World

The modern world cannot be studied without examining the course, impact and legacy of two world wars, the resources in this section set out to look at both the First and Second World Wars in their global context. The section also includes the Cold War and its impact in Latin America, South-East Asia and parts of Africa. This period also sees the rise and fall of European imperialism and the changing nature of global politics and economics as technology brings different stories from so many parts of the world directly to us. Read more

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  • The Great Powers in the Pacific

    Article

    This pamphlet covers a very large period of history in a very important region with great detail and focus. Themes that are covered include the transition of power and dominance in the pacific region, the conflicts that frequently arose in the struggle for pacific dominance throughout the centuries, as well...

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  • 'Women and Children first!' a lost tale of Empire and Heroism

    Article

    In January 1852, under the command of Captain Robert Salmond, HMS Birkenhead left Portsmouth carrying troops and officers' wives and families from ten different regiments. Most were from the 73rd Regiment of Foot, and were on their way to South Africa to fight the Xhosa in the 8th Kaffir War (1850-1853),...

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  • The Long Winding Road to the White House

    Article

    The Long Winding Road to the White House: caucuses, primaries and national party conventions in the history of American presidential electionsAlmost the Last HurrahAt last we know officially. In late August at their 40th national convention in Tampa, Florida, the Republican party formally nominated its candidates to run for election...

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  • Historical Events or People in 10 Tweets - The Crimean War

    Article

    This is a new feature summarising an event or person using ten statements of only 140 characters (including spaces!). Compiled by Paula Kitching.The Crimean WarThe Crimean War exposed the power games amongst European powers & the declining Ottoman Empire using religious upset for political advanceAfter much posturing Russia attacked Turkey...

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  • The Kensetts and furniture making in Britain and America

    Article

    Every household needs beds, tables, chairs and cupboards, and every office, factory, workshop and school needs desks, workbenches, seating and shelving. Demand for these items rose in the nineteenth century as a direct result of remarkable population growth and industrialisation. The population of England and Wales in 1801 more than...

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  • Antarctica 100 years on from Captain Scott

    Article

    No longer "A Pole Apart": Antarctica 100 years on from Captain ScottAt last on 12 November 1912 the search party found the tent almost totally buried in snow. According to Thomas Williamson: ‘Mr Wright came towards us, and said it was the Polar Party ... it was a great blow to...

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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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  • Have gun, will travel: The myth of the frontier in the Hollywood Western

    Article

    The Western movies that from around 1910 until the 1960s made up at least a fifth of all the American film titles on general release signified escapist entertainment for British audiences: an alluring vision of vast open spaces, of cowboys on horseback outlined against an imposing landscape. For Americans themselves,...

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  • The Undergrowth of History

    Article

    We can do all kinds of things with the past - examine it analytically, or question whether it ever existed, or churn it up inside ourselves until it turns into personal experience. We can dream it as we lounge amidst a heap of ruins, or petrify it into a museum;...

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  • India and the British war effort, 1939-1945

    Article

    India was vital as a source of men and material for the British in the Second World War, despite the constitutional, social and economic issues which posed threats to its contribution. Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India 1940-5, wrote to Churchill, 8 April 1941: ‘My prime care had naturally...

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  • Drought, Dust and Despair

    Article

    World War I had traumatised Britain and gravely shaken Australia, with the young nation losing over 60,000 men to the bloodshed in Europe. With poor social conditions wracking the United Kingdom and Australia looking to boost its population and open up the more remote regions for agriculture, the seeds were...

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  • Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal

    Article

    New Deal is the name given to the policies of the American president Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1930s. Elected in 1932, at a time of great economic depression, he sought to alleviate distress by using the inherent powers of government, and the New Deal era come to be seen...

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  • The Second World War

    Article

    On 5 September 1939 the German Führer, Adolf Hitler, paid a surprise visit to the corps which was in the forefront of his army's ferocious assault upon Poland. As they passed the remains of a smashed Polish artillery regiment, the corps commander, General Guderian, astonished Hitler by telling him that...

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  • Polychronicon 143: the Balfour Declaration

    Article

    In a letter from the British Foreign Secretary, A.J. Balfour, to Lord Rothschild, the Anglo-Jewish leader, on 2 November 1917, the British Government declared its intention to ‘facilitate' the ‘establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people'. The Balfour Declaration, as it became known, was endorsed by...

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  • The British Government's Confidential Files on the United States

    Article

    Unpublished papers in Britain's National Archives at Kew reveal curious undercurrents in Anglo-American relations. After the conclusion of the Boer War, for example, the British Army supposed that the next major conflict would be not with Germany but with the U.S. A memo printed for circulation in July 1904 entitled ‘A...

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  • The End of Colonial Rule in West Africa

    Article

    The dissolution of colonial empires since the Second World War is a major theme of contemporary history, and one which will challenge historians for many years to come. There are still sharp disagreements as to how this change should be described. European scholars tend to use the term ‘decolonization' (at...

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  • Diagrams in History

    Article

    One of the gifts of the social sciences to history is the use of expository diagrams; but attention is rarely given to the history of diagrams. Maps - schematized representations of locations in spatial relation to one another - can be dated back to Babylonia in the late third millennium...

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  • Imperialism resurgent: European attempts to 'recolonise' South East Asia after 1945

    Article

    ‘To think that the people of Indochina would be content to settle for less [from the French] than Indonesia has gained from the Dutch or India from the British is to underestimate the power of the forces that are sweeping Asia today'.An American adviser in 1949 cited: Robin Jeffrey ed.,...

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  • President Barack Obama and the State of the Union Address

    Article

    IntroductionShortly after noon on 20 January 2009 Barack Obama began his historic Inaugural Address as 44th President of the United States of America. On the west porch of the Capitol, home to the US Congress, and under propitiously blue skies, the first African American president spoke before more than 1,500,000...

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  • The Journey to Icarie and Reunion: A Romance of Socialism on the Texas Frontier

    Article

    The viewer of the internationally popular television show Dallas was routinely treated to an aerial tour that skimmed across the open prairie over the distinctive skyscrapers across the fifty-yard line of Texas Stadium and up the manicured pastures of South Fork.This façade of larger-than-life Texana reflects an urban reality in...

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