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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  • Remember Peterloo!

    Article

    The BBC News at 10 on Saturday 5 July included an announcement that Manchester's campaign to have a memorial erected to the victims of the Peterloo Massacre had ‘got under way'. That afternoon, a workshop organised by the Peterloo Memorial  campaign had encouraged members of the public to express their...

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  • Remembering Neville Chamberlain

    Article

    Brent Dyck is a Canadian teacher and a previous contributor to The  Historian. In this short essay he offers us his objective  interpretation of the achievements of Neville Chamberlain. For some what he says may seem surprising and for others it might even be controversial. However, editorially it seemed entirely...

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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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  • Robert Peel: Portraiture and political commemoration

    Article

    On 4 March 1856, during a debate in the House of Lords on a motion to form a ‘Gallery of National Portraits', the Conservative peer Earl Stanhope quoted Thomas Carlyle's view that ‘one of the most primary wants [of the historian is] to secure a bodily likeness of the personage...

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  • Round About A Pound A Week

    Article

    In this edition, we begin a new occasional feature, where we explore a classic text that had a major impact both at the time it was published, and since. Alf Wilkinson discusses a book first published in 1913, and still in print, and explains why he thinks it is as...

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  • Royal Women: Queen Anne, Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II

    Multipage Article

    In June 2012 the Historical Association and Historic Royal Palaces joined forces to offer a fantastic CPD opportunity in line with the Queen's diamond jubilee. Two CPD events around the theme of Royal Women charted the private histories of queens of the past from within the walls of their palaces. What...

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  • Sir Francis Fletcher Vane, anti-militarist: The great boy scout schism of 1909

    Article

    Sir Francis Patrick Fletcher Vane, fifth baronet (1861-1934), a man of wideranging but seemingly contradictory passions and interests, was an idealistic but also hard-working aristocrat who played a major role in shaping the early Boy Scout movement in London. While the name of the founder of the Boy Scouts, Robert...

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  • Smithfield's Bartholomew Fair

    Article

    On the north-western side of the City of London, directly in front of St Bartholomew's Hospital near the ancient church of St Bartholomew the Great, there once lay a ‘smooth field', now known as Smithfield. This open space of around ten acres had a long and turbulent history. In medieval...

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  • Spencer Perceval private values and public virtues

    Article

    The public man and his career Spencer Perceval's career as a public figure lasted from 1796 when he became a King's Counsel and MP for Northampton until his murder sixteen years later at the age of 49. He was shot in the lobby of the House of Commons at 5.15pm...

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  • Spy Fever' in Britain, 1900 to 1914

    Article

    The decade and a half prior to the First World War saw Britain experience a virulent, some might say sordid phenomenon that has been referred to as ‘spy fever.’ This article traces the roots of spy fever, and examines its nature, before assessing its effects on Britain between 1900 and...

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  • Stalinism

    Article

    Stalin's remarkable career raises quite fundamental questions for anyone interested in history. Marxists, whose philosophy should cause them to downgrade the role of ‘great men' as an explanation of great events, have problems in fitting Stalin into the materialist interpretation of history: did not this man ride rough-shod over the...

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  • Stanley Baldwin's reputation

    Article

    Falsification of history is normally associated with dictatorships rather than liberal democracies. Yet tendentious accounts of the recent past are part of the armoury of all types of political debate. Such manipulation usually has only a limited and short-term influence, because it is neutralised by different political parties offering contending...

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  • Strange Journey: the life of Dorothy Eckersley

    Article

    Meeting in BerlinThree days before the outbreak of the Second World War, William Joyce, the leader of the British Nazi group, the National Socialist League, was in Berlin. He and his wife, Margaret, had fled there fearing internment by the British government if war broke out. Yet as war drew...

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  • TV: modern father of history?

    Article

    Bettany Hughes Norton Medlicott Medal Winner LectureIn 1991 I travelled to the BBC for a meeting with a senior television producer. It seemed to me that history just wasn't getting a fair crack of the whip. I talked animatedly about the on-screen discoveries that could be made and the academic...

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  • Tank development in the First World War

    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...

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  • The 'Penny Dreadful'

    Article

    "I wish I know'd as much as you, Dick. How did you manage to pick it up?""Mother taught me most, and I read all the books I can get.""So do I; sich rattling tales, too ---‘The Black Phantom; or, the White Spectre of the Pink Rock.' Its fine, it is;...

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  • The Advent of Decimalisation in Britain: 1971

    Article

    Decimal Day in Britain was Monday 15 February 1971. New coins and notes were circulated. There was no special issue postage stamp to commemorate the occasion, only a new series with some unfamiliar values, such as 7½p instead of 1s 6d. The fortieth anniversary of the arrival of decimal currency...

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  • 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...

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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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  • 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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