"The weakness of the radical movement was the most important reason why Pitt survived the revolutionary threat to his government in the period 1789-1801 - how far do you agree with this statement?
It could be argued that the radical movement was sparked off by the differences in opinion of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. Their differences in opinion caused a debate, which was to create a hoard of revolutionary movements and organisations. Paine's book led to the creation of the London Corresponding Society, a large radical movement that threatened Pitt's authority, in his mind. Soon, a whole host of movements were holding meetings and publishing leaflets about reform up and down the country. Needless to say the government was worried about this sudden demand for reform, but how much of a threat were these radical movements?
The radicals certainly seemed a threat to the government, with the war disturbing trade and increasing taxes for the middle and working classes. Poor harvests and increased taxes caused food prices to be higher, coupled with lower wages, things were difficult for the working and middle classes. This helped the radical movements spread the word as they had an audience that was ready to ... Continue Reading