Chartism: Working Class and Inclusive Cultural Community Essay

851 WordsJan 5, 20124 Pages
In the history block of this module, you learnt about three explanations for Chartism’s support – a reaction to economic pressure, national political movement and an inclusive cultural community. What evidence is there in the extract above of examples of each of these factors? Which of the three, if any appear to dominate in this extract? The speech is a primary source of information reproduced on page 5 of the Northern Star newspaper, the main voice in print of Chartism (O’Day et al., 2011, p107). It is an extract of a speech made by an unknown speaker and chosen by the course team therefore one cannot be absolutely sure of the veracity of the piece as a true representation of the Chartist movement. This appears to be a politically…show more content…
Chartism’s longevity and spread across the industrial areas of the United Kingdom is thought to have been due to its appeal to all working class people. Events and opportunities for social interaction were provided enabling members to meet together and feel as if they were actively participating in the movement. In the extract there are very few references, compared to the other themes, to the inclusive cultural community and all refer to men. “Men, brethren of the human race” (Para1Line 1) and “Honourable gentlemen ...the working class only” (Para 3 Line1). While inclusivity was important in keeping the organisation popular it would seem from the limited references that this was not the main focus for the speaker. This was a time of working class discontent when workers and the movement as a whole were seeking answers to the social injustices they suffered. The speech was made at a time when Parliament and government were dominated by the aristocracy (O’Day et al., 2011, p96). Democracy was seen as a way of resolving the economic circumstances of the worker and political action was thought to be the mechanism to bring this about. Paragraphs 3 and 5 contain almost exclusively political rhetoric with the speaker seeking the audiences support. There are many references to support this,” the rich unnaturally elevated above the proper spheres of the mortal man” (Para2 Line 3) and “mustering your thousands to aid

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