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22 Reasons Why Manchester Is Britain's Most Revolutionary City

From the suffragettes to Communism, Manchester has a rich tradition of revolutionaries and reformers. Here's why Manchester is Britain's most radical city.

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1. The Suffragettes Began in Manchester

After being ejected from a political meeting at the Free Trade Hall, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney held their own outside.
Public domain / Via upload.wikimedia.org

After being ejected from a political meeting at the Free Trade Hall, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney held their own outside.

2. Manchester Fought Slavery Worldwide

During the American Civil War, Manchester workers risked poverty by refusing to work with slave-picked cotton.
Public Domain / Via upload.wikimedia.org

During the American Civil War, Manchester workers risked poverty by refusing to work with slave-picked cotton.

3. It's the Birthplace of Communism

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels met in Manchester, and wrote Das Kapital at Chetham Library in 1845.
Public domain / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels met in Manchester, and wrote Das Kapital at Chetham Library in 1845.

4. And Had Britain's Biggest Socialist Newspaper

Featuring work by G.B. Shaw and Walter Crane, The Clarion left an indelible mark on leftist publications in Britain.
Independent Labour / Via independentlabour.org.uk

Featuring work by G.B. Shaw and Walter Crane, The Clarion left an indelible mark on leftist publications in Britain.

5. Peterloo Changed the Country Forever

The peaceful demonstration of 60,000 protesters ended in a massacre, and defined a revolutionary era.
Public domain / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The peaceful demonstration of 60,000 protesters ended in a massacre, and defined a revolutionary era.

6. Mancunians Fought and Died for Democracy

The massacre at Peterloo led to voting rights for the common man, ushering in Britain's modern democracy.
Public domain / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The massacre at Peterloo led to voting rights for the common man, ushering in Britain's modern democracy.

7. The Guardian Began in Manchester

The liberal newspaper was founded in 1821 by John E. Taylor following the Peterloo Massacre.
The Guardian Media Group / Via theguardian.com

The liberal newspaper was founded in 1821 by John E. Taylor following the Peterloo Massacre.

8. The Free Trade Hall

Built on the site of the Peterloo Massacre, it was the only building in Britain named after a principle. It's now a Radisson Hotel.
KJP1 / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Built on the site of the Peterloo Massacre, it was the only building in Britain named after a principle. It's now a Radisson Hotel.

9. Modern Zionism Began in Manchester

Chaim Weizmann, a university lecturer, secured the promise for a 'Jewish National Home' and became Israel's first prime minister.
Mendelson Huge/Government Press Office / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Chaim Weizmann, a university lecturer, secured the promise for a 'Jewish National Home' and became Israel's first prime minister.

10. Chartism Truly Began in Manchester

In 1838, an estimated 250,000 people gathered at the first Chartist rally, a grass-roots movement for political reform.
Public domain / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In 1838, an estimated 250,000 people gathered at the first Chartist rally, a grass-roots movement for political reform.

11. The 1842 General Strike

Manchester was an epicentre for the 'Plug Plot Riots', fighting for voting rights and socio-economic reform.
The Leisure Review / Via theleisurereview.co.uk

Manchester was an epicentre for the 'Plug Plot Riots', fighting for voting rights and socio-economic reform.

12. Manchester Brought Down the Government

In 1846, after years of protest, the Tory government fatally split over reform – ushering in the Liberal party.
Public domain / Via upload.wikimedia.org

In 1846, after years of protest, the Tory government fatally split over reform – ushering in the Liberal party.

13. The Co-operative Movement

The first major national congress was held in Manchester and, in 1844, the modern co-op movement began in Rochdale.
Mike Peel (http://www.mikepeel.net) / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The first major national congress was held in Manchester and, in 1844, the modern co-op movement began in Rochdale.

14. British vegetarianism began in Manchester

In 1763, Rev. William Cowherd created Britain's first vegetarian church at Beefsteak Chapel in Salford, forming the Vegetarian Society.
Vegetarian Society / Via bbc.co.uk

In 1763, Rev. William Cowherd created Britain's first vegetarian church at Beefsteak Chapel in Salford, forming the Vegetarian Society.

15. The Devil Visited Manchester

John Dee, Elizabethan polymath and occultist. was made warden of the cathedral, but left after rumours claimed he had summoned the devil.
Public domain / Via commons.wikimedia.org

John Dee, Elizabethan polymath and occultist. was made warden of the cathedral, but left after rumours claimed he had summoned the devil.

16. It's Where Bob Dylan Made Rock History

Performing with an electric guitar, Dylan was called "Judas" by a crowd member. The infamous moment was captured on Bob Dylan: Live 1966.
Public domain / Via en.wikipedia.org

Performing with an electric guitar, Dylan was called "Judas" by a crowd member. The infamous moment was captured on Bob Dylan: Live 1966.

17. The Campaign for Homosexual Equality

Founded in 1964, Manchester's CHE fought for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, and Manchester City Council campaigned against Clause 28.
Pete Birkenshaw / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Founded in 1964, Manchester's CHE fought for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, and Manchester City Council campaigned against Clause 28.

18. And Championed Same Sex Marriage

Back in 2004, Manchester City Council became the first UK council to provide civil partnership ceremony services.
Stefano Bolognini / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Back in 2004, Manchester City Council became the first UK council to provide civil partnership ceremony services.

19. John Cooper Clarke Made Poetry Punk

The Bard of Salford, Clarke remains a seminal figure of counter-culture and an outspoken radical.
TimDuncan / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The Bard of Salford, Clarke remains a seminal figure of counter-culture and an outspoken radical.

20. Manchester Revolutionised Computing

Persecuted for his sexuality, Alan Turing's work in Manchester made him the father of computer science.
National Portrait Gallery / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Persecuted for his sexuality, Alan Turing's work in Manchester made him the father of computer science.

21. Manchester's 'Baby' Transformed the World

In 1948, the Small-Scale Experimental Machine ('Baby') was unveiled - the first modern computer.
Parrot of Doom / Via commons.wikimedia.org

In 1948, the Small-Scale Experimental Machine ('Baby') was unveiled - the first modern computer.

22. And Norman Foster Revolutionised Modern Architecture

From the Gherkin to Wembley Stadium, Sir Norman Foster's elegant structures have changed the face of cities worldwide.
Drroshdy / Via commons.wikimedia.org

From the Gherkin to Wembley Stadium, Sir Norman Foster's elegant structures have changed the face of cities worldwide.

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