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How effective was the response of Lord Liverpool's government to the domestic problems they faced between 1812 to 1822?

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Introduction

How effective was the response of Lord Liverpool's government to the domestic problems they faced between 1812 to 1822? Lord Liverpool gained the premiership at a changing and unpredictable time. The end of war with France, and Napoleon's readiness to create peace between France and Britain had taken the government and the country as a whole by surprise, surprise that can be seen through the repercussions that followed. This time, peace really did seem assured, and this was recognised in the now useless war economy. Around 300,000 men were demobilized, creating many unemployed men and much discourse among the working classes up and down the country from whence these men came. Employment was not particularly plentiful at this time, and the economy could not hope to absorb so many so quickly. The apparent injustice done against these brave patriots created discontent and fuel for reformists and opposition to Liverpool's government. Industry suffered as well, since demand for weapons of war had died out, rendering machinery and military focused factories would need to invest much money in finding alternate industrial markets to break into. One of the most controversial problems to arise were the issues over government intervention in the agricultural economy. The end of the Napoleonic wars spelt trouble for land owners and land workers. During the wars, the best source of corn was at home, since Britain's relations with Europe were shaky to say the least. ...read more.

Middle

Industrialists and industrial workers were also embittered against the government, feeling that it was grossly unfair to give favours to one division of the economy and not the other. From what we can see here, it is obvious that when it comes down to it, this was just a blatant piece of class bias. For all people may say, about Liverpool doing it to protect the economy to benefit all the people, if the poor, the majority of the population, can't get bread on their tables, then these laws are not benefiting the people, even with any indirect economic benefits. Liverpool and his government rushed out this law because of the pressures of other people, without thinking of the greater good, to protect the rich and make the poor poorer. It wasn't even that effective in boosting the domestic agricultural market anyway. However, Liverpool did introduce a sliding scale for corn prices in the 1920s, where he successfully managed to adapt the desires of reactionary land owners for the changing economic times, which may have redeemed him somewhat. The rest of his domestic problems seem to stem from social discord among the middle and working classes. Well-educated middle class radicals were now taking the fight against the aristocracy and the landed gentry to the oppressed working men of England. These people could be seen congregating around pubs and giving speeches to the workers assembled there, informing them of the injustices of government ...read more.

Conclusion

From what we have seen, one might suppose that Liverpool is exclusively looking after the interests of himself and his government colleagues, but he also genuinely wanted to help the poor. He passed a Poor Employment bill in 1817, which set aside State loans of �750,000 encouraging the poor to work in local public schemes. This shows he was not averse to attempting to make life easier for the poor by providing unemployment, but he could not do much for fear of being labelled a reformist and a radical, and then losing support and gaining dislike. Much like Pitt before him, he tried to appeal to all sides, rich and poor. We can see that helping his rich piers was, not unfairly considering the times, part of his agenda, through acts like the 1815 Corn Laws. This may have been due to pier pressure, which shows a weakness in Liverpool that reduced his effectiveness throughout 1812 to 1822. But most of the time he tried to do what was best for Britain at a time of social and economic turmoil, and in answer to how effective his replies to these were, we just have to see that towards the end of this period, the greatest proportion of domestic difficulties seemed to leave his period in office. Peter Stonor Mr. Kovacevic 6C3 ...read more.

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