Benbow, William

Benbow, William,

fl. 1825–40, English pamphleteer and publisher. He is known especially as the author (c.1832) of the Grand National Holiday; or, Congress of the Productive Classes, which introduced the theory of the general strike and was influential in promoting class consciousness and unity among workers. Little is known of his life except that he had a publishing house in London, was a member of the National Union of Working Classes, took a minor part in the Chartist movement (see ChartismChartism,
workingmen's political reform movement in Great Britain, 1838–48. It derived its name from the People's Charter, a document published in May, 1838, that called for voting by ballot, universal male suffrage, annual Parliaments, equal electoral districts, no
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), and was several times imprisoned.
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