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How Far Was Lord Liverpool Responsible for the Discontent Between 1815-1820?

  • Date Submitted: 12/10/2013 04:12 PM
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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 When it was repealed, the government placed indirect taxes on popular goods, this meant that the poor working classes were now paying much more for everyday essentials. Also, the Game Laws made poaching against your landowner punishable up to 7 years imprisonment or transportation, during this time poaching was the only legitimate way of supplementing your own family during economic difficulty. Class legislation provoked more discontent as it only benefitted the aristocracy and many people during this time suffered.

The wide spread discontent was also due to Lord Liverpool's repressive policies, one of which being the suspension of Habeas Corpus, this could hold someone suspected of radicalism or anti government behaviour without trial for an indefinite period. Also the seditious meeting act denied unlawful meetings of more than 50 people and appointed the death penalty for mutiny in the armed forces. The Gagging Acts were soon put in place to suppress radical activity it was designed to speed up justice, crack down on malicious libel and control newspapers. This did very little to end discontent and instead caused riots in response to this, many people also felt that they had lost basic human rights due to these policies.      

Another reason for unrest is the   constraining methods to handle radicalism.The governments use of...

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