Popular Protests

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Assess the significance of popular protest in challenging authority and its success in bringing about change in the years 1816-1945

Assess the significance of popular protest in challenging authority and its success in bringing about change in the years 1816-1945

Popular Protest

Electoral reform

Peterloo Movement

The massacre of Peterloo (or Battle of Peterloo) occurred August 16, 1819 on the grounds of St Peter's Fields in Manchester in England, United Kingdom when the cavalry charged a peaceful demonstration of 60000-80000 people gathered to demand a reform of parliamentary representation. The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 had resulted in periods of famine and unemployment was exacerbated by chronic introduction of the Corn Laws. In early 1819, the pressure generated by these economic conditions associated with low representation in parliament from northern England had led to a rise of radical politics. In response, the Manchester Patriotic Union, a group supporting parliamentary reform, organized a demonstration in which the famous orator Henry Hunt was involved. Shortly after the start of the rally, local magistrates appealed to the military to arrest Hunt and several of his supporters and they disperse the crowd. The cavalry charged the crowd swords to clear and in the panic that ensued, 15 people died and between 400 and 700 were wounded. The massacre was given the name Peterloo in an ironic reference to the battle of Waterloo that had occurred four years ago (Hernon, Ian, 2006, p. 36).

Chartism Movement

Chartism was a political labor movement that developed in the UK in the mid- nineteenth century, following the adoption of the People's Charter (People's Charter). In 1832, electoral reform (Reform Act) establishes an electoral census, at the expense of the working classes. The People's Charter was adopted in 1838 at the initiative of the Association of London workers. It demands universal male suffrage, the right of electoral districts, abolition of property qualifications, the annual meeting of the Parliament, the secrecy of votes and the allocation of compensation to members. The movement remains active and organized until 1848 and will result in the emergence of cooperative movements and labor movements. The term "charter" refers to the Magna Carta of 1215, and the Charter of 1814 in France. The movement was organized by Fergus O'Connor, a lawyer of Irish descent. The document, divided into six points, claimed:

Guaranteed the vote to every male of twenty years, of sound mind and never convicted.

The secret ballot to protect the voter in the exercise of his right to vote.

No obligation to participate in qualifying for the property to be a Member of Parliament.

The parliamentary allowance, to enable all workers to serve the state without being penalized economically.

Review of constituencies, ensuring the same amount of representatives to an equal number of voters.

Annual Parliament, which was the most effective method against blackmail and intimidation (Sanders, Michael, 2001, p. 111-135).

The petition was presented again in 1842 with over three million signatures. The rejection gave rise to various demonstrations, which resulted in serious cases of blood. Thereafter, the movement began to lose strength, both ...
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