New
New
Year 9

Political radicals and the Peterloo Massacre

I can explain why there were increasing demands for reform after 1815 and how government fear about this led to the Peterloo Massacre.

New
New
Year 9

Political radicals and the Peterloo Massacre

I can explain why there were increasing demands for reform after 1815 and how government fear about this led to the Peterloo Massacre.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The Corn Laws were introduced in 1815 to keep the price of wheat high by putting tariffs on foreign imports.
  2. The Corn Laws meant many poor people could no longer afford bread.
  3. The government ignored industrial workers who had no right to vote, which increased calls for universal suffrage.
  4. Tens of thousands of industrial workers gathered at St Peter's Field in Manchester in 1819 to peacefully protest.
  5. The local yeomanry attacked protestors at St Peter's Field, killing 16, this became known as 'the Peterloo Massacre'.

Common misconception

Radicals encouraged the use of violence to solve the problems that industrial workers faced.

Radicals like Cobbett and Hunt emphaisised the importance of peaceful protests and the need to persuade government to extend voting rights.

Keywords

  • Tariff - a tariff is a tax to be paid on goods purchased from abroad

  • Universal suffrage - universal suffrage describes a system where all adults can vote

  • Radical - a person who supports the idea that there should be big social and political changes is known as a radical

  • Reactionary - a person who opposes political or social progress and reform is known as a reactionary

  • Yeomanry - yeomanry are local volunteer soldiers

After reading section B in the additional material, remind students that these developments occurred soon after the French Revolution. Ask students how the French Revolution may have influenced reactionary attitudes in the British government.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
Write the missing word. Significant changes which take place over a relatively short period of time are usually described as __________ by historians.
Correct Answer: revolutions, Revolutions
Q2.
What happened to the monarchy in France during the French Revolution?
powers of the monarch increased
powers of the monarch decreased
Correct answer: the monarchy was abolished
Q3.
Which of the following statements about death rates during the Industrial Revolution are accurate?
Correct answer: death rates were higher in urban areas than rural areas
death rates were similar across all areas of Britain
death rates fell in all areas of Britain, but at different rates
Correct answer: death rates rates rose in most new industrial cities
death rates were often highest in middle class areas of cities
Q4.
Which statement is most accurate?
Few cotton mills employed children as workers before 1833
Correct answer: Many cotton mills employed children as workers before 1833
A decreasing number of cotton mills employed children as workers before 1833
Q5.
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events from the Industrial Revolution into chronological order.
1 - steam engine developed
2 - more mills begin exploiting steam power
3 - demand for coal increases in cities
4 - new canals built linking industrial areas
Q6.
Which quote from J C Symons' report on conditions in Glasgow's Wynds best demonstrates that overcrowding was a problem?
"This area is made up of a maze of lanes"
"I was little prepared for the filth and poverty within the homes"
Correct answer: "Sometimes there were 15 or 20 people living in a single room"
"There was generally no furniture in these places"

6 Questions

Q1.
Match each key word with its correct definition.
Correct Answer:radical,supports big social and political reforms

supports big social and political reforms

Correct Answer:reactionary,opposes political or social progress and reform

opposes political or social progress and reform

Correct Answer:revolutionary,supports use of violence to achieve big changes

supports use of violence to achieve big changes

Q2.
What impact did the Corn Laws have on bread prices?
decreased
Correct answer: increased
remained the same
Q3.
What percentage of the British population could vote in the years around 1815?
Correct answer: 1%
10%
50%
100%
Q4.
Write the missing word. Radicals argued that universal was the first step to to solving most of the problems of industrial workers.
Correct Answer: suffrage, Suffrage
Q5.
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events into chronological order.
1 - British government introduces the Corn Laws
2 - Growing anger at the government leads to a series of radical mass meetings
3 - 60 000 attend a meeting at St Peter's Field in Manchester
4 - 16 peaceful protestors are killed by Manchester yeomanry
5 - Henry Hunt is arrested by the government and the Six Acts introduced
Q6.
Which description of the organisers of the mass meeting at St Peter's Field in 1819 is most appropriate?
Correct answer: the organisers were radicals
the organisers were reactionaries
the organisers were revolutionaries

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