Power

The accumulation of, the acceptance of, and the use of power are all explored in this section. The individual reigns of some monarchs are looked at such as those from the Tudor period, but so are other leaders, despotic and revolutionary. Contemporary issues of the use of power in a democracy are explored are more complex ideas around power through individual actions and movements in history.

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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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  • The Origins of Parliament

    Article

    He who would seek the origins of parliament cannot proceed without knowing that this is, and this has been, a matter much controverted. English politics have very often been conducted in terms of what has passed for history, not least because they have so frequently revolved around the rights 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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  • Government and Society in Late Medieval Spain

    Article

    Government and Society in Late Medieval Spain: From the accession of the House of Trastámara to Ferdinand and IsabellaThe history of late medieval Spain is usually seen as a tiresome introduction to the reigns of the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. Modern historians tend to portray them as ‘new monarchs',...

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  • Faction in Tudor England

    Article

    'This wicked Tower must be fed with blood' - W. S. Gilbert's dialogue sums up the popular myth of Tudor England. This pamphlet looks at the reality, a society and politics necessarily divided into rival factions by the pulls of patronage, local loyalty and the implications of personal monarchy, and...

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  • The Lords of Renaissance Italy

    Article

    The Lords of Renaissance Italy: the signori, 1250-1500 Among the many city states into which Italy was divided in the late medieval and early modern period, the republics of Florence and Venice are comparatively well known. Republicanism was not, however, the most common form of government. This pamphlet deals with states...

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  • The Northern Ireland Question 1886-1986

    Article

    The nature of the rights of majorities and minorities is one of the most intractable of the issues raised by the Northern Ireland question, especially since much depends on definitions. Ulster Protestants are a majority in that province but a minority in both Ireland and the United Kingdom, while Catholics,...

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  • Louis XIV

    Article

    Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 and became King on May 14 1643 at the age of four years and eight months on the death of his father Louis XIII. He attended the Conseil d'en haut from 1649 when he was eleven years old. He announced his coming...

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  • An English Absolutism?

    Article

    The term 'Absolutism' was coined in France in the 1790s, but the concept which described it was familiar to many Englishmen in the late seventeenth century. They talked of 'absolute monarchy', 'tyranny', 'despotism' and above all 'arbitrary government'. Their use of such terns were pejorative: they described political regimes of...

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Czech Uranium and Stalin's Bomb

    Article

    Z.A.B. Zeman uncovers a fateful link between Czechoslovakia’s brief monopoly of uranium in Europe and the country’s subordination to the USSR. The great uranium rush started in 1943 and lasted for about seven years. Unlike the gold rushes of the past, uranium did not promise untold riches to individuals but...

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  • Stalin, Propaganda, and Soviet Society during the Great Terror

    Article

    Sarah Davies explores the evidence that even in the most repressive phases of Stalin’s rule, there existed a flourishing ‘shadow culture’, a lively and efficient unofficial network of information and ideas. 'Today a man only talks freely with his wife — at night, with the blankets pulled over his head.’...

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  • The 'Era of the Dictators' Reconsidered

    Article

    Kenneth Thomson reflects on major aspects of the ‘era of the dictators’ after the collapse of Soviet Communism and its satellite regimes. In 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, almost the whole of continental Europe was ruled by dictatorships of various political hues. Even countries, like France,...

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