Politics and everyday life in early Chartism
in Popular virtue
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This chapter focuses on the tours to illustrate how not only Henry Vincent but many Chartist activists achieved success by adopting the festive and populist ethos evident amongst London Radicals in the 1830s and applying it to their agitation. The movement in the west of England can be characterised as close-knit and good-humoured, and was receptive to Vincent's deployment of London's Radical satirical tradition and his encouragement of female activism. Vincent argued that destitution, wages, low employment, and the suffering caused by the new Poor Laws were rooted in class exploitation and resolvable with political reform. In 1837 Vincent and John Cleave toured the north, founding Working Men's Associations and discovering a highly agitated working class. It is very clear that there were sexual aspects to the activism and itinerant tours of young, unmarried Chartists, and that men and women participated in romantic fraternisation.

Popular virtue

Continuity and change in Radical moral politics, 1820– 70

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