• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do you agree with the view that the 1832 reform act was a conservative measure with limited effects?

Extracts from this document...


Joseph Powell Do you agree with the view that, in the years 1838-48 attempts to enact the Charter failed because the Chartists political campaigns were undermined by Chartist violence? In this essay, i plan to look at the afore mentioned titled concerning whether or not the violence used by Chartism undermined the cause and slowed down the movement. To do this i plan to examine three sources, One primary, two secondary and use my own knowledge to come to a conclusion. It is often been the stance of many historians such as Asa Briggs and others that Chartism was a total failure and a major contributor to this was the violence used, however it may be too rash a judgement to say such a thing and i plan to examine that now. Firstly i plan to look at the arguments for violence undermining the cause. I shall firstly cross-examine source 5 from an Autobiography of leading Chartist Journalist, Thomas Cooper written in 1872. In this speech he says that, in reference to violence in Longton "I warned all who had been part of it that they were not the friends, but the enemies of freedom. ...read more.


Also he only would have had access to one part of the large chartist organisation making his views hardly representational of the whole movement. As i know from my own knowledge the Chartist movement did eventually fail. Source 4 is a secondary source written by historian John Briggs, in which he says, in reference to how the Chartist were to apply pressure without crossing the moral/physical force line "If that happened, the immediate consequence was the loss of respectable support and a gift to the government of perfect justification for repressive action". Although chartism was good at gaining public support, clearly shown by the 3 million signatures for the second petition, it poor at channelling this support into a revolutionary movement. As a result the violent movements were soon as sporadic and were not taken seriously at all by the government. As a result all Chartist violence was easily quashed, for example the Newport Rising amongst others. Under the Command of General Napier and rushed all over the country in extreme speed by the new railway the Chartists had alot to combat. ...read more.


The huge variety of such splinter groups once again shows the lack of unity the Chartists faced. The second of these groups not even advocating something note even included on the People's Charter. To carry on the argument that violence wasn't the biggest factor i know from my own knowledge that after uprising in Birmingham and the North major chartist leaders, such as William Lovett perhaps most notably were arrested and extradited to Australia. This crafty move by the government left the Chartists even more fractured and even more without direction. I conclusion, after examining all the sources and factoring in my own knowledge i think that Chartist violence was the largest contributing factor towards the downfall of Chartism. Had it not been for the splinter violence groups the Chartist may have retained its middle class respectability and shred of support in the upper classes. The fact that the Chartists failed to unify in the violence and uprising also led to its demise. With out unity it was too easy for the army to stamp out the violent groups and after it had turned violent it was too easy for the government to quash Chartism all together with support from the middle classes who saw them as an angry loutish mob. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Do you agree with the view that the 1832 reform act was a conservative ...

    Clearly Macauley thinks it best to keep the measure a conservative one just enough to appease the masses but not enough to give them ay real power. Source 4 says that "Every argument which would lead me to oppose universal Suffrage leads me to support the reform now before us".

  2. Peer reviewed

    Do you agree with the view that the main reason for the emergence of ...

    3 star(s)

    They also state that they are 'placing the middle class in a situation to which they are entitled. This again doesn't completely want to solve disappointment and they are moving away from the working class and more towards the middle class.

  1. Why did the Chartists fail?

    Also, they wrote his name sixteen times, so this showed forgery. They also included names like Longnose and No Cheese. The reason I believe to be the trigger cause, was that the Chartists let themselves be mocked. After the third petition, many cartoons of the third petition were published in

  2. Interpreting the 1832 Reform Act, its origins and effects, has generated continuing debate among ...

    There was no master plan, argues Evans, only general concerns about reserving political influence for property and preventing an alliance of middle-class reformers with the masses. For the most part ministers reacted to extra-parliamentary developments (on this point Evans appears to disagree with McCord, who thinks that the main features

  1. Why was The Great Reform Act passed in 1832 ?

    British farming had been depressed since 1814 and this had caused low wages and work spaces were in short supply. Where new machinery was used in the place of human labour it was bitterly resented. Riots broke out among labourers in Kent in 1830 after another harvest failed.

  2. Reform Chartism

    with Gladstone often strained- Liberal Caucus- Reform Act- voters in boroughs represented by 3 members given 2 votes- could use both for same candidate o vote for 2 different- Chamberlain built party organisation with accurate list of supporters- told Liberal supporters who to vote for- Lib votes could be spread

  1. The changing position of women and the suffrage question. Revision notes

    To what extent the WSPU was concerned with the plight of the working-class woman however it debatable.

  2. What was Chartism and why did it fail?

    From 1838-1839, William Lovett offered his leadership, only to be overshadowed by the rise of Feargus O?Connor in 1840.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work