The Failure of Chartism Essay example

858 Words 4 Pages
The Failure of Chartism


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
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At this time they had introduced the New Poor Law, which was more oppressing then was ever told by the government, it served rate payers and not paupers, and it regarded poverty as a fault of the poor. The government were able to bring in the poor law relatively unnoticed as they played up to the charter, which attracted the masses attention, and in true chartist fashion there was a sudden rise in support for the charter. This is an example of how unfocused the movement was, only a few were solidly supporting the movement constantly, and with this there is no way the movement could ever have an impact.

With source four, the first real disagreement with the statement, it has a valid argument that the chartist movement cannot be reduced to a knife and fork issue, as there was indeed consistent readers of the northern star, O’Connor’s heavily chartist publications. It does however not grasp the complexity of the statement. By stating how craft workers pulled together resenting the threat of intensified competition for their position, and then following this with how factory workers were able to critic the new mechanised factory production, two different reasons, not focused on universal suffrage, something the source does not mention. so although the author has tried to give evidence in favour of the unity of the movement and its purpose, there is apparent…

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