Manchester: A City United

Today Manchester is best known for its football clubs, but 200 years ago the world looked to the city for different reasons. Kings, politicians, philosophers and even tourists came to watch as the world's first industrial city burst forth in a cacophonous, smoky fury. No one had seen anything like it before. To the ruling classes it was scary - to the working and middle classes it was an opportunity. Great poverty and great wealth rubbed up against each other and the result was a stream of advances in technology, commerce and thought.

In the 19th Century, communism, free trade, the co-operative movement, the campaign for female suffrage, European vegetarianism and trade unionism all originated or - crucially - were developed in the city. In the 20th Century, Rutherford split the atom, Turing theorised the modern computer and a Mr Rolls met a Mr Royce to discuss his plan for a motor car.

James Walvin is a history professor and a proud Mancunian and Manchester United fan. He returns to Manchester to tell the extraordinary tale of a city whose thoughts and deeds still reverberate around the world today and to prove that there is more to the Manchester than match day.

Release date:

Available now

55 minutes

Last on

Sun 13 Apr 2014 19:06 GMT


The Space Race

Stargazing - from eclipses to the spacecraft changing our view of the Universe

70 Years On: Partition Stories


Memories and stories of Partition in 1947 and the legacy Partition leaves with us today

The Compass

The Compass - branding 1920

The essential take on big ideas, issues and trends from the 21st century

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Every episode of The Documentary, on your mp3 player, to play wherever you are