Arthur no parliamentary rights and were unfairly taxed due

Arthur Thistlewood (1774 – 1820)

history there have been a multitude of revolutions. Some are successful and
some fail with the losing party typically being deemed the antagonists. This is
the case for Arthur Thistlewood who saw the direction of his failing government
and wanted to bring about better leadership of the people. This is the story of
many including George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte and of course many
more. If the American Revolution had failed then all of the major leaders would
have surely been executed for treason. You can either fight for what you
believe in and be tagged a demented madman or do what you feel is right and
stand up for what you believe in with all options considered. This wasn’t such
a difficult decision for Thistlewood.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now


to be the illegitimate son of Ann Burnet, his fathers’ housekeeper; Arthur
Thistlewood was Lincolnshire and raised to be land surveyor. He instead decided
to join the British army. Upon his resignation he visit both the United States
and France where he experienced the effects of each of their revolutions (1). Arriving to France
soon after the fall of Maximillian Robespierre in 1794. Robespierre was a lawyer
and politician and a direct catalyst to the “Reign of Terror” during the French
Revolution (kagan).
Here is where Thistlewood truly became fully indoctrinated into the doctrines
and feelings of the revolutionists’ ideology. Joining the French army helped to
further this even more as his hatred of oppression grew even deeper.  This hatred was packed in his suitcase as he
finally returned to England.


                April 19, 1775 the
shot heard around the world shattered the eardrums of many and marked the
beginning of the American Revolution. The Americans had no parliamentary rights
and were unfairly taxed due to the costly 7 year war (Kagan). These once proud Britain’s were
quickly losing that noble passion. All the while, the British saw the Colonies
as being in debt to them and that they should even be more appreciative (2). Both sides seeing
themselves as the protagonist and the opposing side as the antagonist. Although
this war ended with a victory for the American colonist on September 3, 1783 it
put France and serious financial distress due to their contribution on the side
of the colonists as well as the massive crop failures and food shortages in the
succeeding years (3).
In turn France imposed heavier taxes to try to replenish its reserves just as
Britain had before the American Revolution. Even though King Louis XVI was
execute in January of 1793 the end of the French Revolution wasn’t until Napoleon
Bonaparte staged a coup d’Etat, or coup – an overthrow of the government, on
November 9, 1799 (4).
The common denominator in these two revolutions, specifically, is an oppressive
and unreasonable government.


                Civil unrest in
Britain grew dramatically in the early 1800’s with riots massacres and other
disturbances. This caused the government to begin passing legislation. The main
legislation being known as the “Six Acts” in 1819. This included the Training
Prevention Act – illegal for civilians to train with weapons, the Seizure of
Arms Act – authorized for the search and seizer of weapons, the Seditious
Meetings Act – denied the right to gather and discuss grievances on the Church
or State, the Blasphemous and Seditious Libels Act – enacted stricter
punishment for authors of this particular type of writing and increase maximum
imprisonment to fourteen years, the Misdemeanours Act – allowed for faster
trials and convictions, and the Newspaper and Stamp Duties Act – essentially
increased taxes on printed material (5). These were created for the sole purpose of preventing
protests and revolutions throughout England during this troubled time. “A dead
silence in the country might for a season be produced by soldiers and penal
laws, but nothing could reconcile the people to the loss of their rights or
compel them to submit quietly to that grievous deprivation.” spoke the Whig
leader in the Commons in response to the new legislation (5). This season than may
have been anticipated