Chartism: Women's Suffrage and National Political Movement

1025 words 5 pages
Chartism was a working-class political movement calling for the extension of the franchise that emerged in the mid-1830s. Motivated by a sense of ‘betrayal’ by the actions of the Whig government and the impact of a deep economic depression between 1837 and 1842, it saw political reform as essential if the living and working conditions of working people were to be improved. The power of the spoken and written word played a central role in Chartism and the foremost demagogue of the movement was Feargus O’Connor, whose rhetoric in all its ambiguity and exaggeration was published in his newspaper, The Northern Star. His speech at York, reported in the Star on 6 July 1839, was in favour of a motion that: “every male adult of the kingdom …show more content…
Chartism sought to address the privileging of the interests of the rich over those of the poor. Secondly, there was the specific issue of the economic depression in the 1830s and the ‘destitution’ it caused that acted as the ‘trigger’ for protest after 1838.
The critical issue is what did the speaker meant by an ‘inclusive cultural community’. Although women’s suffrage was an issue for some Chartists, it had largely been side-lined by 1839. The critical division within Chartism was between the inclusive radicalism of O’Connor and the exclusive artisanal radicalism of William Lovett: while both O’Connor and Lovett wanted universal manhood suffrage, Lovett was prepared to accept that the working-class would be enfranchised gradually while O’Connor saw the working-class as a unity to be given the vote all at the same time.I‘ve appended a Kindle version of my recent book Sex, Work and Politics: Women in Britain 1830-1918 that includes a section on Chartism. You can download the Kindle app on your computer and then click on the file and it’ll end up on the app. I agree that you’ve adopted a 21st century view.
Excluded ...
Archaic language = elevated (him that liveth forever) EPIC SPEECH. the passionate way in which the speaker delivers the contrasting lifestyles of both the working class and the rich emphasises the impact of economic pressure.
This is re-enforced by, “The rhetoric of

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