Classic Pamphlet

By J. R. Dinwiddy, published 17th September 2009

Confronting Inequality

It is not surprising that Chartism has attracted a great deal of interest from historians and students, for at no other period in British history, with the possible exception of the second and third decades of the twentieth century, has so much excitement and activity been aroused at the working-class level. Perspectives on the movement have naturally altered from time to time. In the early part of this centruy, attention tended to focus on the supposed division between 'physical force' and 'moral force' Chartists, with historians who belonged to the moderate left, such as Mark Hovell, showing strong sympathy for the latter.

Most recent work on Chartism has been concerned, explicitly or implictly, with arguments about class. This topic, of course, has had a long standing association with Chartism: the original theories of Marx and Engels about how classes and class confrontations...

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