Lawrence of Arabia

In 1918, at the end of the First World War, Thomas Edward Lawrence was unknown to the vast majority of the British population. Throughout the 1920s, however, his wartime activities were popularised and he became a military celebrity that ranked alongside Horatio Nelson. Lawrence had been British intelligence in Egypt’s liaison with the Arab rebelsContinue reading “Lawrence of Arabia”

Suburbia and Segregation

When I studied American history about 27 years ago, during the late 1980s, we gave a cursory look at the development of post war suburbia. In a packed syllabus there was little time to do the topic justice. Considering the many millions of Americans the developmentĀ of suburbia affected, both positively and negatively, it should beContinue reading “Suburbia and Segregation”

The Jarrow March, 1936

By 1934, Britain appeared to have survived the worst effects of the great depression. Unemployment had begun to decline and new light industries in the south and the midlands had developed, supplying consumer goods for an affluent middle class. Britain’s economic problems were regionalised, however, and in the worst affected areas such as South WalesContinue reading “The Jarrow March, 1936”

Britain’s involvement in Vietnam 1945

From 1943 onwards, long before the outcome of Britain’s war against Japan in Asia was certain, British colonial administrators pondered about what to do with French Indochina (occupied by Japan in 1941), once the Japanese were defeated. They knew comparatively little about the colony and believed it would be best to return it to theContinue reading “Britain’s involvement in Vietnam 1945”

Victorian Women’s political publishing

Between the 1850s and theĀ 1930s in Britain, women political writers and journalists saw a dramatic development in the opportunities available to them. As Victorian censorship laws changed in the mid century and as divorce and property laws became ever more contested and unjustifiable, political writing that linked women’s civil rights with their political rights abounded.Continue reading “Victorian Women’s political publishing”

France’s Colonial Empire

In the inter war years both the British and French empires, the last two major colonial players after the First World War, struggled to contain economic and ideological storms that threatened to tear them apart. These sometimes allied, sometimes antagonistic imperial systems were fundamentally different from one another on an organisational and ideological level, watchContinue reading “France’s Colonial Empire”