A course on the history of Radical Women part one
I will be teaching part one of a course on the history of Radical Women. The course last 10 weeks, starting on 5th February and finishing on 16th April. (There is no class on 12th March).
The venue will be the Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX. The cost of the course will be £60. Places can be booked by emailing: email@example.com.
I have been researching and writing about the history of radical women for a number of years. My published work incudes “Up Then Brave Women”; Manchester’s Radical Women 1819-1918.
The course will include the following sessions:
Women in the English Revolution in the 1640s and 1650s
Women were active members of the radical group, the Levellers, marching and taking petitions to Parliament.
Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the few women who came to prominence in the English radical movement of the1 790s. Her treatise, Vindication of the Right of Woman, a follow up to her lesser known work, Vindication of the Rights of Man, made her a well-known figure in English society, though it did not lead to the creation of a feminist movement.
Women rioters in 1812
Luddism was an organised workers movement which attacked the machinery taking away their jobs in Nottingham, Yorkshire and Lancashire between 1811 and 1813. Whilst women did not generally play a role in the attacks on mills, they did play a prominent role in the food rioting in Manchester in the spring of 1812.
As the radical movement grew into a mass movement in the course of 1819, women stepped onto the political stage organising Female Reform Societies which issued addresses to the public. Women were present at Peterloo, and were among the dead and injured.
Manchester Female Republicans
In the 1820s women were active in the Republican societies inspired by the ideas and writing of Richard Carlile.
Organised groups of workers set up co-operative societies from the late 1820s onwards, inspired by the ideas of Robert Owen. Owen also attacked religion and traditional marriage, leading to a number of women, inspired by his ideas, such as Emma Martin preaching around Britain in public lectures.
Chartism was mass worker’s movement at its height between 1839 and 1848 which called for wholesale political reform. Women were not among the leaders, but were active at grassroots level.
Lancashire had the highest number of women workers in England, mostly working in the textile industry as weavers. The Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades Council was set up in 1895 to organise women in lowest paid industries into unions.
Women and Socialism
Women played an active role in the various socialist organisations which came into being in the 1880s and 1890s.
Votes for Women!
The struggle for Votes for Women lasted from 1866 to 1928. Manchester played an important role in all phases of the movement, both militant and non-militant. This session will include the role of working class women in the suffrage campaign.