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How far was the Tory government's reaction to the problem of the radicals justified

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Introduction

How far was the Tory government's reaction to the problem of the radicals justified? The Radicals had formed as a reaction to the French revolution at the end of the 18th century. They demanded change of the parliament (which had been formally elected by wealthy land owners as the vote was restricted to a propertied minority) such as; a more representative parliamentary system, annual election and a secret ballot. In 1815 - 21 the British Government faced problems from the Radicals. They witnessed an intensification of their movement, which went out of its way to win over the working class; one way in which they did this was by open air mass meetings. In this answer I am going to highlight the Radical problems which faced the government and state how they were justified. ...read more.

Middle

This incident was not of a Radical cause but of the local magistrates, who had over-reacted to the gathering of the large crowd. The governments reaction to this incidence was justified by introducing the 'six acts' which included increasing the price of stamp duty on pamphlets, the permit for magistrates to search houses without a warrant, a restriction on public meetings and an act permitting the seizure of weapons. A second display of major discontent toward the government was the act of Luddism. The rise of Luddism was firstly caused by the refusal of the employers to set a minimum wage and secondly by the fact that prices were rising tremendously, however one historian EP Thompson believed that Luddism was more than just an economical and industrial protest but it had political aims as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

A series of three open air meetings took place which illustrated a serious threat to the government. The second of the three meetings ended in a riot. The main speaker urged for parliament reform and before the speaker had even began to speak a group of the crowd rampaged through the streets attacking a gun smith, then plotted to take over the Bank of England. Again the government this act by introducing the suspension of the 'Habeas corpus' act in March 1917 which meant that a person who had committed no offence could be arrested and held for an indefinite period without charges and without trial. To conclude I think that the reactions to the problem of the radicals by the government was bunt, as radicals were not a violent group, one historian, Lowe stated that the Tories reaction was one of an easy one. ?? ?? ?? ?? Johanna El- Tohamy ...read more.

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