How far did Pitts domination of politics from 1783-1792 rest upon his reforms?

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How far did Pitt’s domination of politics from 1783-1792 rest upon his reforms?

Pitt’s reforms dramatically changed the way the country was run and greatly helped him to dominate politics and consolidate his position as Prime Minister from 1783-1792.

When Pitt took over in 1783, Britain was in economic crisis. The American War of Independence (which lasted 8 years) caused the value of exports to decline and the National Debt had risen to £242 million by 1784. He needed to act fast and make drastic change to avoid complete financial ruin in Britain.

To do this, Pitt made a variety of changes and reforms.  His first one was stopping the smuggling trade, in order to halt the thousands of pounds being lost in revenue due to smuggling. He introduced the Communication Act, which was designed to lower the import duty on tea and therefore make smuggling less profitable. Also, a Hovering Act introduced meant that smugglers’ vessels could be searched up to 12 miles out to sea, which deterred and reduced the number of smugglers.  The fact that Pitt also reduced duties on items such as brandy led to an increase in the value of food and raw material imports, which was good news for Pitt, as it allowed the government to gain more money.

Pitt then decided to put extravagant taxes on the rich. Items such as horses, wigs, windows and hair powder would be taxed. This new policy of taxation was on the whole successful, and raked in more money for the government to pay back the national debt. The implication of The Sinking Fund also meant that the government always had a fund of money to meet any emergency payments which needed to be paid in the future, which helped too reduce the national debt.

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Pitt’s administrative reforms also proved vital in reducing the debt, and so securing power. Pitt’s ideology was that of cutting out the “waste” in a government in order to improve its efficiency. There were two key areas where improvements in government administration were made. First of all, Pitt’s passing of the India Act was designed to remove the exclusive rights the company had in the financial administration of the empire. Sadly this act was one of Pitt’s failings as the East India Company continued to retain a large financial and political stake in the running of British India’s administration. ...

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