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En farlig idé?: Debatten om allmän rösträtt i det brittiska parlamentet, 1839-1848
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies.
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Great Britain’s road to universal suffrage was a long one. Much attention has been paid by historians to the moments of great legislative reform, but less to the idea behind them. History is, however, also about the journey to such moments and how ideas gain or lose traction in society. The mass working-class movement of Chartism, with its call for universal (manhood) suffrage and its three national petitions of 1839, 1842 and 1848, forced parliamentarians to debate this radical and, in the view of many, dangerous idea. This study analyses the political discourse of the parliamentary debates held in these years with the aim of shedding light on how the notion of universal suffrage was constructed and understood by parliamentarians at the time. By analysing the debates online with a keyword search for ‘universal suffrage’ several recurring arguments and discourses are revealed, namely the political and moral legitimacy of the chartists and their sympathisers in parliament; how the concept of time is used in arguments for and against universal suffrage; entitlement to political representation; and the security of property. Taking inspiration from the linguist Tuen van Dijk’s theory of political discourse analysis, these discourses are regarded as more than mere words spoken in parliament, but rather as political actions which had a bearing on the world outside. Moreover, the aim is also to situate and contextualise these discourses in broader society and the events and developments of the 1830s and 1840s. While the abovementioned discourses are prevalent in all three years, the debates of 1848 see a change in focus and tone, due the wider European revolutionary climate. It is hoped that this analysis of parliamentary debates between 1839 and 1848 will contribute to a better understanding of an oft-neglected chapter in Britain’s road to universal suffrage and of Chartism’s role in this hard-won struggle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 46
Keywords [sv]
allmän rösträtt, England, Storbritannien, parlamentarisk debatt, demokrati, Chartism, 1800-talet.
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38315OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-38315DiVA, id: diva2:1323624
Subject / course
History
Uppsok
Humanities, Theology
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-06-12 Created: 2019-06-12 Last updated: 2019-06-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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