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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  • Joseph Priestley's American Dream

    Article

    Joseph Priestley ended his days in Northumberland Pennsylvania. This is one of the most delightful spots in the eastern United States. It is situated at the confluence of the North Western and North Eastern branches of the Susquehanna, one of the great rivers of North America, which winds its way...

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  • Landowners and their motives for change at the Suffolk village of Culford between 1793 and 1903

    Article

    Isabel Jones from Thomas Mills High School at Framlingham was the winner of the Young Historian Award for Local History [16-19] in 2006. The Director of the Young Historian Project, Trevor James, has edited her winning essay. It has been shortened and the footnotes removed, to enable it to fit...

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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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  • 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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  • Lord Palmerston

    Article

    Lord Palmerston (1784-1865) has long interested (and confused) historians. A man of contradictions and paradoxes, he seemed both to embody modern Victorian Britain, and yet at the same time stand as a potent symbol of what had been lost.

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  • Louis, John, and William: the 'Dame Europa' pamphlets, 1870-1871

    Article

    The pamphlet printing industry in England received an unexpected boost in 1871 with the appearance of numerous works written, mainly, as commentaries, satires or allegories in Britain’s attitude regarding the Franco-Prussian War. The cause of this deluge was one particular tract, first issued on Salisbury in October 1870, whose purpose...

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  • 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...

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  • Marcus Morris and Eagle

    Article

    Marcus Morris and Eagle: Approved reading for boys in the 1950s & 1960sThe National Art Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London's South Kensington held an exhibition in the first five months of 2012 devoted entirely to British adventure comics of the  1950s and 1960s, many taken from...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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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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  • My grandfather's recollections of the invasion of Normandy

    Article

    16 year old Daisy Black of Newcastle-under-Lyme School in Staffordshire was the Senior Award winner in the Spirit of Normandy Trust Young Historian competition in 2007. Having been judged the winner by the Young Historian panel, the Spirit of Normandy Trsutees were so taken with her entry that they gave...

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  • Neville Chamberlain: Villain or Hero?

    Article

    Perhaps no other British figure of the twentieth century has been as vilified or as celebrated as Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister from 1937 to 1940. In 1999, a BBC Radio 4 poll of prominent historians, politicians and commentators rated Chamberlain as one of the worst Prime Ministers of...

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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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  • Nineteenth Century African chiefs in Nuneaton: A local mystery uncovered

    Article

    In Nuneaton’s St. Nicolas Churchyard lies a sizeable, though not elaborate, flat gravestone. It commemorates Canon Robert Savage, Vicar of the parish 1845-71, his wife Emma and many of their children. This tombstone, like so many in our graveyards, reveals a wide range of historical information, recording significant detail about...

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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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  • Oscar Wilde; the myth of martydom

    Article

    Over a century after his death, interest in Oscar Wilde and his work is at flood tide, with unprecedented levels of publication and research about Wilde and his work. Wildean studies proliferate, much in languages other than English. Recent translations of Wilde’s work have included Romanian, Hebrew, Swedish and Catalan,...

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  • Oxford's Literary War: Oxford University's servicemen and the Great War

    Article

    The last two decades have seen a slow shift in the academic understanding of the impact of the Great War on interwar Britain. The work of a small group of cultural historians has challenged strongly held pre-existing interpretations of the cultural impact of the Great War. However, there is still...

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  • Personality & Power: The individual's role in the history of twentieth-century Europe

    Article

    What role do individuals wielding great power play in determining significant historical change? And how do historians locate human agency in historical change, and explain it? These are the issues I would like to reflect a little upon here. They are not new problems. But they are inescapable ones for...

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  • Peterloo: HA interview with Mike Leigh and Jacqueline Riding

    Article

    The film Peterloo dramatises the people and events that led to the infamous ‘Peterloo’ massacre in August 1819. Respected film-maker Mike Leigh created the film using historical records and sources from the period, as he and historical adviser Jacqueline Riding explained to the HA in a recent interview, which you can watch below.  

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