Despite being the most popular and accessible form of political activity among ordinary people, petitioning has received remarkably little attention from modern British historians. This chapter focuses on what gains in understanding such attention might yield. First, the historical study of petitions and demonstrations underlines the fact that popular politics was not always coterminous with party or electoral politics. Second, petitions provide a way to break down the barriers between high and low or elite and popular politics and offer a lens through which to study the transnational and imperial dimension of British political culture. Finally, the chapter looks to future directions and argues that quantitative and geographic mapping techniques offer the potential to inject a new, and long overdue, quantitative rigour into the study of modern British political history.
|Title of host publication||The Oxford Handbook of Modern British Political History, 1800-2000|
|Editors||Gordon Pentland, David Brown, Robert Crowcroft|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|