Page:The Chartist Movement.djvu/21

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Rotten House of Commons—Its discussions at Place's house—Notable new members—Threatened disruption—J. B. Bernard and the Cambridgeshire Farmers' Association—Rival short-lived associations—The London Democratic Association—Extension of Chartist associations over the country—Lovett's missionary zeal—Addresses to the Queen and to Reformers—Public meeting at Crown and Anchor—Petition to Commons drawn up—Parliamentary supporters of the Association—Beginnings of more public propaganda—The prosecution of the Glasgow Cotton Spinners—Support from the Birmingham Political Union—Committee to draft a Bill empowered, but does nothing—Place and Lovett draw up the People's Charter—Failure of the Parliamentary Radicals to give effective help—Proposal for a National Convention—The elections for it—Decline in importance of the Working Men's Association.

The Agitation against the New Poor Law (1834-1838) 78-98
Importance of Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834—The first piece of radical legislation and the first-fruits of Benthamism—Action of Edwin Chadwick and the Poor Law Commissioners—Growth of resistance to the Act—Real suffering caused by it—Plight of handloom weavers and stockingers—William Cobbett's arguments against it—Outdoor relief as the share of the poor in the spoils of the Church at the Reformation—The opposition of local interests to centralisation and bureaucracy—The cry of vested interests—The resistance to the Act in Lancashire and Yorkshire, 1836—John Fielden of Todmorden—Richard Oastler—Joseph Rayner Stephens—The Methodist spirit and the opposition to the Act—The coming to the North of Augustus Harding Beaumont and Feargus O'Connor—The Northern Liberator and the Northern Star—Effectiveness of O'Connor as an agitator in the factory districts—Death of Beaumont—Absorption of the Anti-Poor Law movement in Chartism.

The Revival of the Birmingham Political Union (1837-1838) 98-115
Part played by the Birmingham Political Union in the struggle for the Reform Bill—Its dissolution in 1834—Beginnings of bad