Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ballads and songs of Peterloo$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alison Morgan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781784993122

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784993122.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 15 September 2019

‘Freeman stand, or freeman die’: liberty and slavery

‘Freeman stand, or freeman die’: liberty and slavery

Chapter:
(p.194) 6 ‘Freeman stand, or freeman die’: liberty and slavery
Source:
Ballads and songs of Peterloo
Author(s):

Alison Morgan

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781784993122.003.0007

The words ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ feature in forty-three poems in this collection, indicative of the centrality of this theme to the radical discourse of the day. In an era of almost unprecedented repression and the curtailment of rights, working people wished to rid themselves of their chains and reclaim their lost liberties, as a way of asserting English nationalism in the face of a ‘foreign’ monarchy. The twelve poems and songs in this section celebrate both the forthcoming return of liberty, presented as a goddess, and Henry Hunt as liberty’s human representative. The restoration of liberty as an end to slavery is a common trope within English radical discourse and poems often depict the radical patriot endeavouring to rescue his country from an imposed and unnatural tyranny and return it to its true state of liberty; however, this trope predates the era of revolution when such rhetoric was common currency and this section explores the prevalence of the theme of liberty in the mid-eighteenth century and the subsequent influence of William Collins and Thomas Gray on the poems in this collection. The introduction also seeks to explain the lack of references to the transatlantic slave trade in these poems at a time when the issue of rights was at the fore. It includes poems written by Samuel Bamford and the Spencean Robert Wedderburn.

Keywords:   Liberty, Slavery, Henry Hunt, Samuel Bamford, English nationalism, Robert Wedderburn

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.