Tory Party, which controlled the government. Historians find that the violent radical element was small and weak; there were a handful of small conspiracies involving men with few followers and careless security; they were quickly suppressed. Sidmouth 's Gagging Acts of heavily muzzled the opposition newspapers; the reformers switched to pamphlets and sold 50, a week.
The most important event was the Peterloo Massacre in Manchesteron 16 Augustwhen a local militia unit composed of landowners charged into an orderly crowd of 60, which had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. The crowd panicked and eleven died and hundreds were injured. The government saw the event as an opening battle against revolutionaries. In reaction Liverpool's government passed the " Six Acts " in They prohibited drills and military exercises; facilitated warrants for the search for weapons; outlawed public meetings of more than 50 people, including meetings to organise petitions; put heavy penalties on blasphemous and seditious publications; imposing a fourpenny stamp act on many pamphlets to cut down the flow on news and criticism.
Offenders could be harshly punished including exile in Australia. In practice the laws were designed to deter troublemakers and reassure conservatives; they were not often used. They were defeated in important breakthroughs that took place in the late s in terms of tolerating first dissenting Protestants. That happened in using Whig support.
Ireland–United Kingdom relations - Wikipedia
Passage demonstrated that the veto power long held by the ultra-Tories no longer was operational, and significant reforms were now possible across the board. The stage was set for the Age of Reform.
Britain engaged in only one serious war between andthe Crimean war against Russia in the s. That war was strictly limited in terms of scope and impact. The major result was the realisation that military medical services needed urgent reform, as advocated by the nursing leader Florence Nightingale.
British diplomats, led by Lord Palmerstonpromoted British nationalism, opposed reactionary regimes on the continent, helped the Spanish colonies to free themselves and worked to shut down the international slave trade.
The Industrial Revolution accelerated, with textile mills joined by iron and steel, coal mining, railroads and shipbuilding. The second British Empire, founded after the loss of the 13 American colonies in the s, was dramatically expanded in India, other parts of Asia, and Africa.
There was little friction with other colonial powers until the s. British foreign policy avoided entangling alliances. The century started with 15 years of war against France, ending in Wellington's triumph against Napoleon in at Waterloo. There followed 15 difficult years, in which the Tory Party, representing a small, rich landed aristocracy that was fearful of a popular revolution along the French model, employed severe repression.
In the mids, however, as popular unrest increased, the government made a series of dramatic changes.
The more liberal among the Tories rejected the ultraconservative "Ultra Tory" faction. The party split, key leaders switched sides, the Tories lost power, and the more liberally minded opposition Whigs took over.
The Tory coalition fell apart, and it was reassembled under the banner of the Conservative Party. Numerous Tories, such as Palmerston, switched over to the Whig opposition, and it became the Liberal Party. King William IV in was obliged to accept a prime minister who had a majority in Parliament, and the Crown ever since has gone along with the majority. The parliamentary system, based on a very small electorate and large numbers of seats that were tightly controlled by a small elite, was radically reformed.
For the first time the growing industrial cities had representation in Parliament. This opened the way for another decade of reform that culminated in the repeal of the Corn Laws in —ending the tariff on imported grain that kept prices high for the landed aristocracy.
Repeal was heavily promoted by the Anti-Corn Law Leaguegrass roots activists led by Richard Cobden and based in the industrial cities; they demanded cheap food. There were a series of reforms of the electoral laws, expanding the number of male voters and reducing the level of corruption.
The reactionary Tory element was closely linked to the Church of England, and expressed its strong hostility toward Catholics and nonconformist Protestants by restricting their political and civil rights. The Catholic started to organise in Ireland, threatening instability or even civil war, and the moderates in Parliament emancipated them.
The Nonconformists were similarly freed from their restrictions. In addition to reforms at the Parliamentary level, there was a reorganisation of the governmental system in the rapidly growing cities, putting a premium on modernisation and expertise, and large electorates as opposed to small ruling cliques.
A rapidly growing middle class, as well as active intellectuals, broaden the scope of reform to include humanitarian activities such as a new poor law and factory laws to protect women and children workers. Nonconformist Historian Asa Briggs finds that in the — period there was an improvement in morals.
Economic Relations between Independent Ireland and Britain
He identifies the cause as the religious efforts by evangelicals inside the Church of England,  and Dissenters or Nonconformist Protestants. Briggs sees a genuine improvement in morals and manners as people: The leading moralist of the era, William Wilberforcesaw everywhere "new proofs presenting themselves of the diffusion of religion".
A major Unitarian magazine, the Christian Monthly Repository asserted in Throughout England a great part of the more active members of society, who have the most intercourse with the people have the most influence over them, are Protestant Dissenters. These are manufacturers, merchants and substantial tradesman, or persons who are in the enjoyment of a competency realised by trade, commerce and manufacturers, gentlemen of the professions of law and physic, and agriculturalists, of that class particularly who live upon their own freehold.
The virtues of temperance, frugality, prudence and integrity promoted by religious Nonconformity Grievances included a law that to be legally recognised marriage had to take place in the Anglican parish church. The Anglican parish register was the only legally accepted birth documentation. The Anglican parish controlled the only religious. Oxford and Cambridge had to reject non-Anglican applicants.
At the local level, everyone who lived in the boundaries of an Anglican church was required to pay taxes to support the parish. The Test and Corporation laws required all national and local government officials had to attend Anglican church services.
In FebruaryWhig leader Lord John Russellpresented petitions assembled by the main Nonconformist pressure group, the United Committee, which represented Congregationalist, Baptists and Unitarians.
Wellington and Peel originally were opposed, but then tried to compromise. They finally gave, splitting the Tory party, and signaling that the once unstoppable power of the Anglican establishment was now unexpectedly fragile and vulnerable to challenge. George Canning especially — and Viscount Palmerston especially — The coalition that defeated Napoleon was financed by Britain, and held together at the Congress of Vienna in — It successfully broke Napoleon's comeback attempt in Castlereagh played a central role at Vienna, along with Austrian leader Klemens von Metternich.
While many Europeans wanted to punish France heavily, Castlereagh insisted on a mild peace, with France to pay million livre in indemnities and lose the territory seized after He realised that harsher terms would lead to a dangerous reaction in France, and now that the conservative old-fashioned Bourbons were back in power, they were no longer a threat to attempt to conquer all of Europe.
British-Irish relations - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Indeed, Castlereagh emphasised the need for a "balance of power", whereby no nation would be powerful enough to threaten the conquest of Europe the way Napoleon had. Britain first took a Reactionary position at the Congress of Vienna inbut relented and broke ranks with the absolute monarchies by Britain intervened in Portugal in to defend a constitutional government there and recognising the independence of Spain's American colonies in The ruling Tories were dead set against anything smacking of democracy or popular rule and favoured severe punishment of demonstrators, as exemplified by the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester in The Tory ranks were cracking, however, especially when Sir Robert Peel — broke away on several critical issues.
Nevertheless, the Whig party gets most of the credit. For example, symbolic restrictions on nonconformists called the Test Acts were abolished in Much more controversial was the repeal of severe discrimination against Roman Catholics after the Irish Catholics organised, and threatened rebellion, forcing major concessions in Financial reform, led by William Huskisson and Peel, rationalised the tariff system, and culminated in the great repeal of the tariffs on imported grain inmuch to the dismay of grain farmers.
The repeal of the Corn Laws established free trade as the basic principle by which British merchants came to dominate the globe, and brought cheap food to British workers. A depoliticised civil service based on merit replaced patronage policies rewarding jobs for partisan efforts. Efficiency was a high priority in government, with the goal of low taxation.
Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire. The Royal Navy stepped up efforts to stop international trade in slaves. Municipal reform was a necessity for the rapidly growing industrial cities still labouring under a hodgepodge of centuries-old laws and traditions.
When Peel took over the Home Office, he abolished the espionage and cruel punishments, ended the death penalty for most crimes, and inaugurated the first system of professional police—who in London to this day are still called "Bobbies" in his honour. The Municipal Corporations Act modernised urban government, which previously had been controlled by closed bodies dominated by Tories.
Over old corporations were abolished and replaced with elected borough councils. Elections were to be based on registered voters, city finances had to be audited in a uniform fashion, and city officials were elected by the local taxpayers.
It allowed the Irish Government to put forward views and proposals on Northern Ireland affairs. It also put in place structures to help the two Governments work towards finding a lasting solution to the conflict. Joint Declaration Inthe two Governments issued a Joint Declarationwhich set out a charter for peace and reconciliation in Ireland.
It established the principles of self-determination and consent in relation to the Constitutional status of Northern Ireland.
This meant that it was up to the people of Northern Ireland to decide on the future status and this could not be imposed from the outside.
The Declaration also gave those associated with paramilitary violence a route into the political process. In Decemberan international body was set up under the chairmanship of US Senator George Mitchell to independently assess the decommissioning of paramilitary arms. This body reported on progress in However, in Februarythe IRA ended its ceasefire and resumed violence.
Multi-party talks began inchaired by Senator Mitchell and involving the Irish and British Governments and all the parties elected in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein was excluded untilwhen the IRA announced a further ceasefire.
These talks resulted in the Good Friday Agreement in April It was agreed on 10 April and overwhelmingly approved in 2 referendums in both parts of Ireland in May Although there remain some challenges to stable and lasting peace in Northern Ireland, the institutions of the Agreement are now working to ensure a peaceful and stable future for the benefit of all the people on the island of Ireland.
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