In this essay it will be necessary to examine the reason why Chartism failed during the 17th century. Chartists were formed during 1838, 6 years after the ‘great’ reform act was passed. When a group of men met in a local pub and were extremely angry about how badly the reform act was making so little changes, so they made a list of things they thought were eligible for voting rules and branded themselves ‘The Chartists’ and they were out to change how the MP’s were elected throughout Great Britain.
The five main men in this debate were Thomas Attwood, William Lovett, Fergus O’Connor, Francis Place and John Frost. Francis, Thomas and William all believed peaceful methods were accepted and the right thing to do, however, on the opposing side was Fergus and John who were certain that violence was the way forward to get political and social changes.
I think this point about the chartists is long term because, the men had to settle their differences to come to an agreement on what the next stage would be, therefore the negative side to this would be the disagreement but the positive being the fact they had two smaller groups to hold the public’s different opinions, I think the long term cause of disagreement was the reason for failure. Throughout the Chartism event, the Chartists set up 3 petitions for the general public to sign, and in total they gained 10,296,710 signatures.
The first petition was set up in 1839 with 1. million signatures and it was almost 3 miles long, however, it was rejected. But then in 1842, 3 years later, they made yet another petition with a 3. 3 million signatures, but yet again, it was rejected. Finally, in 1848 they made a third petition with a staggering 5. 5 million signatures and yes, it was rejected despite all the hard work and names. These short term causes, I believe, didn’t contribute to the failure of Chartism as the reliability of this source is not good as we don’t know if the figures are exact and compared to the previous point, this is less reliable.
Another reason I think that Chartism in the 17th century failed is that on the 10th April 1848, the Chartism demonstration day, only 20,000 people turned up due to the unexpected rain fall that day. Therefore they didn’t get as much popularity and votes as expected and couldn’t get the voting rights they had initially hoped for. This trigger cause I presume was not one of the main reasons Chartism failed as the previous points are more understandable and useful than this one.
In conclusion, I believe that the main reason that Chartism in the 17th century failed is because the 5 men who led the organisation all had different views and ideas on how to win the public’s vote; 3 of the men believed that peaceful communications were the way forward and the other 2 men reckoned that violence and abuse was going to win the public and government over. Also as this is what I believe to be the most reliable and useful statement it makes more sense as to why they did not get the rights they wanted originally.
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