- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-0-7190-8626-7
- Pages: 336
- Publisher: Manchester University Press
- Price: £70.00
- Published Date: May 2012
- BIC Category: Humanities / Revolutions, uprisings, rebellions, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, History
Beginning in Kent in the summer of 1830 before spreading throughout the country, the Swing Riots were the most dramatic and widespread rising of the English rural poor. Seeking an end to their immiseration, the protestors destroyed machines, demanded higher wages and more generous poor relief, and even frequently resorted to incendiarism to enforce their modest demands. But occurring against a backdrop of revolutions in continental Europe and a political crisis, Swing to many represented a genuine challenge to the existing ruling order, provoking a bitter and bloody repression.
The rural war offers a vivid new account of this defining moment in British history. It is shown that the protests were more organised, intensive and politically motivated than has hitherto been thought, representing complex statements about the nature of authority, gender and the politics of rural life. This book will become essential reading for anyone with an interest in the history of the English countryside: specialists, students and general readers alike.
Carl J. Griffin is Lecturer in Historical Geography at Queen's University, Belfast
1 Rough men, pleasant histories
2 Life and labour on and off the parish
3 Something before Swing or Swing itself?
4 Movement dynamics and diffusion
5 Movement mechanisms
6 The politics of the parish
7 Radical participatory politics
8 The gender politics of Swing
9 Suppressing Swing
10 Swing and social policy
11 Something after Swing?