Chartism 1838-1848

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  • Chartism 1838-1848
    • Points of the Charter
      • Votes for all males under 21 (universal male suffrage)
      • Payment for MPs
      • Each constituency same size (representation)
      • Secret ballot to stop corruption
      • No property qualifications
      • General Elections once a year
      • Same aims as radicalism
    • Idea of Chartism
      • 1815-20 set foundation
      • Response to the Poor Law Act 1834
      • Emerged properly in 1838
      • Stronger in some areas than others- eg Birmingham, Merthyr and London
      • Alarmed authorities-they didn't want Martyrs to be made
      • Group of Chartists discuss general uprising
      • Unites large group of working class to support democracy
    • Origins of Chartism
      • Poor Law Amendment Act seen as an attack on the poor
      • 1835-Municipial Corporations Act
      • 1836- Newspaper Act passed, cheaper
      • 1836- formation of London Working Men's Association (LWMA)
        • Formed by Lovett
    • Moral Force
      • Peaceful methods such as petitions, mass meetings, lobbying MPs and letters
      • Led by Lovett
      • New threat from the North- Feargus O'Connor
      • Lovett wanted education reform
    • Physical Force
      • Led by Feargus O'Connor- editor of the Northern Star
      • From the North eg Leeds
      • Chartism wouldn't have been so popular if it wasn't for O'Connor
      • He led housing schemes and town planning- O'Connorvilles/ Land Plan
      • Violence if necessary- Moral force was too slow
      • Need to be more dynamic
      • Popular with Scotch Cattle
    • Long Term Causes
      • Radical traditions and ideas
      • Henry Hunt and the radicals
      • Changing nature of British society-franchise out of date
      • Industrial Revolution created bad living and working conditions
    • Short Term Causes
      • Betrayal of Great Reform Act 1832
      • War of the unstamped- Whigs placed a gagging tax on stamp duty to limit radical press
      • Factory Reform to right working conditions. 10 Hour Movement popular in the North
      • Poor Law 1934
      • Trade Union activity
    • Newport Rising and 1st Petition 1839
      • 3rd-4th November
      • National Convention- O'Connor called for a Sacred Month to take action against the rejected petition
      • Welsh language aided Chartism to flourish as it promoted secrecy
      • John Frost led- Mayor in 1836, set up the Working Men's Association in 1837
      • A country wide rising planned by Frost, Jones (Pontypool) and Williams (Blaina)
      • Hoped for 10,000 marchers, got 6,000
      • 500 officers hiding in the Westgate Hotel
      • Battle lasted 25 mins
      • 22 Chartists killed, 2 soldiers killed, 50 wounded
      • 60 Chartists on trial in Monmouth
      • Authorities convinced it was a genuine attempt at revolution
    • Plug Plot Riots and 2nd Petition 1842
      • Plugs were removed from steam engines, stopping the factories from working
      • Failure of 1839 led to 500 chartists reappraising the strategy, known as the New Move
      • Growing support for the temperance movement
      • Christian Chartism developed, popular in Wales
      • New Move met with opposition from O'Connor who felt it distracted from the 6 points
      • 3.5 million signatures, but House rejected the petition again (287 over 49)
    • Kennington Common and 3rd Petition 1848
      • O'Connor now an MP
      • Physical Force Chartists wanted to storm the Parliament if the 6 points were rejected
      • 150,000 special constables called and the Queen was moved to the Isle of Wight
      • Chartist numbers were disappointing-no revolution
      • The petition had 6 million signatures, but was rejected again
      • On examination, the petition only had 2 million signatures
      • By 1850 Chartism was dead as trade recovered
    • Successes
      • 5 out of 6 points were adopted by 1920
      • Paved way for future protests and reforms
      • Impact and influence on social reforms- Land Plan, Education, Working conditions etc
    • Failures
      • None of the 6 points were achieved during the Chartist period
      • Many leaders transported or imprisoned
      • Only popular in economic slump
      • Divide owing to Moral v Physical methods

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