Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848

By Katrina Navickas

Protest and the politics of space and place, 1789–1848


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1670-3
  • Pages: 352
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: March 2017
  • BIC Category: European history, Social & cultural history, HISTORY / Historical Geography, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Geography, History, Humanities / British & Irish history, Humanities / Social & cultural history, HISTORY / Social History


This book is a wide-ranging survey of the rise of mass movements for democracy and workers' rights in northern England from 1789 to 1848. It is a provocative narrative of the closing down of public space and dispossession from place. It offers historical parallels for contemporary debates about protests in public space and democracy and anti-globalisation movements. In response to fears of revolution from 1789 to 1848, the British government and local authorities prohibited mass working-class political meetings and societies. Protesters faced the privatisation of public space. The 'Peterloo Massacre' of 1819 marked a turning point. Radicals, trade unions and the Chartists fought back by challenging their exclusion from public spaces, creating their own sites and eventually constructing their own buildings or emigrating to America. New evidence of protest in rural areas of northern England, including rural Luddism, is also uncovered.


'... a well-written and thoroughly researched addition to the scholarship on historical protest. Katrina Navickas makes a strong case for the significance of space and place to the historical study of protest, and the book will, therefore, be of value to any historian, geographer, or social scientist interested in protest and political movements.'
Hannah Awcock, Journal of Historical Geography, May 2016

'...a very impressive study, thoughtful and persuasive, laced with insights and interesting detail'
Adrian Randall, University of Birmingham, Social History Journal, Issue 4, May 2016

'Navickas not only examines the ways in which local elites organised carefully choreographed and highly ritualised public displays of loyalty, but also traces their systematic attempts to exclude radicals and their ideas from the civic body politic. Her 'thick' descriptions of the loyalist violence and intimidation.are not only chilling in their detail, but are redolent of E. P. Thompson's classic 'The Making of the English Working Class' in the way in which local detail is tellingly deployed both to illustrate and add nuance to a more general argument.'
Reviews in History, Dr Mike Sanders, University of Manchester, September 2016

'The book remains interesting and informative throughout, and on the whole it is both well-organized and well-written. The research basis is better than solid. This book has merits that outweigh its weaknesses, and for anyone wishing to know more about British popular politics between 1789 and 1848 it will be essential reading.'
Michael Turner, Appalachian State University, Labour/Le Travail 78 Volume 78, Fall 2016

'Readable and fascinating, Katrina Navickas book might be particularly of interest to modern day activists and historians in the North (particularly Manchester) but I expect it will also become a much studied book for social historians trying to understand the historic struggles that have shaped, quite literally, the world we live and struggle in today.'
Resolute Reader


Katrina Navickas is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Hertfordshire


Part I: Spaces of exclusion, 1789-1830
1. Spaces of exclusion and intrusion in the 1790s
2. Defending the liberty to meet, 1795-1819
3. Peterloo and the changing definition of seditious assembly
Vignette 1: Radical locales
Part II: Spaces of the body politic in the 1830s and 1840s
Prelude: The Reform crisis, 1830-2
4. Embodied spaces and violent protest
5. Contesting new administrative geographies
Vignette 2: Processions
6. Constructing new spaces
Part III: Region, neighbourhood and the meaning of place
7. The liberty of the landscape
8. Rural resistance
9. Making Moscows, 1839-48
Vignette 3: New horizons in America
Select bibliography

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