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Processions
Katrina Navickas

This vignette examines the procession as a form of politics on the move. It compares civic, patriotic and radical processions in Manchester and Leeds, showing how their routes were shaped by political events and the changing streetscape. It also discusses the boycott of celebrations of Queen Victoria’s coronation across northern England in 1838.

in Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848
Katrina Navickas

With greater longevity and funding than their predecessors, radicals were able to move beyond ‘spaces of making do’. This chapter examines how Owenite socialists, Chartists, trades unions and the other social movements that emerged in the 1830s hired or constructed detached buildings for their sole use. These sites of meeting functioned not just for immediate campaigns, but for longer visionary goals. These were spaces to enact an alternative economy, a freer religion, an egalitarian education and for entertainment. Association rooms, working-men’s clubs and halls of science reflected a holistic view of how politics should shape communities and their everyday life. These sites faced financial difficulties and the opposition of local elites, but nevertheless offered a new definition of public space.

in Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848
Katrina Navickas

This chapter examines protesters’ attachment to the landscape. Peterloo reformers became involved in societies for the protection of footpaths in the 1820s. Increasingly unable to hold public meetings in town centres, Chartists and Owenite socialists held monster meetings on fields and moors outside urban jurisdiction. Using the sites and rituals of Methodist camp meetings, moorland meetings reflected a sense of place among protesters. The experience of the environment was physical and elemental, particularly the hard rambles of itinerant lecturers and the secret drilling of radicals at night. The popularity of the Chartist Land Plan among northern industrial workers demonstrated how radicals’ utopian visions of a better life lay in the land as well as the vote.

in Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848
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Katrina Navickas

This chapter examines why Chartism and other ‘urban’ movements failed to take hold in certain regions, but also how other forms of collective action, including agitation against enclosure of common land and the Swing riots of the early 1830s, show that rural areas were far from politically inactive. Luddites, Swing agitators and enclosure rioters enacted a defence of communal rights against privatisation and laissez-faire political economy. They fought for the vestiges of common rights but also the new rights of organised labour against the deskilling effects of mass capitalism in both industry and agriculture. Rural resistance involved embodied practices that transcended the divide between cultural and natural perceptions of the environment.

in Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848
Katrina Navickas

This chapter surveys the bitter conflicts between protesters, military and magistrates from the attempts at a ‘national holiday’ and uprisings in 1839-40, the ‘sacred month’ and ‘plug’ strikes in 1842 and the final push for the Charter in the revolutionary year of 1848. Protesters used their knowledge of urban and semi-rural environments, and in response to repression, they developed new tactics, including occupations and barricades of contested buildings. These were battles over knowledge over the landscape and the mastery of space. Chartist insurgents and Irish Confederates allied in 1848, but disagreements among the radicals and the more efficient military response diffused any revolutionary potential.

in Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848
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New horizons in America
Katrina Navickas

Political and religious dissenters sought exile in America, where links were well established through trade and emigration. This vignette examines radical visions of America. Radicals envisaged American wilderness as utopia, with freehold farms underpinning democracy. These ideals coalesced with Paineite ideas of republicanism. But radicals and Chartists quickly became disillusioned with several aspects of mid-nineteenth century America: a lack of genuine democracy in the political system, the persistence of slavery and the difficulty immigrants faced acquiring land. The vignette also compares the situation of British emigrants in America with their counterparts in Australia, where political rights were achieved much earlier.

in Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848
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Katrina Navickas
in Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848