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Author: Susan M. Johns

This is a study of noblewomen in twelfth-century England and Normandy, and of the ways in which they exercised power. It draws on a mix of evidence to offer a reconceptualization of women's role in aristocratic society, and in doing so suggests new ways of looking at lordship and the ruling elite in the high Middle Ages. The book considers a wide range of literary sources—such as chronicles, charters, seals and governmental records—to draw out a detailed picture of noblewomen in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm. It asserts the importance of the life-cycle in determining the power of these aristocratic women, thereby demonstrating that the influence of gender on lordship was profound, complex and varied.

Open Access (free)
Alison Rowlands

hinterland.11 Crucially, popular opinion in favour of more severe action against witches was never so widespread nor so vehemently articulated – even during years of hardship – that the council felt obliged to accede to it.12 The Rothenburg evidence thus suggests that those areas most likely to be characterised by a restrained pattern of witch-trials in early modern Germany were those in which a significant majority of the ruling elites came to realise that the social, economic and political stability of their territories was likely to be damaged rather than strengthened

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
Open Access (free)
Why might history matter for development policy?
Ravi Kanbur

elite perceives its objectives and its constraints. The strong concern about inequality, especially spatial inequality, in China goes back to well before the communist era. It is rooted in the history of an empire with fissiparous tendencies, requiring force and suasion in equal measure to keep provinces from breaking away. It is that concern which is reflected in generations of Chinese rulers, right up to the present ruling elite of the Communist party. But, again, what is the transmission mechanism from the sensibilities acquired by the rules of the Qing Empire in

in History, historians and development policy
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Witchcraft and the symbolics of hierarchy in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland
Raisa Maria Toivo

of the ruling group. But equally, it might serve as a vehicle for criticism and complaint, thus providing a valuable opportunity for malcontents to vent their dissatisfaction with, and opposition to, the ruling élite.33 16 Beyond the witch trials As Stuart Clark puts it, ‘witchcraft was constituted by an act of revolt’, and represented the opposite of perfect government.34 In some European laws, including the Swedish Rural Law of 1442, witchcraft appeared among the statutes against treason (högmålabalken).35 Vidskepelse was considered as inversionary as

in Beyond the witch trials
Open Access (free)
Alison Rowlands

will make a significant addition to this small but important corpus, thereby adding weight to Briggs’ idea that areas which did not experience large-scale witch-hunts may well have been the early modern norm rather than the exception. In the chapters that follow I will demonstrate that complex and mutually reinforcing sets of beliefs and social, political and religious priorities held not only by the ruling elites but also by the lower orders of Rothenburg and its rural hinterland interacted to keep enthusiasm for prosecuting witches at a low ebb at all social levels

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
Open Access (free)
Charles V. Reed

British monarchy – were invented by European ruling elites to legitimise and perpetuate their political, social, and political power. 7 Their work reflected a broader movement in the historiography of modern European nationalism that understood the nation and its ideological superstructure as historical constructions of the recent past rather than as proof of timeless and organic national communities

in Royal tourists, colonial subjects and the making of a British world, 1860–1911
Open Access (free)
Practices, conflicts, and impact in the sixteenth century
Philippe Rogger

geopolitical position, caught between the might of the Spanish and the French, took on further virulence due to the cantons’ trade in mercenaries. From the late fifteenth century onwards, the Confederacy developed into a prosperous mercenary farm, becoming an important recruitment market. Large sections of the ruling elites made economic and political use of this situation. The leading political and military families enjoyed large profits and prestige as military entrepreneurs and recipients of pensions.15 While the political-military elite secured and expanded 12 Fremde

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Martin MacGregor

as metalwork, woodwork and monumental sculpture – on an hereditary and professional basis. From the thirteenth until the earlier eighteenth century, their patrons and paymasters were the Gaelic ruling elite in both Scotland and Ireland, and one of the benefits which this symbiotic relationship conferred upon the learned orders was the status of nobility. Of greatest social rank and influence were the poets, and we should note that poetry and history – here almost synonymous with genealogy – were very closely allied, to the extent that some learned lineages, and

in The spoken word
Peter D.G. Thomas

Gentry, the Professions … and the trading part of the Kingdom.’55 But that same year the Wilkite movement seemingly broke the rules of the political game. Prime Minister George Grenville perceived that ‘the clamour of the people’ then was not for a change of ministry, another reshuffle of Parliamentary politicians, but against the political establishment as a whole.56 The Wilkite mobs of 1768 shouted ‘Damn the King! Damn the Government!’ The ruling élite at Westminster closed ranks, with opposition politicians criticising the ministry not for deploying soldiers against

in George III