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Hidden by Red Saunders: An Impressions Gallery touring exhibition, 9 March – 29 September 2013 William Cuffay and the London Chartists, 1842.

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Presentation on theme: "Hidden by Red Saunders: An Impressions Gallery touring exhibition, 9 March – 29 September 2013 William Cuffay and the London Chartists, 1842."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hidden by Red Saunders: An Impressions Gallery touring exhibition, 9 March – 29 September 2013 William Cuffay and the London Chartists, 1842

2 Overview William Cuffay was one of many Chartists active in London during the 19th century. The Chartists presented a series of demands in the ‘The People’s Charter.’

3 William Cuffay Fact Sheet Born in Chatham, 1788 Grandson of an African sold in to slavery Brought up by his mother while his father worked on a British warship Lively and bright child despite deformities in his spine and shin bones

4 Emergence of a radical Cuffay went on to become an incredibly respected journeyman tailor However as the 1834 strike of London tailors approached, Cuffay joined the strikers. Because of his actions, he was fired. It has been argued that this was the experience that led him to the more radical sectors of the Trade Union movement.

5 Timeline of Cuffay’s career 1839 Cuffay joined the Chartist movement and the Metropolitan Tailors’ Charter Association Cuffay was elected as a member of the metropolitan delegate council within just two years and soon chaired the ‘Great Public Meeting of the Tailors’ where they adopted a national petition Cuffay was awarded the position of president and was on the committee opposing magistrates having the power to arrest and sentence workers on their employer’s oath alone Cuffay became director of both the National-Militia Association and Democratic Committee for Poland’s Regeneration.

6 What is Chartism? Chartism existed between 1839 and It was a working class movement aiming to create a more equal political system. Unsatisfied by the current top heavy organisation, Chartists campaigned for extended suffrage and availability for the lower classes to enter politics.

7 The Chartist Movement Physical forceMoral force Believed they could scare Parliament into change Discussion will create democracy Attacks on machinery, farms and property owned by the ruling classes Leafleting, protests, strikes and speeches Eg. Feargus O'Connor and John Frost Eg. William Lovett The biggest downfall of the Chartist movement was the lack of unified direction.

8 William Cuffay’s style of Leadership Especially known for his militant ideas and actions. Noted for his extravagant expressions. “The leadership are a bunch of cowardly humbugs!”

9 Petitioning Despite this split in leadership and style, one method used by each approach was the use of petitions in order to promote The Charter. 1.Every man over 21 should have the right to vote 2.A secret ballot should be introduced 3.A person should not have to own property of a certain value to become a Member of Parliament. 4.Members of Parliament should be paid, allowing working men to serve in Parliament 5.All constituencies should be equal in term of population size 6.Elections to Parliament should be held every year so that Members of Parliament have to answer to their voters if they have not performed well.

10 The downfall The Chartists’ determination to reach high numbers on their petitions led to forgery of many signatures, including Queen Victoria. This rendered the Chartist movement a farce and it soon collapsed. Finpen fefne Bvjed jvfnifn Bffians nfisnf Jsajfpas nisafnas Queen Victoria

11 Legacy Although making a brief recovery after the forged signatures were exposed, the movement was ultimately unsuccessful. Cuffay never recovered from his aggressive outburst. It did however have a positive legacy as five of the six demands in the Charter were met. The only aim not established was the demand for an annual Parliament.

12 Find more free resources on our website People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER Facebook: PHMMcr


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