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PRINTED FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY;

LONDON:

3. OTRIDGE; J. CUTHELL; LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN;
E. JEFFERY AND SON; LACKINGTON AND CO.; J. BELL; J. ASPERNE; AND
SHERWOOD, NEELEY, AND JONES.

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THE domestic annals of the year 1819 are replete with
subjects of deep, but, on the whole, of painful interest.
Pecuniary distress has been nearly universal: the agricul-
tural, the commercial, and the manufacturing interests, have
all labored under depression and embarrassment, seldom
equalled, and none of them yet appear to have attained the
crisis of their difficulties.

That portion of the people engaged in the labors of hus-
bandry, little susceptible, from their dispersed habitation and
rustic manners, of political excitement, endured the evils of
their lot without audible murmurs, or any expression of
hostility against the established order of society, or the con-
duct of government. In some manufacturing districts also,
severe distress was sustained with mute resignation; in
others the case was widely different: Political agitators,
taking advantage of the general misery to gain the attention
of the laboring class, went about industriously disseminating
their doctrines through the great centres of manufacture in
Lancashire, Yorkshire, Warwickshire, and the south-west of
Scotland; and field-meetings of hundreds and thousands
were repeatedly assembled to listen to harangues on the
abuses of government, and on the necessity of a radical
reform of the House of Commons as a first step towards
the alleviation of the distresses of the country. A spirit was
thus excited among the people which was contemplated by
the administration, and by the higher classes in general, with
jealousy and alarm. The Prince Regent issued a proclama-
tion against seditious meetings, and soon after, an assemblage
at Manchester, summoned to petition for parliamentary
reform, was dispersed by military force. This act of power,
followed up by various strong measures on the part of go-
vernment, and especially by the enactment of five new bills,
restricting in several important points the liberty of the
subject, put a sudden check upon the active measures of the
reformers;

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