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The chartrists was a working class movement in late 1830s Great-Britain. It took its name from its manifesto: The People's Charter, which demanded the following six reforms to the electoral system:
- Universal vote for every freemen over the age of 21
- secret ballot
- No property qualification to be an MP
- Payment for MPs
- Constituencies drawn based on equal distribution of population
- Yearly renewal of Parliement
Their demands were ignored by the establishement but, embolden by the rebelion in the Canadas which had arisen for similar reasons, a few chartrists leaders called for uprisings around the country.
The largest such was in Newport, a town in southern Great Britain. What started out as a demonstration for the release of some of its members soon turned bloody. After the chartrists narowly managed to overwhelm the local soldiers, they decided to turn the town into a "Free City" of Newport. The chartrists then instituted a number of reforms within the town's area including the establishment of a Chartrist Christian Church as the mainstream ones had openly criticised the movement. The Free City only lasted about a month when a large detachement of british soldiers arrived to put down the rebelion.
Despite its brievety and the movement being declared seditious, its ideal lived on amongst the masses and would later on inspired other groups the world over.