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Title:The Anti-Maynooth Campaign: A Study in Anti-Catholicism and Politics in the United Kingdom, 1851-69 (Protestantism, Ireland)
Author(s):Wallis, Frank Howard
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Religion, History of
History, European
Abstract:The study examines a compaign by ultra-Protestant militants to abolish the government grant to St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. This campaign was but one element in the anti-Catholic tradition of Victorian Britain. The anti-Maynooth campaign had both a parliamentary and an extra-parliamentary character, and printed sources form the basis for studying the two. Of particular value were the organs of sectarian public opinion, such as the Catholic weekly Tablet, and the ultra-Protestant Bulwark. Parliamentary debates and printed public petitions were valuable for exposing the process and rhetoric of the campaign. The thesis is that although a theologically based anti-Catholic viewpoint impelled the campaign forward, the moderate political environment of the British parliament repelled this effort repeatedly. The grant to Maynooth involved more than religion, it involved the Irish question. British parliament saw the grant as a necessary measure of conciliation towards Ireland, and political expediency advised the continuation of the grant as a means of pacifying Irish discontent with British rule. The generally moderate nature of the British political State was one which excluded religious militancy from considerations of practical politics.
The study makes several conclusions. First, the anti-Maynooth campaign illustrated a trend of religious toleration among the governing classes. Secondly, the campaign demonstrated the vivacity of evangelical ultra-Protestantism and attests to the power of religion as a motivator in popular politics during the mid-Victorian era. Thirdly, Catholics were not the passive victims of Protestant militancy. Both the Catholic hierarchy and lay spokesmen responded to attacks on Catholicism and Maynooth with equally abrasive verbal reprisals. Fourthly, the campaign indicated that most anti-Maynooth members of parliament were Conservatives. Finally, the study shows that Protestant constitutionalism as a popular notion did not disappear after the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. This notion was a recurring theme in the anti-Maynooth rhetoric inside and outside of parliament.
Issue Date:1987
Description:216 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711899
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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