The Signatures of Social Structure: Petitioning for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Manchester

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This article considers the problem of popular, collectively organized political action in the context of the abolition movement of the slave trade (1788-1807). Various primary sources, a petition, a trade directory, church records, and a self-built historic GIS are used to locate petitioners for abolition in the social fabric of Manchester. Through matching and computational experiments the article highlights which social structural forces led individuals to support the abolition movement by signing a petition. Specifically, gathering places that were historically involved in the movement, as well as those that housed traveling merchants from communities with successful abolitionist petitions from preceding campaigns shaped abolitionist petitioning - and the impact of these institutions remained important over and above family ties, active religious congregations, and the occupational groups. The article gives a new understanding of the role that early industrialization played in the abolition movement, building it from the bottom up, forging cohesion within and across communities through local institutions, rather than creating new boundaries and divides through processes of class formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-652
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Science History
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Fingerprint

slave trade
petition
social structure
occupational group
political action
group cohesion
industrialization
community
Geographical Information System
church
campaign
experiment
Signature
Manchester
Slave Trade
Social Structure
Abolition
Petition
Abolitionist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

The Signatures of Social Structure : Petitioning for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Manchester. / Makovi, Kinga.

In: Social Science History, Vol. 43, No. 3, 01.09.2019, p. 625-652.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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