Why Did The Mass Movement Chartism Emerge?


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Richard Marsden answered
Chartism was a movement between the years 1838-48 that demanded social and political reforms by presenting parliament with charters. There were a number of political and economic reasons why the movement came about.

Arguably, the main reason was disgust from the results of the 1832 Great Reform Act which was described by the working class as the 'Great Betrayal'. The government also proposed 'uniform franchise' in the boroughs, which only gave the vote to those who earned property worth £10. Thus, it effectively only allowed property owners and the middle classes to vote in elections. In addition, the attitude of the Whig government, which adopted policies seen by many working people as being contrary to their interests, was also a major factor in the emergence of Chartism. There was also growing economic depression at the time, with poor harvests and rising levels of unemployment leading to a greater support for the Chartist movement.

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