Jeudi 4 février 2021 à 17 h : Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire ), « Peterloo and the English Radical Press »
The Manchester Observer (1818-22) was England’s leading radical newspaper at the time of the ‘Peterloo’ meeting of August 1819, in which it played a central role. For a time it enjoyed the highest circulation of any provincial newspaper, holding a position comparable to that of the Chartist Northern Star twenty years later. It also pioneered dual publication in Manchester and London. Its columns provide insights into Manchester’s secretive local government and into labour and radical movements. Correspondence in the National Archives demonstrates the relationship between radicals in London and in the provinces, and shows how local magistrates conspired with government to prosecute the radical press in the north, where juries were more pliable than those in London. The experience of the Manchester Observer also played a role in the founding of the Manchester Guardian, now simply The Guardian, whose bicentenary is marked by an exhibition in Manchester in 2021.
The Manchester Observer is digitised as part of the Peterloo Collection at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester: https://luna.manchester.ac.uk/luna/servlet/Manchester~24~24
(search for ‘Manchester Observer’)
‘The Manchester Observer: biography of a radical newspaper’, open access at https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/manup/bjrl
Robert Poole, professeur à University of Central Lancashire, est notamment l’auteur de Peterloo. The English Uprising (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019) https://global.oup.com/academic/product/peterloo-9780198783466?cc=fr&lang=en&
Participer à la réunion Zoom : lien habituel, disponible auprès de fbensimon(at)free.fr
Jeudi 28 janvier 2021 à 17 h : Jan-Melissa Schramm « The Idea of Universal Citizenship and the Rhetoric of Rights in the 1790s: Republican Virtue versus British Reform »
In the trial of Thomas Hardy for the seditious promotion of constitutional reform in London in 1794, the prosecution used all possible means to establish Hardy’s respect for the works of Thomas Paine, and to claim that such respect was inconsistent with British patriotism. Crucial to this process was Paine’s adoption of French citizenship:
“A letter was then read [to the jury] from Thomas Paine to the People of France, dated Sept. 25, 1792; in this letter he returns them thanks for having elected him a French Citizen, and a Member of the Convention, and on having broken the line which limited patriotism, like vegetation, to the soil. Theirs, he said, was not the paltry cause of Kings, but the great cause of mankind.”
Historians have long seen the French Revolution as a critical episode in the story of modern citizenship, encouraging, as counsel for the Crown noted above, the crucial separation of patriotism from ‘the soil’ on which a man was born. But the idea of citizenship was also deeply problematic, promising much and often delivering little to those who most needed its protection. In this paper, I will look at the relationship between emergent definitions of citizenship and the language of human rights which rose to prominence in this period, probing both their utopian aims and their conceptual incoherence. I will pay particular attention to the works of Bentham, Godwin and Paine.
Jan-Melissa Schramm est professeure de Droit et Littérature à l’université de Cambridge. Elle a récemment publié Censorship and the Representation of the Sacred in Nineteenth-Century England (OUP 2019) et co-édité Sacrifice and the Modern Literature of War (OUP 2018).
La réunion se déroulera sur Zoom. Le lien est disponible auprès de fabrice.bensimon(at)sorbonne-universite.fr