chapter  Chapter Three
The Rise and Fall of the British Republican Movement, 1861–1901
WithRichard Williams
Pages 50

This chapter discusses the rise and fall of republicanism by looking at the way in which criticism intensified into virtual republicanism in the 1860s. It describes the formation, activity and ideology of the organized movement in the early 1870s. The chapter examines the decline of the movement and the persistence of critiques of the cost of the Crown from 1874 to 1901, including the continuation of republicanism in Reynolds’s Newspaper. Historians have written of divisions within the republican movement of the early 1870s. The collapse of the French Empire and its replacement by a republic in September 1870 was the catalyst in producing a professed republicanism in Britain. The republican movement had clear negative political objectives – the abolition of the monarchy and ridding the country of the burden of taxation attendant on it. The trade unions were opposed to the republican movement as an unnecessary distraction from the questions that should interest labour.