Considering how political identity intertwines with craft, ethnicity, gender, and class, this study explores the development and decline of Chartism between 1830 and 1860 through the perspective of plebeian intellectuals and activists in Ashton-under-Lyne and other militant localities of Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Challenging the approach of Patrick Joyce, Gareth Stedman-Jones, and James Vernon, this account questions myths and memories and provides a cultural and sociological view of the period.
About the Author
Robert G. Hall is an assistant professor of history at Ball State University–Muncie. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Table of Contents
List of Tables vi
Introduction. Locality and Nation: Democracy and Chartist Political Identity 1
The Art and Craft of Mule Spinning: Masculinity, Skill and the Gender Division of Labour, 1790-1860 9
What is a Chartist?: Defining a Democratic Political Identity, 1838-1842 31
Myth and Reality: The Experience of Defeat, 1839-1842 63
A United People?: Leaders and Followers in a Chartist Locality, 1838-1848 85
Liberalization versus Radicalization: Some Causes and Consequences of the Decline of Chartism, 1848-1860 104
Conclusion. Chartism Remembered: William Aitken, Liberalism and the Politics of Memory 140