These riots happened at the time of the Chartist movement. This was a time in which workers and others outside the aristocratic elite were reacting to the changes caused by the Industrial Revolution. Economically, cities were becoming more important. Manufacturing was taking over from agriculture as the most important source of jobs and wealth. Socially and politically, the workers in the cities were feeling that they lacked power. Representation in Parliament was still skewed toward the rural areas and there was little in the way of voting rights for the workers and the middle classes of the cities. It was in this environment that the Chartist movement arose, demanding more political representation for people in the cities. These demands led to the rioting in 1839.