The Historical Journal

Published by Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Online ISSN: 1469-5103
Publications
Article
The conventional picture of early Virginia suggests an almost exclusively male population, intent on personal profit, ruthlessly ignoring social considerations, lacking stability. This article argues that such a picture is an exaggeration, and draws attention to three communities, the inhabitants of which more closely resembled the rural English societies from which they had come. Particular attention is paid to the Neck of Land in Charles City, upriver from Jamestown close to the falls. The survival of administrative records makes possible an account of this small community between 1613 and 1629, revealing a hamlet of healthy married families whose concerns were sex, land, and status, rather than death and disease or the neighbouring Indian menace; and where stability in the 1620s did not, however, mean the absence of social tensions. Thus the Neck of Land, taken together with the communities at Point Comfort and on the Eastern Shore, demonstrates the inadequacy of current perceptions of early Virginian society.
 
Article
This article argues for a more holistic approach to understanding the Old Poor Law. Using three detailed case studies from southern England, it focuses on the dynamics of differing social groups within the parish. It also looks at the role of the law, looking beyond the statutes to the parts played by King's Bench, Quarter Sessions and individual justices and petty sessions in creating a diversity of experiences for the poor. However, it also stresses the differential access to charitable funds, common rights, and poor relief in individual communities, and the ways in which parish elites attempted to put the total available resources to what they saw as the best uses. From 1650 to 1780 these combined resources allowed a generally humane approach to the treatment of poverty and misfortune, and maintained the independence of the cottager and labourer in southern England. Only after 1780 when population rose sharply and rural employment shrank did the flexibility of combined charitable and rate-based relief founder and more drastic devices were employed to cope with basic needs. In this process the independence of the labourer and cottager was undermined, charitable sources were marginalized, and the seeds were sown for the acceptance of the New Poor Law.
 
Article
Despite the growing conflict between Britain and her colonies, a metropolitan education remained a popular choice for the sons of elite colonial Americans in the late colonial period. This article explores the attitudes of the youths themselves, and of their parents, towards their London education during a period when political conflict was engendering a growing sense of separateness. American youths typically underwent a status crisis upon reaching the metropolis. Their insecurities related to the usual pitfalls of genteel London life: the prospect of social isolation and vulgarity, and the opportunities for debauchery. The parents of these colonial youths, however, shared the view of elite British parents of the period that a public education was a necessary social apprenticeship for their children. They regarded personal experience of the metropolis, and familiarity with its social and political systems, as important attributes for elite colonists. Parental views on the advantages of a metropolitan education for their sons were unaffected by the imminent breach with Britain. The status crisis experienced by colonial youths in London was age-related; their visiting parents were acculturated to the metropolitan environment. The article concludes by suggesting that the polarized provincial mentality so long attributed by historians to the colonial presence in London should be replaced by a more integrationist model which reflects the real complexity of the relationship between colonial American elites and their mother country.
 
Article
Eighteenth-century Jamaica, the ‘devil of a country’ to which Dr Alexander Johnston referred, seems an unlikely candidate, at the historian's first glance, for consternation. Today's visitor would find that the ‘Garden Parish’, St Ann's, truly exudes everything warm and wonderful associated with tropical stereotypes. Yet two hundred years ago Dr Alexander Johnston, ‘Practitioner of Physick and Chiurgery’ rarely observed this very paradise, the foothills of coastal St Ann's, in a positive light. To this particular Scot, the bright reds and greens clearly took second place to the shabby problems of daily life in the Caribbean.
 
Article
The City of London Poor Law Union in the early to mid-Victorian period was the richest and least populated of all the metropolitan Poor Law districts. A wide range of parochial, livery, and other charities within the City not only attracted vast numbers of applicants for assistance, but influenced the quality and nature of the care given by the local union. This not only meant that provision for the outdoor poor, children, and the elderly tended to be more liberal than elsewhere in the capital, but that vagrants, many of whom took up winter residence in the City, also experienced a higher standard of pauper treatment than that offered by the surrounding unions. The combination of high Poor Law receipts from a low poor rate base, civic pride, competition from City charities, and the willingness of neighbouring unions to off-load this most troublesome class of pauper on to their rich neighbour gave an unparalleled level of choice to those who were truly at the bottom of the heap in Victorian London.
 
Article
This is a study of a successful parliamentary campaign led throughout the 1920s by a small group of backbench Labour MPs aimed at abolishing the military death penalty for the offences of cowardice and desertion. It was sustained in the face of opposition from the military establishment, the Conservatives, and finally the House of Lords. The campaigners used the opportunity afforded by the requirement on government to pass, annually, an Army Bill, to challenge the military establishment's insistence that a capital penalty was essential to the maintenance of army discipline. Despite the unwillingness of the 1924 Labour government to confront the military on this issue, the reformers persevered, securing some minor, incremental reform before the coming of the second Labour government in 1929. The new government was prevailed upon by backbench pressure to authorize a free vote in the Commons which approved the abolition of the capital penalty for cowardice and desertion in the Army Act of 1930.
 
Article
There has recently been much debate about social policy in Britain during the Second World War. This article takes up Jose Harris's suggestion that historians should look not at large-scale forces, but at . As a way into the complex amalgam that comprised ideas on social policy in the 1940s, we look in particular at the report on the evacuation of schoolchildren entitled Ourtowns:acloseup, published by the Women's Group on Public Welfare in March 1943. Of course it is undeniable that one report is unrepresentative of all the many surveys that were produced on the evacuation experience. However, the initial wave of evacuation in September 1939 was the most significant, and the Ourtowns survey, along with a famous leader article in TheEconomist, has already received some selective attention from historians. Here we subject the survey to a more intensive examination, looking at the backgrounds of its authors, its content, and its reception by various professional groups. The article argues that it was the apparently contradictory nature of the report that explains its powerful appeal – it echoed interwar debates about behaviour and citizenship, but also reflected the ideas that would shape the welfare state in the post-war years.
 
Article
A key current concern is how scientific knowledge may inform policy in relation to major environmental and health concerns. There are distinct schools of analysis about this relationship between science and policy. They stress rational relationships; denial and delay; or the role of networks. History is important in modifying such perspectives: smoking policy in the 1950s and 1960s is the case study here. The initial response in the 1950s to the link between smoking and lung cancer was in part conditioned by the role of the tobacco industry and the financial importance of tobacco: the British tobacco industry had closer relationships with government than the American one, and did not rely on public relations. Public health interests worked with the industry. But politicians were concerned also about the fluidity of the epidemiological evidence; the dangers of stirring up further pressure over air pollution; the financial and ideological implications of health education and its location; and the electoral dangers of intervening in a popular mass habit. In the 1960s the British and American medical reports stimulated the growth of a public health 'policy community'. The initial political considerations began to weaken and these years marked the beginning of a new style of public health.
 
Article
This article attempts to redefine the parameters of Napoleonic hegemony by applying two models to the territories of the Napoleonic empire: one developed by Nathan Wachtel, predicated on levels of acculturation and assimilation to the imperial core ; the second, derived from the work of Braudel and Brunet, which detects a European core, based along the Rhine–Rhone axis, a macro-region with a long, if submerged, history. This study concludes that the acceptance of Napoleonic reforms was achieved only in a core region, already predisposed to them.
 
Article
The issues raised by eugenics are of more than passing interest for the student of political thought. In itself a minor offshoot of turn-of-the-century socio-biological thought which never achieved ideological ‘take-off’ in terms of influence or circulation, there was certainly more in eugenics than nowadays meets the eye. The following pages propose to depart from the over-simplistic identification of eugenics, as political theory, with racism or ultra-conservatism and to offer instead two alternative modes of interpretation. On the one hand, eugenics will be portrayed as an exploratory avenue of the social-reformist tendencies of early-twentieth-century British political thought. On the other, it will serve as a case-study illustrating the complexity and overlapping which characterize most modern ideologies. While recognizing, of course, the appeal of eugenics for the ‘right’, a central question pervading the forthcoming analysis will be the attraction it had for progressives of liberal and socialist persuasions, with the ultimate aim of discovering the fundamental affinities the ‘left’ had, and may still have, with this type of thinking.
 
Article
This study focuses upon a bout of racial killing that occurred on the South African Witwatersrand during a white miners' strike in 1922. By demonstrating that most of the racial victims of the strikers and their supporters were not African miners, or Africans working with the police to suppress the strike, it argues against any easy explanation of the racial killings in narrow terms of class conflict. A more complex account is then offered, one that relies upon close attention to the nature of the victims, the timing and location of the killings, as well as to the rumours that accompanied them. In essence, the article proposes that the murders are to be understood as part of a (subconsciously impelled) process by which many in the striking communities sought to reconstitute the white racial community then sundered by acute class antagonisms. This attempt was made as the strike rolled towards civil war, and on the basis of a putative . Set in a comparative frame, the article closes by reflecting upon the importance in the murders of white workers' sense that their identity had been destabilized by changes in and outside the workplace.
 
Article
The article examines the intellectual and ideological debate about the notions of duelling, courtesy, and honour in the Jacobean anti-duelling campaign. Particular attention is paid to the two most important contributions to this campaign – Francis Bacon's Thechargetouchingduells (1614) and Apvblicationofhismaties edict,andseverecensvreagainstpriuatecombatsandcombatants (1614), written by Henry Howard, the earl of Northampton. By placing these two treatises into their intellectual context of courtesy and duelling manuals, the article seeks to demonstrate their sharply contrasting responses to the problem of duelling. Northampton accepted the notions of courtesy, honour, and insult underlying the duelling theory, but still wanted to abolish duelling. His solution was therefore a court of honour which would solve all the disputes of honour between noblemen and gentlemen. Bacon, on the other hand, argued that the only efficient way of getting rid of duelling was to question the entire intellectual framework on which duelling rested. To accept the notions of honour, courtesy, and insult inherent in the duelling theory and to set up a court of honour, he insisted, was tantamount to encouraging duelling itself. In Thechargetouchingduells Bacon was thus arguing as much against Northampton's plans to suppress duelling as against the theory of duelling itself.
 
Article
During the first thirty-five years of the nineteenth century more than fifty men were hanged for sodomy in England. This was less than a seventh of the number of people executed for murder in the same period, though in one year, 1806, there were more executions for sodomy than for murder. Nevertheless, it was the case that in the first third of the nineteenth century trials and executions for sodomy were much commoner than they had been in any earlier period.
 
Article
In his autobiography, Joseph Arch recalled a trial which had taken place in Bedford in 1875, and which had caused much local dissatisfaction: Samuel Dawson, a farm labourer aged fifty-seven, whose wages averaged twelve shillings a week, was sent to Bedford gaol for two months with hard labour…because he could not pay one shilling a week towards the maintenance of his parents… It was a cruel business and it touched scores and scores of labourers on the raw^-fof'this question of maintaining parents was a burning one.
 
Article
This article examines the role played by patient organizations in the making of the patient as consumer during Margaret Thatcher's term as prime minster. It details a crucial moment in the reconstitution of the relationship between state and citizen, as universal entitlements to welfare gave way to individualistic rights to, and choice of, services. Though patients had been regarded as consumers prior to this period, it was during the 1980s that the patient-consumer moved from the margins to centre-stage. By examining the activities of patient groups around three key themes – the provision of information, the development of patients' rights, and the notion of patient choice – this article shows that ideas about what it meant to be a patient-consumer came initially from patient groups. Through their work in these areas, patient groups built up a kind of patient consumerism that was concerned with the needs of the wider population, as well as representing demands made by individual patient-consumers. By the end of the 1980s, however, the patient-consumer was reconfigured by the Conservative government, and emphasis moved from the collective needs of patient-consumers to the rights of individuals within increasingly marketized services. This development thus raises questions not only about who speaks for the consumer, but also about the relationship between citizenship and consumption in contemporary Britain.
 
Article
This article explores the nature of relationships formed between nuns and male clergy in early modern Venice. It is based on the records of trials for the violation of conventual enclosure, the principle at the centre of the reforms of nunneries decreed by the Council of Trent, which aspired to sever all links between nuns and the world outside the cloister. The trials offer detailed insights into the interactions of male and female celibates, whose relationships were frequently monogamous, long-term, and intense, although rarely overtly sexual. I argue that the constraints of enclosure conditioned the nature of celibate desire, promoting a model of heterosocial engagement in which bodily intimacy was surprisingly unimportant.
 
Article
Contrary to stereotypes that represent it primarily as an expression of machismo or romantic chivalry, military honour in early modern England was professional, moral, utilitarian, and a force for social stability. It was pragmatic as well as idealistic. It shared attributes of civilian honour but also comprehended rules and obligations specific to soldiers. Professional honour required that the soldier should know and observe the codes and practices of his métier. To do so satisfied his internal sense of personal integrity and brought external reputation. Honour also had a broader social value. Mutuality and utility marked its operation in the English civil war. This mutuality safeguarded practices both sides found useful, such as prisoner exchanges, for the honour of each side was engaged in observance of the relevant rules. The survival of a bipartisan soldiers' honour ameliorated relations between enemies. It helped to prevent irrevocable social divisions, to sustain social order, and to enable previously warring Englishmen to live together with tolerable equanimity.
 
Article
An act for registering births, deaths, and marriages was passed for England and Wales in 1836. Scotland, despite evident support for the principle of civil registration there, did not obtain equivalent legislation until 1854 - a paradox that has yet to be fully explained. Eight unsuccessful bills preceded the Scottish act, and this article explores the reasons for their failure. Although the Scottish churches and municipal authorities broadly favoured vital registration, their objections to particular clauses concerning the nomination and payment of registrars, the imposition of fees for registration and penalties for non-registration, and the provision of new administrative facilities, repeatedly impeded the bills' progress through parliament. More importantly, four of the bills were linked to measures for reforming the marriage law, which were so offensive to Scottish sensibilities that the registration bills were damned by association. Only by altering these contentious clauses and eschewing any interference with the law of marriage did Lord Elcho's bill of 1854 succeed. The lengthy gestational period preceding the Scottish legislation did, however, result in the compulsory registration of births and deaths, unlike in England, and secured a greater breadth of detail in the Scottish registers.
 
Article
Thinking with demons: the idea of witchcraft in early modern Europe . By Stuart Clark. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Pp. xvii+827. ISBN 0–19–820001–3. £75.00. The darker side of the Renaissance: literacy, territoriality, and colonization . By Walter D. Mignolo. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995. Pp. xxii+426. ISBN 0–472–10327. $39.50. Oedipus and the devil: witchcraft, sexuality, and religion in early modern Europe . By Lyndal Roper. London: Routledge, 1995. Pp. ix+254. ISBN 0–415–10581–1. £13.99. As Professor Richard Evans's spirited In defence of history attests, postmodernism continues to arouse strong passions and suspicions among distinguished practitioners of the discipline. This is hardly surprising: in their most extreme and undiluted form, the theories of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Hayden White, and more particularly their many disciples, are stubbornly corrosive of the ethos and rationale of history as conventionally taught and written. To insist that the production of knowledge is inherently – indeed insidiously – political, and to claim that the veil of language which divides us from the past can never be pierced is to unsettle many traditional epistemological assumptions. And yet postmodernism and the so-called ‘linguistic turn’ have posed timely and fundamental questions about truth, discourse, and objectivity which historians can ill afford to ignore. They have also helped to generate some of the most innovative and provocative historical writing in recent years. In different ways, each of the books under review engages with and reacts to the swirling debate about this influential and controversial body of ideas. All three make strenuous demands upon their readers; all three challenge us to reflect critically upon the methodologies we employ and the categories, concepts, polarities, and narrative paradigms to which we instinctively resort. Taken together they highlight both the potential strengths and weaknesses, the rewards and dangers of injecting theory into the study of witchcraft, sexuality, and colonization in early modern Europe and the New World.
 
Article
This review reconsiders the place and importance of urban political culture in England between c. 1550 and c. 1750. Relating recent work on urban political culture to trends in political, social, and cultural historiography, it argues that England's towns and boroughs underwent two over the course of the period: a and the better-known . The former was fashioned in the sixteenth century; however, its legacy continued to inform political thought and practice over 150 years later. Similarly, although the latter is generally associated with , its attributes can be traced to at least the Elizabethan era. While central to broader transitions in post-Reformation political culture, these were crucial in restructuring the social relations and social identity of townsmen and women. They also constituted an important but generally neglected dynamic of England's seventeenth-century .
 
Article
The career of the third Viscount Palmerston as foreign secretary and prime minister has been thoroughly studied, but few are aware that he was one of the first Irish landlords to finance the emigration of starving tenants during the great Irish famine. Although the first boatloads of emigrants were well outfitted, by the end of 1847 Palmerston stood accused of cruelly mistreating his departing tenants. One Canadian official compared conditions on the vessels he chartered to those of the slave trade. Given the tremendous detail with which historians have scrutinized Palmerston's long career, it is surprising that no thorough account of either the management of his Irish estate or of his emigration scheme has ever been written. An examination of the programme under which 2,000 residents of Palmerston's Sligo estate fled to America in 1847 adds significantly to our understanding of the career of one of Britain's most important nineteenth-century statesmen, the complicated motives driving landlords to their impoverished tenants, and an often-forgotten means by which thousands of the most destitute famine-era immigrants made their way to America.
 
Article
The legend of the encounter between Wilberforce and Huxley is well established. Almost every scientist knows – and every viewer of the BBC's recent programme on Darwin was shown – how Samuel Wilberforce, bishop of Oxford, attempted to pour scorn on Darwin's Origin of species at a meeting of the British Association in Oxford on 30 June 1860, and had the tables turned on him by T. H. Huxley. In this memorable encounter Huxley's simple scientific sincerity humbled the prelatical insolence and clerical obscurantism of Soapy Sam; the pretension of the Church to dictate to scientists the conclusions they were allowed to reach were, for good and all, decisively defeated, the autonomy of science was established in Britain and the western world, the claim of plain unvarnished truth on men's allegiance was vindicated, however unwelcome its implications for human vanity might be, and the flood tide of Victorian faith in all its fulsomeness was turned to an ebb, which has continued to our present day and will only end when religion and superstition have been finally eliminated from the minds of all enlightened men. Even churchmen concede that it was a disastrous defeat. Only Owen Chadwick strikes a note of caution, observing that the account given of the incident in Wilberforce's biography seems hardly consistent with an overwhelming defeat, and maintaining that the received account must be a largely legendary creation of a later date.
 
Article
Singlewomen in the European past, 1250–1800 . Edited by Judith M. Bennett and Amy M. Froide. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania University Press, 1999. Pp. vi+352. ISBN 0-8122-1668-7. Renaissance culture and the everyday . Edited by Patricia Fumerton and Simon Hunt. Philadelphia: Penn State Press, 1999. Pp. vi+366. ISBN 0-8122-1663-6. The crimes of women in early modern Germany . By Ulinka Rublack. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999. Pp. ix+292. ISBN 0-19-820637-2.
 
Article
This article argues that many traditional historical narratives of individualism have been reproduced in more recent discussions of the self and selfhood, and that attempts to discover a point at which the self came into existence have been hampered by such assumptions. To provide an alternative to these approaches, discussions of the self in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries will be examined. Eschewing overarching narratives, the discussion will focus on how neo-stoic sources were employed in the context of challenges to traditional forms of the humanist ethics of office-holding. Such ideas, important in writers like Montaigne, Pierre Charron, and William Cornwallis, have been associated with an idea of , but this article aims to discuss with precision how they relate to early modern ethical discussion. Here an insight can be gained into a particular philosophical development of the idea of the self. This can be more productive than some recent , or sociological, approaches to the literature of this period, which tend to the deconstruction of a particular set of sources through the use of the self as a theoretical heuristic.
 
Article
This article examines the assessments of John Calvin's life, character, and influence to be found in the polemical writings of English Catholics in the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods. It demonstrates the centrality of Calvin to Catholic claims about the character and history of the established church, and the extent to which Catholic writings propagated a vibrant ‘black legend’ of Calvin's egotism and sexual depravity, drawing heavily not only on the writings of the French Calvinist-turned-Catholic Jerome Bolsec, but also on those of German Lutherans. The article also explores how, over time, Catholic writers increasingly identified some common ground with anti-puritans and anti-Calvinists within the English church, and how claims about the seditious character of Calvin, and by extension Calvinism, were used to articulate the contrasting ‘loyalty’ of Catholics and their right to occupy a place within the English polity.
 
Article
John Stubbs's controversial pamphlet against Elizabeth's proposed marriage with Francis, duke of Anjou, The discoverie of a gaping gulf (1579), has conventionally been seen - with Edmund Spenser's The shepheardes calendar and Philip Sidney's letter to Elizabeth - as part of a propaganda campaign organized by Leicester and Walsingham to force Elizabeth to reject the marriage. Yet the evidence linking Stubbs with Leicester and Walsingham is thin. This article re-examines that evidence in the light of recent research on court factionalism, men-of-business, and concepts of counsel. It argues that A gaping gulf was an independent initiative taken by Stubbs which expressed very different attitudes to 'counsel' from Sidney's letter. It suggests that participants in public debate need to be explored on their own terms, rather than as necessarily catspaws of councillors; that there was an emergent Elizabethan public sphere independent of the court which, in holding different attitudes to counsel than councillors, could bring them into conflict with Elizabeth.
 
Article
This article examines the role of graphic satire as a tool of agitation and criticism during the early 1640s, taking as its case study the treatment of the archbishop of Canterbury and his episcopal associates at the hands of engravers, etchers, and pamphlet illustrators. Previous research into the political ephemera of early modern England has been inclined to sideline its pictorial aspects in favour of predominantly textual material, employing engravings and woodcuts in a merely illustrative capacity. Similarly, studies into the contemporary relationship between art, politics, and power have marginalized certain forms of visual media, in particular the engravings and woodcuts which commonly constitute graphic satire, focusing instead on elite displays of authority and promoting the concept of a distinct dichotomy between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture and their consumers. It is argued here that the pictorial, and in particular graphic, arts formed an integral part of a wider culture of propaganda and critique during this period, incorporating drama, satire, reportage, and verse, manipulating and appropriating ideas and imagery familiar to a diverse audience. It is further proposed that such a culture was both in its own time and at present only fully understood and appreciated when consumed and considered in these interdisciplinary terms.
 
Article
Over the course of the ‘long’ eighteenth century the nature and significance of duels fought in the London area changed dramatically. Pistols replaced swords, seconds took on a new role as mediators, and new conventions reduced the violence. Consequently, injuries and fatalities decreased significantly. The purpose of fighting duels also shifted from the defeat of one's antagonist to a demonstration of courage. Although duels continued to occur, growing opposition meant that the audience of people who supported duelling became increasingly limited and duels took place in places far from public view. At the same time, both the press and the courts provided alternative strategies for defending reputations. These changes cannot be attributed to technological developments, official attempts to prevent duelling, or the embourgeoisement of the duel. Rather, they resulted from a series of interlinked cultural changes, including an increasing intolerance of violence, new internalized understandings of elite honour, and the adoption of ‘polite’ and sentimental norms governing masculine conduct. These eighteenth-century changes shed new light on the reasons for the final end of duelling in England in 1852.
 
Article
This article explores mid-Georgian debates about the nature of citizenship by focusing on a key political scandal that has hitherto been overlooked by modern historians. In 1756, one of the many Hanoverian soldiers who were stationed in England was arrested for theft in Maidstone. The subsequent efforts to release him on the part of his military superiors and the British government created a political controversy that highlighted issues such as legal liberty, the abuse of executive power, home defence policy, and the moral state of the nation. In particular, this article argues that the furore gave weight to contemporary calls to reform the militia, not so much for instrumental military reasons, but for the supposed social and political benefits of an organization that relied upon the patriotic zeal and masculine virtue of the indigenous citizen. This article is therefore a contribution to the new cultural histories of politics that emphasize the roles of nation and gender in conceptions of citizenship, and argues that the Seven Years War was in this respect a moment of crucial importance
 
Article
© 1996 Cambridge University Press. This article presents new and conclusive evidence to resolve the long-running controversy over whether the loyalist association movement of 1792 was spontaneous or was crafted by government. It shows that Pitt and his colleagues did not know in advance of John Reeves's proposals for the Crown and Anchor association before they were published on 23 November and it suggests who Reeves's original collaborators probably were. It then goes on to show how Pitt and his cousin, Lord Grenville, confronted with many demands and proposals for associations at this time, quickly seized upon the Reeves project as the most adaptable to their own ends and produced a new draft, redefining his proposals in the directions they were prepared to see such a movement take. This they induced Reeves to publish as a second declaration on 26 November and they went on to promote as the example and inspiration for a wider association movement.
 
Article
The Victoria League, founded in 1901 as a result of the South African War, was the only predominantly female imperial propaganda society in Britain during the Edwardian period. To accommodate women's activism within the of empire politics the League restricted its work to areas within woman's while transforming them into innovative methods of imperial propaganda. Through philanthropy to war victims, hospitality to colonial visitors, empire education, and the promotion of social reform as an imperial issue, the League aimed to encourage imperial sentiment at home and promote colonial loyalty to the . The League's relationship with its colonial , the Guild of Loyal Women of South Africa and the Canadian Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire, demonstrates both the primacy of the self-governing dominions in its vision of empire, and the importance of women's imperial networks. The Victoria League illustrates both significant involvement by elite women in imperial politics and the practical and ideological constraints placed on women's imperial activism.
 
Article
Historians of the Edwardian tariff reform movement have disagreed about its aims. This article examines the motivations of the leadership of the Tariff Reform League, which was by far the most influential organization in the tariff lobby. It argues that the League's leaders were more empire-minded than often allowed, and that it was the preferential tariff which they were most determined to promulgate and defend. Indeed, attempts by the Balfourite wing of the Unionist party to twist tariff reform away from its imperial origins were strongly resisted by the League, and the forces of protection within the organization were also carefully controlled. When the Tariff Reform League finally gave way on the issue of imperial preference in January 1913, it was not because it had suddenly ceased to be concerned about the unity of the empire. Rather, the widespread public hostility to the imposition of food duties showed no sign of diminishing, thus making it difficult to persuade a critical mass within the Unionist party that tariff reform was a politically viable strategy of imperial federation.
 
Article
It is widely assumed that after 1918 the British general staff ignored the experience it had gained from fighting a first-class European enemy and that it was not until the establishment of the Kirke committee in 1932 that it began to garner the lessons of the Great War and incorporate them into its doctrine. This article demonstrates that in fact British military doctrine underwent a continuous process of development in the 1920s. Far from turning its back on new military technologies, the general staff rejected the manpower-intensive doctrine that had sustained the army in 1914 in favour of one that placed modernity and machinery at the very core of its thinking. Between 1919 and 1931 the general staff did assimilate the lessons of the First World War into the army's written doctrine. But what it failed to do was to impose a common understanding of the meaning of that doctrine throughout the army.
 
Article
The opening of archives in recent years makes it possible to reassess the membership of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) before 1945. The revised aggregate figures, while not startling, suggest that revisions to established views of the effects of the General Strike, the shift to the ‘new line’ and the popular front, are in order. The party's membership was very predominantly male, tended to be young, often included a high proportion of unemployed people, and was heavily working class, with miners especially significant. Geographically, its membership was dominated for most of the period by London, Scotland, Lancashire, and South Wales. There was also a very high turnover of membership for much of the period. The reasons for this turnover, and explanations for the circumstances in which the party was best able to recruit, are discussed. Over time the party's membership did become less unrepresentative of Britain as a whole, enabling it to become an organic, if minor, part of British political life. CPGB membership patterns have similarities with those of other Western Communist parties and its predecessor organizations in Britain, showing how the CPGB reflected features of both international Communism and the British left. British Academy; University of Exeter
 
Article
This article challenges the view that, in accepting the 1945 American loan and its attendant commitments to international economic liberalization, the Labour party easily fell in behind the Atlanticist approach to post-war trade and payments. It is suggested instead that Labour's sometimes seemingly paradoxical behaviour in office was driven, not only by the very tough economic conditions it faced, but also by a fundamental contradiction inherent in its desire to ‘plan’ at both domestic and international levels. This contradiction – the ‘planning paradox’ – is explored with reference to pre-war and war-time developments, including Labour's reactions to the Keynes and White plans of 1943, and to the Bretton Woods conference of 1944. The decision to accept the US loan, and with it the Bretton Woods agreements, is then examined within this context. Finally, an assessment is made of whether, in this key area of policy, Labour's pre-1945 deliberations were effective in preparing the party for the challenges it would face in government.
 
Article
The origins of the process that transmuted PrussiaNational Socialist Führer-personalitiesstructural pressures of modern war the immense losses of summer 1942 National Socialist elite manipulationFührer-selection through battle’ was simultaneously the most far-reaching and lasting element in the social revolution that Hitler sought, and a decisive step in steeling the German armed forces for their fight to the bitter end. In this as in other areas, it was National Socialism's very modernity that endowed it with demonic force.
 
Article
One of the most profound challenges facing the Labour party in the post-war period was its ability to understand and make policy to reform the private sector. Before the Attlee government, Labour had little to say on this issue, but that government's experience exposed the dangerous ‘vacuum’ this involved. In the 1950s the nature of the capitalist firm ranked alongside the alleged ‘embourgoisement’ of the working class as an issue framing Labour's ideological and policy debate. The centrality of this issue reflected the fact that understanding the firm was inextricably linked to a raft of broader arguments within the Left about the nature of modern capitalism. The benign view of the corporation that flowed from the revisionist wing of the party was challenged by the ‘declinist’ politics of the 1960s, and in office after 1964 Labour pursued a modernizing agenda which centrally involved seeking to shape the behaviour of the private sector in order to deliver the higher economic growth that Labour so much desired. The failure of this growth to materialize led to great disillusion across the party about the policies pursued by the Wilson government, and this in turn led to a fundamental rethink of policy that was to underpin the radical agenda of the party in the 1970s.
 
Article
This article reinterprets the post-Suez British role in the Middle East through a comparison of the military interventions in Jordan in 1958 and Kuwait in 1961. Moreover, it places these operations in the broader context of the debate about British decline. It is argued that in addition to the familiar constraints on British action imposed by limited resources and the changing international climate, the projection of power in the region proved to be a great test of nerve for British ministers and officials. Paradoxically, this proved to be true as much of the successful interventions in Jordan and Kuwait as of the earlier failure over Suez. Utilizing very recently released documents from British and American archives, the article aims to shed light on the dynamics of decline at the microcosmic level, in the belief that insights gleaned here may well be of value in revising macrocosmic theories of the process.
 
Article
Responding positively to the 1957 initiative encouraging Whitehall departments to use history more systematically in their everyday work, the Foreign Office commissioned a pilot project centred upon the 1951 Anglo-Iranian Abadan crisis. The resulting study, completed by Rohan Butler in 1962, included a lengthy section drawing lessons from the historical narrative. During the early 1960s Butler's Abadan history, attracting interest and comment from both ministers and officials, fed into ongoing reviews of British foreign policy and methods stimulated by the 1956 Suez debacle and Britain's initial failure to join the Common Market (1963). Confronting policymakers with the contemporary realities affecting Britain's role in the world, the history prompted serious thinking about the case for a radical change of direction in both foreign policy and methods. Generally speaking, the Foreign Office has made little use of history in the actual policymaking process. From this perspective, this episode, centred upon Butler's Abadan history, offers a useful case study illuminating any appraisal of history's potential as a policy input, most notably concerning the role of historical analogies in the formulation, conduct, and presentation of British foreign policy.
 
Article
The 'religious right' came to prominence in the US during the late 1970s by campaigning on 'social issues' and encouraging many fundamentalist and evangelical Christians to get involved in politics. However, the fact that it clashed with 'born again' President Jimmy Carter over tax breaks for religious schools believed to be discriminatory, together with its illiberal stances on many issues, meant that it was characterized as an extremist movement. I argue that this assessment is oversimplified. First, many Christian schools were not racially discriminatory, and their defenders resented being labelled as racists. Secondly, few historians have recognized that the Christians involved in the religious right were among the most secularized of their kind. The religious right was often mistakenly categorized alongside earlier American Christian political movements that had displayed extremist and anti-democratic tendencies. The Carter administration's records and oft-ignored religious right ephemeral literature partly substantiate the movement's contention that it was defensive rather than theocratic in nature. One of my conclusions is that more attention must be paid to the subtle nuances of the political and theological views of religious right leaders, because the confusion surrounding the religious right is partly a function of its leaders harbouring internally inconsistent views.
 
Article
Historians have commonly described John Evelyn's pamphlet about London smoke pollution, Fumifugium, as a precocious example of environmental concern. This paper argues that such an interpretation is too simple. Evelyn's proposals are shown to be closely related to political allegory and the panegyrics written to welcome the newly restored Charles II. However, the paper also shows that Fumifugium was not simply a literary conceit; rather it exemplified the mid-seventeenth-century English interest in the properties of air that is visible in both the Hartlib circle and the early Royal Society
 
Article
Less than a month before Bismarck's dismissal as German chancellor, the Reichstag elections of February 1890 destroyed the parliamentary majority of the Kartell parties - National Liberals and Conservatives - with whose support he had governed. The number of Reichstag seats held by diese parties fell from 221 to 140, out of the total of 397; they never again achieved more than 169. To the multitude of problems left by Bismarck to his successors was therefore added one of parliamentary arithmetic: how was the chancellor to organize a Reichstag majority when the traditional governmental parties by themselves were no longer large enough, and the intransigently anti-governmental SPD was constantly increasing its representation? It was in this situation that the role of the Centre party in Wilhelmine politics became decisive, for between 1890 and 1914 the party possessed a quarter of the seats in the Reichstag, and thus held the balance of power between Left and Right. History Version of Record
 
Top-cited authors
Timothy Ashplant
  • King's College London
Adrian Wilson
  • University of Leeds
Jeremy Morris
  • University of Cambridge
Mark Goldie
  • University of Cambridge
Michael Questier
  • Queen Mary, University of London