Assess the Short Term Significance of the ‘Knife and Fork Question’ in the Failure of Chartism 1838-1858.

1874 Words8 Pages
Chartism was a campaign that came together from 1838 in support of the People's Charter. The Charter was launched by a small radical group called the ‘London Working Men's Association’, set up in 1836, and a handful of parliamentarians, but Chartism swiftly gathered support in all parts of Great Britain. At first, the Chartist cause was advanced by an alliance of politically aware Radical MP’s and middle class supporters in the Birmingham Political Union. It rapidly gathered support from industrial workers in the North of England, Wales and Scotland. By the 1840s, it had largely lost its middle class support and become a working class political movement.The charters demands were set out at Crown and Anchor pub on 28 February 1837. The six points that were on the Charter include: 1. A vote for every man 21 years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for crime. 2. Secret ballots. 3. No property qualification for Members of Parliament. 4. Payment of MP’s. 5. Equal size constituencies. 6. Annual parliaments. Some sympathised with the chartists, and saw this as a cry for help, some saw it as a chance to be openly violent, some saw it as a chance to restructure society and some hoped for prosperity, political rights and libertarian reforms. Chartism was born of hunger,desperation, despair and failure having a number of causes. This movement failed because it torn itself apart, Chartism had no money or strong leadership or following because it was born of poverty and lacked the support it needed to be a success. The Charter was the only bond of unity between the Chartists, different groups and types had different ideas on how the Charter should be achieved,and for these reasons Chartism was seen as a Knife and Fork issue, the people were only acting out due o lack of food shelter and clean surroundings, more than it was pursued for it being a political

More about Assess the Short Term Significance of the ‘Knife and Fork Question’ in the Failure of Chartism 1838-1858.

Open Document