Discrimination In 18th Century England

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Which Religious Practices were Discriminated Against in 18th Century England, and Why? In pre-18th century England, under the rule of King James II, the religious culture was centred upon almost superstitious beliefs of Christianity , and the King himself was Catholic. It wasn't until the glorious revolution of 1688 that James started being seen as a warmongering tyrant, and that Catholicism was what this was rooted in. Whereas in the toleration act of 1968 the dissenting protestants were given the right to not have to attend Anglican services, Catholics were not given any such luxuries. The introduction of William and Mary to the throne saw a prominent rise in the following of Protestantism, which, in turn, saw a massive decline in the following…show more content…
This was mostly due to a deep-rooted view of Catholicism in England as a force of evil. Such events in England's past such as the Great Fire of London of 1666 saw Catholics scapegoated and therefore saw English culture by the 1700s in inherent fear of the Catholic church and the evil it could do. A dominant example of this was the gunpowder plot of 1605 : A catholic attempting assassination of King James I, who was there by 'divine right'. Such events did not go unnoticed by the English and this can be seen in the rapid decrease of Catholics in the 1700s: In 1720 the estimated Roman Catholic population was 115,000 which by 1780 had nearly halved to 69,000 . By 1714 teachers were required by the Schism Act to swear their allegiance to the established church, which aptly illustrates the dominance of religion in society; as does the penal levy of £100,000 that was placed on Catholics. This persecution was still evident in 1780 when the Protestants rioted against the 1778 Catholic Relief Act…show more content…
For instance, the number of independents, baptists and Presbyterians fell from 300,000 to around 50,000 in just 40 years (1700-1740) and this was owing to their failure to adhere to the Act of Uniformity. Also, not only did the dissenters suffer from being fragments of the C of E, but they themselves suffered internal fragmentation, which was due to the members of the baptists, Presbyterians, etc.. breaking off to form a national doctrine which was called 'Unitarianism'. These such fragments not only formed little following, but also caused an uproar amongst those of the established church, for trying to rationalise the scriptures (ie, rewrite

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