Maria Novella Vitucci

The aporias of English liberalism: the problem of the press freedom in the chartist years

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Chartism; liberalism; press freedom; working class; suffrage.

The first part of the essay explores the social, political and economic complexity of the Chartist movement which has made difficult the use of the multiple interpretative categories. Despite the numerous historiographical perspectives, the notion that universal male suffrage was the necessary solution to improve socio-economic conditions was a theoretical constant in the history of the movement. Enlarging suffrage was meant to make citizens more "morally" vigilant against the corrupted institutions. For this reason, also the opportunity to receive an education through reading the newspapers became important in order to generate a moral political consciousness. The second part of the essay explores the necessity to recognize, even before the right to vote, the right to the education through the illegal circulation of certain radical press.

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