What were the causes of Chartism?
The disappointment of the reform act played an important role in Chartism as the London Working Men’s Association were unhappy with the first reform act, in 1837 there was a petition by the London Working Men’s Association for another electoral reform which was supported by many radical MPs. This then led to the ‘Peoples charter’ which was a 6 point plan of what they wanted. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 was also a contribution to Chartism as this act punished poverty as people would have to go into a workhouse to earn their money, this was not received well by the working class and was seen as another burden on them. This led to the general strike of 1839 and the Newport Rising where many of the working class marched through Wales to the Westgate Hotel, this led to the government sending in army troops to try and control the working class people. After this, in 1842 there was a second petition which the government also rejected which led to the ‘Plug Plots’ where working class people knocked the plugs out of steam engines to stop production because many of these people had been put out of work because the implementing of these steam engines. Rioting and looting occurred where again, the government sent troops in to control the situation. After a slump in Chartism due to trade revival of 1843, a 3rd petition in 1849 was produced which again, was rejected by the government.
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