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Do you agree with the view that the main reason for the emergence of the
Chartist movement was disappointment among the working-classes with the
Outcome of the 1832 Reform Act?
There are many factors for the emergence of the chartist movement and disappointment among the working classes is certainly the main factor; however Chartism as an issue is more complex than this and there has been other factor which has contributed.
Firstly look at source 4. It was a speech given by the foreign secretary Lord Palmerston. Lord Palmerston is part of the Whigs government so is in favour. Therefore he is not necessarily involved with the Chartism movement. It therefore questions if it’s valid. During the parliamentary debates, on the reform Bill in 1831. However the idea if parliamentary debates is trying to set people to vote. Some may argue that it’s not true and if it is what the government wants to hear, it can be argued if this is useful.
The source agrees with the question to an extent as it states that the working class was disappointed with the lack of change. However it says ‘Ministers have no intention of severing the existing ties between the middle classes and the aristocracy. This sets the idea that there main focus was set on the middle class rather than the working class. 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. Concluding this source it shows that the middle class were the main priority to the chartist. Therefore that links back to the question as this links to the disappointment among the working class.
Now looking at source 5 which came from the poor man’s guardian. This may be biased as it is trying to attract a working class and what they wanted, it cam bee seem that it was published in a radical newspaper in October 1832. This sets the idea that it’s not a group opinion and it may just be subjective. The source is reliable to an extent as it was edited by Henry Hetherington, who became one of the early leaders of the London chartist. However they has an inside opinion and could just be his person opinion and doesn’t represent the group as a whole. In the source it says that ‘they wanted to consolidate the middle class by reinforcement.
This sets the idea that it’s set of the middle class rather than the working class, which links back to the disappointment. In the source it says that the Whig’s aim was not to undermine or even remodel our aristocratic institution. The idea that they have used the word aristocratic gives the idea that it is probably opposing the questions idea of the working class. They weren’t planning on changes and they aimed not to be undermined. Overall this source agrees with the question as they did not gain power and the Whigs only had an interest in the middle class.
Finally Looking at source 6 I can see that it was published in 1994 by people,power and politics. It was written from Robert Ellis. The writer would have read many sources therefore they make have a biased opinion. Also all information may not be known. The source supports the original question as it says just over 200,000 middle class voters. It then states that the working class radicals immediately began to express discontent. This links to the question as this again would cause disappointment among the working class. However this source does oppose the question as it says about economic difficulties, unemployment and that Chartism faded away during greater prosperity.
Adding my own knowledge of the emergence of Chartism I can see that the working-class was on the increase in different organisations and there was variations of revolutionary change. This led to the working class having a huge growth in trade unison and they began organising on a national level. The media was also on its side as the poor man’s guardian was released. However the charter’s people wanted to give the working class a greater voice, using the sixth points. These were universal male suffrages, annual parliamentary elections, secret ballot, equal electrol district, payment of Mp’s and abolition of MP’s property qualifications. This all links back to the question as it is stating in my knowledge that chartism only was introduced because of the disappointment of the working class.
Overall I think it can be seen in the sources and my own knowledge that the disappointment from the working class played a very important role in the emergence of the chartists. I think that if it wasn’t for the disappointment of the working class then Chartism would of never occurred.