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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  • Historical Diary: An Eighteenth-Century Gap Year

    Article

    Historical diaries written by children are rare and only seven from England and the United States written before 1800 are known to have survived. One of these, found tucked away in the London Metropolitan Archive, is the diary of William Hugh Burgess, a fifteen year-old boy who grew up in...

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  • 1914: The Coming of the First World War

    Article

    This pamphlet argues that the outbreak of the First World War represented not so much the culmination of a long process started by Bismarck and his successors, as the relatively sudden breakdown of a system that had in fact preserved the peace and contained the dangerous Eastern Question for over...

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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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  • Polychronicon 139: Civic denouncer: The lives of Pavlik Morozov

    Article

    Germaine Greer (in the context of the Pirelli Calendar) once commented that the defining feature of a legend was that almost nothing said and believed about it was true. Pavlik Morozov, notorious both inside Russia and internationally for having denounced his father, almost certainly never did so. In September 1932, local...

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  • Polychronicon 138: The Civil Rights Movement

    Article

    "He was The One, The Hero, The One Fearless Person for whom we had waited. I hadn't even realized before that we had been waiting for Martin Luther King, Jr, but we had." So spoke the novelist Alice Walker in 1972, looking back on her teenage years. And so wrote...

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  • The New Imperialism

    Article

    This Classic Pamphlet first published in 1970 comes with a new introduction written by the author M. E. Chamberlain.The New Imperialism - Introduction by M. E. Chamberlain Professor Emeritus at Swansea University. May 2010.When this pamphlet was first published imperialism was a hot political topic and battle raged between Marxist and...

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  • The Russian Constitutional Monarchy, 1907-17

    Article

    The defeat of the revolution of 1905 afforded the absolutist Tsarist monarchy an opportunity to reform the administration and to seek a new basis of support in place of the declining gentry class. Historians have been divided ever since over the constitutional system's chances of success. Had Tsardom advanced far...

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  • The League of Nations

    Article

    It is common to see the failure of the League of Nations in its inability to stand up to the crises of the inter-war years.Peter Raffo shows that the League was flawed from the start. Never more than a voluntary association of sovereign states hoping to create ‘an atmosphere capable...

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  • Winston Churchill and the Islamic World: Early Encounters

    Article

    Winston Churchill had a major impact on British and world history in the twentieth century. A great deal has been written on his roles in the two world wars and on many aspects of his career. Yet relatively little attention has been paid to his relations with the Islamic world....

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  • Alexander II

    Article

    The ‘great reforms' of Tsar Alexander II (1855-81) are generally recognised as the most significant events in modern Russian history between the reign of Peter the Great and the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. The most important of Alexander's reforms, the emancipation of he serfs in 1861, has been described...

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  • Napoleon: First Consul and Emperor of the French

    Article

    Four years after the battle of Waterloo, Richard Whately publicised a philosophical essay in which he argued that there was no real proof of Napoleon's existence. The deeds attributed to him were either so wondrously good or so amazingly bad that they far outran the evidence available to support them:...

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  • Between the Revolutions: Russia 1905 to 1917

    Article

    "The key question is this - is the peaceful renovation of the country possible? Or is it possible only by internal revolution?"This quotation succintly expresses the problem that faced both contemporaries and subsequant generations of historians confronting the development of Russia between the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. The upheavals...

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  • The Versailles Peace Settlement

    Article

    This classic pamphlet takes you through the Paris Peace Conference and the 'German Question', Peacemaking and the Treaty of Versailles, Europe and the German question after Versailles.

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  • British Defence and Appeasement Between the Wars 1919-1939

    Article

    Armed forces never exist in isolation, but always operate against a background of political, economic, social, cultural, intellectual and ideological conditions and attitudes, as well as in relation to diplomatic and strategic factors. Some governments regards their military forces especially their armies, more as instruments for maintaining internal order than...

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  • Nazism and Stalinism

    Article

    Is it legitimate to compare the Nazi and Stalinist regimes? There might seem little room for doubt. It is often taken as self-evident that the two regimes were variations of a common type. They are bracketed together in school and university courses, as well as text books, under labels such...

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  • The American Diplomatic Tradition

    Article

    Indisputably, the United States of America has been and continues to be the leading power of the twentieth century. No country or people, however large or small, has been immune from American influence. A succession of American presidents have become international celebrities whose personal strengths and weaknesses are discussed and disssected...

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  • Dean Mahomet: Travel writer, curry entrepreneur and shampooer to the King

    Article

    The National Portrait Gallery in London is home to many thousands of portraits, photographs and sculptures of the great and the good, as well as those who travelled on the darker side of history. In 2007 it hosted a small exhibition in the Porter Gallery entitled Between Worlds: Voyagers to...

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  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Introducing students to historical interpretation

    Article

    High school history teacher Brent Dyck is one of our Canadian readers. He has offered this item to The Historian as a contribution to our commitment to explore the historical approaches and values that we are seeking to convey to young people and the wider public. We hope that you may...

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  • Anorexia Nervosa in the nineteenth century

    Article

    First referred to by Richard Morton (1637-98) in his Phthisiologia under the denomination phthisis nervosa as long ago as 1689, anorexia nervosa was given its name in a note by Sir William Gull (1816-90) in 1874. Gull had earlier described a disorder he termed apepsia hysterica, involving extreme emaciation without...

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  • The Story of the First War in The Middle East over Oil

    Article

    (Redondo Beach, CA, February 11, 2008) In 1914, the British invaded Mesopotamia (now called Iraq) to protect their oil interests in the region. What began as a limited military initiative, with no expectation for occupation, resulted in over four decades of active political and military involvement, including the battling of...

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