The Meaning of the Peterloo Massacre

Ref: C3842424

A five week learning experience from the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) in association with the People’s History Museum (PHM). In the bicentenary year of the Peterloo Massacre this course will study the history of the events leading up to the massacre, competing historic interpretations, as well as its meaning and relevance in the struggle for democracy today. Led by Mark Krantz, WEA tutor and author of Rise Like Lions: The History and Lessons of the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, each session will involve a presentation of material followed by an interactive discussion. This course will look at: • austerity and resistance in 1819 • Henry Hunt and the radical reformers • the march to St Peter’s Field • the Peterloo Massacre • the relevance of Peterloo to politics today This course includes a visit to PHM’s main galleries and Labour History Archive & Study Centre to examine the relevant materials.

Course aim

An examination of the meaning of the Peterloo Massacre in the bicentenary year.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recall the main events and characters at Peterloo
  • Outline the competing historical interpretations of Peterloo
  • Relate the events at Peterloo to the struggle for democracy today.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Held at the Peoples's History Museum this course includes; a guided tour of the galleries, a visit to the archives, and a Living History performance.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • Comprehensive online links to key readings and references will be provided. Printed material will be provided if requested.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Watch the new film Peterloo by Mike Lee. Recommended reading: Rise Like Lions, Mark Krantz; Casualties of Peterloo, Michael Bush; The Peterloo Massacre, Robert Reed.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

The Meaning of the Peterloo Massacre


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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