British History - Pitt to Peel

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History Revision- Pitt to Peel
Britain 1783 Context
To celebrate their wealth and show their status, landowners would build large
4 course rotation- you rotate the crops which you grow in each field in order to
recover the nutrients in each field. This increases productivity
Turnips were used as fodder (food for animals) with the increase in food for animals,
you increase meat production
Selective breeding began
The invention of the seed drill increases yield. It was invented by Jethrow Tull and
meant more seed germinated as opposed to being eaten by birds or scattered on
unfertile land
Thomas Coke invented `sheep sheerings' in which farmers would come together to
discuss farming methods at Holkham estate
The exploration of new farming technology and new interest in increased yield and
profit let to exploitation and capitalism.
Field system- equally individual divided land. Common land allocated, loss of general
land. More expensive, poorer people can't afford this and so sell their land and
become landless labourers.
The city
London has about 10% of the population
1m residents by the end of the 18th century
The next biggest city was Bristol with 60,000 in 1750
Followed by Norwich (40,000), Birmingham, Glasgow and Liverpool (30,000)
Manchester and Salford (20,000)
5% could vote
o No women
o Only land owners
o MPs bribed people to vote for them
People publically voted, they announced their vote to the community
Popular politics- although there was a narrow electorate people could participate in
politics by, for example, boycotting a shop who's owner voted against their view
Seats in parliament could be bought- rotten boroughs
The king
The king had real power
He could choose the pm and sack anyone he didn't like
George III had issues- porphyria
He reigned for 60 years
He didn't get on with his father or son
His son was not popular- had to act as regent for periods of time
Development of factories- mechanical loom, spinning jenny
Steam became the power source for industrial revolution, as opposed to horses or
fast flowing water
Optimists say the industrial revolution led to growth and improvement and enables
the generation of wealth
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Pessimists say the industrial revolution led to capitalism and people became
subjected to the economic cycle
o Thomas Malthus- population increases exponentially, resources increase
arithmetically. Population will outstrip food supply. There was a worry that
the British population was going to run out of control
18th century Britain was Christian. Religion was taken seriously
Catholics couldn't be MPs
Established church was Anglican
Catholics were viewed as disloyal.…read more

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Appeared scared of an election.…read more

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The heir to the throne is not an appealing character- Fox plays court politics
George goes mad, who should now rule?
Demonstrates that Pitt's hold on power was dependent on the king
The only way Pitt can hold on to power is to try to define the powers of the regent-
constitutional dilemma
Fox wants an unconditional regency- no conditions or limits.…read more

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Administrative policy
Believed in making government more accountable
Administrative policies introduced to cut waste and improve efficiency in the running
of government
Pitt also believed in meritocratic government
1784 India Act
o Designed to remove the exclusive rights of the East India Trading Company
in financial administration in India
o A board of control was set up, with Pitt as one of its members, to scrutinise
the administration of the east India trading company
o It did not solve all the problems it was intended…read more

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Not responsible
How important was royal support to Pitt's ministry 1782-93?
Not important
The radical threat of the 1790s
Challenges and strains
French revolution
o In 1792 the revolution became bloody and scared a large majority of British
people away from radicalism.
o There were 10,000 French immigrants in London and there were constant
suspicions of radical plots
o Non conformist churches evidently had a radical dimension- inspiring protest
and encouraging social levellers and uprising.…read more

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Societies were set up to discuss radical issues and campaign for change, such
as the London corresponding society, which had over 5000 members at its
o The celebration of bastille day in Britain emphasises the support for
radicalism at the time
o The outbreak of millenarianism gave people the impression they had nothing
to lose and could therefore afford to be more radical
o John Wilkes was a journalist who attacked the government and king.…read more

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Pitt's interest that support for radicalism be
squashed. There was also a reluctance to persecute the rig leaders of the
loyalist rioters.
How close to Revolution was Britain in the 1790s?
How did Pitt deal with the threat?
Legislative measures
Royal proclamation 1792 prohibited seditious meetings
1794- habeas corpus, the legal action by which a prisoner could be released from
unlawful detention, was suspended.…read more

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Fox said that anyone who advocated even the mildest measure of reform
was liable to transportation- excessive
By making radicalism against the law Pitt worsened the situation
o Forced radical to go underground
o Increased the danger by raising the stakes
Spies and informers used gave license to `bully boys' to attack and intimidate
radicals- created an atmosphere of fear
There were other factors that contributed to the eradication of the radical threat
o Social divisions not as prominent as in France
o Better economy…read more

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Local magistrates, alarmed by reports that the march had insurrectionary aims, called
in troops to break up the gathering
Most dispersed peacefully but some were arrested
9th June Jeremiah brandreth led the iron workers, stockingers and farm labourers of
the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire border around the village of pentrich in a march
on Nottingham.…read more



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