Why Did the Emergence of Chartism Arrive in the Late 1830's?

Topics: French Revolution, Poverty, Chartism Pages: 2 (835 words) Published: June 29, 2010
Whilst historians find it difficult to suggest which category to explain why the Chartist movement came about, many have argued that the previous 1832 Reform Act played a major part. Whilst arguably a landmark in British politics and a mighty feat in the extension of the franchise, the 1832 Reform Act was a disappointment to the working-classes. Instead many saw it as treacherous and a step forward to achieving the votes of middle-class, and alienating the working-classes whose role in the political system was null and void. In principal many realised their interests were not at heart as many lost their MP’s. So, it’s not a surprise that Chartism arrived during the 1830’s because the 1832 Reform Act shadowed the working-classes, a predominantly large group who then founded the London Working Men’s Association, in order to further extend their rights. Another possible reason for the movement was that however well they (such as Lord Liverpool’s Government) tried to stop such political views, radical politics had not disappeared from the Reform Act altogether. In fact, they realised the spontaneity of the working-classes to have better rights and the right to vote and managed to utilise this. The deaths of Hunt/Cobbett in 1835 did not affect radical thinking but was just carried on by their successor, Feargus O’Connor. Therefore, the radical’s were able to exploit those in charge of the reform act and thereby causing the Chartism movement to solidify during the 1830’s. Radical opinion had to be extended throughout the entire country and one of the ways they did this was through the press such as Cobbett’s Twopenny Trash. Nonetheless, one of the implications of The Six Acts was the existence of the ‘stamp duty’ which evidently pushed up the prices of publishing to entice the shutting down of radical newspapers. However, this instead was used as momentum for radicals to publish even more papers. Hetherington’s Poor Man’s Guardian is a good example as the...
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