Evidence that Liverpool's government was reforming
1823: Jails Act - Removed some of the worst abuses from the prison system: magistrates were to inspect prisons at least three times a quarter; women prisoners were to be looked after by women jailers; all prisons were to have some elementary education, and receive visits from doctors and chaplains.
1824: Repeal of the Combination Laws - Trade Unions made legal.
Between 1823 and 1830: Penal Code Reform - Death penalty abolished for over 180 crimes and punishments for other offences were made less servere. Jury system drastically reorganized.
1829: Catholic Emancipation - Catholic MPs allowed in Parliament
Metropolitan Police Act - Introduced a London police force, provided for 1,000 paid constables.
Evidence that Liverpool's government was not reforming.
1815: Corn Laws: Forbade the import of foreign wheat until the price of home-grown wheat had risen to 80s a quarter. This increased the price of wheat in Britain (e.g. In 1817 a four-pound loaf cost 1s 2d) which was disastrous for unemployed workers but considerably profitable for landowners.
1816: The Game Law: Made poaching and even the possession of a net for catching rabbits punishable by transportation to Australia for 7 years.
1817: Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act: This meant that a person who had committed no offence could be arrested and held for an infinite period without charge and without trial.
1819: The Six Acts: Magistrates could search houses without warrants for unauthorized fire alarms, drilling and military training by private individuals were forbidden, stamp duty on pamphlets and periodicals increased.. etc.
Generally Liverpool's government showed very little sympathy or understanding when people protested (e.g. 1817 March of the Blanketeers) and replied with a policy of repression (e.g. The Six Acts) which only embittered the discontented. The government strongly believed in Laissez faire policies.