Pitt-Peel History AS revision

Detailed notes going from Pitt to Peel

Pitt and his rise to power, his administration, the national revival and the radical threat in the 1790s

Lord Liverpool and the Liberal Tories, the radical threat of the 1820s

The Great Reform Act; why it passed and what it did

Peel's rise to Tory party leadership, the repeal of the corn laws

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  • Created on: 31-05-13 20:39
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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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Fox's support of American rights could be viewed as unpatriotic
Appeared scared of an election.…read more

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Pitt keeps the support of the king
The opposition are marginalised
Good times- Britain becomes prosperous
Pitt is an authoritative and commanding PM
The king gave Pitt a lift but is less active once Pitt is in power
The regency crisis 1788
Fox decides to court the heir to the throne to gain power
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…read more

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Commissioners were appointed to ensure the sinking fund ran efficiently and that it
was not subject to crisis management normally used to overcome a government
revenue shortfall
In peacetime it worked well and by 1793 the national debt had been reduced to
about £10m
After the outbreak of war the debt rose and idea of a sinking fund was less
Administrative policy
Believed in making government more accountable
Administrative policies introduced to cut waste and improve efficiency in the running
of government
Pitt also…read more

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His `household officers' formed the nucleus of the government party in the
House of Lords which usually outvoted the opposition by 2 to 1
o The King's willingness to create new peers bolstered Pitt's majority. No
fewer than 119 new peerages or promotions within the peerage made
during Pitt's administration, to an upper house with only 212 temporal peers
at the end of 1783. Many were important borough mongers (e.g.…read more

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The poor harvests and rising food prices of the time contributed to public
unrest as there was widespread starvation and hunger
o There were 2 famines in 1794-96 and 1799-1801
o A collapse in farm-workers' wages caused social tension and protests in rural
o There was an upturn in countryside crime as a result of rural poverty and this
points to significant dissatisfaction in these communities.…read more

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Poor law was introduced to reduce poverty and this provided support to a
significant number of the population
Popular loyalism
o Served as a worthy opponent to radicalism
o Aligned itself with patriotism and thus made being radical appear disloyal to
the king (who was a popular icon of the country) and country
o The popularity of the king was demonstrated in 1789 when 750 addresses
congratulated him on his recovery
o 1792 establishment of the Reeves and Loyalist Association which sought to
campaign against…read more

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Whigs broke
with Fox (Windham, Portland and Loughborough) and joined Pitt's ministry which
strengthened it
the legislation was not particularly severe in practise
o only 200 prosecutions for treason and sedition which is miniscule in
comparison with the jacobite suppression of 1715 and 45
o these radicals were mainly prosecuted under traditional laws rather than the
new Pitt ones
o very few were hung
o acted as a deterrent
Army of spies and informers were successful at infiltrating plots.…read more

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When the Hampden club assembled, its members rejected the moderate proposals
of Cobbett and adopted Hunt's more radical suffrage programme with mass
petitioning of parliament
Ministerial alarm was intensified when a window of the prince regent's coach was
shattered when he was driven to open the 1817 session of parliament
Reformers held mass meetings and prepared their petitions, both house of
parliament appointed committees of secrecy to examine the home office papers on
the disturbances
700 petitions were presented although they made little impression on…read more


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