[chahr-tiz-uh m]


the principles or movement of a party of political reformers, chiefly workingmen, in England from 1838 to 1848: so called from the document (People's Charter or National Charter) that contained a statement of their principles and demands.

Origin of Chartism

1830–40; chart charter (now obsolete) + -ism; replacing Charterism; see charter
Related formsChart·ist, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chartism

Historical Examples of chartism

  • We shall have to try it by Chartism, or any conceivable ism, rather than put-up with this!

    Past and Present

    Thomas Carlyle

  • Much remained to be done, which has been done since, but Chartism was to have no hand in the doing of it.

    Sixty Years a Queen

    Sir Herbert Maxwell

  • The state of things which existed, it was the object of Chartism to change.

  • But the book is written in derision of Chartism and Liberal politics.

  • The author of that noble pamphlet 'Chartism,' published in 1840, was at least once a Liberal.

    Obiter Dicta

    Augustine Birrell

British Dictionary definitions for chartism



British history the principles of the reform movement in Britain from 1838 to 1848, which included manhood suffrage, payment of Members of Parliament, equal electoral districts, annual parliaments, voting by ballot, and the abolition of property qualifications for MPs
Derived FormsChartist, noun, adjective

Word Origin for Chartism

named after the People's Charter, a document which stated their aims
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for chartism



1839 in English political history, in reference to the reform party active 1836-48, from "The People's Charter," which contained their principles. Related: Chartist (1838).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper