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How successful was Lord Liverpools government in defeating radical demands 1815-1827?

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Introduction

How successful was Lord Liverpool's government in defeating radical demands 1815-1827? Lord Liverpool's government in the period of 1815-1827 used many different methods to try and control the fast progressing threat of Radicals who, classes, wanted reform of parliament. Some historians feel Lord Liverpool had failed in the period and radicals were still rife however other historians argue that the methods were very successful. The latter argument seems to be the truth. Historians argue that in the given period the government under Lord Liverpool's acts were successful in defeating radical demands. One method of dealing with radical demands was to squash any 'revolutions' such as the Cato Street Conspiracy of 1821 with the use of spies such as ' William the Spy'. The arrests of the radicals that followed put many off popular protest and so began after 1820 a decline in protests. This clearly shows how spies and the resulting hangings not only managed to squash demands by preventing violent action which would force the government to cave in but the resulting punishments acted as deterrents for any further copycats or radicals wishing to protest. ...read more.

Middle

These acts allowed the government to further suppress radicals by not allowing them to meet in large numbers to show popular support and gave local agencies more power to deal with violent action which meant that the government defeat radical demands by suppressing all political activity. Other historians argue that the government under Lord Liverpool's acts were not successful in defeating radical demands. One method of dealing with demand was the combination acts (1800) where the government passed laws which banned trade unions. However in 1824 the act was repealed after a radical campaign led by Francis Place. This shows how the radicals were influencing the government as they never publically supported the idea. The trade unions, although restricted, were joined in masses and therefore were able to encourage people to join the radicals and a mass also enabled the radicals demand more as they were seen as a unified force. The repeal therefore opened the gates for even more demands which the government would have to deal with. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Blanketeers were peaceful and a positive move by the government e.g. agreeing to look at the petition may have calmed down radicals for a while in the short term. The debate whether Lord Liverpool's government was successful or not is strong on both sides with the positive being radical demands were dealt with using methods as shown by the lack of reform in government pre 1827. However it can also be argued that the government were too harsh and therefore this created more demands which weren't dealt with, however at a time where radials were a new idea and the very basics of British democracy which had been core for decades were challenged historians argue that the government did what they had to do for what they felt right. The acts can all be justified by radical action of which some was violent and could not be dealt with by the yeomanry. Overall Lord Liverpool's government was successful in defeating radical demands between 1815-1827. ...read more.

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