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This is a ground-breaking history of the British monarchy in the First World War and of the social and cultural functions of monarchism in the British war effort. Heather Jones examines how the conflict changed British cultural attitudes to the monarchy, arguing that the conflict ultimately helped to consolidate the crown's sacralised status. She looks at how the monarchy engaged with war recruitment, bereavement, gender norms, as well as at its political and military powers and its relationship with Ireland and the empire. She considers the role that monarchism played in military culture and examines royal visits to the front, as well as the monarchy's role in home front morale and in interwar war commemoration. Her findings suggest that the rise of republicanism in wartime Britain has been overestimated and that war commemoration was central to the monarchy's revered interwar status up to the abdication crisis.
Recent aDNA analyses demonstrate that the centuries surrounding the arrival of the Beaker Complex in Britain witnessed a massive turnover in the genetic make-up of the island's population. The genetic data provide information both on the individuals sampled and the ancestral populations from which they derive. Here, the authors consider the archaeological implications of this genetic turnover and propose two hypotheses—Beaker Colonisation and Steppe Drift—reflecting critical differences in conceptualisations of the relationship between objects and genes. These hypotheses establish key directions for future research designed to investigate the underlying social processes involved and raise questions for wider interpretations of population change detected through aDNA analysis.
Chapter Five, ‘Behind the Lines’, explores the men’s encounters with civilians. Focusing on spaces, like cafes, estaminets and domestic homes, in both Britain and France, the chapter begins with some of the youngest participants in colonial encounters - children. The chapter then explores how these more domestic contact zones were accessed, through entitlement or earning the right to connection with civilian women and the maternal, emotional, sexual and romantic support they might offer. In these spaces, we can see the beginnings of wartime encounter seeping beyond the boundaries of the conflict, especially through marriage. While camp and leave created memories of encounters that shaped veteran culture, civilian contact zones fostered in these liminal, overlapping spaces of living alongside the war had an impact on post-war life.
Two conflicting views of the UK constitution exist: a Whitehall view, which treats ministers as the centre of the system and a Westminster view in which the House of Commons is central. In the former, British democracy is defined by elections to choose a Prime Minister. In the latter, elections choose a Parliament to which governments are accountable. Under united majority governments, the conflict remains hidden, but it emerges under minority or divided governments. The Brexit crisis was such a period. Its defining constitutional disputes – how far governments can act without Parliamentary approval, whether governments could close Parliament or veto bills, whether the Commons was justified in seizing control of its agenda, whether governments should continue after losing control of the House and whether the Fixed-term Parliaments Act changed conventions about confidence – all reflected aspects of the conflict between the two views. The Westminster theory gathered support in the Supreme Court and Commons, but the ultimate dénouement, a general election bringing to power a majority government, vindicated the Whitehall view. The crisis casts doubt on the Whitehall view’s viability in periods of political change, but also on whether Westminster politicians can make the Westminster view work.
While multicultural policy might be represented as a failure, or multicultural reality as threatening, the Gothic – as a psychoanalytic mode with a ready shorthand for the representation of violence, alienation and monstrosity – is ideally suited to return what mainstream discourse represses, to engage with the subject of fear and to speak the unspeakable. This chapter demonstrates how contemporary Gothic literature functions to reveal that which multicultural discourse seeks to repress: racism and inequality. I argue that alternative accounts of cultural contact foreground socio-economic inequality, racism and structural violence, while registrations of the impossible and the absurd function to signify a failure in discourse. The Gothic aesthetic is equally suited to represent sectarian violence as a source of fear through the literalisation of monstrosity, and I argue that in engaging with the mechanics of monster-making, contemporary Gothic offers a critique of the construction of fear (and terror) as a tool of (rather than a threat to) governments. Finally, I consider contemporary Gothic’s engagement with the afterlife as a space of multicultural harmony, equality and justice, holding a heterotopic mirror up to the inequalities of the present in which the management of diversity is hostage to political corruption and economic disparity.
It was the trial of a century in colonial Hong Kong when, in 1931–33, Ho Chi Minh - the future President of Vietnam - faced down deportation to French-controlled territory with a death sentence dangling over him. Thanks to his appeal to English common law, Ho Chi Minh won his reprieve. With extradition a major political issue in Hong Kong today, Geoffrey C. Gunn's examination of the legal case of Ho Chi Minh offers a timely insight into the rule of law and the issue of extradition in the former British colony. Utilizing little known archival material, Gunn sheds new light on Ho Chi Minh, communist and anti-colonial networks and Franco–British relations.
Only two European countries – France and the UK, both NATO members – have nuclear weapons, and leading politicians have called for the UK and EU to maintain close military and security links post-Brexit. In the context of the Trident renewal debate and the UK government's recently published integrated defence and security review, this article uses data from the new UK Security Survey to analyse attitudes towards the possession of nuclear weapons among the British public. It assesses three key theorical strands in the wider scholarly literature on public opinion and states’ use of military force: domestic political attitudes, foreign policy predispositions, and the ‘gender gap’. We find that all three theoretical perspectives contribute to the underpinnings of contemporary public opinion towards nuclear weapons. Support for the retention of Britain's nuclear deterrent is associated with being a Conservative Party supporter, favouring Brexit, endorsing superior military power worldwide as an important foreign policy goal, wanting to protect the transatlantic relationship, and with being male. The article makes a distinctive contribution to the growing subfield of research on public opinion and foreign policy, while the findings advance wider empirical understanding of contemporary citizen engagement in a key dimension of security policy.
This chapter shows how developments in military technology and strategy since the 1600s joined the political ambitions of states and merchants’ commercial interests to create European rules in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Why did warfare in early modern times produce this outcome? Wars and empires had existed before. The European warfare outside Europe, the chapter suggests, could exploit more resources than the other major powers in Eurasia could, leading to decisive shifts in the balance of power. At the same time, trade entailed violence, whether we consider the Atlantic slave trade or the impact of European wars upon the actions of the Indian Ocean merchant firms. A final section asks how empires shaped economic change in the world; and shows that the emergence of empires had lasting effects on commercialization, though direct effects on living standards until 1870 were ambiguous.
Deliberately deposited (or cached) objects are ubiquitous in the archaeological record, yet they are often classified under different categories, such as hoards, structured deposits, grave goods and cenotaph burials, and interpreted according to different criteria. Drawing on contemporary attitudes to death, dying and bereavement, and using later prehistoric Britain as a case study, this article brings the analysis of these objects together within a single interpretive framework, which asserts that much of this material represents the ‘problematic stuff’ left behind by the dead. This approach forces us to reconsider the traditional boundaries drawn between different aspects of the archaeological record and demonstrates the value that emotion has in our interpretations of past societies.
Stoppard has often distanced himself from his contemporaries and the central stories of British playwriting. When the new playwriting that caught most critical attention was coming from the political left, Stoppard occupied a position on the right. Stoppard has affiliations with a separate tendency in 1950s and 1960s British drama, that of British absurdism. Later in his career, the success of Arcadia, a play of both ideas and emotions, exerted considerable influence on British playwriting.
Tom Stoppard's work as a playwright and screenwriter has always been notable for mixing ideas with entertainment. From the early success of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to masterpieces like Arcadia, from radio plays about modern art to the Oscar-winning screenplay for Shakespeare in Love, Stoppard has challenged and delighted audiences with the intellectual and cultural richness of his writing. Tom Stoppard in Context provides multiple perspectives on both the life and works of one of the most important modern playwrights. This collection covers biographical and historical topics, as well as the broad array of intellectual, aesthetic, and political concerns with which Stoppard has engaged. More than thirty essays on subjects ranging from science to screenwriting help illuminate Stoppard's rich body of work.
What happens when we insert refugees into a history of twentieth-century Britain? As we might expect, exploring the entry, reception and resettlement of refugees reveals a good deal about British attitudes towards vulnerable strangers, belonging and identity. Yet the book argues for the value of using the arrival of refugees to consider a far wider set of historical problems. Focussing on refugees’ relationship with British society and institutions allows us to historicise, not only the changing experiences of refugees themselves but how Britain also changed over time. Assumptions that refugees fleeing Nazism were solely the responsibility of voluntary organisations, as much as the expectation that 20,000 Hungarians within a few short weeks in the winter of 1956-1957 would be found employment, or that Ugandan Asian arrivals in 1972 might need protection from the National Front, all speak volumes about profound shifts in British society across the twentieth century. Unpicking the historical processes underpinning these assumptions leads us, for example, to think about the changing nature of the welfare state, the relationship between voluntary organisations and government, the role of pressure group politics and the relationship between national employment levels and the reception of foreigners.
This timely history explores the entry, reception and resettlement of refugees across twentieth-century Britain. Focusing on four cohorts of refugees – Jewish and other refugees from Nazism; Hungarians in 1956; Ugandan Asians expelled by Idi Amin; and Vietnamese 'boat people' who arrived in the wake of the fall of Saigon – Becky Taylor deftly integrates refugee history with key themes in the history of modern Britain. She thus demonstrates how refugees' experiences, rather than being marginal, were emblematic of some of the principal developments in British society. Arguing that Britain's reception of refugees was rarely motivated by humanitarianism, this book reveals the role of Britain's international preoccupations, anxieties and sense of identity; and how refugees' reception was shaped by voluntary efforts and the changing nature of the welfare state. Based on rich archival sources, this study offers a compelling new perspective on changing ideas of Britishness and the place of 'outsiders' in modern Britain.
It is often stated that the Ninth Legion was transferred from Britain and continued to exist until the 130s or beyond. The evidence is reviewed, and it is concluded that: (1) no more than a detachment of the legion went abroad, and that only for the period c. 105 to c. 120; (2) there is no prosopographical or other evidence which proves that the legion existed after the early 120s. Given that war, heavy Roman losses and an interruption in the building of Hadrian's Wall are directly attested in Britain, probably occurring in 122 or shortly after, it is argued that it is most likely that the legion was defeated and disbanded in connection with those events.
Evidence for prehistoric salt production in Britain has been confined to the Bronze and Iron Ages. This article presents new evidence for Early Neolithic (3800–3700 BC) salt-working at Street House, Loftus, in north-east England. This deeply stratified coastal site has yielded the remains of a brine-storage pit and a saltern with at least three associated hearths, together with an assemblage of flint and stone tools, ceramic vessel sherds and briquetage. A process of production is suggested and parallels are drawn from contemporaneous European and later British sites. This discovery has the potential to influence future Neolithic studies considering subsistence, early technologies and exchange mechanisms.
Insisting on a radical divide between post-1750 ideologies in Europe and earlier political thought in both Europe and Asia, modernist scholars of nationalism have called attention, quite justifiably, to European nationalisms’ unique focus on popular sovereignty, legal equality, territorial fixity, and the primacy of secular over universal religious loyalties. Yet this essay argues that nationalism also shared basic developmental and expressive features with political thought in pre-1750 Europe as well as in rimland—that is to say outlying—sectors of Asia. Polities in Western Europe and rimland Asia were all protected against Inner Asian occupation, all enjoyed relatively cohesive local geographies, and all experienced economic and social pressures to integration that were not only sustained but surprisingly synchronized throughout the second millennium. In Western Europe and rimland Asia each major state came to identify with a named ethnicity, specific artifacts became badges of inclusion, and central ethnicity expanded and grew more standardized. Using Myanmar and pre-1750 England/Britain as case studies, this essay reconstructs these centuries-long similarities in process and form between “political ethnicity,” on the one hand, and modern nationalism, on the other. Finally, however, this essay explores cultural and material answers to the obvious question: if political ethnicities in Myanmar and pre-1750 England/Britain were indeed comparable, why did the latter realm alone generate recognizable expressions of nationalism? As such, this essay both strengthens and weakens claims for European exceptionalism.
Chapter 9 extends our examination of Group Empathy Theory outside the United States using data from the British Election Study (BES) in May 2018. The BES included our short version of the Group Empathy Index (GEI). It also included a ten-item individual-level empathy scale, which allowed us to compare the predictive power of intergroup empathy versus interpersonal empathy. Group empathy significantly predicts the British public’s opinion across a myriad of policy issues, including opposition to Brexit, favorable perceptions of immigration, support for equal opportunity policies, social welfare, and foreign aid. By comparison, individual empathy has very little effect on most of these policy views. In line with our theory and consistent with the findings from the United States, nonwhite minorities in the United Kingdom score higher on the GEI than whites do, while no significant intergroup differences are observed when it comes to individual-level empathy. The data indicates large gaps in policy opinions between whites and nonwhites, and group empathy once again helps explain these differences.
This chapter traces the evolution of the international monetary system and the management of sterling from Britain's suspension of convertibility in September 1931 to the eve of Franklin Roosevelt's inauguration in March 1933. To influence the pound's value now that it was no longer tied to gold, Britain created the Exchange Equalisation Account, an innovation of lasting consequence that led to accusations of currency manipulation. All the while, the world splintered into monetary blocs: many countries followed sterling's lead, some recommitted to gold, and others found refuge in exchange controls. This fragmentation, coupled with sterling's depreciation, the secrecy with which London employed the fund to manage the pound, and the increasing tendency of all to view policy in zero-sum terms, drowned the powers in bad blood and brought monetary cooperation to a halt.
This chapter recounts the breakdown of the international monetary system during the First World War and the subsequent reconstruction of the gold standard in the postwar decade, focusing on Britain's return to gold in 1925. Throughout the 1920s, central bankers cooperated with one another to guide the world back to gold, but fixed exchange rates and gold convertibility did not usher in nirvana. Britain, in particular, suffered from elevated unemployment and struggled to defend sterling's parity. London's decision to suspend gold convertibility in 1931 not only signaled the end of an era, but was to many countries the first salvo in what would become the monetary war.