To What Extent Was Pitt's Repressive Policy the Main Reason for His Success in Resisting the Radical Challenge to 1801?

935 Words Feb 5th, 2011 4 Pages
To what extent was Pitt’s repressive policy the main reason for his success in resisting the radical challenge to 1801?

The growing threat of revolution by English radicals being influenced by Irish rebels and the French Revolution was the main thing William Pitt the younger was faced with during his time as Prime Minister. To deal with this, he reinforced a repressive policy of tough legislation strengthened through propaganda.It was not only these actions taken that managed to quell the revolutionaries from revolting. Other than the actions taken by Pitt, there was discordance between the radicals,also the loyalist reaction sparked by the war in France; these are only a few reasons amongst many. It was the contribution of factors that
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This response to the war helped Pitt, as he was trying to prevent revolution from happening in Britain. There was a loyalist riot in 1794 in Manchester where chants about church and kings were to be heard, subsequently ‘Church and King’ clubs formed. The loyalists advertised their cause through pamphlets that supported the king. Suppport for the king spread, the government were extremely happy with the outcome, they even allowed and encourages a loyalist militia to form and by 1800 there were 100,000 members. This show of support for the king that followed the war with France was a strong opponent against the radicals.

Problems within the radicals caused a divide in their goals and the path they thought was necessary to take to reach them. This could be seen when looking at some of the radical groups. Disunity in cause could be seen by looking at two figures that were part of the radical movement; Tom Paine focused solely on men’s rights, whilst Mary Wollstonecraft focused on rights for women. The London Corresponding Society believed in achieving their goals peacefully, however the Society for Constitutional Information’s leader (John Jebb) believed that ‘public agitation’ was the most effective way of reaching their goals. This lack of unity of cause and ways of achieving their aims considerably weakened the radical movement.

Another factor that
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