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Peterloo to the Pankhursts: Radicalism and Reform in the 19th Century

Royal Holloway, University of London via FutureLearn


Discover the history of the struggle for rights and representation

16 August 2019 marked the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre, a key milestone in the campaign to reform Parliament in the 19th century, and an important part of Britain’s democratic heritage and history.

On this course, you will understand this event within a wider context of radicalism and reform over the 19th century.

You will start the course charting the charged political climate resulting from the American and French revolutions in the 18th century and conclude the course by examining the campaign for universal men’s and women’s suffrage in the early years of the 20th century.

This course is for anyone with an interest in political and social history, including the history of British Parliament, trade unionism and the labour movement.


  • Revolution
    • Introduction
    • Revolutions
    • Terror
    • Industry and Agriculture
    • Rotten Boroughs
    • Peterloo
    • Conclusion
  • Reform
    • Introduction
    • Liberal Tories
    • The Great Reform Act
    • The Whigs
    • Chartism
    • Corn and the Conservatives
    • Conclusion
  • Workers
    • Introduction
    • A New View of Society
    • The 'New Unionism'
    • State Intervention
    • Socialism in Britain
    • From Litigation to Legislation
    • Conclusion
  • Voters
    • Introduction
    • Gladstone, Disraeli and the Second Reform Act
    • Tory Democracy and New Liberalism
    • Ireland: Province or Nation?
    • The Revolt of Women
    • An Ungovernable Society?
    • Conclusion

Taught by

Steven Franklin


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 280 ratings

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