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 overwhelmingly rejected, which had led to outbreaks of rioting around the country.
In 1842 two leaders of the movement, Joseph Sturges and Edward Miall, established the Complete …
Editors. "Complete Suffrage Union founded". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=4837, accessed 23 February 2017.]