1819: In the Wake of Peterloo

  • Barry Gordon


There was a growing conviction across the country that the interests of the vast bulk of the people would not receive adequate recognition from the legislature until the franchise was widened. Agitators for parliamentary reform were not slow to capitalise on the increasing discontent and, during June and July, a wave of mass protest meetings swept through major industrial centres. On 16 August upwards of 50,000 persons assembled for a meeting in St Peter’s Fields at Manchester. Proceedings were hardly under way when dragoons and yeomanry intervened and in ten minutes eleven of the crowd were dead and some hundreds injured.1


Political Economy Cash Payment Social Unrest Capital Flight Class Conflict 
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  1. 1.
    For detail, consult D. Read, Peterloo: The Massacre and its Background (Manchester, 1958)Google Scholar
  2. and R. Walmsley, Peterloo, the Case Reopened (Manchester, 1969).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    See J. R. Poynter, Society and Pauperism (1969), passim.Google Scholar
  4. 23.
    See S. Hollander, ‘The Development of Ricardo’s Position on Machinery,’ History of Political Economy, 3,1 (Spring 1971) 105–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 27.
    and Henry Lord Brougham, Historical Sketches of Statesmen who Flourished in the Time of George III, Second Series (London: Knight, 1839) 188–91.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Barry Gordon 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NewcastleAustralia

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