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To the physical force chartist the phrase The Northern Star was significant because it was the way that they could hear news from the view of the disadvantaged in society and communicate with their leader Fergus OConnor.

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The "Northern Star" was a chartist newspaper owned by physical force leader Fergus O'Connor. The meaning of the phrase "The Northern Star" will be different for all who look at it. We can break this down into two main thoughts and two different groups of people. The first group is the government. To the government to the government this would symbolise the people of Britain becoming less threatened by them and also the want for reform and a possible revolution so naturally the government was scared by it. The second group of people that this phrase would mean something to were the chartists themselves. This group can be broken down into two further sub-groups. The physical force chartists and the moral force chartists. I will first deal with the physical force chartists, as it is they that shape the view of the moral force opposition that they battle internally. To the physical force chartist the phrase "The Northern Star" was significant because it was the way that they could hear news from the view of the disadvantaged in society and communicate with their leader Fergus O'Connor. The other thing that it meant for them was organisation if events were advertised far enough in advance then they would be able to prepare for it and there would be a larger group of them. ...read more.


Again referring to source B we can see that ordinary people have been dragged into the conflict which is another reason that the government found them a danger because they do not seem to care who gets hurt as long as they get their way along with the fact that the chartists did not comply with the riot act. This shows us that they would try anything to stop them. So in conclusion physical force chartists are very important in the movement for as they were one of the reasons for the failure of the movement. If they had not emerged then the government would probably turned a blind eye to chartism. There are many factors to consider when looking at how reliable a source is. In this context, we need to look at who wrote it, when they wrote it and why they wrote it. Source A Is from Sir Charles Napier who was a commanding officer in the army and he wrote this piece in 1957 after the event. When looking at this it is from his memoirs so there are clear dangers involved in using this source as a "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" source. The source may be slightly exaggerated what he is saying because he wants to try and make himself sound better. ...read more.


Source D says "I regard Fergus O'Connor as the chief trouble maker of our movement" this us shows us that he has great disregard for O'Connor. However the author of Source E says "O'Connor has been often misunderstood" this tells us that they both have very different feelings about O'Connor. Source E says that one of his greatest strengths was "his constant efforts to bring a national perspective to local working-class agitation" I believe that this is referring to his paper "The Northern Star" which is also mentioned in source D "his destructive influence in the Northern Star" Epstein believes that the Northern Star was a good thing as it brought Chartists together and also expanded the movement by introducing it to more people. However Lovett thought that it weakened the movement, which to an extent it did but I believe that it also strengthened the movement as it brought more people into it. Source D said that "Calling up a spirit of hate, intolerance, and brute feeling, previously unknown among reformers" whereas Source E disagrees and says "their support was founded upon astute political judgement stemming from their own political experience" in other words he is saying that the supporters were supporting them because they had a leader whereas before he was on the scene so to speak there was no one to lead them. These two sources are contradictory of each other however the one thing that they do agree with is that the main followers are the working classes. ...read more.

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