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Flashcards in Causes of chartism Deck (13):

The nature of the parliamentary system

Believed to be undemocratic. Controlled by a small and wealthy group of people, mostly landowners or aristocrats.


What hadn't changed in Britain, despite major changes in society?

The ruling groups


What was wrong with the ruling groups?

They did not successfully represent the whole British population and certainly had different aims and views.


Economic factors

-Many periods of growth and then many slumps, most notably 1839-1842-3 and 1848-50.


What effect did these economic factors have?

Substantially increased pressure for change


What law increased unrest?

New Poor Law 1934


What effect did the industrial revolution have?

Factories were built and machines replaced their labour--> Meant skilled artisans lost their job, and therefore status.


Why did the 'Great' Reform act cause anger?

-It enfranchised the middle class but not the working class. This meant that the working class lost an ally against the oppression of the landed classes. Only 1/5 of men could vote.


How long had people been calling for an extension in the franchise?

Since 1760


What other major event caused a great number of people to call for reform?

the French Revolution`.


What impact did british radicals have?

Those such as Thomas Paine, who admired what had happened in France --> to them revolutionary ideas were attractive, and they wanted to see them put into practice in Britain.
-New ideas about government were being discussed across Europe
-Thomas Paine and his book , Rights of Man, made them much more popular during 1790s Britain
People became increasing more aware and anxious


What impact did the French revolution have?

-The French Revolution made a great impression on England, where the 'people' took control of France
-This shocked other European rulers who feared the threat to their own authority and position- Britiain was afraid of "revolution from below"
-The upper class governments did their best to stop the spread of revolutionary ideas at the end of the C18th by bringing in laws preventing 'seditious' material or meetings taking place.


What impact did the The new poor law have?

-The opposition to the New Poor Law is probably the most important short-term factor
-The distinction between the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor caused many workers to be angry
-Those who were without jobs yet physically fit were forced to work in workhouses, where conditions were much worse
-The loss of rights, however, were the main concern of the poor
-Both Whigs and Torys supported the NPL, enabling the working class leaders to build on their attacks
-In west Yorkshire especially the NPL led directly to Chartism