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

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  • Podcast Series: Thomas Paine

    Multipage Article

    In this set of podcasts Emeritus Professor W. A. Speck of the University of Leeds looks at the life and ideas of Thomas Paine.

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  • A Story in Stone: the Tirah War Memorial in Dorchester

    Article

    The Tirah memorial stands in a corner of Borough Gardens, a Victorian park in Dorchester, county town of Dorset. It is a granite obelisk decorated with a motif of honeysuckle and laurel wreaths standing 4.5 metres high on a square granite plinth. This in turn stands upon a circular concrete...

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  • Newcastle and the General Strike 1926

    Article

    The nine-day General Strike of May 1926 retains a totemic place in the nation's history nearly 100 years later. The Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill was among those who attempted to characterise it as anarchy and revolution, but this was hyperbole and largely inaccurate for, as Ellen Wilkinson (then...

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  • The shortest war in history: The Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896

    Article

    At 9am on 27 August 1896, following an ultimatum, five ships of the Royal Navy began a bombardment of the Royal Palace and Harem in Zanzibar. Thirty-eight, or 40, or 43 minutes later, depending on which source you believe, the bombardment stopped when the white flag of surrender was raised...

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  • An Interview with Jackie

    Multipage Article

    An au revoir but not goodbye from outgoing HA President Professor Jackie Eales  Jackie Eales has been an enthusiastic President for the last three years who has been very happy to visit many of the branches to give lectures and to assist in key HA events.Jackie's lectures at the HA annual...

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  • Writing the First World War - Podcasts

    Multipage Article

    The Writing the First World War event in partnership with the English Association and the British Library took place at the British Library in London on April 14th. Over 80 teachers attended a wonderful day of stimulating professional development which was kicked off by a thought provoking take on how...

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  • Richard Evans Medlicott lecture: The Origins of the First World War

    Article

    This year the Historical Association's Medlicott medal for services to history went to Professor Sir Richard Evans. Richard Evans is the Regius Professor of History at Cambridge and President of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He has written numerous highly respected and internationally best-selling books. Evans is bests known for his works on...

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  • Gary Sheffield: Origins of the First World War

    Article

    Gary Sheffield, Professor of War studies, the University of Wolverhampton, is one of the UK's foremost historians on the First World War.  He is the author of numerous books and previously held posts at the University of Birmingham and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In April 2014 he spoke at an HA event for teachers...

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  • Moral panics over commercial entertainment since 1830

    Article

    ‘Guilty pleasures'In 1866 the Select Committee on Theatrical Licenses and Regulations questioned Inspector Richard Reason:Col. Stuart: What is the class of people who go [to penny theatres]?[Police] Inspector Richard Reason: I should think there is a great number of the criminal class, and some of the children of the working...

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  • D-Day, Commemorations - the last big year to remember?

    Article

    This year it was the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The world's politicians and media went into overdrive about it. The BBC dedicated a whole day to the coverage, mainly live from Normandy while small events took place around the UK. For a whole day the upcoming centenary of the First...

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  • The Centenary of the First World War: An unpopular view

    Article

    We are delighted to have an original article by Gary Sheffield in this edition of The Historian. Gary Sheffield is Professor of War Studies, University of Wolverhampton. He is a specialist on Britain at war 1914-45 and is one of Britain's foremost historians on the First World War. He has...

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  • Obituaries: the first verdict in history

    Article

    Last year marked the deaths of two world-renowned historical figures - Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela. Their obituaries reflected the marked contrast in the way the pair were viewed. Mandela ended up by being universally admired, while Thatcher was both adored and despised in seemingly equal measure. Writer Nigel Starck...

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  • The Black Leveller

    Article

    History is rarely far removed from today's concerns. What is true of history in general is true of biography; specifically. Darcus Howe: a political biography is no exception. In writing it, we were consciously intervening in current debates about Britain and ‘race'. The impetus to write emerged in 2008 during...

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  • Local Authority Housing

    Article

    Local authority housing has been a distinctive feature of the British housing system throughout the twentieth century. This pamphlet outlines the development of local authority housing in Britain from its origins in the late nineteenth century to the present day, focusing on the ways in which policy changes have affected...

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  • The Bristol Riots

    Article

    In 1831, Bristol suffered the worst outbreak of urban rioting since the Gordon Riots in London over fifty years earlier. Twelve rioters were officially declared to have died as a result of confrontations with troops and special constables, and many more unidentifiable corpses were discovered among the ruins of the...

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  • The English Domestic Servant in English History

    Article

    The history of domestic service in England has yet to be written. Hewers of wood and drawers of water there have always been, but historians have usually been little concerned with them. The material for their history is scattered and difficult to assess; even the word ‘servant' is not easy...

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  • From Sail to Steam

    Article

    From the time when primitive man first went adrift on a bundle of reeds or learnt to balance himself on a floating log, to the days where his descendants, no more than a few generations ago, raced scrambling aloft to trim the towering sails of a full-rigged ship, the skill...

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  • The Origins of the First World War

    Article

    The First World War broke out suddenly and unexpectedly in midsummer 1914, following the murder of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Hapsburg, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, at Sarajevo, in Bosnia, on 28 June. Since no war involving the European great powers had occurred since 1871, the possibility of...

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  • The Yeomanry, 1913

    Article

    The Territorial Force, as formed in 1908, had 54 cavalry regiments organised in 14 brigades and known collectively as the Yeomanry. This meant that the Yeomanry consisted of 1,168 officers and 23,049 other ranks in September 1913 out of a Territorial Force which numbered 9,390 officers and 236,389 other ranks....

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  • Each man's life was worth 1sh 1d 1/2d!

    Article

    Alf Wilkinson explores Britain's biggest coal mining disaster, at Senghenydd Colliery, in South Wales, in October 1913.At ten past eight in the morning of Tuesday 14 October 1913, just after 900 men had started work underground, an explosion ripped through Senghenydd Colliery, near Caerphilly, killing 439 miners and, later in...

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