The original songs of the movement in 1848 by
Chartism was a working-class movement for political reform in Britain that existed from 1838 to 1857. It took its name from
the People's Charter of 1838 and was a national protest movement, with particular strongholds of support in Northern
England, the East Midlands, the Staffordshire Potteries, the Black Country, and the South Wales Valleys. Support for the
movement was at its highest in 1839, 1842, and 1848, when petitions signed by millions of working people were presented to
the House of Commons. The strategy employed was to use the scale of
support which these petitions and the accompanying mass meetings demonstrated to put pressure on politicians to concede
Chartism thus relied on constitutional methods to secure its aims, though there were some who became involved in
insurrectionary activities, notably in south Wales and in Yorkshire. The People's Charter called for six reforms to make the
political system more democratic:
1. A vote for every man twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for a crime.
2. The secret ballot to protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.
3. No property qualification for Members of Parliament in order to allow the constituencies to return the man of their
4. Payment of Members, enabling tradesmen, working men, or other persons of modest means to leave or interrupt their
livelihood to attend to the interests of the nation.
5. Equal constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of
allowing less populous constituencies to have as much or more weight than larger ones.
6. Annual Parliamentary elections, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since no purse
could buy a constituency under a system of universal manhood suffrage in each twelve-month per