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However, an alternative view of Chartism was stressed in many middle class novels on the subject and put forward dogmatically by Thomas Carlyle in his pamphlet. Chartism, he argued, was motivated not by demands for political reform but by the need to improve social conditions.

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What was needed was genuine social understanding and justice[7]. Is the condition of the English working people wrong; so wrong that rational working men cannot, will not, and even should not rest quiet under it? Our successful industry is hitherto unsuccessful; a strange success, if we stop here!

In the midst of plethoric plenty, the people perish; with gold walls and full barns, no man feels himself safe of satisfied.

Gaskell in Mary Barton and Kingsley in Alton Locke created sympathetic Chartist characters leading many readers, some Chartists but most not, to consider the authors to be receptive to the movement. This is to misread their novel. Neither author had any real warmth for the Chartist leaders or their political ambitions.

We are their slaves as long as we can work; we pile up their fortunes with the sweat of our brows; and yet we are to live as separate as if we were in two worlds; ay, as separate as Dives and Lazarus, with a great gulf betwixt us…. Then let them read Mary Barton. L Morton[11] paid particular attention to his endeavours on behalf of the poor as Parson Lot, Christian Socialist.

Believing in the worker and the aristocrat, it was the classes in between for whom Kingsley had a great antipathy. Morton also lauds the depiction of the worker and of Chartism in Alton Locke. Though Kingsley finally denounces Chartism, this is the first time that English fiction deals with it seriously and sympathetically.

Though much of Alton Locke, according to Charles Muller[14], reads as a political tract and Alton himself is represented through much of the novel as a dangerous agitator, a dramatic change occurs at the end when he renounces his subversive views and embraces religion as a solution. Kingsley saw no distinction between the secular and the religious and believed that social emancipation would come about through spiritual or religious emancipation.

Kingsley was indeed courageous in going further than merely sympathizing with the demands of the workers.


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The judgements of contemporaries were highly influential in the subsequent histories of Chartism. Yet the context of the s, when they were established, has not been fully recognised. The mid-Victorian period was ushered in with a sigh of relief that troubled times appeared to be over and a new age of prosperity was to be enjoyed by all the people within the framework of existing political and economic structures.

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Harrison The Common People, London, , page Of particular importance in understanding how they viewed industrial and urban society are F. Marx and F.


  • The heart of a heartless political world in: The British monarchy on screen;
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  • Engels The Communist Manifesto, and K. Marx Capital, volume 1, He was also a novelist, publishing works of fiction even as Prime Minister. Disraeli was born in Bloomsbury, then a part of Middlesex. His father left Judaism after a dispute at his synagogue; young Benjamin became an Anglican at the age of After several unsuccessful attempts, Disraeli entered the House of Commons in In , Prime Minister Robert Peel split the Conservatives over his proposal to repeal the Corn Laws, which involved ending the tariff on imported grain.

    When Lord Derby, the party leader, thrice formed governments in the s and s, Disraeli served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. Upon Derby's retirement in , Disraeli became prime minister briefly before losing that year's general election.

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    He returned to opposition until the general election of , when he led the Tories as they won an outright majority. Disraeli's second term was dominated by the Eastern Question—the slow decay of the Ottoman Empire and the desire of other European powers, such as Russia, to gain at its expense. In , faced with Russian victories against the Ottomans, he worked at the Congress of Berlin to obtain peace in the Balkans at terms favourable to Britain and unfavourable to Russia, its longstanding enemy.

    This diplomatic victory established Disraeli as one of Europe's leading statesmen. World events thereafter moved against the Conservatives.

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    He angered British farmers by refusing to reinstitute the Corn Laws in response to poor harvests and cheap imported grain. With Gladstone conducting a massive speaking campaign, his Liberals bested the Conservatives at the general election. Disraeli died on 19 April at the age of In his final months, he led the Conservatives in opposition. He had always maintained a close friendship with Queen Victoria, who in appointed him Earl of Beaconsfield. His last completed novel, Endymion, was published in shortly before his death, more than 50 years after his first.

    Search for:. More Quotes By British. Benson 13 A. Benjamin Disraeli Quotes The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians. Democracy Politicians World. If a man be gloomy let him keep to himself. No one has the right to go croaking about society, or what is worse, looking as if he stifled grief. Grief Man Right Society. Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of man.

    Leisure Man. Travel teaches toleration. A man may speak very well in the House of Commons, and fail very completely in the House of Lords. There are two distinct styles requisite: I intend, in the course of my career, if I have time, to give a specimen of both. Career Man May Time.

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    The best security for civilization is the dwelling, and upon properly appointed and becoming dwellings depends, more than anything else, the improvement of mankind. Civilization Improvement Mankind Security. There is no greater index of character so sure as the voice. Character Voice. Day Kings Present. We should never lose an occasion.

    Illustrious author & statesman: Benjamin Disraeli, the celebrity

    Disraeli "feared that merely negative and confrontational responses to the new forces in the political nation would drive them into the arms of the Liberals and promote further radicalism" and decided that the Conservative Party had to change its policy on parliamentary reform. Benjamin Disraeli argued that the Conservatives were in danger of being seen as an anti-reform party.

    In Disraeli proposed a new Reform Act. Robert Gascoyne-Cecil , later 3rd Marquess of Salisbury resigned in protest against this extension of democracy. However, as he explained this had nothing to do with democracy: "We do not live - and I trust it will never be the fate of this country to live - under a democracy. On 21st March, , William Gladstone made a two hour speech in the House of Commons , exposing in detail the inconsistencies of the bill.

    On 11th April Gladstone proposed an amendment which would allow a tenant to vote whether or not he paid his own rates. Forty-three members of his own party voted with the Conservatives and the amendment was defeated. Gladstone was so angry that apparently he contemplated retirement to the backbenches. However, Disraeli did accept an amendment from Grosvenor Hodgkinson , which added nearly half a million voters to the electoral rolls, therefore doubling the effect of the bill. Gladstone commented: "Never have I undergone a stronger emotion of surprise than when, as I was entering the House, our Whip met me and stated that Disraeli was about to support Hodgkinson's motion.

    On 20th May , John Stuart Mill , the Radical MP for Westminster , and the leading male supporter in favour of women's suffrage , proposed that women should be granted the same rights as men. During the debate on the issue, Edward Kent Karslake , the Conservative MP for Colchester , said in the debate that the main reason he opposed the measure was that he had not met one woman in Essex who agreed with women's suffrage. Lydia Becker , Helen Taylor and Frances Power Cobbe , decided to take up this challenge and devised the idea of collecting signatures in Colchester for a petition that Karslake could then present to parliament.