Power and the People - Part 3

Everything you need to know about Power and the People Chapter 3: Reform and Reformers

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  • 3. Reform and Reformers
    • 1. Context
      • Rapidly increasing population
        • More people in towns than country
      • Conflicting theories on government emerged
      • Huge improvement in communication
      • Industrial revolution
        • Income and wealth mainly from industry
      • New class of business men etc
    • 2. The Chartists
      • Peterloo massacre, 1819
        • A crowd of 100,000 people gathered to listen to Henry Hunt talk about reform
        • The govt. sent the army to disperse the crowd, killing 11 people and injuring 400
        • Showed how the govt. was not ready to listen to change
        • Journalists were arrested so they didn't portray the govt. in a bad light (censorship)
      • Great Reform Act, 1832
        • The 3rd Reform Bill the House of Commons tried to pass (the other 3 rejected by House of Lords)
        • Govt. recognised change necessary & wanted to control this change
        • The Bill included disenfranchising some boroughs in England and Wales
          • also included broadening franchise property qualifications (i.e. farmers and small landowners could vote), BUT women explicitly forbidden
        • This lead to increased protests from ordinary people
      • Chartism, 1838
        • What was Chartism?
          • 1838 a people's charter listed demands of radicals - aka Chartists
          • Now known as the 1st political party
          • They used every tool to promote their message e.g. newspapers and petitions
        • What impact did it have?
          • Govt.'s response was repression and no concessions
            • Made no martyrs but had harsh punishments
          • 11 men transported to Australia 1839
            • Killed the movement with no points achieved
          • Failure? No bc over next 50 years, 5/6 points were achieved
    • 3. Protest and Change - Case Studies
      • 1. Thomas Clarkson and Anti-Slavery
        • Society for Abolition of Slave Trade persuaded William Wilberforce to introduce an anti slavery motion into House of Commons
        • Manchester sent a petition with 10,000 names!
        • Thomas Clarkson was an undergraduate from Cambridge (so intelligent) and wrote an essay anti-slavery
        • Collected a chest of artifacts with facts and evidence of horrors of slavery
        • Clever idea was boycotting goods made by slave trade, e.g. West Indian sugar
        • 1807, Bill abolished slave trade, but not till 1833 was it banned in entire British Empire
      • 2. Anti-Corn Law League
        • Corn laws set up 1815, placing import tax (tariffs) on corn to benefit local farmers
        • Bad harvest in 1845  led to increased support of League
        • They were v. organised, had ads, sold memorabilia and signed petitions
        • Sir Robert Peel repealed the Law in 1846 in response to Irish Potato Famine
      • 3. Social Reform - Lord Shaftesbury
        • A well known social reformer
        • Became an MP and improved Lunacy Laws and the way 'lunatics' were treated
        • Reformed factory laws - introduced Ten Hours Bill, limiting children under 9  labour hours
        • Believed in education, became president of Ragged School Union


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