Category Archives: Chartism: Themes

The Northern Star

  Although the Northern Star has been available for several months on-line via the British Library, unfortunately access is limited to institutions or within the British Library itself.  On 13th May, as the culmination of a three-year project entitled Nineteenth … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Chartism and Slavery ‘distinction without difference’ 3

‘Moral radicalism’ Contemporary reformers in and around Birmingham were convinced that the Birmingham Political Union had led the popular movement that brought about parliamentary reform in 1832. For Thomas Attwood and his supporters what made this possible was the union … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Chartism and Slavery ‘distinction without difference 2

  Emancipation as radical stimulus The passage of the Emancipation Act in 1833 provided an ideal opportunity to contrast what was being done for black slaves with the neglect shown to ‘white slaves’. Two features of the Act provided Chartists … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Chartism and Slavery ‘distinction without a difference’ 1

  In the 1820s and 1830s, working class newspapers and journals were highly critical of members of the anti-slavery societies who were dedicated to freeing black slaves in the colonies and yet were blindly insensitive to the exploitation of white … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Chartism and the State 2

  The army When the military acted in support of the civil power they were in theory, and in some important matters in practice, under the control of the civil authorities. At the Whitehall level, it was the Home Secretary … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Did Chartism affect Government policies?

  The extent to which the activities of the Chartists affected government policies between 1838 and 1850 is a matter of degree. The problem is establishing causal links. Was policy-making a response to Chartism? At the level of public order, … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Chartism and the State 1

  Relations between the government and Chartism were of mutual hostility[1]. Chartists denounced Whigs and Tories as ‘tyrannical plundering’ governments. Politicians of both parties saw Chartists as enemies of property and public order. In 1842, the Duke of Wellington said … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: The reaction of government

  Lord Melbourne’s ministry: 1835-1841 The Whigs were traditionally the party of ‘liberty’ and so were not anxious to set out on a repressive course of action against popular movements until necessary. Lord John Russell as Home Secretary (18th April … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Further thoughts on Women Chartists

  The part women played in the Chartist movement involved, in the main, indirect supportive activities, but also some very direct and organised activities. The ways in which women participated appear to have been constrained to some extent by the … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Who were the Chartists –some local examples

  It is perfectly possible to make valid general statements about the social composition of Chartism in the 1830s and 1840s. However, what stands out is the diversity, richness and contradictory nature of support for the movement and this only … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Who were the Chartists?

  In late 1851 an article entitled How I Became a Rebel was published in the Christian Socialist[1]. The author of this incomplete autobiography was an anonymous ex-Chartist. It may be unclear whether his narrative is about 1839 or 1848 … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Did Chartism fail?

  Repeated failure sapped the momentum of Chartism. To sustain the mass platform the movement needed to maintain a widespread belief that success was possible and the Chartists never came near to achieving their ‘six points’ in the 1830s and … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Irish influences on Chartism

Historians of Chartism differ on the place that Irish questions played in the movement and on the importance of the part played in the movement by Irish men and women[1]. In the years that Chartism dominated English radicalism, Daniel O’Connell … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Irish influences — context

Ireland was a problem for successive English governments[1]. This was largely because a Protestant minority in Ireland ruled a Roman Catholic majority whose political and economic rights were severely restricted. Until 1829, Catholics were discriminated against because of their religion, … Continue reading

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Aspects of Chartism: Women Chartists

The part women played in the Chartist movement involved, in the main, indirect supportive activities, but also some very direct and organised activities. The ways in which women participated appear to have been constrained to some extent by the domestic … Continue reading

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