These Chartisms, Radicalisms, Reform Bill, Tithe Bill, and infinite other discrepancy, and acrid argument and jargon that there is yet to be, are our French Revolution: God grant that we, with our better methods, may be able to transact it by argument alone.
We don’t want no alteration
Of the present Legislation,
’Twon’t affect our sittiwation—
Too full of beer.
The economic difficulties of 1837-42, when harvests were bad and there was a serious recession in manufacturing industry and much unemployment in Lancashire and the Midlands, produced the two great extra-parliamentary movements of the Victorian period, Chartism and the Anti-Corn Law League. Although the Chartists failed and the League may be said to have succeeded; and although they differed in that Chartism was almost wholly a working-class movement and the League a wholly middle-class movement, they were alike in that they both testified to a widespread feeling that the Reform Act and the Whig reforms thereafter amounted to no more than an unfinished business. The two movements were also similar in their final outcome. Though Chartists sometimes acted violently whereas the League only talked violently, it could be seen in the end that Chartism