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Encyclopedia > Chartism

Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century between 1838 and 1848. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838, which stipulated the six main aims of the movement as: Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

  • Universal suffrage for all men over the age of 21
  • Equal-sized electoral districts
  • Voting by secret ballot
  • An end to the need for a property qualification for Parliament
  • Pay for members of Parliament
  • Annual election of Parliament

Chartism was possibly the first mass working class movement in the world. Its leaders have often been described as either "physical" or "moral-force" leaders, depending upon their attitudes to violent protest. Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Universal suffrage (also general suffrage or common suffrage) consists of the extension of the right to vote to all adults, without distinction as to race, sex, belief, intelligence, or economic or social status. ... This article is about the political process. ... Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      The secret ballot is a voting method in which a voters choices are confidential. ...

Contents

Origin

Chartism followed earlier Radical movements, such as the Birmingham Political Union which demanded a widening of the franchise, and came after the passing of the Reform Act 1832, which gave the vote to a section of the male middle classes, but not to the "working class" which was then, because of social and industrial conditions, emerging from artisan and labouring classes. Many Radicals made speeches on the "betrayal" of the working class and the "sacrificing" of their "interests" by the "misconduct" of the government, in conjunction with this model. D.C. Moore, however, cites that the enfranchisement is better understood with a five tier model consisting of Upper, Upper and Lower Middle and Upper and Lower Working classes.[citation needed] Using this model, The Upper and Upper Middle classes had gained the vote after the Reform Act 1832, and it was the lower middle and upper working classes that joined the Chartist movement. The Lower working class, Moore states, were not educated sufficiently to see any interest in, and thus involve themselves with, the movement. The term Radical (latin radix meaning root) was used from the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement and has since been used as a label in political science for those favouring or trying to produce thoroughgoing political reforms which can include changes to the social order to... The Birmingham Political Union was a political organisation in Great Britain during the early nineteenth century. ... Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Suffrage (from the Latin suffragium, meaning vote) is the civil right to vote, or the exercise of that right. ... The Representation of the People Act 1832, commonly known as the Reform Act 1832, was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of the United Kingdom. ... Vote redirects here. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... An artisan, also called a craftsman,[1] is a skilled manual worker who uses tools and machinery in a particular craft. ... A modern day speaker addressing an audience through microphones Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners. ... The British Reform Act of 1832 (2 & 3 Will. ...


Chartism included a wide range of organizations. Hence it can be seen as not so much a movement as an era in popular politics in Britain. Dorothy Thompson described the theme of her book The Chartists as the time when "thousands of working people considered that their problems could be solved by the political organization of the country." Dorothy Thompson (nee Towers) (born 1923) is the historian wife of the late E. P. Thompson. ...


In 1838, six Members of Parliament and six working men, including William Lovett, (from the London Working Men's Association, set up in 1836) formed a committee, which then published the People's Charter, containing the six objectives listed above. A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... The London Working Mens Association was an organization established in London in 1836. ...


The first wave

When these demands were first published in May 1838, they received a lukewarm response from Northern Star's Feargus O'Connor and other Radicals, being seen as too moderate (Thompson, 1984, p.58). But it soon became clear that the charter had struck a chord among common people. Dorothy Thompson quotes John Bates as saying: Headline from the Northern Star 1838 The Northern Star was a chartist newspaper published in the United Kingdom between 1838 and 1852. ... Feargus Edward OConnor (1794 – August 30, 1855) was an Irish Chartist leader and advocate of the Land Plan. ... The term Radical (latin radix meaning root) was used from the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement and has since been used as a label in political science for those favouring or trying to produce thoroughgoing political reforms which can include changes to the social order to...

There were [radical] associations all over the county, but there was a great lack of cohesion. One wanted the ballot, another manhood suffrage and so on... The radicals were without unity of aim and method, and there was but little hope of accomplishing anything. When, however, the Peoples Charter was drawn up... clearly defining the urgent demands of the working class, we felt we had a real bond of union; and so transformed our Radical Association into local Chartist centres....

The movement organized a convention of 50 to facilitate the presentation of the petition. This met in London from February 1839 until May, when it moved to Birmingham. Though they took pains to keep within the law, the more radical activists were able to see it as the embryo of an alternative parliament (John Charlton, The Chartists p. 19). The convention called for a number of "ulterior measures" which ranged from calling on their supporters to withdraw their money from saving banks to a call for a sacred month, in effect a general strike. Meetings were held around the country and in June 1839 a large petition was presented to the House of Commons. Parliament, by a large majority, voted not to even hear the petitioners. A general strike is a strike action by an entire labour force in a city, region or country. ... Look up Petition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Type Lower House Speaker Michael Martin, (Non-affiliated) since October 23, 2000 Leader Harriet Harman, (Labour) since June 28, 2007 Shadow Leader Theresa May, (Conservative) since May 5, 2005 Members 659 Political groups Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats Scottish National Party Plaid Cymru Democratic Unionist Party Sinn Féin...


When the petition was refused, many advocated the widespread use of force as the only means of attaining their aims.

Chartist Riot

Several outbreaks of violence ensued, leading to several arrests and trials. One of the leaders of the movement, John Frost, on trial for treason, claimed in his defence that he had toured his territory of industrial Wales urging people not to break the law, although he was himself guilty of using language that some might interpret as being a call to arms. Frost's attitudes and stance, often seen as ambivalent, after setbacks and violence including loss of life, led another Chartist to describe Frost as putting 'a sword in my hand and a rope around my neck'. Nevertheless, Frost had placed himself in the vanguard of the Chartist movement by 1839. When another prominent member, Henry Vincent, was arrested in the summer of 1839 for making inflammatory speeches, the die was cast. Download high resolution version (1234x766, 438 KB)Chartists Riots Engraving from 1886 book True Stories of the Reign of Queen Victoria by Cornelius Brown. ... Download high resolution version (1234x766, 438 KB)Chartists Riots Engraving from 1886 book True Stories of the Reign of Queen Victoria by Cornelius Brown. ... In legal parlance, a trial is an event in which parties to a dispute present information (in the form of evidence) in a formal setting, usually a court, before a judge, jury, or other designated finder of fact, in order to achieve a resolution to their dispute. ... John Frost was a prominent leader of the Chartist movement. ... For other uses, see Treason (disambiguation) or Traitor (disambiguation). ... This article is about the country. ...


Instead of the carefully plotted military rising that some had suspected, Frost led a column of marchers through South Wales to the Westgate Hotel, Newport, Monmouthshire where he initiated a confrontation. Some have suggested that the roots of this confrontation lay in Frost's frequent personal conflicts with various influential members of the local establishment; others, that Chartist leaders were expecting the Chartists to seize the town, preventing the mail reaching London and triggering a national uprising: it is generally acknowledged that Frost and other Chartist leaders did not agree on the course of action adopted. The Westgate Hotel is a historic building in the centre of Newport, and is famous as the scene of the 1839 Chartist riot. ... For other uses, see Newport (disambiguation). ... Monmouthshire (Welsh: ) is both a historic county and principal area in south-east Wales. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Look up rebellion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The result was a disaster in political and military terms. The hotel was occupied not only by the representatives of the town's merchant classes and the local squirearchy, but by sixty or more armed soldiers. A brief, violent, and bloody battle ensued. Shots were fired by both sides, although most contemporaries agree that the soldiers holding the building had vastly superior firepower. The Chartists did manage to enter the building temporarily, but were forced to retreat in disarray: twenty were killed, another fifty wounded. Landed gentry is a term traditionally applied in Britain to members of the upper class families with country estates often (but not always) farmed on their behalf by others, and who might be without a peerage or other hereditary title. ...


Testimonies exist from contemporaries, such as the Yorkshire Chartist Ben Wilson, that Newport was to have been the signal for a national uprising if successful. Instead Chartism slipped into a period of internal division and acrimonious debate as to the way forward with many of its leaders arrested, imprisoned and facing serious charges. In law and in religion, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter. ...


In early May 1842, a further petition, of over three million signatures, was submitted, which was yet again rejected by parliament. The Northern Star commented on the rejection: Headline from the Northern Star 1838 The Northern Star was a chartist newspaper published in the United Kingdom between 1838 and 1852. ...

Three and half millions have quietly, orderly, soberly, peaceably but firmly asked of their rulers to do justice; and their rulers have turned a deaf ear to that protest. Three and a half millions of people have asked permission to detail their wrongs, and enforce their claims for RIGHT, and the 'House' has resolved they should not be heard! Three and a half millions of the slave-class have holden out the olive branch of peace to the enfranchised and privileged classes and sought for a firm and compact union, on the principle of EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW; and the enfranchised and privileged have refused to enter into a treaty! The same class is to be a slave class still. The mark and brand of inferiority is not to be removed. The assumption of inferiority is still to be maintained. The people are not to be free.

The depression of 1841–1842 led to a wave of strikes in which Chartist activists were in the forefront, and demands for the charter were included alongside economic demands. In 1842, workers went on strike in the Midlands, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and parts of Scotland in favour of Chartist principles. These industrial disputes were collectively known as the Plug Plot; as in many cases, protesters removed the plugs from steam boilers powering industry to prevent their use. Although the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, advocated a non-interventionalist policy, the Duke of Wellington insisted on the deployment of mounted cavalry and armed troops to deal with the strikers. Several Chartist leaders, including Feargus O'Connor, George Julian Harney, and Thomas Cooper were arrested, along with nearly 1,500 others. 79 people were sentenced, with sentences ranging from 7 to 21 years, transportation to Australia and even death. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea. ... Look up Yorkshire in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the country. ... For other people named Robert Peel, see Robert Peel (disambiguation). ... See: Intervention (counseling) - an orchestrated attempt by family and friends to get a family member to get help for addiction or other similar problem. ... Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (c. ... Feargus Edward OConnor (1794 – August 30, 1855) was an Irish Chartist leader and advocate of the Land Plan. ... English Political Activist, Journalist & Chartist Leader George Julian Harney, the son of a seaman, was born in Deptford on 17th February, 1817. ... Thomas Cooper (1805 - 1892), chartist poet, was born in Leicester, and apprenticed to a shoemaker. ... In law, a sentence forms the final act of a judge-ruled process, and also the symbolic principal act connected to his function. ...


Despite this second set of arrests, Chartist activity continued. Beginning in 1843, O'Connor suggested that the land contained the solution to workers' problems. This idea evolved into the Chartist Co-Operative Land Company, later called the National Land Company. Workers would buy shares in the company, and the company would use those funds to purchase estates that would be subdivided into 2, 3, and 4 acre (8,000, 12,400 and 16,000 m²) lots. Between 1844 and 1848, five estates were purchased, subdivided, and built on, and then settled by lucky shareholders, who were chosen by lot. Unfortunately for O'Connor, in 1848 a Select Committee was appointed to investigate the financial viability of the scheme, and it was ordered to shut down. Cottages built by the Chartist Land Company are still standing and inhabited today in Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and on the outskirts of London. Rosedene, a Chartist cottage in Dodford, Worcestershire, is owned and maintained by the National Trust, and is open to visitors by appointment. The British Land Company PLC (LSE: BLND) is one of the largest property development and investment companies in the United Kingdom. ... The standard of the National Trust The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as The National Trust, is a British preservation organization. ...


The Chartists also stood in general elections, from the election of 1841 to the election of 1859, and O'Connor was elected in the general election of 1847. Harney stood for Election against Lord Palmerston in Tiverton, Devon in 1847. The 1841 UK general election saw a big swing as Robert Peels Conservatives took control of the House of Commons. ... The 1859 UK general election saw the Whigs, led by Lord Palmerston, hold their majority in a much enlarged House of Commons over the Earl of Derbys Conservatives. ... The 1847 UK general election saw candidates calling themselves Conservatives win the most seats, in part because they won a number of uncontested seats. ... Tiverton is a town in the County of Devon, in England. ... Part of the seafront of Torquay, south Devon, at high tide Devon is a large county in South West England, bordered by Cornwall to the west, and Dorset and Somerset to the east. ...


The 1848 petition

The Great Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common
Poster advertising the Great Chartist Meeting.

At the start of 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto in London, advocating an European revolution. It was to be lead by the workers of the countries most advanced towards capitalism. In the following months Paris, Berlin, Vienna and finally Italy erupted into revolution although it is debated how much effect the Communist Manifesto had on these events. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1350x1002, 290 KB) Taken from A World History of Photography ISBN 0789203294 The Great Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, April 10, 1848, photograph taken by William Kilburn. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1350x1002, 290 KB) Taken from A World History of Photography ISBN 0789203294 The Great Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, April 10, 1848, photograph taken by William Kilburn. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 493 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (936 × 1138 pixel, file size: 288 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 493 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (936 × 1138 pixel, file size: 288 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Year 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Engels redirects here. ... Malayalam editon of the Manifesto The Communist Manifesto, also known as The Manifesto of the Communist Party, first published on February 21, 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is one of the worlds most historically influential political tracts. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see Capitalism (disambiguation). ... Malayalam editon of the Manifesto The Communist Manifesto, also known as The Manifesto of the Communist Party, first published on February 21, 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is one of the worlds most historically influential political tracts. ...


On 10 April 1848, Feargus O'Connor organised a mass meeting on Kennington Common, which would form a procession to present another petition to Parliament. The estimate of the number of attendees varies depending on the source (O'Connor estimated 300,000; the government, 15,000; The Sunday Observer suggested 50,000 was more accurate). According to John Charlton the government was well aware that the Chartists had no intention of staging an uprising as they had established an extensive network of spies. However, they were very afraid that they could have been mis-informed or that a revolution would start spontaneously. To counter this threat they organized a very large show of force. 8,000 soldiers were in London that day, along with 150,000 special constables. In any case, the meeting was peaceful. However the military had threatened to intervene if the Chartists made any attempt to cross the Thames. is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Feargus Edward OConnor (1794 – August 30, 1855) was an Irish Chartist leader and advocate of the Land Plan. ... Kennington Park is in Kennington, London, England, in London SE11, and lies between Kennington Park Road and St Agnes Place. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


In a separate incident, rioters in Manchester attempted to storm the hated workhouse. A pitched battle resulted with Chartists fighting the police, eventually the mob was broken up, but rioters roamed the streets of Manchester for three days.


The original plan of the Chartists, if the petition was ignored, was to create a separate national assembly and press the Queen to dissolve parliament until the charter was introduced into law. However the Chartists were plagued with indecision, and the national assembly eventually dissolved itself, claiming lack of support.


The petition O'Connor presented to Parliament was claimed to have only 1,957,496 signatures – far short of the 5,706,000 he had stated and many of which were discovered to be forgeries (some of the false signatories included Queen Victoria). However, O'Connor argued that many people were illiterate, and did not know how to write their own signatures, and so had to copy someone else's. O'Connor has been accused of destroying the credibility of Chartism,[citation needed] but the movement continued for some months afterwards. Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837, and the first Empress of India from 1 May 1876, until her death on 22 January 1901. ...


Legacy

Although the Chartist movement itself eventually petered out, its aims were taken up by others. Middle class parliamentary Radicals continued to press for universal franchise, and were joined by some supporters of the Anti-Corn Law League, with John Bright and the Reform League agitating in the country. The parliamentary Radicals joined with the a section of the Whig Party and the anti-protectionist Tory Peelites to form the Liberal Party by 1859. The Liberal William Ewart Gladstone, a former Tory, introduced the Reform Bill of 1866, which did not pass the Commons and forced the resignation of the government. The Radicals were a parliamentary political grouping in the United Kingdom in the early to mid 19th century, who drew on earlier ideas of radicalism and helped to transform the Whigs into the Liberal Party. ... The Corn Laws, in force between 1815 and 1846, were import tariffs ostensibly designed to protect British farmers and landowners, against competition from cheap foreign grain imports. ... John Bright John Bright (November 16, 1811–March 27, 1889), was a British Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with Richard Cobden in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League. ... The Reform League was established in February 1865 to press for manhood suffrage and the ballot in Great Britain. ... This article is about the British Whig party. ... For other uses, see Tory (disambiguation). ... The Peelites (or Liberal Conservatives as they were also occasionally known) are those MPs and Peers who remained loyal to British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel following the break up of the British Conservative Party on the issue of abolishing the Corn Laws in 1846. ... This article is about the historic Liberal Party. ... William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal Party statesman and Prime Minister (1868–1874, 1880–1885, 1886 and 1892–1894). ...


However, Benjamin Disrali's ensuing (minority) Conservative government carried through the Reform Act of 1867, doubling the electorate in the process. Furthermoe, the Ballot Act of 1872 introduced the secret ballot. Only the last of the Chartist aims – annual Parliaments – never came to pass. The Reform Act 1867 (also known as the Second Reform Act) was a piece of British legislation that greatly increased the number of men who could vote in elections in the UK. In its final form, the Reform Act 1867 enfranchised all male householders and abolished compounding (the practice of... In 1872, Gladstone introduced the Ballot Act, which required that British general elections to Parliament and local government election use the secret ballot. ...


Chartism was also an important influence in the British colonies. In 1854 Chartist demands were put forward by the miners at the Eureka Stockade on the gold fields at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Within one year of the military suppresion of the Eureka revolt, all the demands, except annual parliaments, had been met. Chuquicamata, the second largest open pit copper mine in the world, Chile. ... The Eureka Flag The Eureka Stockade was a gold miners revolt in 1854 in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, against the officials supervising the mining of gold in the region of Ballarat. ... GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ... A view of Ballarat East and Eureka from Sovereign Hill. ... VIC redirects here. ... This article is about revolution in the sense of a drastic change. ...


By early 2006 most of the enclosure of Kennington Common, then being used as housing, had been demolished. See St Agnes Place Kennington Park is in Kennington, London, England, in London SE11, and lies between Kennington Park Road and St Agnes Place. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


References

  • Charlton, John. "The Chartists".
  • Thompson, Dorothy (1984). The Chartists. New York: Pantheon. ISBN 0-394-72474-7

See also

Print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile Peterloo Massacre of August 16, 1819 was the result of a cavalry charge into the crowd at a public meeting at St Peters Fields, Manchester, England. ... The Newport Rising occurred on November 4, 1839 when several thousand (supposedly) armed coal miners marched on the town of Newport, Gwent in Wales, intent on liberating the Chartist prisoners held under armed guard in the towns Westgate Hotel. ... Ernest Charles Jones (1819 - 1869), poet, novelist, and Chartist, son of Major J., equerry to the Duke of Cumberland, afterwards King of Hanover, was born at Berlin. ...

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Kids.Net.Au - Encyclopedia > Chartism (703 words)
A movement for social and political reform in the UK during the mid-19th century, Chartism gains its name from the People's Charter of 1838, which set out the main aims of the movement.
Chartism is thought to originate from the passing of the 1832 Reform Bill[?], which gave the vote to the majority of the (male) middle classes, but not to the 'working class'.
However, the aims of Chartism were taken on as policies by political parties, most notably the Liberal Party.
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