London and England in 1819 as Expressions of Rebellion

1484 WordsFeb 4, 20186 Pages
Late 18th and early 19th century England faced both political and economic instability at the hands of King George III. Conflicts with the future United States and later France brought into question his ability to run a country. While the government was enjoying revenue gained through taxes, the people were suffering in the streets. Concern grew after the French Revolution about the power of the people to rise up against their government. Supporters of the revolution “herald the fall of an oppressive aristocracy and the birth of democratic and egalitarian ideals, a new era, shaped by 'the rights of man' rather than the entailments of wealth and privilege, while skeptics and reactionaries rued the end of chivalry, lamented the erosion of order, and foresaw the decline of civilization.” (7). In order to prevent a similar revolution in England, King George III issued “a Royal Proclamation banning seditious writings” in 1792. (6). Only two years later, with the suspension of habeus corpus, people could be sent to prison without a trial. This combination made it a very dangerous time to be speaking out against the government. The threat of imprisonment or death did not stop William Blake or Percy Shelley. Both of these writers rebelled against their government: in 1803, Blake found himself facing charges of “seditious threats against the crown. With England at war with France, this was a capital offense for which the penalty could have been death.” (171). He also had “been

More about London and England in 1819 as Expressions of Rebellion

Open Document