To send this article to your account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The paramount usefulness of history, with all its ramifications, as a branch of education has not yet met with a full recognition. The real position and dignity of history remains' still a subject of controversy. The point at issue is—whether history may be considered and studied as a science or not. In France and Germany the question has long been decided. In both countries distinguished writers have invested history with a scientific importance—with a preeminence in general education not readily accepted by the practical Anglo-Saxon. In Great Britain, several eminent historians do believe that there are necessary laws regulating the moral as well as the physical world; they believe that the same powers prevail in the moral movement of nations as in the physical world, and that the human as well as the physical world is subjected to invariable rules in its progressive, harmonious, irresistible movement and growth. But a much greater number of English thinkers, and, we believe, the public generally, maintain that humanity advances by a free effort and free will,—that the progress of nations does not advance subjected to invariable laws, and that consequently history cannot be considered as a science until these laws are discovered, proved, and established. They insist on the fact that physical science alone is possible, as material objects are inanimate, whilst a science relating to human actions is impossible, because a man is free, rational, and responsible agent.
The literature relating to Winston Churchill is by now so extensive, and our evidence about him so abundant, that the approaching completion of the official life by Martin Gilbert may seem to herald the end of historical inquiry into Churchill for at least a generation. This may be so; but it is more likely that he will continue to be the focus of animated discussion. Churchill, like Roosevelt or Trotsky, has inspired a perennial curiosity which springs as much from complexity of character as from fame. A. J. P. Taylor has justly applied to him Dryden's couplet: ‘A man so various that he seemed to be, not one, but all mankind's epitome.’ Admittedly, there are individuals so prejudiced for or against Churchill as to lack interest in assessing him. But for anyone who overcomes this barrier, Churchill holds the fascination of a rare species of animal which no one can easily place in the scheme of creation. A part of this curiosity stems from the fact that Churchill as a policy-maker was both peculiarly inspired and peculiarly disaster-prone. Military historians, evaluating his strategic conduct of the Second World War, are pursuing a controversy which began at Gallipoli in 1915. Political historians, too, are intrigued by the fact that Churchill's judgment was so prescient on some issues, and so mistaken on others. Like Churchill's contemporaries, they tend to detect in him strands of genius interwoven with strands of folly.
There are grounds for seeing an increasing sophistication in the development of a self-conscious perception of ‘English’ cultural unique-ness and individuality towards the end of the ninth century, at least in some quarters, and for crediting King Alfred's court circle with its expression. King Alfred was not, as Orderic Vitalis described him, ‘the first king to hold sway over the whole of England’, which tribute might rather be paid to his grandson Æthelstan. He was, however, as his obituary in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle described him, ‘king over the whole English people except for that part which was under Danish rule’. Through his promotion of the term Angelcynn to reflect the common identity of his people in a variety of texts dating from the latter part of his reign, and his efforts in cultivating the shared memory of his West Mercian and West Saxon subjects, King Alfred might be credited with the invention of the English as a political community.
Of all forms of historical writing, that which deals with particular places is perhaps the most pregnant with the possibilities of boredom, for the general reader can seldom hope to share the parochial enthusiasms by which the study of local history is so often inspired. But local history, and particularly urban history, can be approached from two different points of view. It can seek to portray the changing pattern of life within the few square miles which it takes for its field of study. Or it can endeavour to interpret that changing pattern as a symptom of greater changes in the nation as a whole. For, as the sociologists are never weary of reminding us, a town is essentially a social product. It is. brought into being by forces external to it. It continues to exist because, and only so long as, it serves a social purpose. During the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries the population of London and its immediate suburbs grew much more rapidly than the population of the country as a whole. Confronted by that fact, one of the obvious tasks of the historian is to make clear the purposes which that metropolitan expansion served; to indicate the wider developments of which it was a symptom; and to explain why, to contemporaries, it appeared as a symptom of disease rather than of health in the body politic. For that the growth of London was widely considered to be a morbid growth is incontestable. Topographers and chroniclers might write with admiration and affection of the city whose contours they described and whose history they told.
So many books and articles have been devoted to the life and career of He´rnan Cortés that it may well seem presumptuous to add to their number. But there is still no satisfactory biography, and it is only quite recently that his writings—his ‘letters of relation’ to Charles V, his general correspondence, and his military and administrative directives—have been subjected to the close critical scrutiny which they deserve. In particular, Dr. Richard Konetzke has drawn attention to the constructive aspects of Cortés's career as the founder of a colonial society, while an Austrian historian, Dr. Viktor Frankl, has analysed with extraordinary ingenuity Cortés's idea of empire and his indebtedness to Spanish medieval traditions and ways of thought. Other important contributions have been made by Mexicans:Dr Manuel Alcalá, who has drawn an extended parallel between
THE Dutch Revolt lasted longer than any other uprising in modern European history—from the iconoclastic fury in August 1566 to the Peace of Munster in January 1648; and it involved more continuous fighting than any other war of modern times—from April 1572 to April 1607 (with only six months' cease-fire in 1577) and from April 1621 to June 1647. Its economic, social, and political costs were enormous. The longevity of the revolt becomes even more remarkable when one remembers that the two combatants were far from equal. The areas in revolt against Spain were small in size, in natural resources, and in population—especially in the first few years. In 1574 only about twenty towns, with a combined population of 75,000, remained faithful to William of Orange; Amsterdam, the largest town in Holland, stayed loyal to the king until 1578. Against the ‘rebels’ Philip II could draw on the resources of Spain, Spanish America, Spanish Italy and, of course, the Spanish Netherlands. Although by the seventeenth century the odds had narrowed somewhat—by then there were seven ‘rebel’ provinces with a combined population of over one million—Spain could still call on vastly superior resources of men and money. There were a number of occasions in the course of the war when Spain seemed to stand on the threshold of success. In 1575, for example, the con-quest of the islands of Duiveland and Schouwen in South Holland divided the rebel heartland in two and appeared to presage the collapse of the revolt. A decade later, in 1585, Antwerp was re-captured against all predictions, leaving Holland and Zealand dispirited and prepared to discuss surrender. As late as 1625, with the reconquest of Breda in Brabant and Bahia in Brazil, Spain's final victory seemed near. But total success never came. Spain never regained the seven northern provinces of the Netherlands and by 1648 Philip IV counted himself lucky to have retained the ten southern ones.
‘Since he isn't able to sell his books,’ Erasmus said of a fellow scholar in 1518, ‘he goes about offering them as gifts to important people; he makes more that way than if he had sold them.’ Erasmus's shrewd observation to his friend Tunstall has considerable currency among historians today, anxious as we are about the book market. But writing his Colloquies a few years later, the great humanist also envisaged other purposes for giving books. At the end of a banquet, during which the gifts of God and human charity have been discussed, the host presents books to his guests, suiting each one to their learning, piety or vocation. His friends thank him not only for the gifts, but for the advice and compliments that went with them. ‘It is I who thank you,’ the host insists, ‘for being so good about my simple style of living and for refreshing my mind with your conversation.’
The “Mutiny” was the summary of the rise of the British in India, and, as the cry of the Sepoys at Meerut was “Delhi, Delhi,” it is in Delhi that the key to a political theory must be sought. The scope of this paper is limited, therefore, to the light thrown upon the subject by “the proceedings of the trial of the King of Delhi.” Its object is to examine afresh this document as a test for a theory of the relations between the East India Company and the Mughal Empire, and consequently of the nature of the rise of the British in India.
During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a number of sub-Saharan envoys and ambassadors from Christian countries, predominantly Ethiopia and the Congo, were sent to Portugal and Italy. This essay shows how cultural assumptions on both sides complicated their task of ‘representing’ Africa. These African ambassadors and princes represented the interests of their rulers or their countries in a variety of ways, from forging personal relationships with the king or pope, to providing knowledge of the African continent and African societies, to acquiring knowledge of European languages and behaviours, to negotiating about war, to petitioning for religious or technological help, to carrying out fact-finding missions. But Renaissance preconceptions of Africa and Africans, reinforced by the slave trade, and Renaissance and papal assumptions about diplomatic interaction, ensured that the encounters remained unsatisfactory, as this cultural history of diplomacy makes clear. The focus of the essay is on religious and cultural exchange and the ceremonial culture of embassies.
This paper examines racist discourse in radical print culture from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the passing of the Abolition of Slavery Act in Britain. Acknowledging the heterogeneity of working-class ideology during the period, it demonstrates that some radical writers actively sought to dehumanise enslaved and free black people as a means of promoting the interests of the white working class in England. It argues that by promoting a particular understanding of English racial superiority, radical intellectuals such as John Cartwright, William Cobbett, and Richard Carlile were able to criticise the diversion of humanitarian resources and attention away from exploited industrial workers and towards enslaved black people in the British West Indies or unconverted free Africans. Moreover, by presenting a supposedly inferior racial antitype, they sought to minimise the social boundaries that were used to disenfranchise English working men and reinforce their own, seemingly precarious, claims to parliamentary reform and meaningful political representation.
When Pirenne contributed an article entitled ‘Mahomet et Charlemagne’ to the first issue of the Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire in 1922, he can have little realized how the ideas he there put forward were to be developed. His paper was designed as a protest against the traditional and deep-rooted conviction of western scholars that Latin Christendom was the direct and almost the sole heir of classical antiquity. Its argument was the now familiar one that Greco-Roman society survived with little change the shock of the Germanic invasions, and that it was only the appearance of Islam upon the scene that pushed the centre of Latin Christendom away from the Mediterranean and made possible the emergence of a new cultural unit based upon the land mass of western Europe. Medieval Christendom was not a continuation of the Roman world but something new, and Muhammed was a necessary precursor of Charlemagne
The reign of James I., covering the first quarter of the seventeenth century, coincides with the period of perhaps the greatest economic confusion in our history. The seeds of England's future greatness as a commercial nation and maritime power had been sown under Elizabeth's rule. In James's reign it was yet too soon for these to bear fruit. It was a critical period for the country which was undergoing an apprenticeship in commerce, trade, and industry. It was as yet doubtful whether she would surmount the difficulties with which she was beset, or whether she would be crushed by their weight.
The modern historiography of the origins of British national identities seems riven with contradictions and paradoxes. First there is a major chronological problem. Is the forging of Britishness to be located in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth or nineteenth centuries? Second, there is a difficulty in the compilation of such identities. Are they to be found in negative reactions to the perceived contemporary identities of others or in positive, if mythic, readings of ethnic history? Third, can there be a British identity at all when the cultural identities of what may be called the sub-nationalisms or sub-ethnicities of the United Kingdom seem to be forged at exactly the same time? And fourth, did the formation of the British Empire and the vast expansion of British imperialism in the nineteenth century tend towards the confirmation of the identity of Greater Britain or of the Welsh, Irish, English and Scottish elements that made it up?
The noblest inheritance we Americans derive from our British ancestors is the memory and example of the great and good men who adorn your history. They are as much appreciated and honoured on our side of the Atlantic as on this. In giving to the English-speaking world Washington and Lincoln we think we repay, in large part, our obligation. Their pre-eminence in American history is recognised, and the republic, which the one founded and the other preserved, has already crowned them as models for her children.
Shopping was increasingly seen as a potentially pleasurable activity for middling and upper sorts in Hanoverian England, a distinctive yet everyday part of life, especially in London. This survey considers the emergence of a polite shopping culture at this time, and presents a `browse-bargain' model as a framework for considering contemporary references to shopping in written records and literary texts. The decline of polite shopping is charted with reference to the rise of cash-only businesses at the end of the century, and the shift towards a more hurried and impersonal form of shopping noted by early nineteenth-century shopkeepers, assistants and customers.