Option 2 (History)
Write an essay responding to the following:
Which is more important in explaining the public support for Chartism:
economic circumstances, or Chartism’s cultural community?
Chartism was the first mass working class labour movement in the world. Beginning in 1838, Chartists called for political reform in the United Kingdom. The nature of their proposed reforms were laid out in the six point People’s Charter of 1838, and it is from this, that Chartism took its name. The Chartist movement is seen by historians as a continuation of the fight against corruption in British politics, and as a new phase in demands for democracy in the world’s first industrialised society. The sheer extent of support which…show more content…
Mail could be posted at a time, and place which better suited the needs of the working man, In addition travelling times, between towns and cities, were reduced by railway travel. Before journeys were restricted to the speed and endurance of a horse. The circulation of ideas and correspondence between local Chartist groups became faster and easier, allowing the movement to evolve into a living community.
This exchange of ideas and ideals between Chartist groups happened in a number of ways; the most striking of which must surely be the three petitions which were signed by a huge proportion of the population. Chartist newspapers were important to the movement, spreading the latest information about meetings and events. The Northern Star and The Poor Man’s Guardian were two examples of over 120 different titles of Chartist papers. Chartism developed a culture all its own; there was Chartist music, poetry, literature and festivities. The movement was open and inclusive. There were no membership fees for being a. Chartist and everyone was allowed a voice. This was in stark contrast to the hierarchical nature of British society of the time, which saw power shared between the rich, privileged few. Chartism was a workers’ movement, which was open to Nonconformist Christians, women and ethnic minorities, its core activities were aimed at those with little or no money; these could be processions, open-air meetings or petition signings. There had been radical