To What Extent Did Chartism Fail Due to a Lack of Focus on the Issue.

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  • Topic: Chartism, Feargus O'Connor, Debut albums
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  • Published : April 10, 2005
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Chartism's lack of success was due to a fundamental lack of focus. It was supported by a wide range of people with too wide a range of motives, hopes and fears. Using all 5 sources and your own knowledge, explain how far you agree with this opinion.

For the chartist to have had a focus, they would all have to have had the same issues, and all held equal support for all 6 parts of the people's charter, the paper behind the chartist movement. This was not the case; in many instances the people would only support something when it suited them, a knife and fork issue, this was the cause for the collapse in the movement.

In source one it does say how people wanted the charter or rather universal suffrage, which does involve all 6 points, this can arguably seen as some focus, yet the source goes describes how there was a lack of focus upon the issues, the fact that it is a knife and fork issue, only really cared for when it is needed, means that there would be a dramatic lack of focus, crucial in the failure.

People had different issues, some were against stamp duty, the anti-corn law league, wanted repeal of the Corn Law, the 10 hour work movement wanted to reduce factory hours and the free trade movement wanted currency reformer. This was key in failure as they never raised any support at one time so the government did not worry as small uprisings were easy to deal with.

This is the case in source three as Asa Briggs states a proper appreciation of regional and local diversity is needed, which is fundamental in the understanding that it agrees and blames regional and local diversity in its failure; there is obvious deviation, different reasons, and lack of focus as they can't want things for different needs and be focused in their movement.
In source two, the Charter is used against those who support it, the government recognised that the Chartist were whimsical in their support for the charter. At this time they had introduced the New Poor Law,...
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