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The Belle Alliance or the Female Reformers of Blackburn!!!

After the Napoleonic Wars there was a strong popular movement for the reform of Parliament and the political system. The artist George Cruikshank made this print after reading an article about a reform meeting in Blackburn on 5 July 1819 that was also attended by the Committee of the Female Reform Society.  The female reformers asked the Chairman to read an address which called for resistance to oppressors, annual parliaments, universal suffrage and election by ballot.

The Blackburn Female Reform Society inspired similar women's organisations throughout Lancashire.  The satirical nature of this image suggests that Cruikshank was not sympathetic to female reformers.