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

Why, and with what success did Alexander II embark on a series of reforms?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent can it be argued that Chartism was mainly an economic and social movement? "The nineteenth-century Whig interpretation of English history as a steady progression of moderate and peaceful reforms" (reforming the constitution page x) can be argued greatly as the nineteenth century held host to many events that were certainly not peaceful and were not moderate. Some regarded as violent and extreme, some highlighted the detriment of people's lives and some events and policies added to the well known nineteenth century poverty and detriment for the working class. However these have pioneered in some way our modern England, its attitude, laws and values. In the Nineteenth Century, working class people were overworked, underpaid, disregarded for human rights and disgruntled. The Chartist Movement was one of the events which shaped the working class as people who could fight for their rights and take a stand. "The chartist's greatest achievement was Chartism, a movement shot through not with despair but with hope" (Royle, E (1998) Chartism, consman) Chartism shared the same demands and was strong in the same areas as radicalism in the 18th century. ...read more.


long hours and having to support their families and a further insult, supported by the middle class was the 1834 poor law amendment act which treated being poor as a crime and for those unfortunate enough to be unemployed, instead of claiming the nineteenth century equivalent of job-seekers allowance, they were institutionalised in a bastille-esque establishment, the dreaded workhouse, where they would be separated from their families and forced to incur hard labour to stay alive. However the chartist movement, no matter how political stood for the rights of working class people, and demanded social and economical change, If Chartism had a completely political agenda then it would have been organised more successfully, for instance; it suggested a democracy, which wasn't possible with Britain being ruled by aristocracy. With no support from anyone with the vote, the chartists were on their own and demanded huge parliamentary reform, in form of three failed petitions; which suggested desperation for change rather than political hunger, moreover the reaction to the petitions failing show a disorganised force; the two main chartist leaders differing in opinion, Lovett used 'moral force' and continued to push for the charter's acceptance, on the other hand O'Connor advocated physical force and the demonstrations in Sheffield and Newport are examples of this. ...read more.


This suggests they did predominantly have a political agenda and could've just used the economic situation to their advantage, the working class and poor were relied on for support and unsurprisingly fed that support in thousands. As an 'outside' party, they relied on the bad economic and social times to gain that support. Interestingly they were most popular at these times and when the situation got better in England, they were known to have failed. Although Chartism did decline in 1848, five of the six demands of the Charter are now in action, Annual Parliaments understandably not as this would require far too much administration, and a party would have less than a year to practice its principles. In conclusion, I perceive the chartist movement as a radical group who saw the only way to achieve a comfortable life for the working class and poverty stricken Britons would be to gain political power. "The importance of food was also proved at a Sheffield meeting when asked 'what do we want' someone replied 'somat t'eat' [something to eat]. In essence the working man joined Chartism because he was unemployed, hungry and frightened" (www.historyhome.co.uk/peel/chartism/charmod.htm 2011) ...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 Modern European History, 1789-1945 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 Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Reasons for Napoleon's Success (to 1807).

    It was a dishonourable settlement to many Spanish. Their country was compelled to become France's ally and supplier of men and resources. * Napoleon insisted on the abdication of Charles IV and, for good measure, made the Spanish heir, Ferdinand (who had no liking for the French)

  2. To What Extent Were the Reforms of Alexander II Intended to Preserve and Strengthen ...

    The introduction of the Zemstvo and Duma could have been galvanised by a fear that radicals who were against Alexander would rise up and demand more than the Zemstvo and Duma offered. By offering these two forms of local government, Alexander could successfully distract radicals from the fact that he

  1. Does Alexander II deserve his historical reputation?

    The introduction of the zemstvo was only one of the reforms put forward by Alexander II. After 'freeing' the serfs and introducing a new local government, Alexander II proceeded to reform the education, military and legal systems. Before the reforms, the judicial system was chaotic.

  2. Free essay

    To What Extent Was The Crimean War A Series Of Accidents? ...

    opinion to regard Russia "As a dangerous reactionary force whose supposed expansionist designs had to be resisted at all costs". Farmer blamed this national feeling on the press "Which gave full expression to the violent Russophobia that characterised public opinion after 1848-9"4.

  1. The Hidden Facets of Bolshevism - Friends and Foes of the Working Class.

    of Freedom: The Rise and Fall of the Communist Utopia, while the other is supported by John Gooding in his analysis of Lenin and his legacy. Gooding argues against Martin Malia and Andrei Walicki who maintained that Marxist socialism inevitably led to Stalinism and that Gorbachev's attempts to transform the

  2. Florence Nightingale is well known for her radical innovations in nursing care.

    Her results showed an importance in decrease of death. By February 1855, the mortality rate had dropped from 60% to 42.7%. After the establishment of fresh water supply in addition to using personal funds to buy fruit, vegetables and standard hospital equipment, the mortality rate had dropped to 2.27% by spring time [1].

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