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THE_CULTURE_OF_COMBINATION-_SOLIDARITIES_AND_COLLECTIVE_ACTION_BEFORE_TOLPUDDLE_-_Historical_Journal_-_Carl_Griffin.pdf (406.61 kB)
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The culture of combination: solidarities and collective action before tolpuddle

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 20:23 authored by Carl GriffinCarl Griffin
Beyond the repression of the national waves of food rioting during the subsistence crises of the 1790s, workers in the English countryside lost the will and ability to collectively mobilise. Or so the historical orthodoxy goes. Such a conceptualisation necessarily positions the Bread or Blood riots of 1816, the Swing rising of 1830, and, in particular, the agrarian trade unionism practised at Tolpuddle in 1834 as exceptional events. This paper offers a departure by placing Tolpuddle into its wider regional context. The unionists at Tolpuddle, it is shown, were not making it up as they went along but instead acted in ways consistent with shared understandings and experiences of collective action and unionism practiced throughout the English west. In so doing, it pays particular attention to the forms of collective action – and judicial responses – that extended between different locales and communities and which joined farmworkers, artisans and industrial workers together. So conceived, Tolpuddle was not an exception. Rather, it can be more usefully understood as a manifestation of deeply entrenched cultures, an episode that assumes its historical potency because of its subsequent politicised representations

History

Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version

Journal

Historical Journal

ISSN

0018-246X

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Issue

2

Volume

58

Page range

443-480

Department affiliated with

  • Geography Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date

2015-03-23

First Open Access (FOA) Date

2015-03-23

First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date

2015-03-22

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