James Dean

The rich will be poor and the poor will be rich

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The Pentrich Rising in June 1817 emerged from the economic crisis and political repression following the Napoleonic Wars. James Dean recounts the story of this early example of a workers’ insurrection.

This year marks the anniversary of more than one milestone in the revolutionary tradition. Two hundred years ago this month workers from the vicinity of Pentrich, Derbyshire, set out for Nottingham in a bid to overthrow the government.

Workers were denied the vote and the political system was corrupt. The Prince Regent’s treatment of his wife and lavish lifestyle had rendered the monarchy unpopular. Moreover, radicals had been inspired by the writings of Thomas Paine and William Cobbett, as well as the American and French revolutions.

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