Working-class support for Chartism
The working class were drawn to Chartism for a number of reasons:
- Disappointment with the 1832 Reform Act: only 700,000 extra people could vote.
- Factory legislation was a disappointment: the 1833 Factory Act failed to achieve the limit of a ten-hour working day and many workers were annoyed.
- Bitterness towards the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act:
- unemployed men were treated harshly by the act
- poverty became a crime
- new union workhouses were being built
- trade depression and high unemployment left many believing that Chartism was the only answer
- Stopping trade unionism: trade unions existed but they had limited power. Working-class people thought Chartism appeared more effective.
- Problems with trade: 1838-1848 were years of high unemployment and left people looking for an answer, so Chartism became popular.