After the failure of the Chartist petition of 1839, and twelve months in prison between 1839 and 1840, Chartist leader William Lovett grew disillusioned with the solely political focus of the movement. He moved instead to an emphasis on educating the working classes who were its potential constituency and beneficiaries. To that end, he moved from Birmingham to London, opened a bookshop in Tottenham Court Road, and established a National Society for Promoting the Political and Social Improvement of the People. This was effectively a self-help organisation, which sought to improve the conditions of the workers through education rather than political campaigns.
Editors. "National Society for Promoting the Political and Social Improvement of the People". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=4824, accessed 10 March 2014.]