UK History

Fifteen Eighty Four


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  • 25 Sep 2023
    Spike Gibbs

    Political Peasants? Local authority in late medieval and early modern England

    In the classic 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, one scene sees King Arthur debate with two self-proclaimed anarcho-syndicalist peasants, who outline a complex democratic system of decision making which contrasts with Arthur’s claim to power as King through the gift of Excalibur. The scene is clearly played for laughs, placing contemporaneous political debates […]

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  • 25 Feb 2021
    Karin Bowie

    False News? A Closer Look at Early Modern Public Opinion

    In modern democracies, the ‘public sphere’ is an essential concept that seeks to explain how public opinion is formed and expressed. Historical accounts of the public sphere have reflected the present-day importance of a free press by pointing to the consumption of newspapers by men in early modern coffeehouses and other urban spaces. These accounts […]

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  • 27 Oct 2020
    Bernadette Whelan

    Irish, American diplomacy in the 1930s

    Conducting diplomacy in times of crisis has always been fraught. At the centre of practising diplomacy is making and keeping contacts and obtaining information and intelligence. The methods to achieve that are formal through official meetings, negotiations, treaties and agreements and informal through soft, or public or third track diplomacy. The absence of the latter […]

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  • 22 Oct 2020
    Brian Cummings, Alexandra Walsham, Bronwyn Wallace, Ceri Law

    Memory and the English Reformation

    On my first outing in July into the centre of York after the lockdown I took my brother, whom I had not seen since Christmas last year, to admire the stained-glass windows in the Minster. Like everything in the time of Covid, the familiar was newly strange: you had to book a time slot, take […]

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  • 19 Oct 2020
    Frederick Douglass speaking locations.
    Hannah-Rose Murray

    Black Abolitionism in Britain and Ireland

    Frederick Douglass speaking locations.

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  • 24 Jun 2020
    Thomas Leahy

    British intelligence, the IRA and the Northern Ireland Peace Process

    British intelligence, the IRA and the Northern Ireland Peace Process After 29 years and over 3,700 deaths, the Good Friday Agreement ended the Northern Ireland conflict in 1998. Commentators and academics initially concluded a stalemate situation explained why peace emerged. Revelations of senior Irish Republican Army (IRA) informers by 2005 encouraged various authors to revise […]

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  • 5 Jun 2020
    John McNeil

    World Environment Day

    June 5th is World Environment Day, an annual event of the United Nations Environment Programme since 1974.  This year the theme is Time for Nature.  June 5 falls at a hectic time in 2020, with one crisis nested inside another like Russian matryoshka dolls.  The United States is roiling in civil unrest more serious than […]

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  • 14 May 2020
    Rory Naismith

    Treading the Paths of Exile: Enduring Isolation and Solitude in Early Medieval England

    Early medieval England experienced nothing quite like the Coronavirus, although plagues and afflictions of other kinds came all too frequently. The venerable Bede (d. 735) and other contemporary writers preserved grim accounts of waves of plague that swept over all Britain in the 660s. Later, 896 saw the end of three years of an unspecified […]

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