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

Was popular protest in the 1830's and 1840's simply the outcome of poverty and material distress?

Extracts from this document...


Daniel Sheppard. 4. Was popular protest in the 1830's and 1840's simply the outcome of poverty and material distress? The popular protest movements in Wales of the eighteen thirties and forties were to a large extent down to poverty and some kind of material distress. However, there were other factors to consider which among other problems included grievances such as poor working conditions and low wages. One of the largest forms of popular protest during this period came from the 'Rebecca' movement, and was to some extent caused by their opposition to poverty and material distress, but they also had other grievances that they wished to redress. The Rebecca riots referred to various disturbances in South West Wales between eighteen thirty-nine and eighteen forty-three. The movement was made up of mainly agricultural workers who were protesting over several grievances that arose from their very poor standard of living and material distress. The violence that was adopted by 'Rebecca' seemed to arise from their frustration that nothing was being done to improve their working conditions or standards of living. There were several grievances or "injustices" that 'Rebecca' wished to gain redress for. ...read more.


Tolls were usually valid for twenty-four hours, which often did not let men get back and forth to market to sell their goods in time, which meant they had to pay twice. This infuriated the 'Rebecca' men who began attacking these tollgates in disgust. The most famous example of this occurred in Efailwen. On June 6th eighteen thirty-nine, four hundred men attacked and destroyed the Whitland Trust in Efailwen in protest at the high prices and poor road conditions on the trust. It is quite obvious that part of 'Rebecca's' protests were against the ever-increasing level of poverty and material distress they were experiencing. However, they were also protesting about several other grievances which the though equally important, such as poor working conditions and high food prices. Another of the great forms of popular protest of this era came from the Chartists. The main aim of the chartists, who enjoyed large support from Wales, was to get the six points of the Peoples Charter incorporated into English and Welsh law. Chartism in Wales was set up in eighteen thirty-six, many of the founders were also involved in the Rebecca riots, they were both sympathetic to each others cause. ...read more.


The workers were already struggling to cope with the meagre wages paid to the by the ironworks. Lowering wages would surely have meant certain poverty for most, so they reacted by rioting to try and get what they wanted, but it did not work. These main protest movements did however bring about some success. As a result of the 'Rebecca' riots, a Royal Commission was set up in eighteen forty three to consider the grievances of the rioters and investigate the problems of the 'Turnpike Trusts'. In eighteen forty-four the Royal Commission report was issued. As a result of its recommendations many trusts were joined and tolls were standardised and reduced. This somewhat eased the protesters grievances but still did not give relief to all the grievances. In many ways it could be true to say that many of the popular protest movements of the eighteen thirties and forties were born out of poverty and material distress. Both the 'Rebecca' riots and the Chartist movement had grievances which they felt left them in poverty, such and the Tithe, high food prices, 'Turnpike Trusts' and the Poor Law. However, they both had other grievances that they protested about out of principle, and not poverty, such as the actions of landlords agents and the points of the peoples charter, which they felt equally strong about. Essay word count :- 1557. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree English Legal System 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 University Degree English Legal System essays

  1. Analyse and evaluate how poor people were treated in British society between 1601 and ...

    It is accepted that this increase in population is due to increased national wealth, improved living conditions and therefore increased fertility this was stretching the already crumbling legislation to its limit. It was the social and economic changes at work in British society that exasperated the archaic system and its legislation.

  2. Why Was the Poor Law Reformed in 1834?

    The early nineteenth century can be seen as the 'age of laissez faire' (Marshall 1982 p196) and the evangelical movement wanted to make society more moral. Poverty was seen as a personal failing rather than a situation brought about by the social and political climate.

  1. Property & Trusts.

    Various writers and judges throughout the centuries have said that the purposes listed in the preamble were mere examples, or a sort of index or chart that the court could refer to in differing circumstances. At the same time it was never forgotten that the 'objects there enumerated' as Lord

  2. Law of town and country planning.

    the character of use, whether the purpose of use has been changed and the effects on the neighborhood. The prime case law is Birmingham Corporation v Habib Ullah (1964) which considered that the change in use from a single dwelling house to a house in multiple occupation did result in

  1. Explain the multiplication of Ombudsmen and assess their contribution to dealing with citizens' grievances.

    side, in favour larger scale issues such as those of national or international importance. There was great demand for ombudsmen to oversee citizens' interests and to give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard. This would allow the main part of organisations to continue unhindered, whilst simultaneously having a body to oversee their work to ensure fairness.

  2. Why was the Old Poor Law replaced in 1834 and not before?

    Economists and those suffering under the Speenhamland system started calling for reform and a new system which would suit Britain's new nature. Therefore, the Old Poor Law was abolished in 1834 as prior to this period, Britons had generally accepted it as their duty to look after the poor.

  1. How far was the witch-hunt in Early Modern England caused by popular fear and ...

    This meant that in England there wee less cases of witchcraft of witchcraft and lower conviction rates than compared to Europe. In England, there were no legal reforms like the ones in Europe. If a person was accused of a crime, the lay-jury would intiate the proceedings and the trial

  2. Equity & Trusts

    This was the beginning of the doctrine of precedent. The writ system The judges also developed the writ system. A writ is simply a document setting out the details of a claim. Writs were issued to create new rights not recognised by the local courts and this helped to attract business.

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