Thomas Carlyle: Chartism

(1865 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

Announcing that “the condition and disposition of the working classes is an ominous matter at the moment”, Chartism, published as a pamphlet in December 1839, marks Carlyle's first detailed and direct intervention in contemporary social and political concerns. By his own account, it reflected his personal insights into the true causes of the social distress that he had witnessed at first hand, journeying from London to Scotland earlier that summer. In fact, nobody should have been surprised by the realities of such social distress as late as the summer of 1839, least of all Carlyle, whose close friends John Stuart Mill and Charles Buller, his former tutee, had both been deeply involved in the Chartist crisis all year. But …

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Uglow, Nathan. "Chartism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]