“how successful was lord liverpool’s government in defeating the radical demands in the years 1815 to 1827?”
Lord Liverpool’s government ruled at a time of huge national discontent, arguably exacerbated by policies introduced by the government. However, there are many reasons why this government could be considered unsuccessful in terms of defeating radicalism from 1815-1827.
The government during this period is considered by some to be rather successful: the period of 1815-1821 was one of great turbulence. The initial response from the government to radicalism was one of harsh and repressive measures (the ‘Reactionary Tories’ phase). Examples of this emerged after 1816, such as the suspension of Habeas Corpus (allowing people to be arrested without trial) and the Six Acts of 1819 (which dramatically reduced the freedom of the people), following events like the revolutionary and treasonous Cato Street Conspiracy (1820) and the perfectly legal March of the Blanketeers (1817). Although seen by many to be excessively punitive, these measured helped to stamp out would-be revolutionaries, ensuring a modicum of stability and realising the government’s main objective: to defend the country from both external and internal threats.
After 1821, and with the improving economic environment, the Tory government was less threatened by protest and radicalism, and some of the harsher measures were relaxed. This ushered in the age of the ‘Liberal Tories’. This government was more inclined to listen to the needs of its people and industry, and as such encouraged free trade, ending their protectionist policies. This relaxation appeased the masses: in short, the strong economy led to social and political stability, quelling radicalism in the public.