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Popular VirtueContinuity and Change in Radical Moral Politics, 1820-70$
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Tom Scriven

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526114754

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526114754.001.0001

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A ‘Radical Underworld’? The infidel roots of Chartist culture

A ‘Radical Underworld’? The infidel roots of Chartist culture

(p.13) 1 A ‘Radical Underworld’? The infidel roots of Chartist culture
Popular Virtue

Tom Scriven

Manchester University Press

This chapter focusses on the Radical print culture of the 1820s and 1830s and revises the notion that the early Chartists were austere and moralistic, highlighting instead the populist elements of their moral politics, which was heterodox, libertarian, and incorporated amusement and humour. It was at this point that the moral critique of capitalism became incorporated into working-class Radicalism, and the impact on society on individual character (and vice versa) cemented within Radical thought. This critique was largely expounded to a popular audience through humour and crime reportage.

Keywords:   Print culture, satire, sexuality, gender, freethought, Radicalism

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