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  1. Workers looked
    • a.      Workers looked to formation of labor organizations to gain decent wages and working conditions
    •                                                               i.      British government, reacting against radicalism of French revolutionary working classes, passed Combination Acts in 1799 and 1800 outlawing associations of workers
    • 1.      Failed to prevent formation of trade unions
    • a.      Formed by skilled workers in new industries, including cotton spinners, ironworkers, coal miners, and shipwrights
  2. Purposes of unions
    • a.      Unions served two purposes
    •                                                               i.      Preserve own workers’ position by limiting entry into their trade
    • Gain benefits from employers
  3. Early trade unions had limited goals
                                                                  i.      Favored a working-class struggle against employers, but only to win improvements for members of their own trade
  4. The Trade union movement
    •                                                               i.      Some trade unions willing to strike for goals
    • 1.      Carried out by hand-loom weavers, cotton spinners, etc.
    • 2.      Caused Parliament to repeal Combination Acts in 1824, accepting argument of some members that acts themselves had alienated workers that they had formed unions
    • a.      Unions now tolerated, but other legislation enabled authorities to keep close watch over activities
  5. National Unions
    •                                                               i.      1820s and ‘30s: union movement began focus on creation of national unions
    • 1.      Robert Owen (cotton magnate and social reformer)
    • a.       believed creation of voluntary associations that would  demonstrate to others the benefits of cooperative rather than competitive living
  6. Program not specifically...
    • a.      Program not specifically for trade unionists, but appealed to some of his leaders
    • b.      Under his direction, plans formed for Grand National Consolidated Trades Union, formed in Feb 1834
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      As a national federation of trade unions, its primary purpose was to coordinate a general strike for 8-hr working days
  7. Rhetoric outpaced reality
    1.      Rhetoric outpaced realityà by summer, lack of real working-class support led to federation’s total collapse and union movement reverted to trade unions for individual crafts
  8. Amalgamated Society of Engineers
    •                                                               i.      Largest and most successful of these unions was the Amalgamated Society of Engineers in 1850
    • 1.      Provision of generous unemployment benefits in return for a small weekly payment precisely the kind of practical gains these trade unions sought
  9. Luddites
    •                                                               i.      Trade unionism not only collective action by workers in early decades of Revolution
    •                                                             ii.      Skilled craftspeople in Midlands and northern England who in 1812 attacked machines that threatened their lives
    • 1.      Attacks didn’t stop industrial mechanization of Britain and viewed as naïve, as well as intense eruption of feeling against unrestrained industrial capitalism
    •                                                           iii.      Inability of 12000 troops to find culprits showed local support
  10. Chartism
    •                                                               i.      Attempt of Brit workers to improve their condition developed in movement called Chartism—the “first important political movement of working men organized in 19th century
    •                                                             ii.      Aim: to achieve political democracy
  11. People's Charter
    •                                                               i.      Took name from People’s Charter, a document drawn up in 1838 by the London Working Men’s Association
    • 1.      Charter demanded universal male suffrage, payment for members of Parliament, and elimination of property qualifications for members of Parliament, and annual sessions of Parliament
    • 2.      Women joined movement
  12. Female sections
    •                                                               i.      Chartist groups in many towns had female sections
    • 1.      Some women were active, but they fought to win political rights for husbands, not for selves, since Chartist platform wasn’t for rite to vote for women 
  13. National Petitions
    •                                                               i.      Two national petitions incorporation the Chartist demands gained millions of signatures and were presented to Parliament in 1839 and 1842
    •                                                             ii.      Attempted to encourage change through peaceful, constitutional means, although underlying threat of force
    • 1.      Chartist activists organized a general strike for goals= fail
  14. Rejection
    •                                                               i.      Despite pressures exerted by Chartists, both national petitions rejected by Parliament, who didn’t want political democracy
    •                                                             ii.      After 1848, Chartism as a movement had played itself out, never really being a threat to Britain, but not a total failure either
  15. True Significance
    • 1.      True significance stemmed from its ability to arouse and organize millions of working class men and women, give them a sense of working-class consciousness never possessed before
    • a.      This political education of working people was important to the ultimate acceptance of all points of the People’s Charter in the future
Card Set:
2013-03-03 14:04:30
HON 122

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