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Source C is not very reliable. It is a drawing, this means it may not have been of a real place and using real people. The factory owner may have paid the artist extra to do a drawing of a more elaborate factory. The artist of this drawing is unknown which also makes this piece of work unreliable. This could have been used as an advertisement or campaign of some sort to make all factories look good. Source D on the other hand is a photograph. Although photographs cannot lie, they can be manipulated. People can be told to look happy or sad, and so on.
The people in the picture may not even be matchgirls, but I actually do believe that they are matchgirls and they worked in the factories. Again the photographer is unknown or at least unnamed which could make this more implausible. I, therefore think that source D is a more reliable piece of evidence, although neither of the pieces are fully dependable because they could have been artists/photographers impressions. Question 4: Study Sources B, F and G. The Times (Source B) expected the strike to collapse. Why did the Match Girls’ strike succeed? Use Sources B, F and G and your own knowledge to explain your answer.
The writer of the article in The Times (Source B) believed that the strike would not continue and stated that ‘The strike can not go on indefinitely’ The article suggests that the Match Girls have been ‘egged on’ to strike by ‘sympathisers’. I think the Match Girl’s strike was such a success because they believed, not only in themselves but in what they saw as right and they were prepared to fight and take action against any one or any thing that stood in their way. As you can see in Source F, the match factory workers are holding a peaceful protest against their employers and how they were being treated.
The Match Girl’s gained a lot of publicity through their campaign manager Annie Besant, public demonstrations and newspaper articles. Source G is an extract from Annie Besant’s autobiography, in it she says ‘if ever we worked, we worked that fortnight’ This put an emphasis on their determination to get their point across, because every body knew how hard the Match Girl’s labour was. Newspaper articles were printed in a range of newspapers so every body would know whether they were middle or working class. These articles earned them money and the support not only of other people, but also of local businesses.
Some people such as Charles Bradlaugh who was a Member of Parliament also helped the match girls win their fight by making other M. P’s aware of these issues during parliamentary discussions. The money they received was distributed widely to fund their demonstrations and so that the girls on strike would receive strike pay, which, if they had not been receiving the strike may have collapsed due to the fact that the workers needed money to support themselves and their family. The fact that their previous strikes had failed in 1871 and 1885 did not stop them.
They wisely used the knowledge of these strikes to prevent mistakes and setbacks that could lead to their defeat by factory owners. The Match Girls had well-supported and well-organised demonstrations and protests, most of these lead by Annie Besant who used her middle-class status to her advantage which helped the Match Girls to win their case. The strike was a great success, so to conclude, they won due to many, many factors some of them being the amount of support, money, publicity and organisation they received. ‘The girls went back to work, fines were abolished, and better wages paid. ‘ Question 5: Study Source H.
Source H says that ‘the workers are well looked after’. How far is this statement supported by the evidence of Sources A to E? Source H was written by Bryant and May, the owners of the company. It states that the girls were ‘well looked after’ Of course they were not going to say publicly that their staff were treated badly. Using sources A -E I am going to find out how far Bryant and May’s statement was supported, and how strongly it can be argued. Source A is an extract from The Link, This was a magazine that campaigned for better conditions for the working class population, and was written by Annie Besant.
Annie Besant was a socialist, who were seen by businesses such as Bryant and May as nuisance and their strike actions as ‘stupidity’. The extract states that ‘they also suffer… ‘ this not only implies that they suffered in a different way, but is going on to other grievances and sufferings the Match Girls have endured. This was written for the large percentage of the population, who, at that time were working class, therefore Annie, may have over exaggerated the facts to win the support of the reader; this Source in anyway does not support Source H. Source B is also taken from a newspaper, The Times.
This paper as previously mentioned was written for the middle class people of that day. The article’s author was un-named, but it obviously reinforces Source H’s statement. This extract was written in an effort to halt the strike procedures and in hope of the Match Girls returning to their work under the same conditions, I can see this because it states ‘Before the strike… ‘. Source B discusses the ways in which the factory has helped the girls by continuing to employ the staffs who usually leave in the summer to harvest even though the demand for matches was low.
This implies that the articles and complaints have been taken out of all proportion, ‘Every grievance has been listened to and accepted as the truth and exaggerated in print. ‘ This source clearly backs up Bryant and May’s statement by writing ‘the Match Girls have been egged on to strike. ‘ Source C, the nineteenth century drawing of a match factory supports Source H without a doubt. The factory is clean, spacious and organised. The ladies working there are all quite young and fresh looking, around about 20 years old.
They are well dressed and look happy and content within their work, the perceived image here is a very positive one. Nevertheless this source is not very reliable at all; the artist is unknown and its origin unidentified. There is no evidence to prove that this is a real factory, just a figment of the artist’s imagination, although unlikely as it is, this factory may have been an outstandingly good factory. The owner of this piece of art is also unknown; therefore this could have either been used as an advertisement for more staff or could have been for a factory owner.