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(Portuguese, Cartistas), members of a political movement in 19th-century Portugal.
In effect a political party, the Chartists supported the Constitution (Charter) of 1826, which restricted voting rights to members of the upper classes. The constitution had been annulled during the reign of the absolutist Miguel Maria Evaristo de Braganza. The Chartists consisted, for the most part, of liberal members of the nobility and some elements of the feudal clergy.
After the September Revolution of 1836, the left wing of the liberal bourgeoisie—the Septembrists—reached in 1838 a compromise with the Chartists whereby the Constitution of 1822, which had been in force since the revolution, was replaced by a more conservative one. This agreement weakened the position of the Septembrists. Thus, in 1842 the Chartists were able to seize power and restore the Charter of 1826. The Chartist leader Antonio Bernardo da Costa Cabral established a military dictatorship.
The dictatorship was swept aside in 1846 by a popular uprising known as the Maria da Fonte War. By the early 1850’s, the Chartist party had disappeared from the political arena.