• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How close did Britain come to revolution between 1815 and 1821?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How close did Britain come to revolution between 1815 and 1821? Britain was not close to revolution, anytime during the period of time 1815 to 1821. Certain British people were revolutionary with revolutionary intentions but were unable to inspire enough of the population to cause major threat to the government and monarchy. The conditions in which the British were living did not give cause for revolution. A number of the working class were unemployed and generally angry, but nothing compared to the situation in France prior to the French revolution. The public was not on the verge of starvation, the majority of the British people were not unemployed although some were and not enough revolutionary people were gathered together at any one point - mass migration to Paris. If any significant number of the British public during this period were motivated enough for change, it was economical and not political motivation. The government had tight control over the actions of the public and at times when they felt necessary, drew up legislation to weaken public rights and was able to justify their actions as a response to the actions of the public. At all times the government prevented revolutionary ideas spread throughout Britain to uncontrollable levels, by different forms of repression. 'The popular movements never became revolutionary and the revolutionary movements never became popular.' ...read more.

Middle

The crowd was not politically motivated even though the Speneans were and so reached no nearer to revolution as there was significant lack of support. The government used this incident to pass legislation, the Seditious Meeting Act, preventing meetings of more than 50 persons and the temporary suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act these later became known as the gagging acts. All that was gained from the Spa Field Riots was that the government could justifiably use harsh forms of repression. 'strong ale and the prospect of loot rather than strong words and the prospect of liberty'. John Plowright. A few years later, in 1819 Hunt organised another meeting at which he was to speak about parliamentary reform at St Peter's field in Manchester. He applied for permission from the government - The Seditious Meeting Act - which was granted, essentially still leaving the government in control. The crowd was peaceful and not revolutionary to begin with but the government was prepared for the smallest hint of revolutionary action. As soon as the crowd appeared organised, linked together to barrier the yeomanry, the present military forces were ordered to violently hack down the crowd eliminating any chance of revolution. The crowd had no intention of causing trouble in the first place and when trouble arrived, the government had total control in preventing it becoming revolutionary. ...read more.

Conclusion

The whole affair involving Liverpool's consent to divorce George IV from Caroline resulted in the public rioting, this was easily solved by Liverpool changing his mind and Caroline conveniently died a month after George was crowned, the whole affair ceased to exist. The point at which the country was potentially closest to revolution the period post war, before any repressive legislation was passed. The government were concerned that Britain would face revolution as was happening in France. Before the Game Laws, the Corn Laws and the repeal of income tax the public had most chance of revolution without repressive laws preventing them, but ironically had little cause for revolution until these laws were passed and the unemployed could barely afford bread. This new legislation helped farmers and conservatives from the upper middle class and upper classes as part of the new protectionism policy. Those not helped but economically damaged, the demobilised soldiers, unemployed and the working classes were mostly angry and bitter, not revolutionary. At no point during 1815 - 1821 was the country at the point of revolution, government repression was too tight and could so easily draw up legislation when felt necessary. The majority of opposition towards the government was from economic motivation, those that were politically opposed suffered from lack of organisation and support in numbers, prohibiting Britain to reach a revolutionary threat to its government and monarchy. 'The government through their actions put a watertight blanket over radical activities', Marlowe. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Why was there repression by Lord Liverpool's government 1815-1820? Was Britain on the verge ...

    Opponents called it Peterloo as a mocking comparison to Waterloo. The six acts were put into effect after this demonstration. The Blanketeers were unemployed workers. They had planned to march from Manchester to London with a petition to Prince Regent asking him to consider their grievances.

  2. Summary of the Causes of the 1905 Revolution.

    At the elementary level, education was left to the Church. By 1900 only a quarter of the population was literate. State capitalism When Sergei Witte became Minister of Finance, state expenditure and capital investment was paid for partly by a large inflow of foreign loans, made easier after 1897 by putting the Rouble on the Gold Standard.

  1. How far does the evidence in the sources suggest that the Peterloo Massacre in ...

    This source could be fairly unreliable due to this. Examples of this are when he says that the attendees were, 'victims of these monsters' and he refers to the Yeomanry as 'hair-brained assassins.' Hulton was a magistrate who would be on the government's side, because he would not want reform.

  2. 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

    On the other hand, experts say that the force and speed that the plane crashed into the Pentagon was enough to crush and destroy all the remaining debris. The Pennsylvania Field For Flight 93 we were told that the passengers overcame the power of the hijackers and bought down the plane in a field before they could reach their destination.

  1. Civil Service Reform.

    Sir John Hoskyns, one of Thatcher's fervent supporters, argued that the traditional civil service was an inappropriate vehicle for the Thatcher revolution precisely because of its prized traditions of detachment and scepticism about policy proposals. The Thatcher revolution required commitment, not dispassionate analysis'.

  2. Why did Britain have no '1848 revolution'?

    Second, the working class was split. Living standards in the first half of the nineteenth century improved for the more skilled working class. This caused divisions between skilled workers and those who (as their counterparts on the continent) wanted to overthrow the existing system from which they were presently excluded.

  1. Tiananmen square incident

    accumulate a more factual figure, this figure should be correct although the author shows himself to be in favour of the students in that he says, "anyone on the streets was a target for the soldiers", he wasn't there so how would he know, and also that his figure of 1000 deaths "may well be too low".

  2. How Far Was Lord Liverpool's Government Directly Responsible for the popular unrest in the ...

    The Industrial revolution, and the population boom that went with it, helped to bring the situation to boiling point, as in the new towns and cities living standards decreased, while radicals were given opportunity to air their views with like-minded people.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work