London Corresponding Society

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An organization founded in London in 1792 by Thomas Hardy to agitate for universal manhood suffrage. It was the first real working‐class political movement to appear in Britain – its members were mainly artisans of humble origin – and it rapidly established contact with similar societies in other towns, for example the Sheffield Society of Constitutional Information. The aim of the societies was to circulate letters and pamphlets and to initiate orderly debates on reform proposals. Paine's writings were a stimulus to the popular societies. When there was talk of a national convention the government, then at war with Revolutionary France, became alarmed. The London Corresponding Society was believed to have been involved in the Nore mutiny: in 1798 all the Society's committee members were imprisoned without trial and in 1799 the Society itself was suppressed.

Subjects: World History.

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