The Poll Tax Protest

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What was the Poll Tax?
The Poll Tax meant everyone on the electoral role would pay the same charge, regardless of whether they were rich or poor. Before, 'rates' depended on the size of the house you lived in, however the Poll Tax depended on the number of people living th
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Why was it Introduced?
Mrs Thatcher Critised rates because people who paid the most benefited from services the least. Underlying all this was the Conservatives' attempt to make local councils spend less money.
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When did the Poll Tax become a law?
1990.
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Who was Protesting?
Anti-Thatcher protestors, Far-left militant groups, the Labour Party, many Trade Unions, Ordinary people and some Richer people.
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Who were the Anti-Poll Tax Union?
A group that was set up in Glasgow when the law was announced. They distributed information and supported people who didn't pay.
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Who were the All-Britain Federation?
A large group with many different anti-poll tax protest groups joined together. They organised regional demonstrations between Febuary and March 1990 that were mostly peaceful, but some saw violence between police and protestors.
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When did the Poll Tax begin?
It was to begin in Scotland from 1 April 1989, and the rest of Britain would follow in 1990.
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How did people Protest?
Non-payment (illegal), Protest meetings, petitions and marches, Information leflets and posters, Making t-shirts, stickers, badges and mugs with anti-poll tax slogans, People in local councils not administering or collecting the tax.
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What were local Anti-Poll Tax Unions (APTUs)?
Those who decided to resist sut up local APTUs with no official leaders. This made it difficult for the authorities to deal with APTUs as there were few permanent official leaders who could be arrested.
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What was the Battle of Trafalgar Square? (31 March 1990)
A national protest march took place in London the day before the induction of the Poll Tax. The police expected 60,000 protestors, but 200,000 showed up. The day began peacefully with families/friends gathering in parks and marching in the capital.
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Why did the 'Battle of Trafalgar Square' turn Violent?
Not all marchers could fit in T/S so they were in surrounding streets. One group of protestors headed to Downing St. and fights broke out when the police tried to move them on. Violence then spread and peaceful bystanders got caught in the violence.
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What happened at the Battle of Trafalgar Square?
Nearby buildings were vandalised, buildings and ars were set on fire and shops were looted. Police in riot gear were used. There were 1400 arrests, 113 injuries and the cost of damage was estimated around £400,000.
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How did the Public React?
The public generally supported the protestors and so the government were blamed.
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How did the Government Respond?
Margaret Thatcher and other Conservatives presented protestors as 'rent-a-mob', but only a few protestors were violent.
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Why was the Government struggling during the Protest?
Protests were in local communities so there were no national leaders who the gov. could negociate with. Not paying taxes was illegal but they couldn't arrest 18 million people. The gov. lost more support as it looked as if they'd lost control.
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Why did Margaret Thatcher Resign?
In November 1990, Tory leaders forced her resignation as the Consevatives were losing power and popularity, and the protests were ongoing.
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Why was the Poll Tax Abolished?
By March 1991, there were over 18 million non-payers, and in the May elections the Conservatives lost votes. 20% of peole around the country refused to pay, and lost revenue was damaging councils.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Why was it Introduced?

Back

Mrs Thatcher Critised rates because people who paid the most benefited from services the least. Underlying all this was the Conservatives' attempt to make local councils spend less money.

Card 3

Front

When did the Poll Tax become a law?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Who was Protesting?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Who were the Anti-Poll Tax Union?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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