Why Britian Avoided Revolution from 1815-1848

April 27, 2012 | | Comments Off on Why Britian Avoided Revolution from 1815-1848

Original Work by Jeffrey Hoehn

While the rest of Europe was engaging in revolutions for nationalism and independence, Britain was busy industrializing even further and solving governmental problems through words not war.  Some of the reasons why Britain was able to avoid substantial violence was its characteristic of enjoying the broadest political and religious freedom.  Although the freedom was far from true liberty, it was considerably better than most other countries.  Probably the prominent reason why Britain avoided considerable violence was the Great Reform Bill and a number of concessions the government made.  First, it Roman Catholics and Protestant Nonconformists were given political rights.  This also affected Ireland because the Catholic majority could now hold political positions.  The government also avoided the influence of Metternich whose international policies did not fit the present need of Britain.

Another reason why Britain avoided revolution was the replacement of a modernist party (Whigs) from the previous conservative party (Torries).  The change in parties was an essential event in Britain because the Torries backed the Great Reform Bill, which reformed voting rights to the middle class by allowing these individuals to vote in elections.  Other reasons why revolution was avoided was the abolition of slavery, which appeased many humanitarians.  The impact of the loss of slaves to certain individuals was lessened by compensation of the government as well to quell their anger.  Towns and cities were gaining more power in self-government under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835.  A significant reform that pleased many individuals was the reforms implemented to improve conditions in factories, and limiting children work hours.  Finally, the Chartist movement in Britain was utilized by many workers to express their concerns for the current conditions they faced.  The outlet allowed individuals to feel as if their voice was heard, therefore reducing the risk that workers would bind together and start expressing their concerns in ways that would entail more than simple words.


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