Chartism or the Chartist Movement

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  • Topic: Chartism, Socialism, Feargus O'Connor
  • Pages : 2 (655 words )
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  • Published : February 13, 2012
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Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century, between 1838 and 1859. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838. Chartism was possibly the first mass working class labor movement in the world. Chartists were largely unsuccessful at convincing Parliament to reform the voting system of the mid-19th century; however, this movement caught the interest of the working class. The working class interest in politics from that point on aided later suffrage movements. People's Charter of 1838:

In 1837, six Members of Parliament and six working men, including William Lovett, (from the London Working Men's Association, set up in 1836) formed a committee, which then published the People's Charter in 1838. This stipulated the six main aims of the movement as:[1] 1. A vote for every man twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for crime. 2. The secret ballot. - To protect the elector in the exercise of his vote. 3. No property qualification for members of Parliament - thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be the rich or poor. 4. Payment of members, thus enabling an honest tradesman, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency, when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the Country. 5. Equal Constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of large ones. 6. Annual parliaments, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since though a constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelve-month; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now. The Chartists obtained one and a quarter million signatures and...
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