The Chartist movement really came about following the reform act of 1832. Working class people felt let down as the extension of the vote only reached the more affluent middle classes. One of the movement's more charismatic leaders Fergus O'Connor came up with the idea of the land plan. Basically this offered the chance of independence and also, as a landowner, the right to vote. O'Connor wrote a book on the management of small farm (typically these were of 2 or 4 acres) and designed the cottages which were well built using local materials in the main.
People bought shares in the society and a draw was made and the winners would receive a lease on a property in perpetuity at a nominal rent. Parliament declared this process illegal as it deemed it to be a ballot so O'Connor's efforts to register what he called the National Land Company as a friendly society foundered.
Dodford was the last of 5 villages to be built and Rosedene Cottage (now owned by the National trust) is a virtually unchanged example of the original cottages. Of the 37 cottages built in Dodford some still clearly shown their origins; some have been changed beyond recognition and some have gone altogether.
Much of what the Chartists campaigned for has come to pass. A vote for every man, voting by secret ballot , payment of MPs and parliamentary constituencies of equal size.
When you think that prior to the reform act of 1832 there were many so called rotten boroughs like Old Sarum in Wiltshire which returned two members of parliament but consisted of only 3 houses and 11 voters: there was a lot of scope for change!
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