Chartism 3 - Coleg y Cymoedd Moodle

Chartism’s Failure
Physical versus Moral force Chartism:
(W. Lovett, F. Place, T. Attwood
(F. O’Conner, B. O’Brian, J. Frost)
‘Peacefully if we may, forcibly if we must’
1839 rejection,: physical force results
High point of physical force: Newport
Physical force doomed to fail. Alarms: Middle classes Many
working classes, the state
Power and resources of the state:
Soldiers, weapons, railways, spies, police, telegraph, money,
legislation, organisation – would always win
Attitudes of the state
System could not be improved
Elite born to power
Property afforded political rights
Charter, far too radical
Hand power to the masses?
Uneducated, incapable, swinish multitude, residuum
Edmund Burke:
“Along with civilisation, democracy would be cast into the mire
and trodden under the hooves of the swinish multitude”
Chartist factionalism
“All things to all men”
“Chartists not Chartism”
Physical Vs Moral force
Anti Poor Law Reform Act
Trade unionists
Political Chartists
Tee total Chartists
Christian Chartists
Unemployed and poor (mass base) “Knife and Fork”?
Regional divisions & M/C Attitudes
- Class conflict
- Against new machinery
- Political
- Vote for skilled men only
“Chartism’s unity was more apparent than real”
Middle class attitudes:
Anti Chartism, property and wealth to protect
Founded Anti Corn Law League 1839. Success 1846
Trade revivals: 1839, 1842,1849, erodes mass base
Other factors
Events elsewhere:
1848 “year of revolutions
Rerun of 1789? Sees government determination
Urban / rural divide
Urban, industrial phenomenon
Britain, pre 1851, mostly rural
Employment: agricultural and service, hard to organise
Verdict on Chartism and its significance
Bound to fail, ahead of its time (5 points gained by 1918)
Politicisation of labour movement. Lessons learned
Promoted future demands and change