Flashcards in Chapter 6: Britain in 1812 Deck (13):
What was the state of Britain in 1812?
It was in crisis. Country had been at War for almost 20 years and there was no resolution yet in sight. Reeling from the repercussions of a disastrous economic collapse. Poverty and distress and starvation in both town and countryside
Why did many of the labouring classes grow resentful?
As they could see others profiting from the War. Produced considerable social unrest.
What happened May 1812?
Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval was assassinated, creating turmoil in government circles and necessitated the appointment of the sixth PM in just over a decade.
What were the positive aspects of Britain's condition in 1812?
None of Liverpool's five predecessors had any notable success in the War but each made some contribution, strengthening Britain's position. Napoleon was being weakened.
By 1812, how was Napoleon weakened?
A combination of Britain's sea power, military efforts in the Spanish Peninsular and economic blockade however unpopular did weaken Napoleon.
In spite of Napoleon's continental system, what happened to Britain's export and re-export trade?
It increased as it had a virtual monopoly in shipping goods across the world.
What pressure was on the Government?
To remove the Orders in Council, but by the time the decision was made and relayed across the Atlantic to the US, the country had already declared War on Britain in June 1812, causing further stress on the already heavy burden of the National Debt.
In demographic terms, how was Britain rapidly changing?
Rapid increase in population, rural population moving to twns and cities. It was a youthful population therefore possibly looking towards change.
What was the status of Parliamentary reform?
There was no strong movement so it remained unrepresentative of the vast majority. Handful of Radicals within Parliament but tended to be more concerned with establishing individual rights and liberties such as rights of Dissenters to hold public office rather than extension of Parliamentary franchise.
How was the nature of radicalism changing? Who influenced this?
It was greatly influenced by Jeremy Bentham's ideas of political reform, which he believed must come before all other reform.
What was the exercise of political pwer like in 1812?
Much the same as in the 1780s- the aristocratic landed interest was still predominant. Growing awareness of importance of commercial and manufacturing interests and greater willingness to listen to their pinion but not to share political power. Opinions of labouring classes counted for nothing.
As navy and military successes began to stack up, what did this mean for Britain?
It was on the verge of emerging from the war stronger and wealthier and, as the nineteenth century progressed, the most powerful counry in the world.