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.