From the Napoleonic wars to the Regency

Many English of the opposition to Catholic absolutism in France. The ruling classes were seized by the terror of "Jacobinism",that is sympathy with the cause of French Revolution. Intellectuals supported the revolution because it would bring justice and equality to the people. The war between Britain and France(1793-1813) dominated foreign and domestic politics. Napoleon's victories in Europe were balanced by Britain's supremacy at sea. The hero of the British navy was Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was killed at his great victory over the French and Spanish at Trafalgar. Napoleon, weakened by his disastrous invasion of Russia, surrendered in 1814.
The acquisition of the few places round the world by Britain at the Treaty of Vienna (1815) did not seem to balance the huge costs of the war. Trade slumps had hit the new factory economy. There was no system to look after the unemployed in the factory towns. Some skilled artisans had destroyed the new machines which had taken their work away, and were called "luddites" after their possibly fictitious leader, Ned Ludd. this period was characterized by corruption, repression and suppression. A more energetic religious movement emerged called the "Evangelism". The evangelic were members of the Church of England their aim was to make the poor dutiful and moderate. This period is also known as "the Regency" as it covers the time when George III could not rule because of a mental illness and his son,the future George IV, was the Regent.

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