Politics in the Age of Fox, Pitt and Liverpool: Continuity and Transformation

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The personalities of George III, Fox, Pitt and Liverpool are brought to life with deft and succinct characterisation in a style which will entertain as well as inform. Table of Contents Preface. Customer Reviews Average Review. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access.

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  5. Old Password. Meanwhile, Fox sat for the pocket borough of Tain Burghs.

    Many saw the dragging out of the result as being unduly vindictive on the part of Pitt and eventually the examinations were abandoned with Fox declared elected. Elsewhere Pitt won a personal triumph when he was elected a Member for the University of Cambridge , a constituency he had long coveted and which he would continue to represent for the remainder of his life.

    His administration secure, Pitt could begin to enact his agenda. His first major piece of legislation as Prime Minister was the India Act , which re-organised the British East India Company and kept a watch over corruption.

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    It differed from Fox's failed India Bill and specified that the Board would be appointed by the King. Further augmentations and clarifications of the Governor-General's authority were made in , presumably by Lord Sydney, and presumably as a result of the Company's setting up of Penang with their own Superintendent Governor , Captain Francis Light , in In domestic politics, Pitt also concerned himself with the cause of parliamentary reform. In , he introduced a bill to remove the representation of thirty-six rotten boroughs, and to extend in a small way, the electoral franchise to more individuals.

    Pitt sought to reduce the national debt by imposing new taxes. Pitt always paid careful attention to financial issues. A fifth of Britain's imports were smuggled in without paying taxes. He made it easier for honest merchants to import goods. Pitt sought European alliances to restrict French influence, forming the Triple Alliance with Prussia and Holland in The Alliance, however, failed to produce any other important benefits for Great Britain. In , Pitt faced a major crisis when the King fell victim to a mysterious illness, [37] a form of mental disorder that incapacitated him.

    If the sovereign was incapable of fulfilling his constitutional duties, Parliament would need to appoint a regent to rule in his place. All factions agreed the only viable candidate was the King's eldest son, Prince George, Prince of Wales. The Prince, however, was a supporter of Charles James Fox; had he come to power, he would almost surely have dismissed Pitt. However, he did not have such an opportunity, as Parliament spent months debating legal technicalities relating to the regency.

    Politics in the Age of Fox, Pitt and Liverpool

    Fortunately for Pitt, the King recovered in February , just after a Regency Bill had been introduced and passed in the House of Commons. The general elections of resulted in a majority for the government, and Pitt continued as Prime Minister.

    In , he proceeded to address one of the problems facing the growing British Empire : the future of British Canada. By the Constitutional Act of , the province of Quebec was divided into two separate provinces: the predominantly French Lower Canada and the predominantly English Upper Canada.

    An early favourable response to the French Revolution encouraged many in Great Britain to reopen the issue of parliamentary reform, which had been dormant since Pitt's reform bill was defeated in The reformers, however, were quickly labelled as radicals and as associates of the French revolutionaries. Subsequently, in , Pitt's administration tried three of them for treason but lost.

    Parliament began to enact repressive legislation in order to silence the reformers. Individuals who published seditious material were punished, and, in , the writ of habeas corpus was suspended. Other repressive measures included the Seditious Meetings Act which restricted the right of individuals to assemble publicly and the Combination Acts which restricted the formation of societies or organisations that favoured political reforms. Problems manning the Royal Navy also led to Pitt to introduce the Quota System in in addition to the existing system of Impressment.

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    The war with France was extremely expensive, straining Great Britain's finances. Unlike in the latter stages of the Napoleonic Wars , at this point Britain had only a very small standing army, and thus contributed to the war effort mainly by sea power and by supplying funds to other coalition members facing France. Throughout the s, the war against France was presented as an ideological struggle between French republicanism vs.

    British monarchism with government seeking to mobilise public opinion in support of the war. P Thompson is incorrect, stating there is much evidence of a "popular conservative movement" that rallied in defence of King and Country. In Jane Austen 's novel Northanger Abbey -which was written in the s, but not published until one of the characters remarks it is not possible for a family to keep secrets in these modern times when spies for the government were lurking everywhere, which captures well the tense, paranoid atmosphere of the s when people were being encouraged to report "radicals" to the authorities.

    In , Pitt decided to take advantage of a slave revolt in the French colony of St. Domingue modern Haiti to seize the richest French colony in the world, believing this was would strike a great blow at France while bringing St. Domingue into the British Empire and ensuring the slaves in the British West Indies would not be inspired to likewise revolt. Domingue, lest their own slaves be inspired to seek freedom. Domingue on 20 September , stating they had come to protect the white population from the blacks, and were able to seize some coastal enclaves. Domingue inspired ferocious resistance from the Haitians, who had no desire to be forced into chains again.

    The heavy death toll caused by yellow fever , the much dreaded "black vomit", made conquering St. Domingue impossible, but an undeterred Pitt launched what he called the "great push" in , sending out the largest British expedition yet mounted to conquer St. In November , the "great push" began with ships leaving Portsmouth for St. Domingue, no matter what the cost in lives and money, to improve Britain's negotiating hand when it came time to make peace with the French republic.


    Politics in the Age of Fox, Pitt and Liverpool: Continuity and Transformation

    Domingue, than he ever did to Europe in the years —98 that it is proper to view the West Indies as Britain's main theater of war and Europe as more of a sideshow. As the British death toll caused by yellow fever continued to climb, Pitt was criticised in the House of Commons with several MPs suggesting it might be better to abandon the expedition, but Pitt insisted that Britain had given its word of honor that it would protect the French planters from their former slaves, and the expedition to St. Domingue could not be abandoned.

    Domingue to the British empire had killed off most of the British army, cost the British treasury a fortune and weakened British influence in Europe, making British power "fettered, numbered and paralyzed", all for nothing. Throughout the s, the popularity of the Society of United Irishmen grew. Influenced by the American and French revolutions, this movement demanded independence and republicanism for Ireland. In April , mutiny of the entire Spithead fleet shook the government sailors demanded a pay increase to match inflation.

    This mutiny occurred at the same moment that the Franco-Dutch alliance were preparing an invasion of Britain.