Out of the depressed economic state and terrible living conditions of the manufacturing towns of the north of England, a radical movement developed in the late 1830s that demanded reforms to extend political rights to working-class men. In the 'People's Charter' they drew up, which gave them their name of Chartists, they called for universal manhood suffrage, more frequent General Elections, and the introduction of a secret ballot. A huge petition had been put together in 1839, signed by over 1.28 million people. This was presented to Parliament, but was rejected by 235 votes to 46, a result which had led to outbreaks of rioting around the country.
In 1842, a second petition was compiled, which was even larger than the previous …
Editors. "Second Chartist Petition rejected". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=4828, accessed 30 March 2017.]