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. When this was overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament, it led to outbreaks of rioting around the country. A second petition was compiled in 1842, which was even larger than the previous one, consisting of more than 3 million …
Editors. "Last Chartist Petition rejected". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=179, accessed 25 April 2015.]