Constitution of 1782

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The Constitution of 1782 is a collective term given to a series of legal changes which freed the Parliament of Ireland, a Medieval parliament consisting of the Irish House of Commons and the Irish House of Lords, of legal restrictions that had been imposed by successive Norman, English, and later, British governments on the scope of its jurisdiction. These restrictions had, in effect, allowed the Irish executive of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to control the parliamentary agenda and to restrict its ability to legislate rather than promote the objectives of the monarchy.

The most punitive restrictions arose in Poynings' Law of 1494. These restrictions were lifted in 1782, producing a period of novel legislative freedom. This period came to be known as Grattan's Parliament after Henry Grattan, a major campaigner for reform in the House of Commons. The eighteenth-century Old Irish Parliament House is located in College Green in Dublin. It was the first purpose-built two-chamber parliament, pre-dating the nineteenth century Palace of Westminster and the United States Capitol. It survives today in use as headquarters of the Bank of Ireland, College Green. While the chamber of the Irish House of Commons was dismantled after the Act of Union, the chamber of the Irish House of Lords still exists in its original Georgian design.

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