Chapter 5: Parliamentary Reform Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 5: Parliamentary Reform Deck (21):

Who were the pro-Revolution Whigs led by?



Who did the anti-Revolution Whigs support?

They Gradually moved their supprt to Pitt as reports of 'The Terror' filtered through Paris and war was declared.


Who was the first of the leading Whigs to desert to Pitt?

Edmund Burke.


What was Fox's position in government?

He hung on in opposition, with a much reduced following, insisting that 'Pitt was a greater menace to English liberties' than the French revolutionaries.


How had the Whig government been weakened?

Differences of opinion between Whigs regarding the revolution weakened the Whig party that had dominated politics during most of the eighteenth century.


What other explanation is there for Pitt's repressive measures after 1793?

Fear of being outvoted in his own cabinet, since there were so many differences of opinion. Portland Whigs showed an inflexibility towards the republican regime in France and demands for stern measures to stamp out defection at home.


Who were the leading Whigs led by?

The Duke of Portland, who was rewarded with the position of home secretary, while other psitions were bestowed on a handful of his followers, giving Pitt's government the flavour of a coalition war cabinet.


What, regarding the Whigs was a crucial moment in British parliamentary politics?

The disintegration of the Whig party as a result of insurmountable differences of pinion over the potential danger to Britain of the influence of the French Revolution. Cleared the way for Tory ascendancy in the early nineteenth century.


What did Pitt believe in early in his political career?

Believed some redistribution of Parliamentary seats was desirable to redress imbalance between the over represented South of England and the under-represented Northern Industrial areas.


What bill had Pitt proposed in 1785?

Bill to redistribute seats from several rotten boroughs, with few voters, to the more densely populated northern counties and London. It was defeated when the King expressed his disapproval and Pitt dropped any notion of reform. The political elite, the aristocracy, were not interested in supporting change which would disturb their dominant power.


What moderate movement for Parliamentary reform emerged in the 1780s?

Calling for universal male suffrage and annual Parliaments, run largely by middle-class, intellectual radicals. Ironically its progress was both given a boost and damaged by the FR.


What positive impact on the movement for Parliamentary reform did the French Revolution produce?

Surge of support and interest from a wider group of middle class men, skilled artisans and shopkeepers, who rushed to join the many new societies set up to further the cause of reform.


What egative impact on the movement for Parliamentary reform did the Revolution produce?

The violence of the revolution made the government suspicious of the reformers motives, seeing threats of republicanism in all their activities and clamping down heavily on them. The range of interests of radical groups e.g religious freedom, pol reform, abolition of slavery, diluted the effectiveness.


What did Charles Grey propose?

Formed the Society of the Friends of the People to promote equal representation, but when he put forward a motion for Parliamentary reform in 1793, it was defeated by 282 votes to 41. Reaction seemed more popular than reform even amongst the Whigs. Anxiety and fear about what was happening in France put paid to any further serious attempts at reform.


What activity from main radical groups was present after 1800?

Little activity. But working class discontent continued, albeit sporadically, despite Pitt's repressive measures.


What working class discontent was there?

Food riots, which were more a response to distress than radical influence. A group called United Englishmen threatened insurrection but in reality made little progress.


What was the result of the short peace after 1800?

Calmed nerves on all sides.


What were the Industrial disputes of the period between 1800 and 1812, in spite of the Combination Laws, an indication of?

Indication of the hardships caused by wartime fluctuations and the adverse impact of technological changes.


What were handloom weavers discontent about?

The introduction of the power loom in factories threatened the livelihood of the handloom weavers, especially in Lancashire.


What did handloom weavers fail to achieve?

Minimum Wages Bill in 1808. They rioted and sabotaged the new machines due to their failure, which by 1811 had been associated with Luddism.


What were these outbreaks of unrest of workers an indication of?

Early indications of the potential strength of workers to negotiate for improved conditions. It was more likely they were seeking improved conditions than contemplating revolution. The outbreaks were sporadic and the Government was in fact preoccupied with the progress of the War.