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How Can a Foreign Country Establish Penal Laws in Another Land?

As Britain consolidated power over Ireland, Parliament passed “Penal Laws” suppressing the rights of Irish people in multiple ways.

Known more formerly as “Laws in Ireland for the Suppression of Popery,” the “Penal Laws” effectively dictated that Irish people could be Catholics only if they were willing to give-up scores of civil rights.

For example:

Irish Catholics could not get an education, enter a profession, hold public office, vote, own a horse worth more than five pounds (in British currency), buy land, own a weapon for their own protection, be a guardian to a child or attend worship in a Catholic church.

Why would the British Parliament pass such laws?

Why would anyone in Britain think that its Parliament had the right to establish penal laws in another country - such as Ireland?

Suppose - just for purposes of this question - that Britain had the right to pass such laws. Why ever would they do so?

In your view, what is the impact of such penal laws on the people ordered to follow them?

If you were forced to live under such laws, how would you react?


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