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How Far Was Lord Liverpool Responsible For The Discontent Between 1815 1820?

840 words - 4 pages

How far was Lord Liverpool directly responsible for the discontent between 1815-1820? (24 marks)
Lord Liverpool can be seen as responsible for discontent firstly due to class legislation. When the Corn Laws were introduced, it guaranteed protection for wheat prices from foreign imports of grain, this was purely favoured for the large agricultural landowners.This legislation was soon hated by the industrial classes living in Britain's fast growing towns who had to pay for higher bread prices. After the war, parliament voted to abolish income tax as it was based on your own income and the aristocracy were contributing to most of it. When it was repealed, the government placed indirect taxes ...view middle of the document...

The governments use of force to uphold law and order depended on the armed forces in areas where the threat was the greatest. An example of this is the Peterloo Massacre where over 50,000 people were expected to converge on St Peters field to hear Henry Hunt speak on parliamentary reform. The outcome of this was chaos, the leaders were arrested, many people were injured and a few were killed by the soldiers, this caused an outcry across the country. The use of spies was also highly criticised as they watched potential threats and stopped them before they had the chance, as the Cato Street conspiracy was a plot to assassinate the cabinet, a government spy had before hand infiltrated the group, the leader and other conspirators were hanged and a few others were transported, the use of spies became more frequent as there was no law enforcers (e.g police) this made people feel like they had a lack of privacy. As well as this the use of punishments such as transportation and the death penalty for even small criminal offences were seen as being harsh and it made Liverpool and his Tory government even more unpopular.

On the other hand, discontent was out of Liverpool's control to handle it. At the time the French Revolution was a stimulus for the economy, but as soon as it ended it led to a Great Depression. The main cause of discontent was unemployment which was particularly high because of the ending of the wartime contracts for industry and the demobilisation of...

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