Record #465 (edit record; developers only)

Date: 1780


Until now, only landowners and tenants--freeholders with 40 shillings per annum or more--are allowed to vote, and voting takes place in open poll books. Major Cartwright founds the Society for Constitutional Information, one of the first of the "radical societies" that agitated for voting and parliamentary reform; he publishes Give Us Our Rights, insisting that poor men should be allowed to vote. Christopher Wyvill and the Yorkshire Association lead the fight against Parliament. A committee in the Commons passes Dunning's resolution: "That the power of the Crown . . . ought to be diminished" (Parliament's typical reaction to pressure for electoral reform--blame the king).

Notes: Goodwin, Albert. The Friends of Liberty: The English Democratic Movement in the Age of the French Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1979. 


*Parliamentary Reform

Work Title

Give Us Our Rights 

Published: 1780


Links for Parliamentary Reform:

Electoral Reform: Rotten Boroughs (Notes on Rotten Boroughs and the effort to abolish them through parliamentary reform.) (Laura Mandell)

Peterloo Massacre (multiple pages providing a variety of information)

Peterloo Massacre (excerpt from Charles W. Colby, ed., Selections from the Sources of English History, B.C. 55 - A.D. 1832 (London: Longmans, Green, 1920), pp. 298-300 ) (Paul Halsall)



Record Created or Last Modified By:

Laura Mandell

Date Last Modified:



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