Six Acts

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Legislation in Britain aimed at checking what was regarded as dangerous radicalism, in an immediate response to public anger over the Peterloo Massacre. It dealt with procedures for bringing cases to trial, the prohibition of meetings “for military exercises”, the issue of warrants to search for arms, powers to seize seditious or blasphemous literature, the extension of a stamp-duty on newspapers and periodicals, and the regulation and control of all public meetings. The last three were particularly resented and regarded as a threat to freedom. The Acts proved counter-productive by provoking much opposition; three years later the government of Lord Liverpool began to move towards more liberal policies.

Subjects: World History — British History.

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