Category Archives: Chartism: Narrative

Chartism: Localities, Spaces and Places, The North, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

JUST PUBLISHED This, the second volume looks at northern England covering Yorkshire and the North-East in Chapter 6, Cheshire, Lancashire and the North-West in Chapter 7 and at Scotland, Wales and Ireland respectively in Chapter 8, 9 and 10. It … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: The Final Phase 4

  It is possible to consider the development of Chartism after 1848 in several ways. Some historians, notably Dorothy Thompson and John Saville, argue that the defeat of Chartism left popular politics polarised between middle class radicalism and an increasingly … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: The Final Phase 3

  The 1850s pose considerable difficulties for historians. The decade after 1848 saw both the principles and practice of Chartism undermined[1]. Radical protest was stifled by the increasing affluence of the economy, the growing importance of self-improvement among working people, … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: The Final Phase 2

  Soon after the mass meeting held at Kennington Common on 10th April 1848 Ernest Jones addressed these hopeful words to his Chartist supporters [1]. “Chartists, what is your duty? It is to organise. I tell you we are on … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: The Final Phase 1

  R.G. Gammage may have been a little premature when travelling around the country in the 1850s lecturing on the movement’s failure. Chartism persisted for a further decade, displaying vigour in some areas like Halifax but it had effectively ceased … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: 1848 the year of revolution?

  The downturn in the European economy in 1847 led to the revival of revolution in Europe in 1848 with the possibility of renewed violence in Britain and Ireland. A revolutionary upheaval swept across the continent after the fall of … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Beyond Kennington Common

  The Convention continued to sit undaunted by the rejection of the petition. It organised more mass meetings preparatory to the summoning of a National Assembly that would call upon the Queen to dissolve Parliament and accept only a government … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: 10th April 1848

  The Convention now became the key to success. Could it provide central co-ordination and leadership? In short, no. Forty-nine delegates met in London on 4th April. Some delegates like G.W.M. Reynolds and William Cuffay[1] were bellicose at least in … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: 1848: the opening months

  For contemporaries like W.E. Adams and for later historians 1848 was a watershed in the history of the Chartist movement[1]. It is certainly true that after 1848 Chartism lost whatever unity it had, with even O’Connor willing to accept … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Alternate directions 1843-1848

Older historians, especially Mark Hovell and Julius West, gave the impression that the Chartist movement after 1842, apart from the Land Plan, lacked ideas or activities. This was far from being the case. Some Chartists established links with European revolutionaries … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: O’Connorite radicalism 1843-45, a Chartist rump?

By the end of 1842, O’Connor’s pre-eminence over the Chartist movement was complete. The attempted alliance between the CSU and Chartism had failed. Even Lovett, with his known sympathy for class collaboration, was unable to accept the dropping of the … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: The question of decline 1843-1849

The year of Chartism may have been 1842, but as Dorothy Thompson suggests, it was also the year from which Chartism was not to recover[1]. Popular radicalism was not extinguished but the strikes of 1842 were the last occasions when … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: How likely was revolution in 1842?

The Chartist movement that imprisoned Chartists rejoined on their release from gaol between 1840 and 1842 was superficially the same as in 1838 and 1839 but in important respects it was quite different.  The broad alliance of reforming movements and … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: The strikes of 1842 — Chartist involvement and historians

There was little agreement among contemporaries and subsequently between historians. It is clear that many of those who spoke at the NCA Manchester meeting in August were Chartists who had no connection with the textile trades but at local level … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: The strikes of 1842

The experiment of class collaboration in 1842 took place in an atmosphere of widespread industrial unrest and Chartist activity. No lasting gains were forthcoming and the revolutionary undercurrents of 1839 were far less in evidence but this was another high … Continue reading

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