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

How far was Lord Liverpool's government directly responsible for the popular unrest of the years 1815-1820?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Natalya Frederick 12BW How far was Lord Liverpool's government directly responsible for the popular unrest of the years 1815-1820? Although much of the legislation passed and many of the tactics used by Lord Liverpool's government in response to the unrest in the years 1815-1820 aggravated the situation, they were not directly responsible for the popular discontent. Some of the reasons for discontent pre-dated the Liverpool administration. Lord Liverpool's government took office in 1812, when the Luddite movement was already at its peak - the first major and open displays of radical discontent. Not only did industrialisation cause new technological advances to replace workers, but the remaining workers (particularly in major cities) experienced worsening working conditions and lower pay at the hands of ruthless employers who wanted to meet the increasing demand for heavy goods. Another reason for discontent that was largely beyond government control, was the population growth of the time and the subsequent migration to newly industrialised urban areas for employment opportunities. The high population in poor urban areas resulted in social problems such as poor sanitation, squalor, disease and over-crowding. These problems were exacerbated by the end of the Napoleonic war, which marked the end of the economic 'boom' period that the country had enjoyed due to demands on the armament and other war associated industries, causing acute depression to hit soon after. ...read more.

Middle

The radicals added to the social unrest through the stirring of discontent and indicating to the working classes that by pressing the government for political reform, an end to their problems would come, thus encouraging them to participate in Radical activity. For example, the Luddite movement and Spa Field Riots (open-air meetings as a form of protest). Lord Liverpool's response to the popular unrest further aggravated the situation. The introduction of the Corn Law in 1815 was in order to guarantee landowner profits at a level to which they had become accustomed during the boom years of the war. However the radicals and working classes saw it as a piece of class legislation by saving upper class landowners from cheaper foreign grain, stabilising prices and making it more expensive for the consumer. The consequences were riots, petitions and demonstrations, thus worsening general discontent. Another piece of legislation that was viewed by the radicals as being blatant protection of the upper classes, was the Income Tax Repeal of 1816. This saw the income-based tax (the more you earn, the more you pay) being abolished by the aristocratically dominated government, who had born the brunt of the tax. In order to fill the gap in the revenue, indirect taxation was increased on popular items such as beer and sugar, a measure which hit the poor even harder than the Corn Law as they used these items on a regular basis. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example urbanisation and industrialisation were new social occurences in the name of progress. It would have been unprecedented for a government to behave any differently to the way in which lord Liverpool's administration did. The government passed legislation such as the Suspension of the Habeas Corpus in order to attempt to maintain law and order, which they, and any government of the time felt was their primary responsibility (above the solving causes of the unrest itself). This heavy-handed approach to dealing with the discontented situation would have been directly related to fear of a revolution similar to the French occuring in Britain and in protection of the upper classes who were the support and make-up of Lord Liverpool's administration, and thus to be expected. In addition, the extent of the government use of spies is questionable, because there was much differing of opinion in the interpretations of their use, with some believing that some spies took it upon themselves to incite radical behaviour, outside of their governmental orders (just to spy on radical operations). Another major issue, is that the government was not directly responsible for the unrepresentative electoral system which was the radical movement's major opposition to the administration, as it pre-dated them. The economic legislation that they passed, did not make them directly responsible because it was the post-war depression and good corn harvests that caused the economic problems, their laws aggravated the situation rather than caused it. ...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. How successful was Lord Liverpool in responding to radical challenge from 1812-1822?

    Some historians say that Lord Liverpool did not address unrest, but he made it worse by introducing silly little policies like the Corn Laws. The Corn Law guaranteed protection for wheat prices for the agricultural or landowner interest from foreign imports of grain.

  2. Themes, Motifs, and Symbols.

    These include: Psychological Manipulation - The Party barrages its subjects with psychological stimuli designed to overwhelm the mind's capacity for independent thought. The giant telescreen in every citizen's room blasts a constant stream of propaganda designed to make the failures and shortcomings of the Party appear to be triumphant successes.

  1. How far were the Anti Corn Law League responsible for Peel's repeal of the ...

    It was becoming clear that the Tory wing of his party was reluctant to give him the support he demanded and only a Vote of Confidence was keeping him in power. The League capitalised on this situation, mustering further support inside Parliament despite new groups such as the Anti-League in

  2. The causes and the political and social consequences of the Dreyfus Affair in France

    Its disappearance in 1899 led to a renewal of the political forces around the Republican Left and in the application in 1900 of a Dreyfusienne policy: republicanize France and fight against the nationalism revealed by the Dreyfus affair. Waldeck-Rousseau did not succeed in rehabilitating Dreyfus but he did resolve the

  1. The Word 'Hacker' To the popular press, "hacker" means someone who breaks into ...

    They were mistaken. The next generation of business computer was being developed on entirely different lines by two long-haired guys called Steve in a garage in Los Altos. At about the same time, the powers that be were cooperating to develop the official next generation operating system, Multics.

  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.

  1. WWI, The Twenty-One Demands and The May Fourth Movement

    Hsu, Immanuel C.Y, The rise of modern China, 1990, Oxford University Press, Australia, p12 10. "May Fourth Movement." http://www.fact-index.com/m/ma/may_fourth_movement.html 11. Chapter 11, Section a5- The May 4th Movement." http://www.ibiblio.org/chinesehistory/contents/c11sa05.html 12. Ross, John [editor], Chronicle of the 20th Century, 1990, Jacques Legrand SA International Publishing, Paris Bibliography Print Text Hsu, Immanuel

  2. This assignment identifies and discusses the major social and political trends expected to affect ...

    COALlink - transports coal from Mpumalanga to Richards bay for exports. (Transnet annual report, 2003) 3. Coallink's operating profit, has improved from R1 533.7m to R1 678.06m, despite these difficult trading conditions. (Spoornet Media Release, 26 August 2003) 4.

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