How close did Britain come to revolution between 1815 and 1822?

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How close did Britain come to revolution between 1815 and 1822?

This essay will look at all the opposition groups of the time and assess how close they were to bringing revolution to Britain.

The Luddites were at their peak between 1811 and 1816, they were mostly based in northern towns and cities. They were mostly ex-weavers who were angry at being out of work, they wanted their old jobs back, or some form of poor relief. They went round smashing the new machines that had taken their jobs. The Luddites were not very revolutionary at all, they were just angry that they had gone from being well-paid professionals to being unemployed in such a short space of time.

In December 1816 the Spa Fields riots took place in London, the rioters included Henry Hunt and Arthur Thistlewood, but they were mostly poor people. The rioters wanted universal suffrage, a secret ballot, parliamentary reform, and annual elections. The demonstrators started peacefully, but many people became drunk and started looting. There were several hours of rioting that followed. Hunt and Thistlewood were the only people at Spa fields that day who were even close to being described as revolutionaries, the other people there just wanted free drink and the spoils of their looting.
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On the 10th of March 1817 a group of ex-weavers set out from Manchester, in groups of 10, to London, to deliver petitions asking for poor relief and reform. This became known as the March of the Blanketeers, as the marchers carried blankets on their heads as they marched. However many of the blanketeers were stopped at Macclesfield, and those who made it past Macclesfield were stopped at Stockport. The blanketeers were not very revolutionary at all, they were peacefully marching for what they wanted, which certainly was not to overthrow the government.

The Pentrich rising in ...

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