Chartism: Success or Failure?

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note
that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!

   1848      Act      Australia      ballot      campaign      Chartism      cities      clean      conditions      doubled      holidays      killed      Manchester      MPs      Parliament      payment      peaceful      petition      physical      politicians      protests      quickly      reasons      rejected      schools      secret      soldiers      unemployment      women      working   

Why were the class so angry in the 19th century? The working class had no right to vote or could not
afford to be . Their living conditions were awful with poor housing and sanitation. Their working
were often unbearable and dangerous. People believed that if they won the right to vote they
could improve their living and working conditions. Therefore the campaign for the vote was a to
ultimately improve their lives.

They had seen the 1832 Reform achieve nothing substantial for the working class. The only benefit was
that industrial got representation from MPs for the first time but still the needs of the working
class were not met.

Out of this anger came a movement called led by Feargus O’Connor. He was the leader of
the Chartists ( they were not afraid of using violence).) They campaigned for all men to get the
vote (vote for was not yet considered an issue). Lovell was the leader of the moral chartists - they
were more involved in reform using means.
Newport Rising
They presented a six point charter asking for changes. These included:
1) including the vote for men over twenty-one
2) secret
2) of MPs.

At first the chartists peacefully petitioned and by May 1839 1.2 million people signed the
but it was rejected. In July 1839 Chartists clashed with police and
in Birmingham and this was followed by protests in Newport where 20 protesters were
and the leaders were transported to
. In 1840 500 Chartists, including O’Connor were jailed and in 1842 their second
petition was rejected. Working class people now suffered as wages were cut by 25% and there was a rise in
. The Chartists petition now had 3 million signatures but was
. Working classes now went on strike in
and strikers fought the army. After people were jailed, the strikers returned to work.

Chartism died out after . There are several
for this. It was a boom time with growing industry and
better wages so people were not as unhappy. The government had also acted to put down any trouble
before it really started. There were arguments between the leaders showing some disunity. The positive effects of Chartism were that many
said they were impressed how many working class now educated themselves and gave more peaceful

Even though Chartism failed there were reforms which followed. These were:

1867 Reform Act gave most working class men in towns the vote and voters to 2 million
1870 Education Act meant councils provided
1871 Bank Holiday Act: by law everyone was given from work
1872 Secret Ballot Act: voting in cutting out bribes
1875 Public Health Act: all towns to provide water and dispose of sewage and waste
1891 Education Act: no one has to pay to go to school

Extension task
1. Now think of yourself as a Chartist. What do you think is the best way to get the changes you want eg violence or petition? Explain your answer.
2. Why were all the reforms above passed after 1867?