Coercion Act

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The Coercion Acts, formally Protection of Person and Property Acts were Acts of Parliament to respond with force to popular discontent and disorder.


In December 1816, a mass meeting took place at Spa Fields near London. The Coercion Act of 1817 was an act of Parliament that suspended Habeas Corpus and extended existing laws against seditious gatherings in Britain. The Coercion Act was the result of this mass meeting.


The Protection of Person and Property Act 1881 was the first of over a hundred such Acts that aimed to suppress the increasing discontent in Ireland with British rule. England was seen[1] in Ireland as responsible for having turned the failures of the potato crop into the Great Famine and the loss of 20% of its population. The Irish National Land League and the Fenian Brotherhood were part of the dissent in Ireland in the years from the Famine to the Irish War of Independence.


  1. ^ Most notably by John Mitchel when he wrote : "The Almighty, indeed, sent the potato blight, but the English created the Famine" [Pamphlet, 'The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)' (1861), cited in Duffy, Peter (2007), The Killing of Major Denis Mahon, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-06-084050-1, page 312