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Word Count: 1,614
During the first half of the nineteenth century much was accomplished by the Irish Catholics under the leadership of Daniel OConnell However it was also a time of disillusion because it seems as though every time one goal was accomplished another problem would surface In the very early years Irish Catholics lacked any real direction or focus in achieving their main goal at the time which was emancipation Then finally OConnell emerged as the saviour of the Irish Catholics and achieved emancipation merely six years after he founded the powerful Catholic Association The real setback occurred sometime after this victory when OConnell attempted to repeal the Act of Union through the Repeal Association founded in 1840 Because attitudes towards the Irish had changed considerably in Parliament by that time OConnell was not able to render the same results he had achieved the decade before because he lacked the sympathy and support of the English government Although this period of Irish history is a triumphant one for Catholics it also marks time of frustration and disillusion In 1800 the Act of Union was passed thus uniting Ireland and Britain and making Ireland subject to the Westminster Parliament During this time the most pressing problems in Ireland concerned land and church tithes Looking back we can see that the most serious issue was that of land since at the time there just was not enough of it to feed the entire growing Irish population Because it was scarce the rents were driven up and since improving upon your land meant higher rents tenant farmers were unwilling to develop their land From a 21st century perspective we can see that this problem was the most serious However at the time most people were more concerned with the irritation of paying tithes to the established Church of Ireland and more importantly to the cause of Catholic Emancipation Most of the Penal Laws had been repealed in the late 18th
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