‘To persecute a man for opinion is become so fashionable’: surveillance and the suppression of radical politics in Bristol, 1792-1820

Event Details
Date: , 2022
Time: to
Location: Studio 2 on Level 1
Venue: M Shed, BS1 4RN
Price: Free
With: Steve Poole
Series: Bristol Radical History Festival 2022
Page Details
‘Smelling out a Rat; — or The Atheistical-Revolutionist disturbed in his Midnight “Calculations”‘ (James Gillray, 3 December 1790) (c) National Portrait Gallery.

How did Bristolians respond to the democratic ideas unleashed by the French Revolution? This talk rejects the conventional view that the city’s labouring classes were uninterested in progressive politics and argues on the contrary that the relatively low profile of radical organisations reflects not indifference but the determination of the local authorities to keep them under surveillance and obstruct them. From the founding of the Constitutional Society in 1792 to the mass outdoor meetings called by Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt and others in the era of Peterloo, democratic ideas were alive and well in Bristol, but obstructed, by fair means or foul, at every turn.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This