The Repealer Repulsed: O'Connell 1830–1845
Emancipation as an issue defined Daniel O'Connell before 1829. After 1829, he faced more diverse challenges. He became a major figure in the House of Commons and became a force in British high politics. O'Connell had responded to the achievement of emancipation by switching emphasis to repeal of the union and the establishment of a Dublin parliament. The Whig constituency, on the other hand, saw Catholic emancipation as a harbinger of further reforms to come. In January 1830, O'Connell's ‘Letter to the People of Ireland’ put forward a new, comprehensive political programme, which included repeal of the union, parliamentary reform, and abolition of tithes. But in 1842, O'Connell noted that repeal would destroy Irish Protestantism because Protestantism was more an ideology of superiority and a patronage machine than a genuine religion. In 1845, he adopted a sectarian stand on higher educational questions which dismayed young Ireland.
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