Explain Why Lord Liverpool’s Government Followed Reactionary Policies in the Years 1815 to 1820.

505 Words3 Pages
One of the reasons why Lord Liverpool’s government followed reactionary policies was because of the feelings the French revolution evoked in the British people. The revolution that took place in France inspired some people to start their own revolution, for example the London Corresponding Society, who were organised and directed by skilled craftsmen and depended on the support of working people. They embraced political aims drawn directly from French examples. They wanted to replace royal and aristocratic rule with representative government based on the Rights of Man - the influential political pamphlet by Thomas Paine. This society was crucial in making people in Britain more aware of radicalism; they did this through becoming the leading co-ordinator for a lot of popular reform societies, which together constituted the first nationwide political movement in Britain. Out of fear, the government was forced to follow reactionary policies to make sure radical threats were to be kept at a minimum. If a revolution was to occur the government would lose its power over the people. Another reason why reactionary policies were made was because of the industrial revolution; an impact of this was the growth of urbanisation. More people were moving to the cities and towns; however this meant that more people from the middle/working class were coming together and radical ideas were to starting to rapidly become popular, such as parliamentary reform - radical ideas which were inspired by the French revolution. This popularity caused events such as the Spa Field Riots, which forced the government to follow the reactionary policy of suspending Habeas Corpus to discourage civilians from the idea of a revolution. Moreover influential radical leaders were a vital reason why the government followed reactionary policies. For example take Henry Hunt, the incident in Peterloo in 1819
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