Front Page Titles (by Subject) Why Persecutions continued when Religious Passion ceased. - Ireland: Social, Political, and Religious, vol. 1
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Why Persecutions continued when Religious Passion ceased. - Gustave de Beaumont, Ireland: Social, Political, and Religious, vol. 1 
Ireland: Social, Political, and Religious, ed. W.C. Taylor (London: Richard Bentley, 1839). Vol. 1.
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Why Persecutions continued when Religious Passion ceased.
We have seen that the persecutions in Ireland were derived from two principal causes—religious passion and self-interest.
For a long time these influences were so intermingled and confounded, that it is impossible to distinguish the special action of each. When any violence was exercised against the Catholics, it cannot be determined whether it was prescribed by some general interest, or commanded by the secret voice of some private interest. When a Catholic priest appeared in Ireland with the ensigns of his order, the cry of No Popery was raised.
Was an independent voice raised to claim for Catholics the right of acquiring property in land?—the cry of No Popery was raised again. The two cries are the same, but do they proceed from the same cause?
From the middle of the eighteenth century, England could no longer fear Ireland as an ally of the Stuarts. In 1746, the young Pretender was overthrown at Culloden; and this circumstance might have proved that the Jacobite party was extinct in Ireland, where previously the Scotch insurrection of 1715 had not produced the slightest movement.
On the other side, Catholicism, by the aid of time, had reformed those principles which were most frequently and most justly the text of the attacks of which it was the object. The Catholic church no longer insisted on obedience to the Pope in the sense formerly attached to the phrase; the most fervent Irish Papist did not look upon the Pope as his temporal sovereign, nor recognise his right to depose princes, or absolve subjects from their allegiance.
These new circumstances were sufficient to moderate Protestant passions; but they were further weakened by the utter barrenness of persecution. Many vain efforts were made before its impotence was discovered; but when, after sixty years of useless exertions, the persecutors had not advanced a step, the sad truth could not fail to be recognised. It might then be said, that the fire of religious passion, which had hitherto nourished persecution, was extinct; the passions disappeared from the scene, self-interest alone remained; it was a sad spectacle.
When the Irish Catholics, seeing that their creed was no longer assailed, attempted to claim civil liberty or political rights, passion, it is true, was silent, but mercenary interest raised the old cry of No Popery, and there were many in the multitude who were duped into believing the clamour conscientious.
In 1761, the poor peasants of the south, reduced to the lowest degree of misery by the insatiable cupidity of the landlords, revolted, and the House of Commons voted that it was “a popish insurrection.”*
From this time, Ireland was subject to a new tyranny, that of selfish interest, reigning apart from the passions which had hitherto shaded its naked deformity.
[*]Plowden, vol. i. p. 355, 416. In a very admirable treatise on Irish disturbances, by G. C. Lewis, Esq., the glaring falsehood of this assertion is decisively exposed. See pages 6—12.—Tr.