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A microhistory of British anti-slavery petitioning.

Huzzey, Richard (2019) 'A microhistory of British anti-slavery petitioning.', Social science history., 43 (3). pp. 599-623.


This article refines our understanding of abolitionism as “the first modern social movement” through a microhistory of abolitionism in an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British town. Examining requisitions, which collected signatures calling on a mayor to convene public meetings to launch parliamentary petitions or other associational activities, the article shows how antislavery mobilization in Plymouth grew amongst a multiplying variety of religious, political, cultural, and economic institutions. Through a prosopography of those initiating antislavery petitions, an analysis of the other requisitions they supported, and qualitative evidence from leading abolitionists’ personal papers, the article details the ways local leaders raised petitions for a national campaign. Civic and religious dynamism at this local level facilitated new forms of contentious mobilization on national and imperial issues. The article therefore directs causal attention to those socioeconomic changes that underpinned the associational cultures of abolitionism.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article has been published in a revised form in Social Science History This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Social Science History Association, 2018.
Date accepted:15 June 2018
Date deposited:27 June 2018
Date of first online publication:19 June 2019
Date first made open access:27 June 2018

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