Condition of England: 1815-53

Includes popular protest, poverty and public health, Chartism and Pre-Chartist Radicals.

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  • Created on: 10-05-13 10:49
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Key Issue 1 ­ Pre-Chartist Radicals 1815-37
Popular Protest
Problems faced by Liverpool's govt. (Tory = wealth and monarchy).
Political system was unfair and corrupt (Rotten Boroughs).
Inefficient and out-dated.
Contested/Uncontested elections --- money and bribery via violence
involved for power.
Only wealthy could gain power --- unrepresentative of poorer
Gatton had 2 MPs, despite only having 20 houses and 7 legible voters.
Some areas of N. England had no representatives, despite being larger.
Debt from wars.
Agricultural Depression --- foreign products became cheaper:
Cotton-wool from USA and Coal from Wales had previously been a
massive source of income for UK.
Wages cut to compensate for depression.
Many unemployed.
Obsolete due to Industrialisation.
Poverty (increased due to Corn Laws)
Poor living conditions.
Rising population.
Reasons for popular protest after 1815.
CORN LAWS --- enhanced the profits and political power associated with
land ownership. Workers were spending most of their income on Bread so
could not buy manufacturing goods manufacturers' business fell which
made economic spiral worse.
Large population poverty.
Emergence of the radical press argued that economic distress was linked
to need for political reform. `Educated' the masses --- could be afforded by
the poorest even:
Wooler's `Black Dwarf'.
William Cobbett's `Twopenny Trash' ­ circulation of 50,000.
Henry Hunt's public speaking (Orator) --- aimed to provoke, by peaceful
means, a violent response by the government that would then discredit
them. Culminated to Peterloo 1819.
Hampden Clubs and Union Societies:
First established in 1812.
Organised mass meetings and petitioning of Parliament.
Created by John Cartwright.
Cartwright organised speaking tours through industrial north and
encouraged radical leaders to campaign for universal suffrage
through organising mass petitions.
Mass dislike of political system --- unfair and unrepresentative
Combination Laws passed in 1799-1800 which banned Trade Unions W/C
were alone

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Methods and Leadership of protests 1815-1820.
Luddites 1812-1815: Led to outbreaks of violence ­ some mills were burned down,
machines smashed, mill owners attacked and some even killed.
Spa Fields 1816
Spenceans and Hunt organised meetings.
Hunt = main peaceful speaker.
Spenceans = violent. Marched and looted for weapons then smashed
windows in protest. (Cato St. planned to assassinate Cabinet).
Meetings designed to inspire public and intimidate authorities.
Magistrates given power to arrest anyone engaged in the sale of
blasphemous/seditious literature (i.e. Black Dwarf).…read more

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Seditious Meetings Act ­ restrictions on public meetings. Details
Training Prevention Act ­ No drilling for military purposes.
Seizure of Arms Act- Illegal to possess/carry arms ­ `danger to
Misdemeanours Act ­ put end to legal delays which could be used to
save prisoners.
Blasphemous and Seditious Libels Act ­ Severe punishments for
punishing seditious libels (max penalty = transportation).
Newspaper Duties Stamp Act ­ 4p levy imposed = greater control of
The nature of protests in the 1820's.…read more

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Riots 1831
Rioting in Bristol, mobs owned the streets for three days
Bishop's castle burnt down, he had voted against the Bill
Cavalry charge killed 12 and injured many
Whigs resigned when the second Bill was not passed, Wellington tried to
form a government but had strong opposition, Prince Regent had to invite
Earl Grey back and create 50 Whig peers to get the Reform Bill through the
House of Lords.
Reasons for the passing of the Great Reform Act.…read more

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GNTCU ­ Grand National Consolidated Trades Union
Established by Owen
Robert Owen ­ published series of essays in 1817 on the need
for cooperation between workers to live in harmony and stop
harmful competition, disliked capitalism (utopia)
Failed due to `the document' ­ employers made sign if wanted work =
renounce connection to Trade Union.…read more

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Carlile imprisoned for 3 years in 1819 ­ `The Republican' - Notoriety
increased popularity, still published by his wife
Anything sold for less than 6p had 4p tax added. Too expensive, most
workers earned less than 10p a week
Applied to all journals published more often than every 26 days
Nature and success of campaign in the 1830's.…read more

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Key Issue 2: What problems arose in the
treatment of the needs of children in this period
and how were they tackled?
Conditions for workers- men, women and children at the turn of the 18th
century.…read more

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Max hours per week = 68
The impact of the act
Widespread evasion because employers wanted cheap labour and
parents wanted extra income
Births were only registered from 1836 so age of many children was
Failed to introduce 10 hour days
No public money for education so wages deducted
IGNORANCE of owners, inspectors and parents
1844 Factory Act
Previous Act failed the 10 hour day ---Lord Ashley proposed an
amendment to the Factory Bill to grant a ten hour maximum working
Amendment was…read more

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Sunday school ­ didn't conflict with
working week
Teachers were voluntary, fees were low
Voluntary day schools
Two religious voluntary societies:
o The National Society = Anglican ­ ANDREW BELL
o British and Foreign School Society = Nonconformists ­
Monitorial system - a few older children taught by one teacher,
then passed down the lesson to younger children.…read more

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Key Issue 3: Why were poverty and public health
such significant issues?
Poor Law
Ways of dealing with the poor pre-1832: Old Poor Law, Gilbert's Act,
Speenhamland.…read more



amazing, thanks!


Thank you sooo much!



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