1848 : the British state and the Chartist movement


1848 : the British state and the Chartist movement

John Saville

Cambridge University Press, 1987

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Bibliography: p. 283-301

Includes index



This is a detailed study of the workings of the various parts of the British state in their confrontation with the radical movements of Chartism and Irish nationalism. The year 1848 was notable, first, for the immense influence of the French revolution of February upon the whole of Britain and, second, for the decisive defeats suffered by the radical movements. Professor Saville's analysis is based upon government and municipal archives, newspapers and contemporary writings, and proceeds chronologically from January to late summer, when mass arrests ended the insurgent movements on both sides of the Irish Channel. A further chapter looks at length at the workings of the legal system, and the volume concludes with a general commentary on the political consequences of the decline of Chartism which followed the defeats of 1848.


  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • 1. Prolegomena
  • 2. January-February
  • 3. March
  • 4. April
  • 5. Summer
  • 6. Days of judgement
  • 7. A commentary by way of conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index.

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