Changes in anti-catholic sentiment from the late 17th century, through the 18th

Changes in anti-catholic sentiment from the late 17th century, through the 18th

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Brittanie Langford Paper 2 May 2, 2010 Historic Britain In this paper I will be discussing the changes in anti-catholic sentiment from the late 17 th century, through the 18 th century, until the beginning of the 19 th century . I will be looking at how toleration changed within Great Britain, examining closely changes in England with reference to Ireland . While the beginnings of the anti-Catholic sentiments in Great Britain date back to the Tudor dynasty, the period between 1688 and 1815 has seen its share of fear of the pope . With the installation of William of Orange during the Glorious Revolution, Catholics would see no chance of religious tolerance in Great Britain until the late eighteenth century 1 . There had already been laws passed to oppress any ‘dissenters’ in the region . These laws included the Popery Acts of 1698, and the Clarendon Code, which re-established the Anglican Church and made it nearly impossible for religious dissenters to convene together . Other acts that set the tone for anti-Catholic sentiments during the time period were the Test acts, and the Penal Laws (instituted in Ireland in 1665) . In “Anti-Catholicism in 18 th Century England” Colin Haydon states that there are three main heads to the religious debate against Catholics in England: 1 1 Harris, Tim. Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685-1720, Penguin Books, Ltd., 2006. 1
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political distrust, theological disagreement, and popular fear 2 . The main idea behind the political aspect of the argument is that Catholics ultimate allegiance is to the Pope, so what would stop them from dissenting against a king of a different religion (protestant at the time) 3 . Another point makes the “conviction that papists would not keep faith with heretics” as a reason for anti-Catholic sentiment 4 . This idea was backed even further with rebellions like The ’15 and The ’45 which were prime examples of Jacobites, people loyal to the Stuart dynasty, trying to restore Catholic monarchs to the throne . While some may argue that Jacobites were loyal to the crown and not necessarily the religion, Haydon points out that “ The London Gazette I gave figures showing that the majority belonged to the Roman Catholic communion .” 5 Throughout the early eighteenth century, fear of a Catholic rebellion spread through England . Haydon’s ‘popular fear’ theory stems from the idea that the Roman Catholic Church was known to use force to rid heresy, so the threat 2 2 Haydon,Colin. Anti-Catholicism in eighteenth-century England. (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1993), 3.
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This note was uploaded on 05/30/2011 for the course HISTORY 3332 taught by Professor Glasson during the Spring '10 term at Temple.

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Changes in anti-catholic sentiment from the late 17th century, through the 18th

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