In his newspapers Henry Hetherington campaigned against child labor, the 1834 Poor Law and political corruption. Hetherington joined William Lovett, James Watson and John Cleave to form the London Working Men's Association (LWMA) in 1836. Hetherington, who became the LWMA first treasurer, helped draw up a Charter of political demands. By 1836 Hetherington was one of the leaders of the Chartist movement. Hetherington was a moral force Chartist and was very critical of the ideas of Feargus O'Connor and in 1849 helped create the moderate People's Charter Union.
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