Tom Scriven, "Popular Virtue: Continuity and Change in Radical Moral Politics, 1820-70" Tom Scriven, "Popular Virtue: Continuity and Change in Radical Moral Politics, 1820-70"
2017 | ISBN-10: 1526114755 | 240 pages | PDF | 44 MB
Popular virtue is the first in-depth study of the moral politics of working-class Radicalism in the nineteenth century. During this period popular Radicalism shifted from an engagement with moral, sexual and gender heterodoxies towards a more austere and ascetic moral politics, following the repression of the early Chartist movement. In highlighting this transition and the tangled political legacy after the decline of Chartism, the book uncovers important traditions within nineteenth-century working-class politics and challenges dominant notions of continuity throughout the century.
The book looks at the lives, work and intellectual influences of a number of key but under-researched Chartist leaders, from the foundation of the movement in the 'freethought' culture of the 1820s to the development of social-democratic Chartism in the 1850s. From the outset these figures drew from Enlightenment thought to challenge orthodoxies and develop a Radical movement which sought wholesale political, social, economic and moral change. Following the failure of Chartism's early revolutionary strategy in 1839, these activists reformulated their political ideas to emphasize unified physical, mental and moral improvement so as to peacefully challenge political corruption and social deprivation. This new strategy was widely popular within the movement, before being rejected again after 1848 when a new leadership once more emphasized revolutionary politics and socialism. However, the legacy of the moral-improvement culture of the 1840s was present in the mid-Victorian worlds of alternative medicine, Popular Liberalism, and self-help.
Popular virtue will be invaluable to scholars and students of political, social and cultural history, as well as historians of religion, sexuality and gender. Its accessible style will ensure that it appeals to those interested in Radical politics more broadly.DOWNLOAD