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Commemorating PeterlooViolence, Resilience, and Claim-making during the Romantic Era$
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Michael Demson and Regina Hewitt

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474428569

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474428569.001.0001

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‘The Most Portentous Event in Modern History’: Ireland Before and After the Peterloo Massacre

‘The Most Portentous Event in Modern History’: Ireland Before and After the Peterloo Massacre

Chapter:
(p.140) Chapter 6 ‘The Most Portentous Event in Modern History’: Ireland Before and After the Peterloo Massacre
Source:
Commemorating Peterloo
Author(s):

James Kelly

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474428569.003.0007

This chapter looks at Irish responses to Peterloo. It looks at the relations between radical reformers and the movement for Catholic Emancipation. The kind of political repression that was enacted in Manchester in August of that year was more common in Ireland, and reformers made common cause with Irish Catholics, many of whom were beginning to migrate to the industrial towns of Northern England. Ireland gave English reformers a cautionary example of tyrannical government, while Irish writers and politicians saw in Peterloo an illustration of the English establishment's true coercive colours. There was however a deeper sense in which Peterloo and the Irish Question were imbricated in early nineteenth-century culture. The role of public speaking, the control of potentially subversive speech, and the challenge of radical politics to traditional standards of rhetoric and oratory were all brought into focus in the years leading to the massacre.

Keywords:   Ireland, Catholic Emancipation, oratory, public speech, Peterloo, rhetoric, coercion, resistance, civil unrest, violence

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