This book explains the forms of popular protest before the Black Death in later Medieval Europe. It focuses on 'a contagion of revolts' following the Black Death from around 1355 to 1382. The book documents the best-known revolt in France before the French Revolution, the Jacquerie. The revolt spread from the Beauvaisis as far east as Bar on France's frontier with the Holy Roman Empire but lasted a mere two weeks, 28 May to 10 June 1358. The book also focuses on the best known of the urban revolts of the fourteenth century, the Revolt of the Ciompi, which set off with a constitutional conflict in June 1378, and whose regime in alliance with minor-guild artisans lasted until mid-January 1382. It then views the 'cluster of revolts' of northern France and Flanders, 1378 to 1382, concentrating on the most important of these, the tax revolts of the Harelle in Rouen and the Maillotins or hammer men in Paris. It looks beyond the 'cluster' to the early fifteenth century. While intended principally for students, the book aims to stimulate new research on popular protest in the Middle Ages. It includes a Parisian student conflict against the troops of the duke of Savoy in 1404.
This book is a wide-ranging survey of the development of mass movements for democracy and workers’ rights in northern England. It surveys movements throughout the whole period, from the first working-class radical societies of the 1790s to trade unions in the 1830s and Chartists and Owenite socialists in the 1840s. It offers a provocative narrative of the privatisation of public space and workers’ dispossession from place, with parallels for contemporary debates about protests in public space and democracy and anti-globalisation movements. Space and place are central to the strategies and meaning of protest. The book examines the reaction by governments and local authorities, who sought to restrict public and private political meetings, demonstrations and marches. It charts the physical and symbolic conflicts over who had the right to speak and meet in northern England. The Peterloo Massacre of 1819 marked a particularly significant turning point in the relationship between government, local elites and the working classes. Radicals, organised labour and Chartists fought back by challenging their exclusion from public spaces, creating their own sites and eventually constructing their own buildings. They looked to new horizons, including America. This book also examines the relationship of protesters with place. Rural resistance, including enclosure riots, arson and machine-breaking during Luddism in 1812 and the Captain Swing agitation of the early 1830s, demonstrated communities’ defence of their landscape as a place of livelihood and customary rights.
This book draws on original research into women’s workplace protest to deliver a new account of working-class women’s political identity and participation in post-war England. In doing so, the book contributes a fresh understanding of the relationship between feminism, workplace activism and trade unionism during the years 1968–85. The study covers a period that has been identified with the ‘zenith’ of trade union militancy. The women’s liberation movement (WLM) also emerged in this period, which produced a shift in public debates about gender roles and relations in the home and the workplace. Industrial disputes involving working-class women have been commonly understood as evidence of women’s growing participation in the labour movement, and as evidence of the influence of second-wave feminism on working-class women’s political consciousness. However, the voices and experiences of female workers who engaged in workplace protest remain largely unexplored. The book addresses this space through detailed analysis of four industrial disputes that were instigated by working-class women. It shows that labour force participation was often experienced or viewed as a claim to political citizenship in late modern England. A combination of oral history and written sources is used to illuminate how everyday experiences of gender and class antagonism shaped working-class women’s political identity and participation.
Embodied spaces and violent protest
The 1830s were the ‘age of reform’. The 1832 Reform Act, the 1833
Factory Act, the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the 1835 Municipal
Corporations Act and the 1839 Rural Constabulary Act, and other
legislation, created new institutions that became foci of contestation.
The factory and poor law commissions, new boroughs, corporations
and police embodied in power and place the new Whig-liberal regime.
Historians have tended to regard the campaigns against these acts separately, but radicals, Tories and aristocratic Whigs framed
Notable protests: Respectable resistance
(coups de gueule polis)
In occupied France and Belgium, notables frequently protested against
German demands and policies.1 I suggest a new conceptual category
to explain and examine such behaviour: ‘respectable resistance’. This
potentially oxymoronic term is a reconfiguration and extension of what
is sometimes called ‘municipal resistance’ or ‘administrative resistance’
in the context of the Second World War.2 Other historians of occupied France and Belgium in 1914–18 variously describe such behaviour as
The crucial point about the impact of the politics of
colonial masculinity was that even as it produced a complicity between
colonial interests and indigenous orthodoxy, it obscured the colonial
role in nurturing the indigenous orthodoxy. The result was that colonial
masculinity not only discouraged support for reform, but, even more
crucially, it underwrote the very protest against social reform
The book’s main idea is to study why and how successful forms of workers’ interest representation could emerge in a hostile context. The post-communist context makes it difficult for workers and trade unions to mobilize, pose threats to employers, and break out of their political isolation. But initial fieldwork uncovered many instances of worker groups and trade unions that overcame such difficulties, something that led to the following overarching research question: What specific strategies can succeed in advancing the rights and living standards of workers? The book’s main argument is that strategy matters even under the harshest conditions. Successful unions ensured a situational definition connecting the workers' and the union leaders' perceptions about employers and thus ensuring that workers would back the actions of the union. Furthermore, successful unions calibrated threats they addressed to employers to the production intentions of the employer and to the employer's organizational structure. They also ensured outside support, at least in the form of state intervention. The cases studied in this book are 18 conflict episodes at 10 privatized plants in the Romanian steel industry and Ukraine's civil machine-building sector in the 2000s.
group joining, and suggests a broader malaise in contemporary political citizenship. It could easily support the argument that group life is atrophying because contemporary social forces conspire against collective association. This chapter addresses this broad outlook by way of engaging with a specific thread in the group literature around the development and significance of so-called ‘protest businesses’ in the UK. Using group case study histories from UK groups that have been associated with the term ‘protest business’, the chapter argues that these groups are not
In 1996, under the rightwing government of
Alain Juppé, a significant number of filmmakers associated with the jeune
cinéma français became involved in protests against the
state’s treatment of the sans-papiers (‘undocumented’
immigrants). The sans-papiers’ occupation of the church of St-Bernard
in Paris to protest at the effects of the Pasqua laws on their status in France
(after earlier occupations of St-Ambroise and other public
The social movements and rebellions
over the hundred-year period preceding the Black Death show great
diversity but few discernible trends. The earliest of these protests
were as ‘modern’ as any on record in the West until the
nineteenth century. In northern France and Flanders, abundant evidence
of workingmen’s associations, assemblies, and strikes appears in