This chapter shows how developments such as Catholic emancipation, reform, and the rise of evangelicalism and liberalism forced Catholic authorities and the state to reconsider Catholicism's position within society. This reappraisal would result in a complete transformation of the church's existing infrastructure and change the way in which it absorbed the influence of ultramontanism. The 1830s, 1840s and early 1850s witnessed an explosion in religious voluntarism. Events such as the Disruption, which was when the evangelical Free Church split away from the established Church of Scotland in May 1843, and the Irish Famine encouraged competition between dissenting groups and denominations. Across Europe and North America, women religious successfully navigated the patriarchal terrain to achieve a level of autonomy that was unavailable to most women, let alone Catholic ones.