To the Bull Ring! Politics, protest and policing in Birmingham during the early Chartist period

Taylor, Donna Michelle (2014). To the Bull Ring! Politics, protest and policing in Birmingham during the early Chartist period. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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Within current historiography, the Bull Ring riots have been used to define early Chartism in Birmingham, and as a means of interpreting class relationships in the town. This thesis has set out to bring a new perspective to the riots by placing them in a broader contextual framework than has previously been applied, and by introducing a cultural analysis which considers the symbols, actions and language of early Chartist protest. The research presented here has moved away from more typical accounts of class-conflict and adopted a single division society theory. This approach has revealed an alternative account of Birmingham’s social and political relationships during the early Victorian period. It has revealed that the community was divided between a perceived ‘people’ and ‘establishment’ who were involved in a sometimes violent contestation of the political public sphere. In Birmingham during July, 1839, this contestation can be understood to have revolved around the town’s recent incorporation as a borough and subsequent conflict over policing issues. The presence of a body of Metropolitan police proved particularly antagonizing, and these issues are also confronted here.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain


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