Political Protest and the Radical Challenge after 1815

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  • Created by: kt6382
  • Created on: 07-03-14 13:27

Country faced many political, economic and social problems in 1812-1822. As a result there was considerable unrest throughout this period. 

  • Radicals kept up constant stream of criticism of the government. These people wanted major reforms of many areas, e.g Parliamentary reform. 
  • 1816, William Cobbet began the Political Register, a weekly pamphlet.
  • There were also marches, protests, demonstrations, riots and plots around the country. Government dealt with these with repression, legislation and force. 

Main Political protests were:

  • Spa Field Riots (1816)
  • The Derbyshire Rising  (also known as Pentrich/Pentridge Rising)
  • Peterloo
  • The Cato Street Conspiracy 

These movements were born out of frustration and hardship. They made the government even more scared of the prospect of revolution. All of them wanted some measure of reform. There was little co-ordination between the different groups and they took place in different areas of the country. Despite their political aims, the other over-ridnig feature was the economic problems: Cobbet said 'I defy you to agitate a man on a full stomach'. These movements came around the same time as when the country was experiencing problems like high taxation, unemplyment etc. The urbanisation resulting from the Industrial Rev. brought with it a range of social problems (overcrowding, disease). In addition the post war period from 1815-1822 saw reduction in wages , the Corn Laws and increases in duties. 

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