Britain Civil Rights

by Tank ~ April 23rd, 2010. Filed under: Chapter 19: The Age of Ideology in Western Europe, Uncategorized.

Four decades following the American Revolutionary War a similar series of events was stirring in the midst of Britain.  Severe inequality had developed between the landowning and poverty-stricken populations of the country, and by 1815 <5% of the male population had achieved suffrage.

Poster Depicting Events of Peterloo Massacre

Poster depicting the Peterloo Massacre

Additionally, redistricting issues plagued the country with political instability.  Parliamentary reapportionment (or, lack there of) had led to uneven representation- the densely crowded, less wealthy regions were often entirely unheard in Parliament while the sparsely-filled aristocratic areas of the nation were clearly present in matters concerning legislative decisions.

In 1819, 50,000 workers assembled in St. Peter’s fields to rally against their inability to participate in government (both through suffrage, and there being little-to-no representation) and the downturn of economic conditions country-wide.  In a turn of events familiar to large-scale petition, government forces unsheathed their sabers and proceeded to wreak havoc upon the masses.  Hundreds were injured, 11 died.

Map of the so-called "Peterloo Massacre

The map shows the development of the day (visiting the link below demonstrates this).  Additionally, it provided a cunning image of contrasting the area surrounding modern-day Manchester with Britain of 150 years ago.

Interactive Map

Comments are closed.