Every town and city has its story, but few have a history which belongs to the world. A process of phenomenal economic and industrial growth, which began just over two centuries ago, was to put this hitherto remote Lancashire town - 'the greatest mere village in England', as Defoe famously called it - on to the international map. By the 1840s, over half a century of revolutionary change had made Manchester into the 'shock city' of the industrial age. It was the shock of the new which assaulted the senses and stimulated the imaginations of contemporaries. Manchester attracted visitors from home and abroad seeking the sights and sounds of a new way of living. Some were appalled, others excited; still others saw in its newness a historical development of epoch-making proportions. It seemed as if all roads led to Manchester, arguably the world's first modern city. The core of this excellent book tells this story, a tale of factories, utilitarian entrepreneurs, Peterloo, and the emergence of a politicised working class, but also of the people and their culture, the development of middle-class suburbs such as Didsbury and Rusholme, the cinemas, music halls, libraries and newspapers. In this important overview of Manchester's history, Professor Kidd introduces many new interpretations, and challenges several myths about the city's industrial heritage. Accessibly written yet scholarly, Manchester is the perfect starting point for an exploration of this famous city as it goes from strength to strength into the twenty-first century.
Preface ix Preface to the first edition and acknowledgements x Preface to the third edition xi 1 Before the Industrial Revolution 1 Roman Manchester 1 Medieval Manchester 2 Fifteenth to Eighteenth Centuries 5 Part I First Industrial City: 1780-1850 2 Manchester, Cotton and the Industrial Revolution 13 A Factory Town? 15 Cottonopolis? 22 Canal, Road and Rail 24 An Economic Marvel in an Age of Great Cities 28 3 Living in the First Industrial City 31 Patterns on the Ground 31 The Quality of Life 34 Housing and Health 39 Leisure and Recreation 44 Literary and Reading Habits 46 Separation of the Classes 49 Crime and the Police 53 4 Manchester Men: Power and Prestige in the First Industrial City 57 Local Government and Politics 57 Anti-Corn Law League 63 'Manchester Men' 67 5 The Politics of Protest: From Food Riots to Chartism 76 Food Riots to Trade Unionism 76 Political Radicalism 83 The Peterloo Massacre 87 Chartism 92 Part II Commercial Metropolis: 1850-1914 6 The Capital of Cotton 101 'Manchester Goods' 102 Warehouses Like Palaces 104 A Broader Industrial Base 109 At the Centre of the Railway Web 111 The Manchester Ship Canal 113 7 Living in Victorian Manchester 118 Progress and Poverty 118 Migrants 121 The People's Health 124 Leisure and Recreation 127 Education and Literacy 133 Manchester in 1914 137 8 City and Suburb: Leadership and Authority in Victorian Manchester 142 Middle-class Havens 143 The 'Natural Leaders' 146 Municipal Achievements 153 Electoral Politics 157 A Cosmopolitan Culture 159 9 England Arise! The Politics of Labour and Women's Suffrage 166 Trade Unions 167 Working-class Toryism 171 Labour and Socialist Politics 174 Women's Suffrage 180 Part III Within Living Memory: Manchester Since 1914 10 In the Face of Industrial Decline 187 Trafford Park 187 From Manufacturing to a Service Economy 191 Communication by Road and Air 198 Governing the Modern City 199 Industrial Unrest and Unemployment, 1914-1939 203 Politics and Elections since 1918 206 Education and the Arts 209 11 Living in Modern Manchester 215 The Housing Revolution 216 Manchester Slums in the 1930s 217 Wythenshawe Garden City 221 Housing and Poverty since 1945 223 The Leisure Revolution 226 12 Manchester in Prospect 234 Further Reading 252 Index 261