Radical reformers, c1790-1819


Tactics and aims of protest

The London Corresponding Society, 1792

  • American revolution and French revolutions inspiered the ordinary person to get involved in politics.
  • Founded by Thomas Hardy.
  • Campaigned for democratic reform, annual parliaments and universal male suffrage.
  • Supported by working class. Artisans and small trade man.
  • 3,000 members were involved in distributing pamphlets to the public. Political education.
  • 1793, 6,000 members signed a petiton saying they supported them.

This method of discussion, pamphlets and newspaper articles was an important part of protesting tactics. Peaceful methods instead of violent rallies. However, William Pitt believed it had the potenyial to become a violent organisation.

The Spa Fields meetings, 1816

  • Henry Hunt ivited to show support for a petition aimed at Prince Regent for parliamentary refrom.
  • 10,000 people attended.
  • Asking the crowd to sign a petiton that called for universla male suffrage, annual parliaments and the introduction of a secret ballot.
  • The government refused this and a second meeting was held.
  • This lead to radicals marching for the Tower of London, According to a spy called "Castle", four of the group were tried for treason, but agent provoceuturs were accused of starting up revolt so the men were acquited.

This event convinced the ggovernment that revolution was possible, First sign of organised revolt.

The Pentridge Rising, 1817

  • A spy named "Oliver" joined revolutionary actavists and convinced them that there was an uprising in London on June 9th and they needed support throughout the country.
  • 300 working class men armed with




There is also the Gagging Acts, 1817, but this was just reinstating past Acts.