Complications Of The French Revolution

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The French Revolution (1789-1799) had significant, far reaching implications. In Britain it permeated every level of society. Not only did politicians change their allegiances, but moderate reformers were radicalised, and British society was completely divided into supporters and detractors of the Revolution. It also resulted in a drastic politicisation of Ireland, changing the nature of politics completely. The British government was threatened by the French Revolution because they saw what was happening in France and saw the beginnings of the process in their own country. The prospect of a revolution of that scale in Britain was unthinkable and something had to be done.
The initial reaction to the French Revolution in Britain was
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‘The ideological issues raised by the French Revolution served as a catalyst for British domestic politics’ subsequently leading to the development of a Tory Party in Britain as those who followed Burke followed him to William Pitt the Younger who established the first Tory government. Pitt’s initial lacklustre reaction to the Revolution had changed rapidly with the growth of radicalism in Britain, especially after Thomas Paine published his Rights of Man in 1791, condemning it as a ‘monstrous doctrine’ . This new Tory government that had been established was much less tolerant of reformers in a time where radical reformers were far more common and were feeding off the energy of the French Revolution.
In the 1770s, a movement for parliamentary reform began in Britain under the leadership of middle class men such as John Cartwright and Christopher Wyvill. When the Revolution in France began in 1789 this movement began to grow rapidly, and an atmosphere of revolutionary fervour spread across Britain, inspiring reformers. In many ways the French Revolution acted as a template of reform to radicals and reformers across Britain and Europe. When the propaganda of the French Revolution began to reach the masses of Britain in 1792 the situation worsened for the British government as interest in radical societies spiked. At times during the 1790s, there were incidents of rebellion that were of a similar degree of
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