British History: Chartism

Topics: Working class, Social class, Chartism Pages: 5 (1271 words) Published: February 22, 2014
What were the causes of Urban Protest in Merthyr in May-June 1831?

Merthyr Rising 1831
Political moves have disappeared.
Right to vote.
Making it sound grim as trying to pass a law.
Court of request.
Keep up wages of miners.
“Scotch Cattle” “Truck System” “Tommy Shop”
Child labour – it’s cheaper. ‘trapper’
Children working
Unhygienic living and unsanitary conditions.
Children working.
Chapels encouraged to join in running their religious bodies, Sunday schools and day schools to provide education. M

Crawshay says it’s a political uprising but the home office disagrees!!

Reverend J.R. Stevens
His idea of Chartism is that everyone has equal rights and having the right to vote will help to improve people’s standard of life, living conditions, wages etc.. Universal suffrage “knife and fork question”.

In Leicester, many chartists worked in the textiles industries. They were finding it harder and harder to get work. Chartists wanted change and put their demands into a charter. William Corah hoped that parliament would accept demands in the charter, they believed that this would make their lives better. 6 Points of the People’s Charter

A vote for every man, twenty-one years of age, of sound mind and not undergoing punishment for crime. The ballot, to protect the elector in the exercise of the vote. No property qualifications for members of parliament, enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor. Payment of members, enabling an honest tradesman , working man, or other person, to serve a constituency, when taking from his business to attend to the interest of the country. Equal constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of large ones. Annual parliaments, presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation since through a constituency might be bought once in 7 years, in each ensuing 12 months and since members, when elected for a year only would not be able to defy and betray their constituencies as now. Chartists

First Petition 1839, by May 1839 over 1 ¼ million people had signed the demand that parliament grant the people’s charter. Parliament rejected it by a vote of 235 to 46. This led to violence, 22 chartists were killed. Second Petition 1842, a lot of unemployment. Poverty and hunger were wide spread in industrial areas. This led to a lot of support for chartists. Over 3 ¼ million people signed the petition. It took 50 people to carry it to London. Rejected again by 287 votes to 49, followed again by violence. Some strikers took the plugs out of the boilers of the steam engines so all work in the factories was stopped. These became known as the ‘plug plots’. Third Petition 1848, Chartists planned to meet on Kennington Common in London. They hoped 50,000 people would come, the plan was to march on parliament. The govt was worried, the Duke of Wellington prepared troops and police. Nearly 200,000 special constables were enrolled but only 20,000 chartists came. Parliament rejected the peoples charter for the last time by 222 to 17. Few small riots but Chartism was never the same. Physical Force Chartists

Led by a fiery, powerful speaker named Fergus O’Connor. He had a huge following. Moral Force Chartists
William Lovett led this group. Any form of physical force Chartism disgusted him, especially the ‘plug plots’.


May 1838, People’s Charter is published.
Six Points were to be the focus of Chartist campaigns for the next 20 years.

Radical Traditions
There was nothing new about the 6 points. The London corresponding society had called for universal suffrage, the secret ballot and equal constituencies, 1792. Post war radicals had the same programme and Henry Hunt had opposed the reform bill as MP for Preston because...
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