The Peterloo Massacre was more than just a Manchester event. The attendees, on
whom Manchester industry depended, came from a large spread of the wider textile
regions. The large demonstrations that followed in the autumn of 1819,
protesting against the actions of the authorities, were pan-regional and
national. The reaction to Peterloo established the massacre as firmly part of
the radical canon of martyrdom in the story of popular protest for democracy.
This article argues for the significance of Peterloo in fostering a sense of
regional and northern identities in England. Demonstrators expressed an
alternative patriotism to the anti-radical loyalism as defined by the
authorities and other opponents of mass collective action.
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