First Chartist Petition rejected (164 words)

Historical Context Note

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Out of the depressed economic state and terrible living conditions of the manufacturing towns of the north of England, a radical movement developed 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. In 1839, they put together a petition, which was signed by over 1.28 million people, making it the largest ever petition at the time, and was almost three miles long. It was processed through London on a carriage, and delivered to Parliament on 14 June. It was presented in the House of Commons by MP Thomas Attwood, but it was r…

Editors. "First Chartist Petition rejected". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 24 October 2016.]