Tuesday, 13 October 2015

When did the six points of the People's Charter become law?

The six points of the People’s Charter are among the best known political demands in history.

Between them they represent a coherent package of reforms that would have transformed the UK into an advanced parliamentary democracy.

At the time, each and every one of the six points was bitterly opposed. It was not just that giving the vote would hand over government of the country to the rabble, but that the secret ballot was “not manly”, and that salaries for MPs would encourage the wrong sort of person to stand for election.

Yet the first of the six demands to become law made it on to the statute books as early as 1858 – just as the National Charter Association was in its death throes.

And today, all but one of the six is now an accepted part of the constitution. Just one demand – for annual parliaments – remains outstanding.

There is now a page on Chartist Ancestors setting out how and when each of the six points of the Charter fared in the aftermath of Chartism.

Go to the page on The six points of the People’s Charter.

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