History: The Tolpuddle Martyrs

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What problems did people in the 19th century face?(4)
Wage cuts, long hours, sudden lay-offs and dangerous work.
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Which way did many people protest?
Through trade unions
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What did the government pass in the wake of the French Revolution? What did this disallow?
The Combination Acts which made workers' organisations, and especially strikes, illegal.
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By 1824 what had the government replaced the Combination Acts with because they felt the danger of a revolution had passed? What did this allow?
The Trade Union Act of 1825 which permitted workers to form unions under very limited conditions: e.g. strikes were banned
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Talk about the situation of farm labourers in many parts of Southern England in the 1920's and 1930's.
They suffered from low wages, hardly enough to live on, The introduction of new threshing machines threatened to bring down their wages even further.
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What did farm labourers do in 1930? What was their punishment?
They protested by smashing the threshing machines and burning down hayricks - using a made up name for their leader - 'Captain Swing'. As with the Luddites, the authorities reacted severely with many being executed and even more transported.
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Talk about what happened to farm labourers in 1933 in Tolpuddle - a farming village in Dorset.
They faced cuts in their wages from 9 shillings a week to 8 to 7 with even more to come. Their families faced starvation.
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What did the Tolpuddle farm labourer's look for after the dramatic cuts in their wages in 1933?
A non-violent way of protesting against this situation by organising a branch of a trade union, the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers.
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What did six men from Tolpuddle swore?
an oath to abide the rules of the trade union.
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Why were landowners determined to stamp out any form of organised protests?
Because the bloody french revolution and the captain swing violence were fresh in their minds.
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What happened when the landowner James Frampton found out that some of his workers had formed a trade union?
He sought to stamp it out.
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What did the Home Secretary - Lord Melbourne - suggest the six men should be charged with?
The crime of taking out a secret oath even though trade unions were illegal.
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What was obvious about the men's trial? What did the jury conclude?
That it was rigged against them. The jury and judge concluded that all six men should receive the maximum sentence, seven years transportation to Australia.
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What was the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers affiliated to?
The Grand National Consolidated Trade Union (GNCTU) which had half a million members.
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What was the GNCTU outraged by? What did they do?
By the trial and sentence given to the six Tolpuddle labourers, a huge demonstration was held in London and a petition was handed to Parliment.
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What did the government do under pressure?
Pardoned all six men in 1836 and they returned to England
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What did most of the six men do after returning to England? Why?
Emigrated to Canada because they were disillusioned with life in Britain.
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What happened in the basis of trade unions between the mid 19th century and into the 20th century?
They became established and successful.
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Talk about trade unions today.
They often struggle against hostile employers and governments, but The Tolpuddle Martyrs still remain a significant part of their history - they are commemorated each year.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Which way did many people protest?

Back

Through trade unions

Card 3

Front

What did the government pass in the wake of the French Revolution? What did this disallow?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

By 1824 what had the government replaced the Combination Acts with because they felt the danger of a revolution had passed? What did this allow?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Talk about the situation of farm labourers in many parts of Southern England in the 1920's and 1930's.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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