|Who were the radicals and what were their grievances?
In 1800, very few people had the right to vote. Politics and the running of the government was limited to a small number of wealthy people. At the end of the eighteenth century, some people, later called radicals, questioned if this was the best method of government.
The most important radical writer at this time was Thomas Paine. Paine was born in Thetford and moved to America, where he played an influential role in drafting the Declaration of Independence. He later moved to France and became involved in the French Revolution, working with the leaders to produce the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Paine wrote a book called 'The Rights of Man' which said that everybody should have the right to be involved in government. His book sold half a million copies and was read by many more, passed around between groups of people and used as the discussion topic at political meetings.