Britain & Ireland 1901-present

War and conflict, technology, illness and medicine and the battle for civil and national rights have all been key elements of the 20th century through to today, thus, all of those themes and many more are explored in this section. Underpinning many of these articles and included here are articles exploring pedagogical issues, managing knowledge and transferring knowledge. Read more

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  • The People's Pension

    Article

    The People's Pensions: From Liberal Social Reforms to the Welfare State Why did the British get pensions when they did? What part did the great social surveys (Booth and Rowntree) play? Was there something rotten at the heart of Empire? What part did fears of a Red Peril play? Was...

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  • Polychronicon 134: The Great War and Cultural History

    Article

    Over the past two decades the historiography of the Great War has witnessed something of a revolution. Although historical revisionism is, of course, nothing out of the ordinary, the speed with which long-held assumptions about the First World War and its impact have been swept away has been quite astonishing....

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  • Votes for Women in Britain 1867-1928

    Article

    This classic pamphlet takes you through the Votes for Women in Britain movement from its origins to its eventual success, following the case for women's suffrage presented, tactics and strategies, the anti-suffragist argument, party political complications, international perspectives, the Pankhursts and militancy, the revival of non-militant suffragism, the impact of...

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  • British Defence and Appeasement Between the Wars 1919-1939

    Article

    Armed forces never exist in isolation, but always operate against a background of political, economic, social, cultural, intellectual and ideological conditions and attitudes, as well as in relation to diplomatic and strategic factors. Some governments regards their military forces especially their armies, more as instruments for maintaining internal order than...

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  • Making History

    Article

    Making History Making History, developed by the Institute of Historical Research, is dedicated to the history of the study and practice of history in Britain over the last hundred years and more, following the emergence of the professional discipline in the late 19th century. Contents This website contains cross-referenced entries...

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  • 50th Anniversary of 'Carve her name with pride'

    Article

    The classic British war film Carve Her Name With Pride was based on the true story of Violette Szabó GC, the 23 year old French speaking single mother who volunteered during WW2 to be an agent for the top secret Special Operations Executive (SOE). Shortly after parachuting into German occupied...

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  • Churchill: The Greatest Briton Unmasked

    Article

    Churchill: The Greatest Briton Unmasked by Nigel Knight. David & Charles, Sept 2008, £14.99; ISBN: 978 0 7153 2855 2 Reviewed by Alf Wilkinson Nigel Knight, a lecturer in British Government at Cambridge, has written a revisionist analysis of Churchill and his achievements. Based on extensive research he has set...

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  • Polychronicon 131: At your leisure

    Article

    Leisure time - like time itself - is fluid, and keeps changing its social meanings. From a ‘serious' high political perspective there is no history of leisure and leisure is trivial. Such perspectives have long lost their grip on the historical imagination, of course, and we have had histories of...

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  • The great Liberal landslide: the 1906 General Election in perspective

    Article

    On 1 May 1997 the Conservative party suffered an electoral defeat so overwhelming that political commentators were left rummaging through the statistics of the previous two centuries to find anything similar. The Times concluded on 3 May that it was the party's worst performance since 1832, though 'The disaster suffered...

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  • Breaking the 20 year rule: very modern history at GCSE

    Article

    History is the study of the past; some of the past is more recent than a glance over many schemes of work might lead us to think. Chris Culpin makes the case for ignoring the 20 year rule and tackling head on – and, crucially, historically – the big issues...

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  • Polychronicon 119: The Second World War and popular culture

    Article

    Polychronicon was a fourteenth-century chronicle that brought together much of the knowledge of its own age. Our Polychronicon in Teaching History is a regular feature helping school history teachers to update their subject knowledge, with special emphasis on recent historiography and changing interpretation. This edition of 'Polychronicon' investigates World War...

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  • England Arise! The General Election of 1945

    Article

    ‘The past week will live in history for two things’, announced the Sunday Times of 29 July 1945, ‘first the return of a Labour majority to Parliament and the end of Churchill's great war Premiership.’ Most other newspapers concurred. The Daily Mirror, of 27 July, proclaimed that the 1945 general election...

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  • Lloyd George & Gladstone

    Article

    Lloyd George, who died sixty years ago on 26 March 1945, grew up and began his Parliamentary career in Queen Victoria's reign. In taking up a major Welsh issue, disestablishment of the Church of Wales, he memorably clashed with William Ewart Gladstone, perhaps the greatest of all Liberal Prime Ministers....

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  • Polychronicon 117: interpretations of Douglas Haig

    Article

    Polychronicon was a fourteenth-century chronicle that brought together much of the knowledge of its own age. Our Polychronicon in Teaching History is a regular feature helping school history teachers to update their subject knowledge, with special emphasis on recent historiography and changing interpretation. This edition of 'Polychronicon' considers the historical...

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  • Please send socks'. How much can Reg Wilkes tell us about the Great War?

    Article

    This was an opportunity all good historians dream about. A large box crammed with artefacts about a soldier who fought in the First World War, just begging to be read, studied, sorted and organised. Being faced with such a wealth of uncatalogued primary evidence could have proved daunting enough without...

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  • Cunning Plan 100: teaching the First World War in Year 9

    Article

    History teacher and head of department stand outside noisy Year 9 class. Bombs (paper ones) fly everywhere; in corner of room mutiny is being discussed ... many pupils are refusing to follow their leader's last minute orders - they will not be opting for history! The war of attrition (excessive...

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  • Practical classroom approaches to the iconography of Irish history or: how far back do we really have to go?

    Article

    Ben Walsh presents a structured practical activity for teaching pupils about Northern Ireland through the use of murals. The activity can be carried out in Year 9 as part of a study on the twentieth-century world, or as part of a GCSE course. He stresses the importance of an informed...

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  • Mentioning the War: does studying World War Two make any difference to pupils' sense of British achievement and identity?

    Article

    All of this edition is based on the assumption that the teaching of history can have a significant impact upon the values, views and attitudes of our pupils. But how much impact does it have and of what type? And do we ever examine that impact in order to rethink...

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  • Pride and delight: motivating pupils through poetic writing about the First World War

    Article

    This project emerged from team-teaching with history teachers in history lessons. Gill Minikin draws upon her expertise as an English teacher to help pupils become excited by the challenge of ‘squeezing language' into poems. History teachers often ask pupils to write poems but they do not necessarily draw upon all...

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