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Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume XII, Part II (1899)

Jones, Edward D.
Chartism -- a chapter in English industrial history,   pp. [509]-529 PDF (6.3 MB)


Page [509]


CHARTISM-A CHAPTER IN ENGLISH INDUSTRIAL
                           HISTORY.'
                      EDWARD D. JONES, PH. D.
        Instructor in Economics and Statistics, University of Wisconsin.
   Chartism stands for an important though somewhat indefinite
 part of the great industrial revolution of England. It had its
 roots in economics, its manifestations in politics.  It was an
 agitation of the masses. To understand chartism we must first
 look into the causes which set the masses in motion.
                      GENERAL CONDITIONS.
   At the opening of the nineteenth century England was chang-
 ing from an agricultural to a manufacturing nation. The tran-
 sitional period was one of suffering and uncertainty and of ill-
 directed attempts at reform. One of the most important facts
 of England's condition was perhaps the high price of food. Liv-
 ing expenses were high compared with what they had previously
 been. This was due to the war with France and to a gradual
 increase of the population above what the agricultural resources
 of the country would support. These high prices were but one
 symptom of the fundamental industrial change which was taking
 place.
 The growth of the factory system had already stranded many
 hand producers and antiquated the skill of many artisans. It
 I General references: File of the Northern Star, of Cooper's Journal, and
 of Politics for the People; Martineau, History of the Peace, Vol. IV.;
 Knight, History of England, Vol. VII.; Tooke, History of Prices; Hodder,
Life and Works of the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury; Engel, Condition of
the Working Classes in England in 1844; McCarthy, History of Our Own
Times; Carlyle, Chartism; Kingsley, Alton Locke and Yeast; Besant, All
Sorts and Conditions of Men; Reade, Put Yourself in His Place. Articles:
Frazer's Magazine, Vol. 37, May, 1848; Eclectic Review, Vol. 23; Black-
wood's Magazine, Vol. 63, June, 1848; Century Magazine, Vol. I.


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