The Luddites, a band of nineteenth century English handicraftsmen, rioted in protest to the textile machinery that had taken them out of business. Luddites destroyed thousands of pieces of machinery until they finally met their demise around 1817 when the government was able to control Luddites riots. During the Industrial Revolution, the laws and customs which had been installed to protect the working class of England were ignored and eventually abandoned. For example, the Minimum Wage Bill of 1808 decreased minimum wage and the Combination Acts, banned trade unions. These were just some of the many sparks which drove the Luddites to rebellion.
Chartists Working-class in Britain that focused on political and social reform. They called for: The right to vote was deemed essential to change; working class individuals were denied this right Ironically, while the chartists were a persecuted group, most of their demands were eventually implemented in the Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884 - Universal suffrage for all men over 21 - Equal-sized electoral districts - Voting by secret ballot - An end to the need for property qualifications for Parliament - Pay for Members of Parliament - Annual elections
Chartists continued… TO CONSIDER: Read section on pg. 132-133 - What main principle of liberalism were the Chartists fighting to have recognized? - What groups opposed change to the system? Why? TO CONSIDER: Read section on pg. 132-133 - What main principle of liberalism were the Chartists fighting to have recognized? - What groups opposed change to the system? Why?
Resources should be controlled by the public, not by private businesses and investors. Co-operation is favoured over competition. In 19 th -century society, great wealth existed, but fair and equal distribution of this wealth did not. Thus, socialists rejected the lack of equality and humanitarianism under classical liberalism.
Robert Owen – The Utopian Socialist Individuals such as Robert Owen in Great Britain, Charles Fourier and Claude Saint-Simon in France, and Horace Greeley in the United States believed that education and improved working conditions could peacefully eradicate the worst aspects of capitalism, and lead to an ideal socialist society where all could live happily. Robert Owen was part of a group that became known as the Utopian Socialists. They were essentially humanitarians who advocated an end to the appalling conditions of the average worker in the industrial capitalist states of the time (idealist rather than pragmatic) Utopian socialists wished to modify classical liberalism, not overturn the systems that supported it. Robert Owen’s city of New Lanark. Schools and comfortable housing were provided for workers.
Beliefs of Socialists Unlike Utopians, many socialists wanted fundamental changes to society’s structures Beliefs ranged from moderate and democratic social reform to radical revolutionary Marxism. However, socialists agreed on the following principles: Private ownership of the means of production permits exploitation The state should direct the economy to achieve economic equality for all citizens Society should be classless
Marxism is also called scientific socialism or communism to distinguish itself from other forms of socialism His ideas were based primarily on the theory that history is the story of evolving class warfare The only way to overthrow capitalism was by means of a class struggle (revolution) between the proletariat (workers) and bourgeoisie (owners). Turn to pg 136-137 and read Marx and Engles’ thoughts on revolution. How are these ideas a response to classical liberalism?
Socialism and Marxism,while sharing common views, differed greatly in the ways that their goal of transforming liberal capitalist society should be achieved…one was peacefully (socialist) the other was violently (Marxist/Communist) As a result, Marxist thought was not as widely accepted in classical liberal society Socialism, which favoured reform, was more popular By the 1930s, Marxism gained some popularity in places such as France.
Edmund Burke was a contemporary of Adam Smith who viewed the French Revolution from Britain. He is synonymous with Classical Conservatism Horrified by the excesses of the French Revolution, Burke used these as an example of the flaws of classical liberalism. Burke believed that established institutions, run by the educated people of society, were necessary to control the irrational passions of the uneducated masses.
Uninformed people should not have a say in government Only those who naturally understood their duties to the country and the people, those with experience and wisdom should run the government. Tyranny in any form is unacceptable, whether it be in a monarchy or a less organized structure. Burke predicted that Rousseau’s concept of the “general will of the people” was misguided as it would allow the mediocre, uneducated and uninterested power to rule. More on Burke’s Beliefs…
Beliefs of Classical Conservatives: Society is an organic whole that should be structured in a hierarchical fashion with those best suited to leadership at the top, because people do not have equal abilities Government should be chosen by a limited electorate with special rights, responsibilities, and privileges Leaders should be humanitarian – their role includes the responsibility to care for the welfare of others The stability of society is the paramount concern, to be achieved through law and order and the maintenance of the customs and traditions that bind society together.
Read “The Voice of Moderate Socialism” Pg 138-139 Answer questions #1-5 CONSIDER: How are these ideas a response to classical liberalism?