British History complete booklet

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1815-1822: Liverpool was seen as harsh and repressive
It can be stated that the government cannot be totally blamed for the discontent of the early years, a
series of bad harvests, a slump in the manufacturing industry and the aftermath of war which Britain
did not start and the rapid urbanisation of many towns were all factors beyond Government control.
What caused discontent?
Policies ­ Corn Laws, Repeal of Income Tax & Six acts
Unemployment ­ the end of the French wars, all related industries: armaments, uniforms
Impact of new machines/industrialisation ­ Luddites
End of War with France ­ repeal of income tax
French Revolution ­ threat of revolution, their landowning supporters would be harshly affected
if a similar revolution broke out
Lack of political voice ­ working/middle class, wc = Luddites
The End of the French Wars: added to the economic problems and bred further discontent, 200,00
soldiers returned home looking for work when things were difficult creating higher levels of
unemployment, causing a slump in all related industries such as those making the uniforms and
armaments, government contracts finished.
Industrial revolution: Industrial revolutions: Working and living conditions and the new industrial towns were
awful - 17 hour working days, child labour, no regulation and poor housing
Industrial rev resulted in a change from the domestic system to the factory system, new machines replaced
well paid skilled craftsmen, causing protests such as ­ Luddites
Post-war problems: after war:
During war trade had been disrupted so British farmers Instead of letting prices fall after war, gov
had had more demand than previously as there was no introduced Corn Laws 1815. Corn laws stated that
competition. When war ended, cheaper foreign food foreign wheat could only be imported if the price
could be imported again the landed classes put of wheat home grown had reached 80 shillings a
pressure on the government to protect their profits quarter. Kept the price of bread high
Income tax had been introduced by Pitt as a wartime Repealed in 1816, indirect taxes on basic good
measure, unpopular among those with a high income such as sugar, tea, tobacco which hit the poor,
causing discontent.
Luddites (1811-1817) The government responded by making
­ involved workers in 3 trades: the croppers, frame-braking punishable by death, culprits were
framework-knitters and cotton weavers. usually executed.
All these workers were suffering economic hardships ­
the use of labour-saving machinery. They relieved their ­ the Luddites as well as an economic and
feelings by smashing machinery in a fit of temper, industrial protest movement, it had political aims
almost 1000 frames valued at £6000 were destroyed. as well, to gain political consciousness of the wc.
Spa Fields (1816) Only dispersed by troops after several hours of
- there was 3 separate meetings, the second of which rioting.
ended in a riot. Main speaker was Hunt who argued for
parliamentary reform, universal suffrage, voting
in secret(secret ballot) and annual elections.
­ organisers were more radical, Thistlewood and
Watsons led a mob hoped to excite crowd into

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Bank of England and Tower
of London.
March of the Blanketeers (March 1817) - peaceful march, 13 leaders were sent to prison,
- Protest was partly against governments measures pathetic incident but led to great fear of
and partly an attempt to petition Prince Regent to do revolution
something to relieve depression. after several weeks of leaders being imprisoned
they were freed.
The Pentrich/Derbyshire Rising: (June 1817) ­ Six men were hanged (including Brandreth) and
­ Protest was encouraged by a government spy 30 transported).…read more

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The Six Acts (1819) ­ governments response to Peterloo massacre, make sure this violence
did not happen again through repression
power of magistrates to confiscate seditious literature (writings that discussed
actions/violence/disobedience against the government)
to confiscate weapons
banning of public meetings in order to draft petitions
increasing power of prosecution on treason trials
increasing stamp duty on pamphlets and newspapers
banned the training of private armies
· Hundreds of prosecutions followed & during 1820 the agitation and violence gradually died
· The Use Of…read more

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But it had much more to do with the recovery in exports which helped to reduce
unemployment as much more jobs were needing employees to create the goods.…read more

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­ overcrowded, filthy, child offenders were put
together with hardened criminals.
· Peel introduced a series of reform which radically changed the whole system of law and order:
Penal code reform(1823): the death penalty was abolished for over 180 offences and
expect for murder and treason it was left for the judge to decide whether the death penalty
should be imposed.
The Jails Act(1823): removed some of the worst abuses from the prison system, made
imprisonment a major punishment.…read more

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> repeal of the tests and corporations (1828)
> catholic emancipation (1829)
> amending act (1825) repeal of the combination laws (1824)
the bank act (1826
· Reform of penal code (1823) ­ Beales states "These were the years of 'Liberal Toryism'
· Jails Act (1823)
· Legalisation of trade unions 1825 ­ amending act 1825
· Trade reforms ­ reciprocity of duties act 1823, modification of the corn laws 1828 sliding
HOWEVER: there were various examples of Liverpool being…read more

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Liverpool's government was always in favour of free trade ­ this was a long-standing policy
which had been delayed by war.
· After 1822 there was a period of economic prosperity in Britain enabling Liverpool to reduce
taxation and ease distress, wasn't due to liberal motives but economic changes which enabled
government to enable more liberal aims.…read more

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Modification Of The Corn Laws 1828 ­ sliding scale
· The Corn Laws were also modified in 1828 from the 1815 corn laws by the introduction of a
sliding scale, this meant that if the price of bread was 73s per quarter bushel then foreign
imports would have no import duties, however if the price of domestic bread fell then foreign
import duties increased.…read more



very good


look at my OCR AS British history resources for more


This is an excellent set of notes on the eras of Lord Liverpool and Peel (1815-1922). It is clearly organised and addresses key essay questions as well as providing a great deal of factual information.


happy birthday m9

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