Politics

Human society is always surrounded by politics of some sort. Whether it is the basic negotiation of leadership and obedience of rules for clans or soldiers or, the more sophisticated set up of the modern world the relationship of control and decision making is always around. Grouped together in this strand are articles and podcasts covering the systems of the ancient world in Greece and Rome, alongside the stories of revolution in Europe, the creation of treaties and alliances and the arguments amongst political parties today.

Sort by: Date (Newest first) | Title A-Z
  • After the revolution: did Cromwell, Washington and Bonaparte betray revolutionary principles?

    Article

    This article examines the aftermath of three epoch-making periods of change – the English, American, and French Revolutions. A comparison of the trio of military commanders who gained power as a direct consequence of these upheavals reveals how the very political radicalism which brought them to power also threatened to...

    Click to view
  • How Sweden almost became a nuclear-armed state – and why it didn’t

    Article

    This article examines the conditions under which Sweden considered and subsequently pursued nuclear weapons. After failing to secure the establishment of a Scandinavian defence union, the Swedish government initially viewed nuclear arms as an effective means to safeguard the country’s neutrality. Owing to technical limitations, reassessments on the value of such...

    Click to view
  • Flight from Kabul: a historical perspective

    Article

    In this article, Matt Jux-Blayney compares the British retreat from Kabul in 1842 with the most recent flight of NATO from Kabul in August 2021. Matt explores the various similarities between the two campaigns and includes personal recollections from his service in Afghanistan with the British Army. On 6 January...

    Click to view
  • Sweden’s forgotten revolution

    Article

    People are sometimes surprised to learn that for much of the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, Sweden was one of Europe’s great powers. The revolution that transformed Swedish government following the death of Karl XII at the end of the Great Northern War is still less widely-known. But though largely carried...

    Click to view
  • The last days of Lord Londonderry

    Article

    Richard A. Gaunt explores a tragedy at the heart of early nineteenth century British politics, with the suicide of Viscount Castlereagh. At 7.30 in the morning on Monday 12 August 1822, Robert Stewart, second Marquess of Londonderry, died from self-inflicted injuries caused by cutting the carotid artery in his neck...

    Click to view
  • The secret diaries of William Wilberforce

    Article

    John Coffey shows us what insights can be gained from the diaries of leading abolitionist, William Wilberforce. The diary is a distinctively modern genre... In English, the first diaries date from the Tudor era, but it is in the seventeenth century that the trickle becomes a flood. Alongside the famous...

    Click to view
  • Capturing public opinion during the Paris Commune of 1871

    Article

    In the year of its 150th anniversary, Jason Jacques Willems offers his thoughts on the importance of centrist opinion to our understanding of the Paris Commune. 2021 is the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune, when a revolutionary Parisian movement was pitted against the French government. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870...

    Click to view
  • Legacies of the Cement Armada

    Article

    Steven Pierce writes about Nigeria, long known for its flamboyant corruption, some of which stems from accidents of history. Its true international notoriety emerged in 1974–75, when half the world’s concrete supply was mysteriously diverted to the port of Lagos, paralysing it for a year. This article examines how the press coverage...

    Click to view
  • What did it mean to be a city in early modern Germany?

    Article

    Alexander Collin examines the significance of cities within the Holy Roman Empire in early modern times. With a strong political identity of their own, cities were at the heart of the Empire’s economy and, also, centres of theological and social change. If you have ever read a description of a...

    Click to view
  • The British Empire on trial

    Article

    In the light of present-day concerns about the place, in a modern world, of statues commemorating figures whose roles in history are of debatable merit, Dr Gregory Gifford puts the British Empire on trial, presenting a balanced case both for and against. In June 2020 when the statue of slave-trader Edward Colston...

    Click to view
  • ‘Zulu’ and the end of Empire

    Article

    In this article, Nicolas Kinloch examines the 1964 film Zulu. He suggests what it might tell us about the reality of the British Empire and asks if it has anything to say about the era in which the film was made. One of the most successful British films of 1964...

    Click to view
  • ‘Power to the people’? Disputed presidential elections in US history

    Article

    Michael Dunne reveals the complex background to the modern elaborate constitutional process of electing a United States President. On Wednesday, 20 January 2021, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America.  In years to come these simple words may seem prosaic and...

    Click to view
  • History Abridged: The census

    Article

    History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. Think Horrible Histories for grownups (without the songs and music). See all History Abridged articles Most of us are aware...

    Click to view
  • Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule

    Article

    Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule, Katherine Pangonis, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2021, 250p, £20-00. ISBN 978-1-4746-1407-8. For many historians Outremer was the destination of the Crusades and our focus has been on what happened to the crusaders, both on their journeys and in their struggles at that...

    Click to view
  • German universities under the Nazis

    Article

    In this article A.D. Harvey draws out the influence that Nazism and Nazi practices had on German universities and their staff. He explores how some university professors were active members of the party while others saw a chance of advancement by becoming conduits of the Nazi ideas. Finally he considers...

    Click to view
  • Blood and Iron: the violent birth of modern Germany

    Article

    Katja Hoyer discusses Germany’s unification 150 years ago: an event that cast a long shadow over the troubled young nation and would alter the course of European and world history. Shivering in the cold winter air that drifted in through the windows of his temporary residence in Paris, Wilhelm I, King...

    Click to view
  • Richard III and the Princes in the Tower: update

    Article

    Richard III is one of the most famous kings of England, as much for his Shakespearean mythology as for the reality of his reign. Here, the different accounts of him are explored to shed light on some of his actions and legacy. The fascination evoked by Richard III and the...

    Click to view
  • Why was it so important to see Dunkirk as a triumph rather than a disaster in 1940?

    Article

    Karin Doull investigates the perceptions of the outcome of the Dunkirk evacuation within the contextual framework of the time at which it occurred. In May 1940 the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and a proportion of the French First Army group had withdrawn, under heavy fighting to the port of Dunkirk on the...

    Click to view
  • History Abridged: POTUS - President of the United States

    Article

    History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. Think Horrible Histories for grownups (without the songs and music). See all History Abridged articles Described as the most powerfully...

    Click to view
  • On Black Lives Matter

    Article

    2020 has been an interesting year in many ways – both as a year to make history and one that has sought to tackle many representations of the past. The Black Lives Matter campaign that has taken on new energy across the globe in response to the killing of a...

    Click to view