Britain & Ireland

What was it about industrialisation that led to the emergence of a woman’s movement in Victorian Britain? Why do we see so many people fighting for so many rights and liberties in this period and what are the origins of some of the issues we still campaign on today? This section includes our major series on Social and Political Change in the UK from 1800 to the present day. There are also articles and podcasts on the often violent relationship between England and Ireland during this period and England’s changing relationship with Scotland and Wales. Read more

Sort by: Date (Newest first) | Title A-Z
  • 1851 by Asa Briggs

    Article

    This classic pamphlet is being re-published in digital form to coincide with the special edition of The Historian devoted to the memory of Asa Briggs. He was one of the most illustrious members of the Historical Association and a devotedly loyal member all his life. One Historian has said that...

    Click to view
  • Podcast Series: The Women's Movement

    Multipage Article

    In Part 2 of our series on Social and Political Change in the UK 1800-present we look at the Women's Movement in the UK from its early origins through to the end of the 20th century Part 2 features Dr Anne Logan, Professor June Hannam and Ms Jean Spence.

    Click to view
  • Podcast Series: Politics, Reform and War.

    Multipage Article

    In Part 1 of our series on Social and Political Change in the UK 1800-present we look at UK political history, political reform and the domestic impact of the World Wars. This series features Professor Eric Evans, Professor Stanley Henig, Professor Richard Grayson, Professor Keith Laybourn, Dr Daniel Todman and Dr Helen Parr.

    Click to view
  • Podcast Series: Religion in the UK

    Multipage Article

    In Part 5 of our series on Social and Political Change in the UK 1800-present we look at religion in the U.K. This set of podcasts features Dr Janice Holmes of the Open University, Revd Dr Jeremy Morris, Dean, Fellow, and Director of Studies in Theology at King's College, Andrew Copson,...

    Click to view
  • The development of the Department of Health

    Article

    Health as a specific feature of central government strategy is a relatively recent phenomenon and Hugh Gault identifies how this feature of everyday headlines in our newspapers has been managed until the present time. At the start of the twentieth  century Lord Salisbury’s Cabinet comprised four Secretaries of State –...

    Click to view
  • Admiral Lord Mountbatten

    Article

    Mountbatten was a controversial figure who died in tragic circumstances but Adrian Smith demonstrates that, behind his aristocratic facade, he was a very adept, talented and formative personality. Four years have passed since the re-opening of Broadlands, the Hampshire home of Lord and Lady Brabourne. The house was subject to...

    Click to view
  • British organised youth and the First World War

    Article

    This posthumously published article by John Springhall was presented to us, with recommended illustrations, shortly before his death. I t reflects his interest in popular culture and how people lived their lives in quite a remarkable manner. Adult-directed British uniformed youth movements played a  significant but often overlooked role during...

    Click to view
  • The Great Yarmouth Suspension Bridge Disaster of 1845

    Article

    Many communities have cataclysmic disasters which tend to dominate or define their local history. Gareth Davies reveals that the sudden collapse of the Great Yarmouth Suspension Bridge is a telling example of this trend. Beside the waters of the River Bure in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk stands a shiny black memorial...

    Click to view
  • Tank development

    Article

    The emergence of the tank as a further weapon of war is inextricably associated with Lincoln where various early models were developed. By 1915 the Great War had gone just about as far as it could and for the first time, the way an entire war was fought was described...

    Click to view
  • Promoting the First World War, 1914-16

    Article

    The popular image of the First World War is of young men leaving the tedium of the factory or the mine to volunteer for service on the Western Front in one of Kitchener’s new armies. Less well known is the background effort that went into maintaining and strengthening morale as...

    Click to view
  • Radicalism and its Results, 1760-1837

    Article

    Radicalism with a large "R", unlike Conservatism with a large "C" and Liberalism with a large "L", is not a historical term of even proximate precision. There was never a Radical Party with a national organization, local associations, or a treasury. But there were, and there are, "Radicals", generally qualified...

    Click to view
  • The Victorian Age

    Article

    This Classic Pamphlet was published in 1937 (the centenary of the accession of Queen Victoria, who succeeded to the throne on June 20, 1837). Synopsis of contents: 1. Is the Victorian Age a distinct 'period' of history? Landmarks establishing its beginning: the Reform Bill, railways, other inventions, new leaders in...

    Click to view
  • Earth in vision: Enviromental Broadcasting

    Article

    Joe Smith, Kim Hammond and George Revill share some of the findings of their work examining what digital broadcast archives are available and which could be made available in future.  The BBC’s archives hold over a million hours of programmes, dating back to the 1930s (radio) and 1940s (television). It...

    Click to view
  • Battle of the Somme

    Article

    The versions of history on our cinema screens have an important influence upon public perceptions of the past. In his article Taylor Downing explores how the wartime Britishgovernment used the cinema for propaganda purposes and how the film Battle of the Somme contributes to portrayals of that battle to this...

    Click to view
  • Podcast Series: Britain's Changing Population

    Multipage Article

    In Part 3 of our series on Social and Political Change in the UK 1800-present we look at diversity in the UK. Our initial podcasts examine African and Caribbean UK History, South Asian UK History and British Chinese History. We shall be adding to these podcasts over time. The first...

    Click to view
  • Podcast Series: British LGBT History

    Multipage Article

    In Part 4 of our series on Social and Political Change in the UK since 1800 we focus on UK LGBT History. This series of podcasts features Dr Matt Cook and Dr Sean Brady of Birkbeck, University of London, Professor Sally R Munt of the University of Sussex and Dr Emma Vickers...

    Click to view
  • Women in British Coal Mining

    Article

    With the final closure of Britain’s deep coal mines, Chris Wrigley examines the long-standing involvement of women in and around this challenging and dangerous form of work. With the closure in 2015 of Thoresby and Kellingley mines, the last two working deep coal mines in Britain, leaving only open-cast coal...

    Click to view
  • First Zeppelin shot down over Britain

    Article

    In the First World War Britain suddenly became vulnerable to aerial attack. Alf Wilkinson records a memorable turning-point in the battle against the Zeppelin menace. On the night of the 2-3 September 1916 Lieutenant William Leefe Robinson became the first pilot to shoot down a Zeppelin raider over Britain. He...

    Click to view
  • A Zeppelin VC remembered

    Article

    Ronan Thomas introduces the bravery of Rex Warneford who was the first pilot successfully to bring down a Zeppelin in 1915. Rex Warneford was one of Britain’s ‘bravest of the brave’. A Royal Navy fighter pilot during the First World War, he was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George...

    Click to view
  • Amphibious Warfare in British History

    Article

    The term "Amphibious Warfare" was adopted a few years ago to indicate a form of a strategy of which the characteristic was the descent of the sea-borne armies upon the coasts and ports of an enemy. It is not a method peculiar to Great Britain, for all maritime nations from...

    Click to view