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

To what extent was the weakness of the radicals the cause of Pitt surviving the revolutionary threat to his government?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was the weakness of the radicals the cause of Pitt surviving the revolutionary threat to his government? Certainly the weakness of the radicals was one of the main reasons behind Pitt surviving the revolutionary threat to his government but this is not to say that was the only reason. Along with the radical groups being rather weak, there was a large opposition to them. There were large numbers of riots organised against the radicals by conservatives. The general feeling in Britain was that of anti-radicalism, this feeling deepened as the revolution went on in France and was heavily escalated during the terror. Pitt wielded the majority conservative population to his advantage and passed bills which helped to prevent radicals meeting and holding large demonstrations. Radical groups had begun to emerge in 1791, they were rather weak then but by 1793 they were becoming a cause for concern. They were expanding and multiplying spreading their literature in the form of newsletters. There were a large number of radical groups but the member count of each group was rather low. ...read more.

Middle

Burke increasingly gained support as he was proved right. Most people stopped endorsing the Revolution as it became violent and became conservative and reactionary. The exceptions were Paine, Fox, their supporters and the extremists. The threat of radicals was exaggerated, they were small uncoordinated groups, and each group had its own goals and ideals and varied in the level of radicalism. Pitt still saw these groups as a threat and as such had to take action. Pitt could not just give into the radical groups as it would have portrayed the government as being weak. Pitt had to stop them meeting in inns and other public places. To achieve this Pitt passed a number of acts. In 1794 he suspended Habeas Corpus, this meant that people could be arrested and be kept captive for any amount of time without a reason or a chance of a fair trial. For Pitt this meant that he could arrest the leaders of the radical groups and keep them "locked up" for any amount of time without a reason or a chance of a fair trial. ...read more.

Conclusion

These clubs were supported by the middle classes, especially the Pittites. Anti-Radical literature vastly outsold the radical literature, a rather cheap pro-government track written by Hannah Moore sold 2 million copies; outselling Thomas Paine by 4:1, this showed that the overall support for radicals was rather low. The extreme anti-radical segment of the population joined the voluntary militia; there were over 400,000 volunteers in Great Britain which was over double the amount in the army. Religion also played a major part in the anti-radical feeling amongst the general population, a vast majority of the population was loyal to the church and thus the repression of the church in France was rather unpopular. The church became a pivotal defence for Pitt's government. Overall the weakness of the radical threat was one of the main reasons that Pitt and his government survived the period of revolution, but even if the radicals had been stronger, the acts introduced by Pitt and the support of the population and the church would have ensured the survival of the government. His reforms would have meant that large gatherings could not take place and if things did get out of hand he could always rely on the voluntary militia for support. ...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. It was the weakness of the provisional government that brought the October revolution about ...

    Lenin urged as immediate a change as possible. The Bolshevik members were greatly outnumbered by the three other main socialist parties in the Congress of Soviets by 638 to 105, and Lenin was realistic about the party's chances of winning power in the ever-looming Constituent Assembly elections.

  2. Examine the significance of William Pitt, the younger's Government in reforming the British Parliamentary ...

    Pitt suffered with gout and this combined with an antiquated privilege that allowed noblemen's sons to graduate without examination, meant that Pitt was able to graduate from Cambridge in 1776. After graduating, Pitt decided to gain entry to the Commons via Cambridge.

  1. Pressure Groups.

    The group is placed in a very compromising situation; they either spend their own money or collect charity. The group is then very limited and is not seen as being very powerful therefore small groups on the majority are never really taken notice of because the government only pays serious

  2. To what extent was religion the main causeOf rebellion in the reign of Henry ...

    Mary had been bastardised by Henry and others, by the divorcing of Cathrine of Aragon. But now Mary had been reinstated as Princess, so this now created a huge rift towards the Boleyn faction. Through out court there had always been a fight between those that supported the Aragon faction, and those who supported the Boleyn faction.

  1. Civil Service Reform.

    He says that the notion that Mrs Thatcher appointed Conservative sympathisers is too simplistic but a more plausible assessment of the Thatcher approach to top appointments suggests that she appointed people with a 'can-do' reputation, like Peter Middleton, Robin Butler, Peter Levene, Peter Kemp and Clive Whitmore.

  2. To what extent can political discontent in the period 1875 -1931 be explained by ...

    Canovas introduced a property qualification from which the mostly illiterate working class were excluded from the vote. Thus Spain should be ruled by an upper class that were intellectually superior and therefore were the only friends Canovas could depend on to support the new regime.

  1. Conservative Victory of 1941, Peel and the Weakness of the Whigs.

    on top of this unpopularity amongst the public, unrest within the party itself grew and as a result weakened the party further. However, even though the Whig government may have been weak, the victory the Conservatives had in 1841 was clearly not just down to their opponent's frailty.

  2. To what extent was Conservative political weakness (1846-1866) the result of poor leadership?

    It may, perhaps, have been reunited, or experienced a surge in popularity, or at least enjoyed a little more strength than it did. Bentinck (who led the party in the Commons until 1849 and was a close ally of Disraeli, setting him up with his own wealth as a country gentleman)

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