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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  • Attitudes to Liberty and Enslavement: the career of James Irving, a Liverpool slave ship surgeon and captain?

    Article

    Prior to abolition in 1807, Britain was the world’s leading slave trading nation. Of an estimated six million individuals forcibly transported from Africa in the transatlantic slave trade in the eighteenth century, almost 2.5 million (40 per cent) were carried in British vessels.2 The contemporary attitudes and assumptions which underpinned...

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  • Iconic Images of War: photographs that changed history

    Article

    The recent photographs taken of US troops apparently abusing Iraqi prisoners-of-war in Abu Ghraib Jail have attracted attention across the world. Although it is too early to say whether these images will come to represent the essential character of the current Iraq conflict, they have altered public perceptions, producing doubt...

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  • Echoes of Tsushima

    Article

    In 2005 East Asian regional strategy is once again a hot topic for policy makers, diplomats and journalists. As China begins to reassert herself regionally and as her economy revives to challenge conceptions of her place in the world, Japan, Russia, Korea (North and South) and the United States are...

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  • Brazil and the two World Wars

    Article

    Brazil and the outbreak of the First World War At the beginning of the twentieth century Brazil was on the periphery of a world order that revolved around decisions made by the great European powers. Although it was the largest and most populated nation in South America, Brazil possessed an...

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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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  • 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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  • Pressure and Persuasion Canadian agents and Scottish emigration, c. 1870- c. 1930

    Article

    In February, 1907, the Canadian government’s most northerly regional emigration office in the British Isles opened for business in Aberdeen. Located near the city centre, only a stone’s throw from the docks and the railway station, it soon fulfilled the expectation that it would capture the attention of a large...

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  • Radiating the Revolution: Agitation in the Russian Civil War 1917-21

    Article

    When the Bolsheviks seized power in what was essentially a carefully organised coup d’état in October 1917, they seized control only of the levers of central power in the then capital, Petrograd, which had already become the centre of working-class discontent. What they most emphatically did not do was to...

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  • The origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Article

    On 29 January 1949 there was a debate in the British House of Commons. When Winston Churchill, the leader of the opposition, interrupted Ernest Bevin’s history of the Palestine problem he was told by the Foreign Secretary: ‘over half a million Arabs have been turned by the Jewish immigrants into...

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  • Bertrand Russell's Role in the Cuban Missile Crisis

    Article

    'An attack on the United States with 10,000 megatons would lead to the death of essentially all of the American people and to the destruction of the nation.’ ‘In 1960 President Kennedy mentioned 30,000 megatons as the size of the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.’1 In the autumn of 1962...

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  • The Uses of History in the Twenty First Century

    Article

    Dr. David Starkey has recently spoken on ‘public history’ (clearly distinguished from ‘academic history’) as a key factor in the making of national identity.1 He gives an eloquent and fascinating sketch of the way Englishness’ developed, reaching its first great climax in the ferment of nationalism, which characterised the Tudor...

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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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  • Savages and rattlesnakes', Washington, District of Columbia: A British Diplomat's view 1823-5

    Article

    Henry Unwin Addington, a nephew of the former British prime minister, Henry Addington, had joined the Foreign Office at the age of 16 in 1806. After serving in various junior diplomatic posts in Europe he learnt in 1822 that he was to be promoted to secretary of legation in Washington....

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  • The Duke whose life began and ended in a barn

    Article

    Though ill-luck came the way of the Harvey family last autumn when their hay barn was gutted by fire, they hardly expected it to become national news. The family run a dairy farm in the Jock River country south of what is now Ottawa in Canada – nothing extraordinary about...

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  • Eighteenth-century Britain and its Empire

    Article

    The concept of an ‘English’ or even of a ‘British’ empire has been in use at least from the sixteenth century. What the term then conveyed was of course very different from what it was to convey in modern times. By the mid-eighteenth century, however, contemporaries were beginning to envisage...

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  • 'The Generous Turk': Some Eighteenth-Century Attitudes

    Article

    Notwithstanding the tribal hatred recently shown for each other by a handful of English and Turkish football fanatics, nobody who has travelled in Turkey or taken a holiday in that country can have failed to notice the courtesy and generosity with which visitors are invariably treated. Indeed, one of the...

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  • Britain and the Formation of NATO

    Article

    Carl Watts outlines the shift in British security policy and examines the role played by the Foreign Office during the post-War period. April 1999 marks the 50th anniversary of the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty, which came into effect in August 1949. The Cold War is over, but NATO...

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  • The Press and the Public during the Boer War 1899-1902

    Article

    Dr Jacqueline Beaumont Hughes considers some aspects of the role of the Press during the Boer War. The conflict between Great Britain and the Republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State which slipped into war in October 1899 was to become the most significant since the Crimean war. It...

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  • Photography in Korea, The Hermit Kingdom

    Article

    Terry Bennett provides an introduction to the earliest surviving photographs of Korea. It is, on the face of it, remarkable how late it was before the camera ventured into Korea. If we accept that photography effectively began with Louis Daguerre’s invention in 1839, it was a full 32 years later,...

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  • Photography in Korea, The Hermit Kingdom

    Article

    Terry Bennett provides an introduction to the earliest surviving photographs of Korea. It is, on the face of it, remarkable how late it was before the camera ventured into Korea. If we accept that photography effectively began with Louis Daguerre’s invention in 1839, it was a full 32 years later,...

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