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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  • Film: Reimagining the Blitz Spirit

    Article

    Dr Jo Fox continued our virtual branch lecture series this July on the subject 'Reimagining the Blitz Spirit: the mobilisation of World War II propaganda in our own times'. Fox is the Director of the Institute of Historical Research and a well-known historian specialising in the history of propaganda, rumour and truth telling.  In this talk...

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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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  • 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...

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  • 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 –...

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  • 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...

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  • Admiral Lord Mountbatten: man of science and royal role model

    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...

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  • 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...

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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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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • Battle of the Somme: the making of the 1916 propaganda film

    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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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