On August 16, 1819, tens of thousands of workers gathered in what is now St. Peter’s Square in Manchester to demand suffrage. Entire families, parishes, and townships assembled, fueled by increasing commodity prices and political disenfranchisement. They had spread the word from town to town, and from church to church, that this previously banned meeting was indeed to occur. It was the culmination of months of agitation on the part of common people to achieve economic and political reform. The government responded violently to the challenge of its authority, as governments so often do, leading to a score of deaths and hundreds of injuries. Survivors of the Peterloo Massacre, as it was later called, would have to wait another dozen years of intensified government repression before their original demands were ultimately met.
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Esparza, Louis Edgar
"Abeyance and Spontaneity in Tunisia,"
Human Rights & Human Welfare: Vol. 11:
3, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.du.edu/hrhw/vol11/iss3/3
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