Author Archive

Marcus Morris

Marcus Morris is Lecturer in Modern History at Manchester Metropolitan History. He has published on the relationship between the late Victorian and Edwardian British socialist movement and popular politics, visual culture and imperialism. He is currently co-editing a volume on The Legacy of Thomas Paine in the Transatlantic World to be published with Pickering and Chatto.

The British socialist and labour movements of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century chose to view Magna Carta as an important symbol to invoke in their own struggles against the current system and its abuses. The Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt, recently announced that if Labour are returned in the upcoming general election every school will be required to teach the history of Magna Carta. He is keen to ensure that ‘every school child is taught the medieval past and modern power of this heroic charter’. Unsurprisingly, this declaration caused a variety of responses from those within his own party and those on the left more generally. For a number, Magna Carta should not be celebrated in this way, for …