Page:The Chartist Movement.djvu/22

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THE CHARTIST MOVEMENT
trade, and setting up in 1836 of a Reform Association—Thomas Attwood and the middle-class Birmingham leaders—Attwood's Currency Schemes—Revival of the Political Union—Parliamentary Reform to be combined with Currency Reform—The middle-class leaders and the working-men followers—Futile attempts to interest the Government in currency reform—Alliance effected with the Working Men's Association and the Anti-Poor Law agitators—Douglas draws up the National Petition—Great meeting at Glasgow adopts the policy—General propaganda work—Birmingham meeting at Newhall Hill, August 6, 1838—Election of delegates to the National Convention—Friction between the London Association and the Birmingham Union—Difficulties caused by the Currency Scheme—Rupture between the Union and the Northern extremists—Violence of Stephens and O'Connor—O'Connor patches up some sort of peace—Note on Attwood's Currency Theories.

CHAPTER VII
The People's Parliament (1838-1839) 116-135
Combination of the northern, midland, and southern movements for the attainment of the Charter—The National Petition—The National Convention—Election of delegates at public meetings—Position of Manchester in the movement—Violence in the North—First meeting of the National Convention, February 4, 1839—Its membership and characteristics—Debates as to the scope of the Convention—J. P. Cobbett's resolution limiting its work to superintending the Petition—Its defeat, followed by his withdrawal—House of Commons invited to meet Convention—War declared against the Anti-Corn Law League—Discussions on procedure—Rules and Regulations of the Convention drawn up—Clamour for violent measures outside the Convention—Harney and the London Democratic Association attack the mild policy of the Convention—Long delays and hesitations—Decreasing confidence within the Convention—It Is increased by the unfavourable reports from the "missionaries" sent into the country—Reports from Birmingham and the south-west—Riots at Devizes—John Richards' reports from the Potteries—Numerous resignations in the Convention, including those of the Birmingham delegates—Debate on the right to possess arms—Debate on ulterior measure—Divided counsels and indecision—The problem referred to mass meetings—The Petition handed to Attwood—Removal of the Convention to Birmingham—Its lack of leadership the chief cause of its failure.