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

945 words 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 change of support for the radical shows that people were not completely behind helping them change things, but just stuck with them to get issues that affected them sorted. The radical movement needed the full support of the majority of the population (lower classes) to be strong enough to succeed, once the lower classes were able to eat, support for the radicals decreased.

Division was not only felt amongst the radicals, there were divisions in the Whig party over the French Revolution. This effectively lead to two camps within the party; the first led by Edmund Burke, the second led by Charles Fox, who supported the French Revolution. Burke had a more conservative view as he believed that revolution would lead to an unstable government, and believed that there should be ‘evolution’ not revolution. The emergence of anti-revolution support from within the Whig party (Burke), strengthened Pitts. This open support from the Whig party made people more likely to support Pitt than the radicals.

For Pitts repressive policies to have been the main reason for his success would have to mean that without them the radical challenge couldn’t of been resisted. I believe that this statement is false. The radical movement couldn’t of caused major change to have happened as they were not united or popular enough to do so. The