Peterloo 1819 (What happened at Peterloo? (There were over 50,000 people…
What happened at Peterloo?
There were over 50,000 people there to listen to Henry Hunt make a speech
Men women and children gathered in the middle of Manchester
Due to fear of revolution at the time, the magistrates in Manchester were fearful for the events that may take place. They saw the town as in danger, so decided to send in the Yeomanry to break up the gathering and arrest Henry Hunt
The Yeomanry were drunk and untrained, and were eager to get into battle, however their job was to disperse the crowds of men, women and children, who were marching hand in hand in their Sunday best
As a result of the Yeomanries charge, 16 people were killed and over 400 injured, because they tried to close the gap made so that Hunt couldn't be arrested.
Why were the protesters protesting?
Lack of suffrage, for men and women - only 3% had suffrage
Food prices were high - especially bread due to the corn laws
Unemployment was high due to soldiers returning from wars with France
Poverty was severe, and the law makers were all wealthy, so didn't listen to the poor
Most workers, especially factory workers, had no rights
What happened as a result of Peterloo?
The 6 Acts
Magistrates could also seize and destroy newspapers if they printed anything against the government
Tax on newspapers was increased so that the unemployed and working class couldn't afford to buy and read them, and the news would be less likely to print any negativity against the government
Trials were to be sped up as a result of the magistrates new powers
The government banned meetings of over 50 people due to a fear of revolution
Magistrates were given the ability to search houses for weapons
Military training and drilling was banned
Hunt was sentenced to over 2 years in prison
The Riot Act - the ability to send British troops onto the British people
The government congratulated the army and magistrates on keeping the peace in Manchester. They were fearful of a revolution like the French