Spartacus Review

Volume 50: 28th November, 2010


Title: cHARTISM-sC0TLAND-cHARTIST-sTUDIES-w-hAMISH/DP/o85o366666/REF=SR_1_1?S=B00KS&IE=utf8&QID=1291828548&SR=1-1">Chartism in Scotland

Author: W. Hamish Fraser


Publisher: Merlin Press

Price: £18.95

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Chartism


It is forty years since there has been a full-scale study of Chartism in Scotland and since then study of Chartism have been transformed. This new study makes use of the new approaches but also recognises the importance of setting events and attitudes within the wider context of social, political and religious movements that were affecting Scotland between 1830 and the end of the 1860s. The process of industrialisation that had emerged slowly in all but a small number of areas was speeding up and this was creating huge changes for working people not only in the big cities but in towns and villages across Scotland. The decades of the eighteen thirties, forties and fifties were also ones when there was intense intellectual debate about relations with the rest of Britain, about the place of religion in the state, about the relationship between social classes and about the nature of politics. The Chartist movement in Scotland, while conscious of being part of a wider working-class political movement, has to be seen in the context of these debates. Making extensive use of both the Chartist press and local newspapers this comprehensive re-examination of Scottish Chartism sheds much new light on the activities of Chartists in localities from Orkney and Wick in the north of Scotland to Dumfries in the south. It challenges the long-held view that Chartism in Scotland was markedly moderate in its demands and approaches compared with the movement in England.