How successful were the social and economic reforms introduced by Tory governments in the years 1819 to 1829?
The Tory government from 1819 to 1829 introduced a lot of social and economic reforms, which had both positive and negative effects and varied in success. The cabinet shuffle in 1822 gave the Tories a ‘liberal’ reputation as many of the successful reforms came after this; however it can be questioned whether or not they were as liberal as they seemed as a lot of their reforms had already been in production beforehand and were not actually thought of by the ‘liberal’ Tory government. There were some successful social reforms during this period, like The Six Acts of 1819. These introduced 6 main restrictions such as magistrates could search houses without warrants for any firearms or seditious literature, drilling and military training by private individuals was forbidden, political meetings could only involve people from the parish in which the meeting was taking place, magistrates could try people charged with political offenses immediately, and the stamp duty on pamphlets and periodicals was increased. These were very unpopular with people during the time, but were successful in reducing the agitation and violence which gradually faded away during 1820, preventing any more riots and public unrest. The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 was also successful as it introduced the London police force. The previous army of elderly night-watchmen and Bow Street Runners were not very effective and it was thought that the law would me more effective if there was some organization to track and deter criminals. The Act provided for 1000 paid police constables, later increased to 3000, all under the control of a commissioner with a headquarters. This was very successful and the crime rate plummeted spectacularly, however it was a controversial move and many opposed it as they felt it was just another form of repression. The Penal Code and the Jails Act of 1823 made...
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