This ‘Radical War’ was the culmination of five years of unsuccessful mass petitioning of Westminster by working people in Scotland and England. The contempt and intransigence of the Tory government forced an escalation in tactics, and on Easter Monday of 1820, the call for a general strike was answered throughout the western counties of Scotland. Their demands were threefold: the vote for all men, annual parliaments and equal constituencies. Coupled with an armed rebellion, the strike was met by the full military might of the British state; hundreds were arrested and imprisoned without trial, while hundreds more fled the country.

The Fight for Scottish Democracy
Rebellion and Reform in 1820
Murray Armstrong