Account for the distress in Merthyr at the beginning of the 19th century and discuss the significance of the Merthyr rising.
Merthyr in the beginning of the 19th century was becoming the first largest Industrial town in Wales, however with the rapid growth of this town many problems arose to cause distress to the people. The farmers were no longer able to make a living from the land due to enclosures, poor harvests and other restrictions. Merthyr was rapidly increasing in population but with this came poor working and living conditions. The discontent of the people was a combination of many things, which will be accounted for in the essay. The significance of the Merthyr Rising has been greatly argued by many Historians and I will be discussing the view of Gwyn Williams Williams.
Agriculture was experiencing a crisis at the end of 18th century and the Enclosure acts resulted in many Welsh farmers having to sell their land.
They could not afford the enclosure costs, some rented land and others moved to find work. In Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, during 1820, farmers attacked the Enclosure Act and it was withdrawn. All farmers had to overcome poor harvests, which were the result of increasing wet summers and in 1818 there was gales and flooding in Towy Valley. The Vale of Glamorgan farmers dismissed their labourers to save on money but the consequence of this was, farms were being neglected and the land was not fertilized. In Glamorgan 21,000 acres of Arable land was turn to waste. Many Farmers became desperate so they sold their animals and food became scarce. This lead to food riots, in Carmarthen a ship was attacked to prevent leaving with a cargo of cheese. To regain order the merchants had to disposed of the cheese locally. Welsh...