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Edward M. Spiers

This book re-examines the campaign experience of British soldiers in Africa during the period 1874–1902—the zenith of the Victorian imperial expansion—and does so from the perspective of the regimental soldier. The book utilises a number of letters and diaries, written by regimental officers and other ranks, to allow soldiers to speak for themselves about their experience of colonial warfare. The sources demonstrate the adaptability of the British army in fighting in different climates, over demanding terrain and against a diverse array of enemies. They also uncover soldiers' responses to army reforms of the era as well as the response to the introduction of new technologies of war.

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John J. Hurt

This chapter shows how Louis XIV overcame the parlements' defence of venality. He forced them to pay for repeated augmentations de gages and to accept the creation of as many offices as the king could sell. This was at the cost to the magistrates of falling office prices and heavy personal debt, the social and economic consequences of political defeat. Although very different from forced loans and office creations, their traditional worries, the reforms posed an obvious threat to the venal interests of the magistrates, for whom this meant rising indebtedness, the mortgaging of their offices and the decline of office values. The government of Louis XIV, so far from respecting the venal interests of the parlements, as revisionist historians have argued, manipulated and exploited those offices to a degree that exceeded the abilities of its predecessors. It would be even more successful in the War of the Spanish Succession; and the financial difficulties of the judges would increase.

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Richard Suggett

This chapter presents a case study of entertainers in a particular locale Wales during a period of rapid social and cultural changes. In north-east Wales at the end of the sixteenth century, there was evidence for the growth of a festive culture that gathered pace in the first half of the seventeenth century and was generalized into the countryside after the Restoration. The later Tudor vagrancy legislation had been suggested as a cause of the decline of minstrelsy in England and Wales. Locating vagabonds and minstrels, and other wanderers on the margins of settled society depended on the survival of the appropriate historical record. Minstrels were indicted at the new Welsh assize courts in the decade immediately following the second Act of Union. The purpose of the degrees and licences awarded at the eisteddfod was to restrict the rewards of the bardic itinerary to the accredited minstrels.

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Sue Thomas

Vidiadhur Surajprasad Naipaul has abjured being categorised as West Indian. Becoming ‘extraregional’ for Naipaul has entailed not just a broadening of his range of literary subjects as in Mr Stone and the Knights Companion; it has also involved a more active dissociation of himself from West Indian communities in England and social and political developments within them. The rise of black consciousness and Black Power movements during the 1960s disturbed Naipaul. His travel writing, advocacy of the standards of a universal civilisation, and casual cultural commentary in interviews show the reactionary conservatism of his politics of decolonisation. Naipaul's representations of England and the English do not uniformly indulge a patriotic racism and imperial nostalgia or play to persistent racial stereotypes of non-white peoples in England. His conservatism is characterised by deeply conflicted attitudes to liberal principles with respect to racial issues and histories.

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‘Unity is strength’

The International Arbitration and Peace Association

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Heloise Brown

This chapter explores how the International Arbitration and Peace Association (IAPA), founded in 1880, was the main secular peace organisation in Britain and the one which experienced the greatest conflict with the Peace Society. The absolutist Peace Society dominated the British peace movement throughout most of the nineteenth century. However, its absolutism was increasingly challenged from mid-century onwards, and it became apparent by the 1870s, as a result of republican nationalist campaigns in Europe, and in Britain the rise of working men's peace groups and the growth of the women's movement, that there was also some demand for a secular peace organisation. As an organisation, the IAPA drew together discourses of liberalism, socialism, Evangelicalism, feminism and internationalism, a blend that made it central to both the British and European peace movements. The chapter also outlines the IAPA's contribution to the late Victorian peace movement and the role of women in its work.

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Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

In 1973 came one of the great turning points in British university history, a transition into a bleaker world governed by the principles of uncertainty, economy and improvisation. The finances of most British universities lay at the mercy of politicians and were subject to capricious cuts in public spending. Their precarious situation was a consequence of the state-financed expansion of the previous decades. What taxpayers gave, their elected representatives could pare and trim when the economy wilted and crisis loomed. At the end of 1973, Edward Heath's administration withdrew guarantees that the government would protect the finances of universities against the effects of inflation. No more would it proclaim itself ready to look with sympathy upon their plight. Anthony Barber, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reduced university income from parliamentary grants by about 10 per cent.

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Una Marson

Feminism, anti-colonialism and a forgotten fight for freedom

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Alison Donnell

This chapter provides a reading of Una Marson's intellectual positions as articulated in her journalism and speeches, and explores to what extent she was able to use her travelling between London and Kingston to reconfigure her political understanding and cultural projects in each location through an understanding of the other. It then sets Marson's work as influential and radical in both a British and a West Indian context, and addresses the ways in which her life in Britain impacted upon her ideas relating to gender politics, cultural identity, nationalism and political organisation. Marson's honesty in registering her own reticence and sense of powerlessness in Britain helps the appreciation of the kinds of subtle and direct oppression that racism generates. Her substantial contribution stems from her awareness of the collocation of African subjects and women within the political matrix of British colonialism.

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Trials of character

The use of character evidence in Victorian sodomy trials

H. G. Cocks

On 31 July 1854, a man who gave the name George Campbell appeared at the Guildhall magistrates court in the City of London. Campbell's trial was not unique among nineteenth-century trials for sodomy and homosexual offences in its emphasis on character. Character evidence had a protean nature, it might speak either to the individual's reputation or to his mental state. In the context of trials for homosexual offences during the nineteenth century, however, character evidence did not perform the same function for the prosecution and the defence. In 1854 the Guildhall magistrate Sir Richard Carden, gave it as his opinion that in cases involving 'one of the most loathsome offences a man could commit', character was 'most at stake and most required'. There is an obvious affinity between the legal discourse of character and its wider meaning in Victorian society.

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Maureen Mulholland

This chapter considers specifically with the procedure of the medieval manorial courts. It is characteristic of medieval English law that the courts did not recognise a strict separation between substantive and procedural law, and that substantive law was neither separate from nor more important than procedure. In the manorial, as in the common law courts, proper procedure was not merely an adjunct to a just hearing but, as in the American doctrine of due process, was integral to it. The common law courts were growing throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, expanding their jurisdiction over civil litigation through the development of the forms of action, but they did not provide quick, simple and accessible justice in minor local disputes. Trials in the manorial courts fulfilled the condition of openness as they were held in the heart of the manor, in a place prescribed by manorial custom.

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The trial of Slobodan Milosevic

A twenty-first century trial?

Dominic McGoldrick

On Tuesday, 3 July 2001, Slobodan Milosevic made an initial appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). He was the first former head of state in history to be prosecuted for war crimes by an international tribunal. The case was set down for trial by Trial Chamber III, composed of three judges. The prosecution team is headed by the ICTY Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, a former Attorney General of Switzerland, and includes advocates from the UK and the Netherlands. There is no defence counsel because Milosevic stated his wish to defend himself. Milosevic vigorously denied the allegations of wrongdoing and argued instead that responsibility lay chiefly with the Kosovo Liberation Army ('KLA') and NATO. Whatever its outcome, Milosevic trial may have deep and lasting significance for international law and international institutions.