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Policing and Protest in Manchester: The Moss Side Riots
Understand what civil unrest tells us about our communities
The recent Black Lives Matter protests and riots across the world following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis have highlighted difficult legacies from the past and provoked reflection about our shared histories.
On this course, you’ll explore the riots that occurred in Moss Side, Manchester in July 1981, learning more about the historical experiences of ethnic minority communities in England.
Discover the history of the Moss Side riots
You’ll explore what life was like in Moss Side and Manchester at the time, and take a close look at the short- and long-term causes of the riots in 1981.
Taking a broader view of British history, you’ll also examine how the riots in Manchester compared to similar disturbances that year in Brixton and Toxteth.
Consider the social impact of the riots
Alongside noted Mancunian historian Wesley Fleure, you’ll investigate how the country and the media reacted to the unrest, how it changed Manchester, and explore the relevance of Social Contract Theory in modern Britain.
Ultimately, you’ll use the riots as a tool to explore contemporary issues surrounding racism, policing, and protest, evaluating the effectiveness of civil disobedience as a method of protest and learn what the rioters were able to achieve.
Learning on this course
You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Assess the relevance of Social Contract Theory in modern Britain
- Explain what life was really like in Moss Side at the time of the riots
- Identify the short and long term causes of the violence
- Identify similarities and differences between the Moss Side Riot and other disturbances in 1981, such as in Brixton and Toxteth
- Engage with how Britain reacted to the Moss Side Riots, including in the media and Parliament
- Evaluate the effectiveness of civil disobedience as a method of protest
- Describe what happened during the Moss Side Riot in 1981
Who is the course for?
This course would appeal to learners interested in issues of racism, protest, policing and other topical debates. It would be of particular interest to school students studying history and politics, but no specialist knowledge is required.
Who developed the course?
Our history dates back to the time of Henry VIII, when The Manchester Grammar School was founded in 1515 by Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter, to provide ‘godliness and good learning’ to the poor boys of Manchester.
The School proceeded to build a reputation as one of the country’s leading educational establishments, a position it still holds today as an independent day school.
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