The Peel Web
I am happy that you are using this web site and hope that you found it useful. Unfortunately, the cost of making this material freely available is increasing, so if you have found the site useful and would like to contribute towards its continuation, I would greatly appreciate it. Click the button to go to Paypal and make a donation.
That Englishmen have a right, in extreme cases, to have recourse to physical force to free themselves from an unendurable tyranny, is a truth so important and so undisputed that it forms the very foundation of our system of government. it is not only admitted, but it is even asserted, reiterated, defended, and justified, by the most zealous of the Tory writers upon the Constitution of this country..
But although this is upon all sides admitted, it is also upon all sides agreed that this is a fearful remedy, which, like hazardous, extreme, and painful operations in surgery, is only to be brought into action in very extreme cases, when all ordinary courses of treatment have failed. Physical force is a thing not to be lightly had recourse to; it is the last remedy known to the Constitution....
Nothing but a simultaneous rising at the same hour all over the kingdom
could give you a chance of success by arms — even that would give you
but a slender chance, and that you cannot effect. Retain your arms then,
for it is possible that you may have to use them in your own defence,
with the law and the
Constitution upon your side. But use them not until that time comes.
Pursue the course of peaceful
press forward your great cause under the watchwords of 'Peace, Law, Order'.
it may be delayed, but it must prevail. Continue these acts of
buccaneering folly, and you and your
children are slaves for ever.
From 'The first essay in physical force', The Chartist, 12 May, 1839.
|Topic Page||Previous extract||Next extract|
|Meet the web creator||
These materials may be freely used for
non-commercial purposes in accordance with applicable statutory allowances
and distribution to students.
Last modified 4 March, 2016
|American Affairs 1760-83||The Age of the French Wars 1792-1815||Irish Affairs 1760-89|
|Economic Affairs in the Age of Peel||Irish
|Primary sources index||British Political Personalities||British Foreign policy 1815-65||European history||