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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • William Stubbs

    Article

    William Stubbs was among the earliest, and is still one of the greatest of the academical English historians. His life (1825-1901) fell in a period that produced a notable succession of distinguished historians in England. He was the first of them to do his historical work as a resident teacher...

    Click to view
  • Elementary Education in the Nineteenth Century

    Article

    All schemes for education involve some consideration of the surrounding society, its existing structure and how it will-and should-develop. Thus the interaction of educational provision and institutions with patterns of employment, social mobility and political behaviour are fascinatingly complex. The spate of valuable local studies emphasizes this complexity and makes...

    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
  • Bristol and the Slave Trade

    Article

    Captain Thomas Wyndham of Marshfield Park in Somerset was on voyage to Barbary where he sailed from Kingroad, near Bristol, with three ships full of goods and slaves thus beginning the association of African Trade and Bristol. In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Bristol was not a place of...

    Click to view
  • Podcast Series: The British Empire 1800-Present

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcasted History of the British Empire 1800-Present featuring Dr Seán Lang of Anglia Ruskin University, Dr John Stuart of Kingston University London, Professor A. J. Stockwell and Dr Larry Butler of the University of East Anglia.

    Click to view
  • Film: An Interview with Margaret MacMillan

    Multipage Article

    The HA are delighted to announce that the Medlicott Medal for 2015 has been awarded to Professor Margaret MacMillan. The Medlicott Medal is for outstanding contributions to the study and enjoyment of history. The award will be presented on Wednesday 8 July 2015 in central London, where she will also...

    Click to view
  • Waterloo's prizefight factor

    Article

    Image: 'Pierce Egan celebrates the Boxiana touch as Napoleon is floored' David Snowdon examines the impact of the world of ‘pugilism' on the army during the Napoleonic Wars and looks at some famous boxers who perished in the battle. By 1815, one writer, and one sporting publication, had become synonymous with...

    Click to view
  • The Battle of Waterloo: Sunday 18 June 1815

    Article

    John Morewood explores the events of 18 June 1815 in detail and asks just how accurate is our view of what happened on the field of Waterloo.SummaryWaterloo is the most famous battle in a four-battle campaign fought from 15 June to 19 June 1815. On one side were an allied...

    Click to view
  • The British soldier in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars

    Article

    Scum of the earth – or fine fellows?Carole Divall asks whether the men of the British Army really were ‘the scum of the earth’, as often asserted, or willing soldiers who earned the respect of the French.‘Soldiers were regarded as day labourers engaged in unsavoury business; a money grant, and...

    Click to view
  • Medical aspects of the battle of Waterloo

    Article

    Michael Crumplin explores the medical facilities of the British Army and asks how likely soldiers wounded at Waterloo were to survive.The road to WaterlooOne of the very few benefits of conflict is the advancement of medical practice. The recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistanhave been dealing with relatively low volumes...

    Click to view
  • Driver Ben Cobey 8th Royal Field Artillery

    Article

    Alf Wilkinson asks why three men were awarded the Victoria Cross during the retreat from Mons in August 1914 and the fourth involved in the action wasn’t. What does that tell us about Britain during the arly days of the Great War?In August 1914, when war broke out, the 75,000...

    Click to view
  • Filmed Interview: The Women of Bletchley Park

    Multipage Article

    Bletchley Park was the most important of the top secret intelligence sites during the Second World War. The quiet Buckinghamshire village hosted 10,000 people dedicated to defeating the Nazis, 75% of those were women. In this podcast we are lucky enough to have some of those women talking about their...

    Click to view
  • The Great Charter: Then and now

    Article

    Magna Carta is a document not only of national but of international importance. Alexander Lock shows how its name still has power all over the world, especially in the United States. Although today only three of its clauses remain on the statute book, Magna Carta still flourishes as a potent...

    Click to view
  • Magna Carta and the development of the British constitution

    Article

    Robert Blackburn explains why, 800 years on, Magna Carta still has relevance and meaning to us in Britain today.Magna Carta established the crucial idea that our rulers may not do whatever they like, but are subject to the law as agreed with the society over which they govern. In establishing...

    Click to view
  • An Interview with Linda Colley

    Multipage Article

    Professor Linda Colley CBE, FBA, FRSL, FRHistS is a British Historian and a Fellow of the Historical Association. At the start of 2014 she wrote and presented a BBC Radio 4 series about the Acts of Union and Disunion, now a book. Over the summer she came into the HA...

    Click to view
  • Home Rule for Ireland - For and against

    Article

    At a time when the United Kingdom continues to review its internal constitutional arrangements, Matthew Kelly explores how this constitutional debate can be traced back to Gladstone's decision to promote Home Rule for Ireland and how these proposals evolved over time and were challenged.Irish political history decisively entered a new...

    Click to view
  • Memorial Oaks at Wolsingham School

    Article

    Our World War I commemorative series continues with Robert Hopkinson's introduction to what the Imperial War Museum believes is the oldest war memorial in Britain. Wolsingham School and Community College, in Weardale, County Durham, celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2014. As part of the celebrations, there was an exhibition, a...

    Click to view