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The rural warCaptain Swing and the politics of protest$
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Carl J. Griffin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086267

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086267.001.0001

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Life and labour on and off the parish

Life and labour on and off the parish

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Life and labour on and off the parish
Source:
The rural war
Author(s):

Carl J. Griffin

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719086267.003.0003

This chapter examines the impact of pauperisation and the concurrent changes in employment, poor relief and protest practices. If the introduction and impact of wage subsidies dramatically altered the way in which labour and its remuneration were regulated in the 1790s and 1800s, it was the problem of rural mass unemployment after the end of the Napoleonic Wars that determined the social and economic conditions which underpinned Swing. The discussion notes that while farmers and vestries sought to reduce costs, those now out of work were left to the parish to find their support. Collective protests persisted despite the suppression of the subsistence protests of the 1790s and 1800s, while post-1815, the resort to the weapons of rural terror – especially against the users of threshing machines and poor law officials – increased to unprecedented levels.

Keywords:   pauperisation, protest practices, rural mass unemployment, threshing machines, Swing

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