Histories of the Present

Petition! Petition!! Petition!!!: Mass petitions in historical context

Petition! Petition!! Petition!!!: Mass petitions in historical context

Petitions are an ancient type of interaction between people and authority that continue to be central to British political culture in the twenty-first century.  At the time of writing over 6 million names have been attached to an e-petition to Parliament to revoke article 50 to enable the UK to remain in the EU.  Richard Huzzey and Henry Miller look at how the modern form of mass petitions emerged in the nineteenth century to compare them with contemporary e-petitions.