Peel and O'connell

Peel and O'connell

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Excerpt from Peel and O'connell: A Review of the Irish Policy of Parliament From the Act of Union to the Death of Sir Robert Peel

During the last five years I have had frequent occasions to look back at the proceedings of Parliament on Irish affairs since the Act of Union; my studies confirmed the conclusion, which other considerations had gradually forced upon me, that a complete change was necessary in the Legislative and Administrative systems of Ireland.

In view of the issues now before the country, I have ventured to expand my notes of the first fifty years after the Union into a narrative of the Irish policy of Parliament. I have not gone further than the year 1850, in part because the death of Sir Robert Peel, who was so largely responsible for that policy, marks a distinct epoch in Irish history, and in part because it is more difficult to write with the same freedom of many subsequent events.

I have not proposed to write a complete history of Ireland during this period; my object has been to explain the action of Parliament in respect to Irish affairs. Neither have I intended to give a full biography of O'Connell, still less of Sir Robert Peel. They are, however, the two commanding figures of the opposing forces during this time. I have endeavoured to exhibit their views and their policy, and those of some others of the contemporary statesmen, as fairly as possible, by frequent references to their own language.

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