FYHI 125 BN
Reflection Paper Unit #4
October 4, 2017
Speech on the Causes of Discontent in Ireland:
William Smith O’Brien, who delivered a speech to the House of Commons on the fourth of July 1843 to address the concerns Ireland had with Britain, was an Irish patriot of the literary party Young Ireland. Even though O’Brien was a Protestant he encouraged Roman Catholic Emancipation, and he also wished to preserve the Anglo-Irish legislative union. O’Brien points out numerous things that Ireland has against Britain’s government, and how Britain administer their parliament over the Irish folk.
O’Brien addresses the House to voice the apprehensions of the Irish people to inform that they are not fulfilled with the way Britain has been governing them, and they request for a modification in Britain’s rule over them. O’Brien addresses the class to which he belongs to do not want any complications with Britain and if they were to be left alone they would just want to have a normal and peaceful in their own land. One important thing stated in the last line from O’Brien was that Ireland appreciates Great Britain’s institutions. O’Brien points out that The House and the public of England have a great influence in Ireland and the Repeal agitation has assumed. It is helpful to Ireland that O’Brien is Irish and is willing to represent the discontent of the Irish people to the House, after all he had in seat in the House giving him a lot more power than a common Irishmen trying to address these problems to the higher ups in the government. “I stand here tonight to arraign the British government and the British parliament, for having misgoverned the country to which I belong… I appear, on this occasion, on behalf of the class to which I myself belong- on behalf of those who cherish no other desire than to lead a tranquil life in their native land, surrounded by a happy and contented population, in the full enjoyment of the free institutions of Great Britain.”[footnoteRef:1] [1: O’Brien, William. Speech of William Smith O’Brien, MP, on the Causes of Discontent in Ireland. The Fighting Irish: Rebellions to Independence, 1798-1922 Primary Source Reading.]
O’Brien almost threatens the House and government parliament when he basically said that if change doesn’t happen soon or speedily, then he...