Europe, Empire, and War Part 1:
"The Long Nineteenth Century, 1789-1914"
Lecture Notes for the Academic Years 1998-1999

[Created: December 28, 2021]
[Updated: 29 January, 2023]


The "liberal" Course textbook: Theodore Hamerow, The Birth of a New Europe (1983) The "Marxist" course textbook: Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848 (1962)


This is part of a collection of material on the history of the classical liberal tradition.

See the Seminar Reading Guide for this course.

Introduction to the Course

The title for this full year introductory course on Modern European history, “Europe, Empire and War”, was not of my choosing. My preferred title for my section of the course was “Revolution(s) and the Struggle for Emancipation in Europe: The Long 19th Century, 1789-1914”.

The following is a text version of the overheads I used when giving the lectures for this semester-long course in 1998-1999. They contain key words, concepts, dates, foreign names, recommended reading and links to works of art discussed in the lectures.

Note: Links to online e-texts have been removed but the links to images still remain.

There is an accompanying Seminar Reading Guide to which I link the relevant lectures.

The choice of course textbooks was a little unusual as I wanted to show that there were widely different interpretations of 19th century European history. So, I used one by a Marxist, Eric Hobsbawm, and another by a "liberal conservative", Theodore Hamerow, in order to encourage debate in the seminars.

  • Theodore S. Hamerow, The Birth of a New Europe: State and Society in the Nineteenth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983).
  • Eric Hobsbawm
    • The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848 (1962) (New York: Mentor)
    • The Age of Capital, 1848-1875 (1975) (London: Abacus, 1997).
    • The Age of Empire, 1875-1914 (1987) (London: Abacus, 1997).



Table of Contents



Introduction I - The Physical and Historical Geography of Europe - Legacy of the Past

Questions to think about

Who has been to Europe (to visit, to study)?

How did you get there?

How did you travel about within Europe?

What general impressions do you have about the geography of Europe?

How does Europe's geography differ from Australia's?

What impact does geography have on the course of history?

What impact does history have on geography?

Who are the "Europeans" and where do they live?




Maps in the Reader of Primary Sources

  • Geographical maps
    • the physiography of Europe (Mortimer Chambers)
    • Physical regions (Davies)
  • Political maps
    • the European States in 1789 (Doyle)
    • the European States c. 1800 (Doyle)
    • Europe in 1878 (Joll)
    • the Colonial Empires, 1914 (Fieldhouse)
    • Europe on the Eve of WW1 (Gilbert)
  • Other maps
    • the languages of Europe
    • East-West fault lines (Davies)

Norman Davies, "Environment and Prehistory" in Europe: A History London: Pimlico, 1997).

  • map p. 48

the peninsula of Europe - subcontinent of Asia (like India)

2 parallel sea chains

  • North Sea - Baltic Sea stretches for 2,500 km
  • Mediterranean - Black Sea stretches for 4,000 km

ease of trade and exchange

  • extraordinary long shore-line 37,000 km
  • crisscrossing rivers (traverse in weeks or days)


  • the Great European Plain (from the Atlantic to the Urals)
    • tribes susceptible to invasion/attack
  • Mountains - 2 arcs (Alps and Caucasus)
    • separate plain from Mediterranean
  • Mediterranean Sea
    • easy sea lanes for commerce
    • strategic narrows - Gibraltar (Mediterranean), Dardanelles (Black Sea), Danish Sound (Baltic Sea)
  • Sub-peninsulas
    • Scandinavia
    • Iberia
    • Italy
    • Balkans
    • Crimea
    • Caucasus
  • Major Islands
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Britain
    • Corsica
    • Sardinia
    • Sicily
    • Crete
  • Major Sub-regions
    • Midi (easy access from Mediterranean to plain)
    • Danube Basin (east-west access along plain)
    • Volga Corridor (1st stage of entry for Asian tribes from steppes)



The Legacy of the Past

Questions to think about

Does the past matter?

To what extent are our actions determined by our past?

How free are we to make ourselves what we want to be?

To what extent are we influenced by our past?




Maps in the Reader of Primary Sources

  • Other maps
    • the languages of Europe
    • East-West fault lines (Davies)

See map - Davies map p. 18.

1. Geographical North-South divide

  • locating the "centre" - western, central, eastern Europe

2. Roman limes (wine line - viticulture)

  • roads, language (Latin, Romance), law, food (wine and olive oil)

3. Catholic - Orthodox line

  • division into Eastern and Western Empires 395

4. Ottoman line (Muslim Europe)

  • the expansion of Islam 7th & 8thC
  • the Ottoman Empire

5. 19thC Industrialization

  • industrialization of Europe 1815 and 1875

6. Iron Curtain of 20thC

  • Soviet and Allied zones of occupation 1945-1990


A. Language and Culture

  • the major languages of Europe - Roman, Germanic, Slavic
  • Roman Empire
  • Germanic invasions (German language)
  • Ottoman Empire

B. Religion

  • Christianization of the Roman Empire
  • division into Eastern and Western Empires 395
  • Protestant Reformation
  • religious minorities - Jews
  • the expansion of Islam 7th & 8thC
  • the Ottoman Empire

C. Dynasties and Royal Families

  • Bourbons, Habsburgs & Hohenzollerns

D. Nation States and City States

  • European states in 1660
  • European states in 1789, 1800

E. Trade Routes and Industry

  • medieval trade routes, trade cities
  • towns and economic life before 1800

F. Court Cities and Trading Cities

  • the growth of cities to 1800

G. Empires and Colonies

  • overseas empire 1660-1800

H. War

I. The Idea of "Europe"

  • early maps of "Europe"

J. Universities

  • monasteries
  • medieval universities

K. Intellectual Revolutions

  • Christianity
  • Renaissance/s
  • Scientific Revolution
  • Enlightenment

L. Institutions

  • Church
  • courts
  • cities
  • Estates
  • guilds & corporations
  • villages

M. People and Classes

  • peasants
  • nobles & aristocrats
  • burghers



Introduction II - The "Long 19thC"

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What do we owe to the 19thC (if anything)?

What are some of the major events of the 19thC and why are they important?

Who are some of the influential people who lived in the 19thC and why are they important?

What significant new ideas emerged during the 19thC and why are they important?

How should we study the 19thC?

How long is a century (millenium)?

To consider for the "Textbook Exercise":

  • What do our textbook authors, Hamerow and Hobsbawm, think about these issues?




the 19thC casts a "long shadow" over the 20thC

continuities with the past

  • Mayer's "Persistence of the Old Regime" vs

gradual emergence of the "modern world"

  • Hamerow's "Birth of a New Europe"

A. Political Influence

  • constitutional government - republicanism
  • modern monarchism (Queen Victoria)
  • unified nation state
  • liberalism - freedom of speech, rule of law and the free market
  • socialism - welfare state and government regulation
  • party politics (Liberal Party, Social Democratic Party, Labour Party)
  • parliamentarism
  • newspapers

B. Economic Influence

  • industrial revolution and factory production
  • free trade and the globalization of the economy
  • international division of labour
  • technological innovation
  • service economy

C. Social Influence

  • emergence of middle class (bourgeoisie)
  • emergence of working class (proletariat)
  • urbanization - department stores, gas lights, electricity, public transport, suburbs
  • compulsory state education - literacy

D. Intellectual and Cultural Influence

  • technology - railways, skyscrapers, telegraph
  • science - biological evolution, genetics, electromagnetism, atomic theory, cosmology, geological time
  • medicine - sanitation, germ theory, anaesthetics
  • art - romanticism, realism, impressionism
  • literature - novels
  • music - Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Bruckner (Wagner)
  • opera - Verdi
  • nationalism
  • racism


unpacking the term "19th century European history"

  • place, period and approach

"naming" something is a political act

every choice (e.g. of place, period and approach) involves a value judgement or the application of some (political, economic) theory

19thC positivist history claimed to be "value free" (wertfrei), scientific history with the aim of uncovering the "Truth"

post-modernist history asserts that every choice is equally valid

what are the value judgements implicit in the title and content of this subject "Europe, Empire and War: the Long 19th Century, 1789-1914"?

A. Who are the "Europeans" and Where is "Europe"?

  • who are the people/s known as "Europeans"?
    • Indo-European race or ethnic group (waves of invasions, migrations of other races?)
    • inhabitants of a geographic place (black Caribbeans who now live in England, France?)
    • those who share certain values (Europeans in Australia or USA?)
  • important maps
    • the physiography of Europe (Mortimer Chambers)
    • the European States in 1789 (Doyle)
    • the European States c. 1800 (Doyle)
    • Europe in 1878 (Joll)
    • the Colonial Empires, 1914 (Fieldhouse)
    • Europe on the Eve of WW1 (Gilbert)
  • what have been, were in the 19thC and now are, the geographical boundaries of "Europe"?
    • geographic region (the peninsula) - not Africa, not Asia
    • historic core region - based on Charlemagne's Empire, Holy Roman Empire (France and Germany) (problem of "fringe" areas - Celtic fringe, Moslem Balkans)
    • "Christendom"
    • diplomatic region - states system which emerged in 17th -18th centuries
    • the extent of Napoleon's Empire 1804-1815
    • the extent of Hitler's Third Reich or New Order 1938-45
    • political and economic entity - EEC 1957, EU 1992
  • is there a common "European" experience or identity?
    • what forces have contributed to shaping this common experience or identity?
    • when, if at all, did "Europeans" become self-conscious of this common experience or identity?
    • unity out of diveristy/disunity?

B. The Problem of Periodization

  • how have historians traditionally divided up the past into "periods" or "ages" or "eras"?
    • e.g. ancient, medieval, early modern, modern, post-modern
  • what defines a particular "period" from what has gone before and what has come after?
    • the name of a ruler (Napoleonic France, the Victorian era 1837-1901)
    • the form of government (the Third Republic, the Second Empire)
    • the "spirit of the age" (the age of reason, the age of progress, the age of industry, the age of equipoise, liberal Europe)
    • the dominance of a particular class (the bourgeois century)
  • what are the "turning points" in history which traditionally mark the beginning or end of a period or age?
    • revolution (Hobsbawm's use of 1789, 1848; 1830 and 1871 French Revolutions; 1917 Russian Revolution)
    • war (end of Napoleonic Wars 1815; start of WW1 1914)
    • change of (system of) government and/or introduction of a new constitution (Hobsbawm 1875)
    • national unification (Germany 1871)
  • when did the "19thC" begin and end?
    • strictly chronological - 1800-1900 (or 1801-1900?)
    • end of Napoleon (restoration of monarchies) to start of WW1 - 1815-1914 (very common form of periodization, assumption that 19thC is post-revolutionary history?)
    • the "long 19th century" from the start of the French Revolution to WW1 1789-1914 (assumption that French Revolution starts new era in European history)
      • compare Hobsbawm's idea of the "short 20thC" 1914-1991 in The Age of Extremes (1994)
    • the "even longer" 19thC from the French Revolution to end of WW1, 1789-1918 (assumption that WW1 is part of 19thC history and that collapse of monarchies/empires (German, Austrian, Russian, Ottoman) in 1917-8 is real end of an era)
    • other possibilities
      • Agatha Ramm, Europe in the Nineteenth Century, 1789-1905 (London: Longman, 1984)
      • Robert Gildea, Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914 (Oxford University Press, 1987)
      • Norman McCord, British History, 1815-1906 (Oxford University Press, 1991)

C. Different Approaches to the Study of European History

  • chronological approach (e.g. from 1789 to 1914)
    • idea of "unfolding" of events through time
    • that later situations are caused or explained by what happened earlier
  • national approach
    • e.g. separate histories of France, Britain, Germany
    • product of 19thC historiography - nation pinnacle of historical development
  • comparative approach
    • comparing and contrasting say French, British, German history over the same period
    • e.g. why did Britain industrialize first? why was nationalism in Germany so intolerant of "outsiders" like the Jews?
  • thematic approach
    • the identification of certain "themes" and discussion of them in a comparative and chronological fashion
    • e.g. women's history, economic history
    • Maurice Agulhon, Marianne into Battle: Republican Imagery and Symbolism in France, 1789-1880 (1981)
    • Jerome Blum, The End of the Old Order in Rural Europe (1978)
    • Macmillan's series "Themes in Comparative History"
      • Pamela Pilbeam, The Middle Classes in Europe, 1789-1914: France, Germany, Italy and Russia (1990).
      • Jane Rendall, The Origins of Modern Feminism: Women in Britain, France, and the United States, 1780-1860 (1985)
  • ideological approach
    • the writing of history from a strongly held theoretical (political, economic) position
    • e.g. Marxist (Hobsbawm), liberal (Hamerow) or feminist (Rendall) interpretation of history
  • hybrid approach
    • most histories are a combination of some of the above approaches
    • e.g. Hobsbawm is strongly and openly ideological (Marxist), chronological (each volume deals with a period), and thematic (within each volume a thematic approach is taken)

D. The Implicit Values embedded in the Title and Content of this Subject

the title "Europe, Empire and War" not of my choosing

  • my preferred subtitle would have included "War, Empire, Revolution and Emancipation"

the original period for this part of the subject was to have been 1800-1890

  • why these beginning and end points?
  • I insisted on the period 1789-1914 (although I believe 19thC Europe "really" ended in 1917-8)
  • Part 2 - "Europe in a Changing World, 1890-1956"
    • significance of 1890 and 1956?

Textbook Exercise: Hamerow & Hobsbawm interpret the 19thC




Political Authority & Class Rule I - Power & Privilege in Traditional States

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about


Who wielded power in the 19thC? and how did it change over time?

What did their power consist of and how did they exercise it?

How did they justify their position of power?

How did they celebrate their position of power?

Were people "oppressed" in the 19thC?

If so, who were oppressed, how were they oppressed, and who did the oppressing?

Other Things to Consider

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




Robert J. Goldstein, Political Repression in 19th Century Europe (London: Croom Helm, 1983).

Hamerow, Birth of a New Europe (1983). Part 3 "The Structure of Politics"


Goldstein (p. 333) - "the use of and the struggle against political repression is one of the great themes of nineteenth-century European history"

18thC "revolutions for liberty"

  • the American Revolution 1775-1783
  • the French Revolution(s) 1789-?

Quote: Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

Political repression - "(the) systematic... (and) institutionalized exclusion of the masses from political power or expression of their grievances."

protection of the status quo

cycles of revolution (post-1789) - 1820, 1830, 1848, 1870, 1905

Europe divided into 2 regions:

  • "freer" north and north west region (Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Scandinavia)
  • "autocratic" central, southern and eastern Europe (Russia, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Habsburg Empire)

Nature of repressive regimes:

  • absolutist
  • Bonapartist
  • reformed monarchist

Most common forms of political repression:

  • limitations placed on suffrage
  • limitations placed on expression of political or religious views
  • limitations placed on associations (trades unions)
  • the imprisonment and/or exile of political opponents


  • the idea of divine right of kings
  • the idea of a "body politic"
    • the "head of state"
    • the army as the limbs
    • the people as stomach and legs supporting the state

Cruickshank "The British Beehive" (1867)

A. The Privileged or Ruling Classes

  • the Monarchy
  • the First Estate - the Clergy/Catholic Church
    • control of education
    • control of belief, censorship
    • public charity
  • the Second Estate - the Nobility
    • land ownership
    • tax exemptions
    • economic monopolies
  • the Third Estate
    • property owning city dwellers

B. Economic Regulation

  • Mercantilism
  • economic nationalism (autarchy)

C. Policing the "Well-Ordered State"

  • the vast bulk of state resources devoted to maintaining internal (police) and external (military) order
    • tax revolts
    • opposition to conscription
    • political and religious dissent
    • smuggling

D. The Ideology of Conservatism

first emerged in opposition to challenge posed by French Revolution

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution (1791)

E. The Rituals and Public Ceremonies of Traditional States

originally private functions staged only for members of the ruling elite, e.g. coronations


A. Revolution and Counter-Revolution

the cycle of revolution and counter-revolution begun by the French Revolution

  • Revolution
    • 1792 (1st Republic)
    • 1830 (July Monarchy - bourgeois monarchy)
    • 1848 (2nd Republic)
    • 1870 (Paris Commune, 1875 3rd Republic)
    • 1905 (Russian Duma)
  • Counter-revolution
    • 1799/1804 (Emperor Napoleon)
    • 1815 (Resoration of Bourbon monarchy)
    • 1851 (Emperor Napoleon III)
    • 1871 (defeat of Paris Commune, German 2nd Reich)

B. The Ideological Challenge to Traditional States

new political ideologies of 19thC

  • radicalism/Jacobinism
  • democracy
  • liberalism
  • republicanism
  • socialism
  • conservatism
  • feminism

idea of the sovereignty of "the people" and/or constitutional limits on royal power challenges the idea of divine right of kings



Political Authority & Class Rule II - Images of Monarchs, Emperors, & Republics: RITUALS AND IMAGERY OF POLITICAL POWER - MONARCHIES VS REPUBLICS

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What public rituals do we associate with royalty?

When did these public rituals emerge?

What purpose do they serve?

How do monarchs/emperors wish to be depicted (in art)? is this an accurate depiction?

What is a "republic"? and how do "republics" depict themselves?

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




Extract of "A Queen is Crowned" - Queen Elizabeth II

Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance"

The Rituals and Public Ceremonies of Traditional States

private functions for members of the ruling elite, e.g. coronations

public ceremonies to affirm legitimacy of crown in eyes of mass of public

First of the "new monarchs" was Napoleon

"Secular magic" of monarchy

"invention of tradition" after 1871 (Hobsbawm)

Changes in the Imagery of Political Power

political overthrow accompanied by "demythologising" power of crown

  • mortality of crown shown by execution of Louis XVI

creation of new symbols of political power and legitimacy

  • "liberty" or "the republic" or "Marianne"
  • the "popular" emperor in bourgeois attire (Napoleon III)
  • the queen as "mother" (matriarch) of the nation (Queen Victoria)

How Monarchs Wanted to be Seen

Napoleon - paintings by Jacques-Louis David

Queen Victoria

Emperor Napoleon III

Kaiser Wilhelm II

How Monarchs Did Not Want to be Seen

Toppled Monarchs - Revolutions and Statues


"La Liberté" and "La République" - "Marianne

Maurice Agulhon, Marianne into Battle: Republican Imagery and Symbolism in France, 1789-1880, trans. Janet Lloyd (Cambridge University press, 1981).

Marvin Trachtenberg, The Statue of Liberty (Londo: Penguin, 1976).

images of "liberty" or "Marianne" during the Revolution

  • why female?
  • why with red "Phrygian" cap?
  • why standing or seated?
  • why hair floating or fixed?
  • why breast covered or not?
  • why youthful or maternal?

OH of Maurice Agulhon's "bipolar" Marianne

  • bourgeois liberal vs. popular revolt

images of liberty during the 19thC

  • the radical "Marianne"
  • the liberal "Marianne"
  • America's "Marianne"

The First Republic 1792

OH of "Regenerated Man"

The 1830 Revolution

The Second Republic 1848

The Third Republic

Auguste Bartholdi's "Liberty Enlightening the World" (The Statue of Liberty) (1886)

Extract from Ken Burns' documentary on "The Statue of Liberty"

Caricatures of Marianne



"plebiscitary autocracy" (Hamerow, p. 289) - e.g. Napoleon I & III

Emperor Napoleon III

B. The Constitutional Monarchism of "Great Britain"

liberalism and the idea of constitutional monarchism

images of Queen Victoria

The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (Cambridge University Press, 1995):

  • David Cannadine, "The Context, Performance and Meaning of Ritual: The British Monarchy and the 'Invention of Tradition', c.1820-1977," and
  • Eric Hobsbawm, "Mass-Producing Traditions: Europe, 1870-1914"

"reinventing the traditional monarchy" in the late 19thC)

the modern form of royal "tradition" was created in the late 19thC

  • to inculcate certain values through public ritual and symbols (deference, obedience, acceptance of legitimacy)
  • to implie (fictitious) continuity with the past
  • to formalize old or existing practices
  • to serve new purpose of uniting citizens of Great Britain and the Empire

1877-1914 heyday of "invented tradition" for imperial monarchy

defenders of monarchy - Bagehot (1867)

"modern" royal ceremonies:

  • 1877 - Queen Victoria made Empress of India
  • 1887 - her Golden Jubilee (on throne 50 years)
  • 1897 - her Diamond Jubilee (on throne 60 years)
  • King Edward's coronation after her death

20thC royal architecture:

  • widening of Pall Mall
  • building of Admiralty Arch
  • refronting Buckingham Palace
  • Victoria's monument

Court composers celebrated glory of monarchy - Edward Elgar

  • patriotic hymns
  • Imperial March 1897
  • 1903 Coronation Ode for accession of Edward VIII
  • Pomp and Circumstance march ("Land of Hope and Glory")

Post WW1 period - royal role in

  • Armistice Day
  • Christmas message - cult of Christmas
  • BBC as populariser of royalty

D. From German Kaiser to Weltkaiser

Elisabeth Fehrenbach "Images of Kaiserdom: German Attitudes to Kaiser Wilhelm II," in Kaiser Wilhelm II: New Interpretations, ed. John C. G. Röhl and Nicolaus Sombart (Cambridge University Press, 1982), pp.269-85.

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Image of Kaiser combined a number of traditional ideas about monarchy with new ideas:

  • German nationalism, imperialism, pride in being a rising economic power
  • militarism - Kaiser embodied "Kommandogewalt"
  • "Wilhelminism" or "ruling Kaiser"
  • continuity with Holy Roman Empire

"cult of the Hohenzollern dynasty":

  • "Volkskaiser"
  • monumental architecture - Siegesallee, Herman monument
  • restoration of medieval casteles and palaces
  • Germanic mythology in arts - Wagner's ring cycle
  • German Kaiser was a "WeltKaiser" with a world Empire

E. Other Images of Monarchical or Imperial Power

Other Images of Monarchical or Imperial Power:



The Struggle for Liberty I - Struggle for Liberty in 19thC

Eugène Delacroix, "28th July: Liberty Leading the People at the Barricades" (1830)

Questions to think about


Who (if anybody) challenged the exercise of traditional power?

What were the consequences of this challenge?

What was the freest country in Europe? (why)

What was least free country in Europe? (why)

Why did 19thC people want to be free?

How did they try to "emancipate" themselves?

Were they successful? If not, why not?

Other Things to Consider

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




Robert J. Goldstein, Political Repression in 19th Century Europe (London: Croom Helm, 1983).

Hamerow, Birth of a New Europe (1983). Part 3 "The Structure of Politics"


A. The Revolution in Government Expenditure and Regulation

gradual shift in government expenditure from purely military/police to welfare and economic regulation

gradual shift in government regulation of economy from maintaining traditional hierarchy to achieving "public goods" (welfare)

1st phase of liberal deregulation and free trade (1815-1870)

  • influence of Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1776)
  • 1846 Repeal of Corn Laws
  • Cobden-Chevalier Free Trade Treaty 1861

Overhead of graph of govt consumption as % of GNP (Hamerow, p. 263).

2nd phase return to economic regulation and "protection" (tariffs) (1871-1914) - the new "activist state" (Hamerow, p. 261)

  • reaction against Paris Commune and "radicalism" after 1870
  • problem of economic recession after 1873
  • self-interest of newly enfranchised working class
  • alliance betwen traditional elites (Junkers) and working class against liberals - Bismarck's tariff and social welfare policies

B. Shifting Alliances in the 19thC

liberal/radical opposition to privilege of traditional elites (monarch and nobility)

liberal/conservative fear of revolution - J.S. Mill and the "tyranny of the majority" (fear of universal manhood suffrage)

conservative/popular alliance against liberals (opposition to free trade and free markets)

C. The Democratic "Revolution" of the 19thC

Hamerow calls manhood suffrage the "sharpest break" with the past during the 19thC

legacy of American and French Revolutions - democratic liberalism and republicanism

gradual shift in percentage of population able to participate in elections and government (democratisation)

yet fear of universal (manhood, not womanhood) suffrage pervades 19thC conservatism and liberalism

  • property qualification ensures only most able can vote (B. Constant)
  • fear of ignorance of masses and ease with which masses could be manipulated by traditonal conservative elites (Marx/Engels)
  • Mill's fear that the tyranny of the majority would replace tyranny of government legislation

Great Britain - traditional oligarchy forced to share power with liberals

  • 1832 1st Reform Bill - 300,000 voters increased to 653,000
  • 1867 2nd Reform Bill - 1m to 1.9m
  • 1884 3rd Reform Bill - 2.6m to 4.3m

France - pioneer of manhood suffrage in Europe

  • election to National Convention 1792
  • reintroduced by Napoleon 1799 (but veil for autocratic Bonapartist rule)
  • 1815 Restoration of Bourbon monarchy - 300F direct tax resulted in 100,000 voters
  • 1830 July Monarchy lowered tax limit to 200F (200,000 voters)
  • 1848 Revolution - permanent manhood suffrage (300,000 to 9.4m)
  • 1871/75 Third Republic electoral laws 10m plus

Prussia/German Reich

  • Prussian election law of 1849 - manhood suffrage
  • 3 class voting system based upon taxes paid (each class elected same number of representatives to electoral college)
    • 1st class - 4.73% males
    • 2nd class - 13.26%
    • 3rd class - 82%
  • federal election of 1871 equal vote for all men - Bismarck's confidence that rural voters would form alliance with traditional land-owning elites against liberals

D. The Problem of Limiting Political Repression: Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law

i. Liberal Constitutionalism

constitution - protect individual from arbitrary power of state.

models for 19thC reformerss

  • English Settlement of 1688 (Glorious Revolution) - constitutional monarchy
  • American Constitution of September 1787 - constitutional republic
  • French Charter of 1815

19thC Constitutions

  • France 1814/15
  • Southern German states 1818
  • Belgium 1831
  • Prussia 1848
  • Germany 1871
  • Russia 1905
ii. Benjamin Constant and the Rule of Law

French Charter of 1814

Charter of 1815

"responsibility of ministers"


A. Introduction

constitutional limits placed on who could vote

  • French Charter 1814 - 300 F paid in direct taxes limited voting to 100,000 men out of 30 million
  • Belgium 1831 - most liberal early constitution

other political restrictions on democracy - the "perpetuation of oligrachichal rule in the guise of representative government" (Hamerow, p. 300)

  • upper houses limited reforming ability of elected lower houses (e.g. restored Bourbon monarchs could appoint peers personally)
  • public voting - fear of retribution by landlord
  • no payment of MPs - limited membership to independently wealthy

the phenomenon of "Bonapartism" or plebiscitory dictatorship

  • Napoleon III
  • Otto von Bismarck

B. Limits to Suffrage

"class-based suffrage"

in 1880 about 80% of population (or 60% adult pop.) was excluded from franchise in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Britain.

in 1815 Britain and Norway were most "democratic" European states with 2.5% and 3.9% of total pop. enfranchised

major turning points

  • 1848 Rev. in France (0.7% to 1850 20%)
  • 1905 Rev in Russia (0 to 20%)
  • Reforms Acts in Britain 1832, 1867, 1884

end of Bismarck's anti-socialist law in January 1890

C. Controls on Freedom of Speech and Association

i. The Need to exclude "other voices"

direct censorship - prior censorship, punitive or post-publication prosecution.

indirect censorship - caution money, stamp taxes

ii. Metternich and the Karlsbad Decrees 1819

German Bund

harsh censorship laws

supervision of higher and secondary education in order to control liberal tendancies

Vienna Final Act of 1820

nationalistic and liberal student societies (the Burschenschaften)

French July Revolution of 1830 - Louis Philippe

Six Articles in 1832 forbad political meetings and associations

Conservative repression of revolution

  • constitutional government in the south western German states
  • the liberal and nationalist movements in the Italian states (Papal states, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies)
  • the revolution of 1820 in Spain crushed by French army in 1823
  • major failure was inability to crush Greek revolution against Turks in 1820s.

Prior censorship largely abolished by 1848

Russia, Austria, Germany retained quite strict censorship until WW1

iii. John Stuart Mill and the Defense of Freedom of Speech

John Stuart Mill, "Law of Libel" (1825)

liberty of the press vs. "the horrors of an oriental despotism"

ruling elite wants to foster "slavish opinions" in political matters

D. Imprisonment and Exile of Dissidents

E. The Cycle of Revolution, Repression and Reform

i. "Revolutionary Days" - 1820, 1830, 1848

Revolutionary Days

  • 1820-21 Revolts in Iberia, Italy
  • 1830 July Rev in France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland
  • 1848 Rev in France, Prussia, Austria

periods of relaxation of controls

  • 1840-45
  • 1859-68
ii. The Gradual Abandonment of Political Repression

Reasons why:

  • increasing prosperity and political maturity of middle and working classes
  • elites recognized that reform was inevitable
  • elites recognized that reform was necessary for powerful nation state
  • new technologies that made state violence more efficient - machine gun, railway, telegraph
  • massive emigration (40 million 1850-1915)
  • eiltes discovered new ways of creating legitimacy - "chauvinistic nationalism, pro-imperialism, anti-semitism, and anti-clericalism"

F. Changes in the Imagery of Political Power

political overthrow accompanied by "demythologising" power of crown

  • mortality of crown shown by execution of Louis XVI

creation of new symbols of political power and legitimacy

  • "liberty" or "the republic" or "Marianne"
  • the "popular" emperor in bourgeois attire (Napoleon III)
  • the queen as "mother" (matriarch) of the nation (Queen Victoria)


Long-term consequences of political repression:

  • continued existence of autocratic regimes - Russia, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Italy
  • gradual alienation from politics - Italy, Spain
  • immaturity of political opposition
  • development of violent tradition of opposition to status quo

Long-term consequences of early and gradual reform of repressive regions:

  • limited use of violence to achieve reform
  • development of moderate and mature opposition groups
  • stability in the transfer of power from one regime to another after elections
  • widespread respect for "liberal traditions"

Goldstein (pp. 342-3) - link between repressive 19thC regimes and 20thC fascism and communism?

- Chronology of the French Revolution



The Struggle for Liberty II - Slavery and its Abolition

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What is "slavery"?

Where did slaves come from and where did they live?

Who were the slave owners and where did they live?

Which were the main slave owning countries of Europe?

How was the ownership of slaves justified?

Who opposed slavery and why?

When was the slave trade abolished? slavery itself?

Why did slavery come to end when it did?

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




  • 1772 - Lord Mansfield declares slaves free upon entering British Isles (thus illegal to repossess fugitive slaves)
  • 1783 - English "Society of Friends" (Quakers) form anti-slavery association
  • 1787 - William Wilberforce's "Abolition Society" founds Freetown, Sierra Leone as home for liberated slaves
  • 1789 - France's new constitution abolishes slavery (revoked by Napoleon)
  • 1791 - slave revbellion on French colony of Saint Domingue; independence achieved 1798
  • 1791, 1794 - 1st US measures taken against slave trade
  • 1803 - Denmark abolishes slave trade
  • 1806 - British Parliament outlaws British participation in slave trade to foreign countries (2/3 of British slave trade)
  • 1807 - British Abolition Act bans any British participation in slave trade, Royal Navy blocades West African coast
  • 1808 - US abolishes slave trade
  • 1811 - British Parliament declares any subject engaging in slave trade is a pirate
  • 1814 - Treaty of Paris - France and Britain declare slave trade is "repugnant to principles of natural justice". France agrees to limit trade to its own colonies and abolish trade in 5 years
  • 1815 - Congress of Vienna condemns slave trade
  • 1818 - France outlaws slave trade
  • 1820s - slavery outlawed in newly independent Latin American republics
  • 1822 - American Colonization Society establishes Liberia as home for liberated American slaves
  • 1823 - Society for the Mitigation and Gradual Abolition of Slavery Throughout the British Domininons is founded
  • 1831 - French/British treaty for mutual search of suspected slave ships
  • 1833 - Britain emancipates slaves in West Indies, South Africa, Mauritius (compensation to ownership, apprenticeship for ex-slaves for 4 years)
  • 1839 - Joseph Sturge founds British Anti-Slavery Society
  • 1841 - British Aborogines' Protection Society founded
  • 1843 - France introduces "engagé" or forced labour emigration to colonies in order to get around anti-slavery treaties
  • 1847 - Liberia becomes independent republic
  • 1848 - France emancipates slaves in colonies
  • 1849 - France establishes Libreville for freed slaves
  • 1859 - France abolishes engagé system of labour
  • September, 1862 - Pres. Lincoln issues an Emacipation Proclamation (freeing the slaves)
  • 1865 - 13th Amendment to US constitution abolishes slavery
  • 1869 - Portugal abolishes slavery
  • 1888 - Brazil last American state to abolish slavery
  • 1900 - Britain abolishes slavery in occupied parts of Nigeria
  • 1962 - Saudi Arabia last country to abolish legal status of slavery


A. Introduction

Moses Finley

Helots of Sparta


B. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

British Royal African Company 1672

British slave ports:

  • Liverpool
  • Bristol
  • Lancaster

"triangular" trade

"petite" and "grande" route

"middle passage"

mortality rate 2.7-9.6 %

African source of slaves:

  • Angola
  • Congo
  • Gulf of Benin
  • Gold Coast
  • Bight of Biafra

C. The Slave Trade in the 19thC

attempts to abolish slave trade:

  • USA 1791, 1794, 1808
  • Denmark 1802
  • Britain 1807

Total exports of slaves from Africa 1450-1900 (Table 1.1)

Period Volume %of total
1450-1600 367,000 3.1
1601-1700 1,868,000 16.0
1701-1800 6,133,000 52.4
1801-1900 3,330,000 28.5
Total 11,698,000 100.0

Thomas Clarkson

"engagé à temps" (contract labour)

Roger Anstey

"the scramble"


Eric Williams


A. The Emergence of Abolitionist Thought in the Enlightenment - the "Philosophes"

1. Jaucourt on Slavery

Chevalier de Jaucourt, Encyclopaedia

  • "Slavery" (1755)
  • "Slave Trade" (1765)
2. Voltaire on Slavery

Voltaire, Candide (1759) - "that's the price of your eating sugar in Europe"




Guillaume Raynal, Histoire philosophique et politique des Deux Indes (1772)

B. Abolitionist Organizations in France 1788-1848

1. the "Société des amis des noirs" (Society of the friends of the blacks) 1788-1793




"Pastor Schwarz"



British Quakers

Thomas Clarkson

William Wilberforce

1790-91 slave revolts in Martinique and St. Domingue (Haiti)

Abolition of slavery 2 February 1794, reimposed by Napoleon 1802

2. the "Coppet Circle"

Mme de Stael

  • Mirza (1795)
  • Considérations sur la Révolution française (1817)

Simonde de Sismondi

Treaty of Paris 1814

Benjamin Constant

  • La Minerve
  • "De la traite des nègres," in Commentaire sur l'ouvrage de Filangieri (1822)
3. the "Société de la morale chrétienne" (Society for Christian Morality) 1822-1848


  • François Guizot
  • Benjamin Constant
  • Rochefoucauld-Liancourt
  • Duc d'Orléans (Louis Philippe)
  • Charles Comte
  • Charles Dunoyer
  • Abbé Grégoire


Auguste de Staël

Papal Enclyclical 1839

Duc de Broglie

King Louis Philippe

4. The "Societe pour l'Abolition de l'esclavage" (Society for the Abolition of Slavery) 1834-48


  • Duc de Broglie
  • Montalembert
  • Hyppolite Passy
  • Alexander Destutt de Tracy
  • Gustave de Beaumont
  • Alexis de Tocqueville

Victor Schoelcher

C. Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont "Report on Abolition"

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59)

  • Democracy in America (1835, 1840)
  • Du système pénitentiaire aux États-Unis et son application en France (1833)
  • Le Commerce 1844-45
  • Recollections
  • The Ancien Régime and the Revolution (1856)



Gustave Auguste de Beaumont de La Bonninière

Gustave Beaumont, Marie, ou l'esclavage aux États-Unis, Tableau des moeurs américaines (1835)



Prix Montyon

L'Irlande sociale, politique, et religieuse (1839)

Robert A. Strong, "Alexis de Tocqueville and the Abolitionn of Slavery," Slavery and Abolition, September 1987, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 204-15.

Matthew Mancini, "Political Economy and Cultural Theory in Tocqueville's Abolitionism," Slavery and Abolition, September 1989, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 151-71.

Tocqueville's Report on Abolition (July 1839)

Duc de Broglie's Report (May 1843)

Tocqueville's articles on the Broglie Report for Le Siècle (October to December, 1843)


Other sources:

  • Heinrich Heine's poem "The Slaveship"



The Struggle for Liberty III - Emancipation of the Serfs

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What is a serf? and where did they live?

Who benefited from serfdom?

How was serfdom justified?

Who opposed serfdom? and why?

When was serdom abolished? and why?

What is the connection, if any between European serfdom and convictism in Australia?

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




A. Emancipation in the 19thC

"the Struggle for Liberty"



emancipation of:

  • slaves (in European colonies)
  • serfs (the mass of rural people within Europe)
  • women (one half of the entire population)
  • ordinary people (creation of free political and legal institutions) - those who were not noble or had privileged access to state

Rösener - "... surely one of the most momentous events in modern European social history" (p. 171).

Emancipation of serfs:

  • personal freedom
  • equality before the law
  • freedom of movement
  • right to own property
  • right to choose an occupation
  • recognition by state of country-wide citizenry
  • reform of law codes, courts, police, military conscription, taxation policy, local government

B. The Impact of the Industrial Revolution on Agriculure

  • decline of occupational importance of agriculture in 19thC
  • decline of economic importance of agriculture

C. The Impact of the French Revolution on Agriculture

  • idea of equality before the law
  • end of privileged system of orders or estates
  • right to own property and move about
  • idea of political representation of all (males)
  • emancipation decree of 1789
  • sale of noble and church land
  • occupation by French armies led to emancipation of serfs elsewhere in Europe
  • model of threat of peasant rebellion ("Great Fear" in France 1789)

D. The "Agricultural Revolution" of the 19thC

  • economically rationalised production
  • consolidation of land holdings
  • application of scientific knowledge
  • mechanisation of farming

E. The Link Between Agriculture and Systems of Government

  • small peasant proprietors - constitutional monarchy or moderate republic (e.g. France under Second Empire and Third Republic, Belgium after 1830, German states west of Elbe)
  • great aristocratic landowners - authoritarian government (e.g. Russia, Prussia east of Elbe (Junker estates), Austria-Hungary)

British exceptionalism


1770 2/3 of Europe's population (or 100 million) lived in lands where various forms of "serfdom" existed

Serfdom - a condition (servile status) where members of a higher "estate or order" (noble landowners) enjoyed legally protected privileges at the expense of members of a lower estate or order:

  • tax exemptions of nobility
  • peasants forced to pay state taxes (taille), tariffs, salt or tobacco monopoly, quartering of troops
  • noble land ownership with obligations on peasants for coerced labour
  • forced labour and military service to state
  • lack of free movement
  • forced to pay dues to lord (cens or Gült or tithe)


See Jerome Blum, The End of the Old Order in Rural Europe (Princeton University Press, 1978), p. 356

Pre-Revolutionary Emancipation Decrees

  • 19 December, 1771 - Savoy
  • 23 July, 1783 - Baden
  • 20 June, 1788 - Denmark

French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire (1789-1815)

  • 3 November, 1789 - France
  • 4 May, 1798 - Switzerland
  • 19 December, 1804 - Schleswig-Holstein
  • 22 July, 1807 - Poland (Grand Duchy of Warsaw)
  • 9 October, 1807 - Prussia
  • 31 August, 1808 - Bavaria
  • 1 September, 1812 - Nassau

The Restoration (1815-1830)

  • 23 March, 1816 - Estonia
  • 25 August, 1817 - Courland
  • 18 November, 1817 - Württemberg
  • 26 March, 1819 - Livonia
  • 18 January, 1820 - Mecklenburg
  • 17 December, 1820 - Grand Duchy of Hesse

1830 Revolutions and Aftermath

  • 10 November, 1831 - Hannover
  • 5 January, 1831 - Electoral Hesse
  • 29 April, 1831 - Saxe-Altenburg
  • 17 March, 1832 - Saxony
  • 12 October, 1832 - Brunswick
  • 24 January, 1845 - Schaumburg-Lippe

The 1848 Revolutions and Aftermath

  • 28 March, 1848 - Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
  • 25 April, 1848 - Reuss (older line)
  • 18 May, 1848 - Saxe-Weimar
  • 7 September, 1848 - Austria
  • 20 October, 1848 - Saxe-Gotha
  • 25 January, 1849 - Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
  • 18 February, 1849 - Oldenburg
  • 27 April, 1849 - Scwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • 29 August, 1849 - Anhalt-Bernburg
  • 20 November, 1849 - Lippe
  • 5 May, 1850 - Saxe-Meiningen
  • 14 April, 1852 - Reuss (younger line)
  • 2 March, 1853 - Hungary

Post-Crimean War (1854-56)

  • 19 February, 1861 - Russia
  • 14 August, 1864 - Romania (the Danubian Principalities)


Massive population explosion in second half of 18thC

Nobility gradually realised that reform was inevitable and beneficial

State officials wanted to break power of nobility and increase state revenue.

Liberal and Enlightened ideas

Defeat in war or threat of revolution - reform from "above" vs reform from "below":

  • defeat of Prussians by Napoleon at Jena 1806
  • revolutionary upheaval 1848-49
  • defeat of Russia in Crimean War 1856


A. Introduction

  • commutation or termination of manorial obligations
  • annulment of associative relationships (to village and other peasants)
  • partition of common lands around village
  • separation or coupling of land

B. Pre-Revolutionary Reforms

1771 Savoy

Austrian Emperor Joseph II

C. France

Decree of 4 August, 1789

11 August decree

Nat. Convention in 17 July, 1793

Abolition of slavery announced in 1794.

D. Prussia and Other German States

Rhenish states (in Rhine valley)

Prussia's military defeat in 1806

Collapse of Holy Roman Empire 1806

Prince Karl August von Hardenberg

Baron Heinrich von Stein

Regulation Decree 14 September, 1811

1830 revolutions

1834 Saxony

1848-49 Revolutions

Frankfurt National Assembly

E. Russia


Jean-Francois Millet, "The Gleaners" (1857)

Liana Vardi, "Construing the Harvest: Gleaners, Farmers and Officials in Early Modern France," American Historical Review, December 1993, vol. 98, no. 5, pp. 1424-47.

Image of Jean-Francois Millet, "The Gleaners" (1857)



The Struggle for Liberty IV - Emancipation of Women

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

Were women "oppressed" during the 19thC?

If so, how were they oppressed? who oppressed them and why?

Who benefited from the oppression of women?

Who ost out?

Who opposed the oppression of women and why?

What measures did women take to achieve emancipation? how succesful were these measures?

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -





Clare Goldberg Moses, French Feminism in the Nineteenth Century (State University of New York Press, 1984).

H.D. Lewis, "The Legal Status of Women in 19th C France," Journal of European Studies, 1980, vol. 10, pp., 178-88.


discontinuity of French vs continuity of English and American feminism

contradictory traditions which influenced French feminism

  • Enlightened individualism, liberal constitution-alism, liberal republicanism. Includes Mme de Stael, Condorcet, Léon Richer, Jenny d'Héricourt
  • utopian socialism, socialism and socialist republicanism. Includes Saint-Simon and Fourier

discontinuity due to repression of revolutions: 1793, 1834, 1850, 1871


A. Discrimination under the Law

Civil or Napoleonic Code 1804

"paper Bastille"

Madame de Staël

"genius has no sex"

régime de communité

father's right of correction

flagrant délit - article 324 of Code

divorce: permitted 1792, restricted 1804, prohibited 1816, re-established 1884

B. Discrimination in the Catholic Church

"natural domesticity"

Louis de Bonald (1753-1840)

boys "the taste for horses, for arms, for religious ceremonies"

girls "the taste for sedentary and domestic works, for household cares, for DOLLS"

"homme-enfant" (adult child)

C. Discrimination in Education

illiteracy rates 50 p.c. higher for women

  • 1851 - 40-50 p.c adults - 3:2 (w:m)
  • 1870 - 31 - 3:2
  • 1889 - 15 brides 9 grooms - 5:3
  • 1900 - 6:5

François Guizot

July Monarchy (1830-48)

1833 primary schools for boys

1850 Falloux law

Victor Duruy

baccalauréat (bac)

diplôme de fin d'études secondaires

D. The Economic Situation of Women in 19thC France

Julie Daubié 1860

University of Lyon

La femme pauvre au XIXe siècle (Paris: Guillaumin, 1866)

Jules Ferry

   1866  1911
 working women  2.7m  4.5m
 agriculture  1.8m  3.2m
 % total fem. pop.  25%  40%
   domestic service  office work
 1866  1,050,753  328,000
 1906  781,200  771,000

female Paris average 3 F per day, elsewhere 2.10 F

male Paris average 6.15 F per day, elsewhere 3.90 F

Jules Simon, L'Ouvrière (The Working Woman) (1861)

Daubié - prostitution is "the 5th quarter of the day"


Emile Zola, L'Assomoir (1877)

Nana (1880)


fear of "mixed" labour


Louis Villermé, Sketch of the physical and moral state of workers employed in the manufacture of cotton, wool and silk (1840)

Lille factories

Jules Simon

Emile Zola, Germinal (1885)

Étienne Lantier

Dr Bull Hints to Mothers (1833)

British Mother's Magazine (1845-63)

Gustave Droz, Monsieur, Madame et bébé (1866)

J. Walsh, Manual of Domestic Economy (1853)

Cora-Elisabeth Millet-Robinet, La maison rustique des dames (1844-5)


"la querelle des femmes" (the quarrel of the women)

A. Proudhon's Anti-Feminism

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

  • What is Property? (1840)
  • On justice in the revolution and the church (1858)
  • Pornocracy or women in modern times (1875)

Jules Michelet (1798-1874)

  • History of the French Revolution (1847- )
  • Le peuple (1846)
  • L'amour (1858)
  • La femme (1859)

B. The Liberal Feminist Response to Proudhon and the Ideal of Domesticity

Jenny d'Héricourt, La femme affranchie: Résponse à Mm. Michelet, Proudhon, E. de Girardin, A. Comte et aux autres novateurs modernes (The liberated woman: a response to... and other modern innovators) (1860)

Juliette Lambier (Adam), Idées anti-proudhoniennes sur l'amour, la femme et le mariage (Anti-proudhonian ideas concerning love, women and marriage) (1858)



"femininsation" of occupations by machinery


All references to the Virago edition edited by Kate Soper.

  • the legal subordination of women is wrong in itself and is one of the chief hindrances to human improvement, p 1 (Chap. 1 - para 1)
  • inequality of rights between men and women has no other source than the law of the strongest, pp. 10-11 (chap 1 - para 7)
  • women form a subject-class which is in the interest of most males to maintain, pp. 18-21 (Chap 1 - para 9)
  • the education of women has been designed to enslave their minds, p. 27 (Chap 1 - para 12)
  • the subjection of women is a relic of the past and violates individual freedom, pp. 29-31 (Chap 1 - para 14)
  • the idea of the nature of women is an artifical construct distorted by forced repression and unnatural stimulation, p. 38-9 (Chap 1 - para 19)
  • the true nature of women will be determined by women themsleves by their own experience and faculties, p. 48 (Chap 1 - para 25-26)
  • comparison of the subjection of women to tariffs - JSM does not want legislation to favour women but the repeal of all bounties and protective duties in favour of men, to enable the free play of competition between them, pp. 48-9 (Chap 1 - para 25-26)
  • marriage should be a partnership or contract based upon voluntary mutual consent, including the division of household duties and functions, pp. 72-75 (Chap 2 - para 8). However, still believes most suitable division of labour is the working man and housewife, pp. 87-88 (Chap 2 - para 16)
  • equality of married persons before the law promotes justice, happiness and morality, pp. 78-9 (Chap 2 - para 12)
  • the power of earning is essential to the dignity of a woman, pp. 89-90 (Chap 2 - para 16)
  • women should have the right to vote, pp. 95-6 (Chap 3 - para 2)
  • "power corrupts" - the privileged position of men has a corrupting influence on them, pp. 148-51 (Chap 4 - para 2-4)
  • utilitarian arguments in favour of liberating women - the opening of all occupations to women will double the mass of mental faculties available for the higher service of humanity, pp. 153-4 (Chap 4 - para 6)


Images of the suffrage campaign from Lisa Tickner, The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign, 1907-14 (University of Chicago Press, 1988):



Ideologies of Emancipation I - Liberalism (Mill) - 19thC Liberalism & Socialism compared

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What is (classical) liberalism?

How does it differ from the liberalism of today?

Who are some of the leading classical liberals of the 19thC?

What did they think was wrong with their society? and how did they plan to improve it?

What impact did classical liberalism have on 19thC society? on the 20thC?

How did classical liberalism change during the 19thC?

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




continuing cycle of revolution and reaction

  • 1789
  • 1815
  • 1830
  • 1848-51
  • 1870-71
  • 1917
  • 1989

Revolutionary changes transforming Europe 1750-1850:

  • commercialisation of agriculture
  • population growth
  • urbanisation
  • industrial revolution
  • emergence of new middle and working classes
  • nationalism
  • impact of French Revolution


"throne and altar"

society organic and hierarchic


Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution (1790)

Louis de Bonald

Joseph de Maistre, On the Pope (1821)

Concert of Europe

Prince Metternich

Arno J. Mayer, The Persistence of the Old Regime:Europe to the Great War (New York: Pantheon Books, 1981)

Otto von Bismarck



Spanish Cortes (1812)

First Reform Act of 1832

"New Liberalism"

John Gray, Liberalism (1986)

A. Principles of Classical Liberalism

  • individual liberty and right to private property
  • limited power of the state (constitutionalism, responsible government, free speech, rule of law)
  • electoral reform limited to property owners
  • end government controls of the economy, policy of free trade
  • prosperity by means of industrialisation and private enterprise,
  • oppose slavery, war and imperialism
  • end foreign occupation and create independent states based upon language and history


James Mill (1773-1836)

Jeremy Bentham

utilitarianism - principle of "the greatest happiness of the greatest number"

writings of John Stuart Mill

  • Autobiography (1873)
  • Westminster Review
  • On Liberty (1859)
  • Considerations on Representative Government (1861)
  • Utilitarianism (1863)
  • On the Subjection of Women (1869)
  • Principles of Political Economy (1848 1st edition)

East India Company

Harriet Taylor

Wilhelm von Humboldt, Limits to State Action (1852)

"one very simple principle - that the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others"

"Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign"

Gertrude Himmelfarb, On Liberty and Liberalism: The Case of John Stuart Mill (1974)

A. Key Passages in Mill's On Liberty (1859)

All references are to the Penguin edition: John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, ed. Gertrude Himmelfarb (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984).

  • idea of "social tyranny" - in addition to "tyranny of magistrate" JSM warned of "tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling". ("Introductory," p. 63 or para. 5).
  • idea of private "sphere of action" within which one is completely free to think and act. ("Introductory, p. 71 or para. 12).
  • right of free expression - the majority has no right to silence even one dissenting voice. ("Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion", p. 76, or para. 1).
  • utility of free speech - intellectual progress through conflict between "dead" vs "living" beliefs. ("Thought and Discussion," pp. 101-3, para. 27-30).
  • diversity in "different experiments of living" make progress possible. ("Of Individuality," p. 120, or para. 1).
  • development of "eccentricity" is socially useful. ("Of Individuality," pp. 132-3, or para. 13).
  • only "acts injurious to others" should be punished. Individual should be free to engage in "moral vices". ("Of the Limits to Authority of Society," pp. 145, or para. 6, and "Applications," p. 163, or para. 2).
  • a theory of "social rights" a "monstrous" principle harmful to liberty. ("Of the Limits," p. 158, or para. 19).
  • Danger of adding to power of the government - Creation of a class of "Hangers-On" who use government for their own benefit. ("Applications," pp. 181-2, or para. 20).

In his Autobiography JSM described On Liberty as "a kind of philosophic textbook of a single truth" (quoted in Himmelfarb's intro to On Liberty, p. 27). The "single truth" is the following passage from pp. 68-9 of Himmelfarb ed. of On Liberty:

The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of anyone for which he is amenable to society is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. (My empahsis).

B. Key Passages in Mill's Subjection of Women (1869)

All references to the Virago edition edited by Kate Soper :

1. the legal subordination of women is wrong in itself and is one of the chief hindrances to human improvement, (p 1 or Chap 1 para. 1)

2. inequality of rights between men and women has no other source than the law of the strongest, (pp. 10-11 or Chap. 1 para. 7)

3. women form a subject-class which is in the interest of most males to maintain, (pp. 18-21 or Chap. 1 para. 9)

4. the education of women has been designed to enslave their minds, (p. 27 or Chap. 1 para. 12)

5. the subjection of women is a relic of the past and violates individual freedom, (pp. 29-31 or Chap. 1 para. 14)

6. the idea of the nature of women is an artifical construct distorted by forced repression and unnatural stimulation, (p. 38-9 or Chap. 1 para. 19)

7. the true nature of women will be determined by women themsleves by their own experience and faculties, (p. 48 or Chap. 1 para. 25)

8. comparison of the subjection of women to tariffs - JSM does not want legislation to favour women but the repeal of all bounties and protective duties in favour of men, to enable the free play of competition between them, (pp. 48-9 or Chap. 1 para. 26)

9. marriage should be a partnership or contract based upon voluntary mutual consent, including the division of household duties and functions, (pp. 72-75. or Chap. 2 para. 8-9) However, still believes most suitable division of labour is the working man and housewife, (pp. 87-88 or Chap. 2 para. 16)

10. equality of married persons before the law promotes justice, happiness and morality, (pp. 78-9 or Chap. 2 para. 12)

11. the power of earning is essential to the dignity of a woman, (pp. 89-90 or Chap. 2 para. 16)

12. women should have the right to vote, (pp. 95-6 or Chap. 3 para. 1)

13. "power corrupts" - the privileged position of men has a corrupting influence on them, (pp. 148-51 or Chap. 4 para. 2)

14. utilitarian arguments in favour of liberating women - the opening of all occupations to women will double the mass of mental faculties available for the higher service of humanity, (pp. 153-4 or Chap. 4 para. 6)




  • the rights to individual liberty and private property
    • freedom of movement
    • freedm of religion
    • freedom of contract
    • freedom of association
  • limits to the power of the state by constitutions
    • constitutionalism
    • responsible government
    • the rule of law
  • an end to the political domination of landed aristocracy
    • electoral reform limited to middle class property owners
  • an end to government controls of the economy
    • deregulation
    • an end to government sanctioned monopolies
    • free trade
    • privatisation of state-owned assets (land)
  • support for private enterprise and industrialisation
  • opposition to slavery, war and imperialism (though not colonies),
  • support for an end to foreign occupation and the creation of independent states based upon language and history (nationalism)


  • the primacy of the community or society over the selfish individual
    • social rights
  • belief in democracy and equal civic rights (except Marxists who denounced these rights as "bourgeois" rights)
    • electoral rights for all working men (not women)
    • freedom of speech
    • freedom of association
  • economic equality
    • opposition to concentrations of economic wealth (monopolies)
    • changes to working confitions to protect the interests of workers
    • use of the state to ensure more equal distribution of property
    • opposition to or limitation of profits, interest and rent
  • regulation by the state of the capitalist system
    • to avoid economic inequality, injustice, selfishness
    • to avoid boom-bust economic cycle
  • use of the state to improve or reform society (or individuals in society) through legislation and education
  • key sectors of the economy should be owned or controlled by the state
    • compulsory state-funded education
    • state-funded or owned health, banking, transport, communications



Ideologies of Emancipation II - Socialism (Marx)

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What is socialism?

What is Marxism?

How does it differ from the socialism of today?

Who are some of the leading socialists of the 19thC?

What did they think was wrong with their society? and how did they plan to improve it?

What impact did socialism have on 19thC society? on the 20thC?

How did socialism change during the 19thC?

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (1976)

individualism vs socialism

socialism vs communism

French Commune (1870)



Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)


Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762)

Discourse on the Origins and Foundations of Inequality among Men (1755)





"utopian" vs "scientific" socialism

Auguste Comte


Henri Saint-Simon

Robert Owen, Report to the County of Lanark (1821)

"Social question" 1830s-40s

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property? (1840)

"property is theft"

"unearned income" - profit, interest and rent

Proudhon's System of Economic Contradictions (1846)


"vanguard of the socialist party"

Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto (1848)

national workshops


revisionism (Bernstein)

social democracy

labour parties

revolutionary socialism or communism

national socialism (Nazism)


  • the primacy of the community or society over selfish individual
  • belief in democracy and equal civic rights
  • economic equality
  • regulation and control of the capitalist system
  • the state can improve or reform society
  • state control of education, health, banking, transport, communications


Karl Marx (1818-83)


Young Hegelians

Friedrich Engels

"League of the Just"

Socialist International

Karl Marx's key writings

  • The German Ideology (1846)
  • The Communist Manifesto (1848)
  • The Class Struggles in France (1850)
  • The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852)
  • Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy (Grundrisse) (1858)
  • Das Kapital (Capital) (1867)
  • Neue Rheinische Zeitung

Karl Marx's key ideas

  • Labour Theory of Value and Concept of Surplus Value.
  • Critique of the Capitalist System - periodic crises of overproduction, "the immiseration of the proletariat"
  • Class Theory of History (bourgeoisie vs proletariat)
  • The Creation of a Socialist Society through Revolution - "dictatorship of the proletariat"
  • The Future Classless Communist Society - "to each according to his need, from each according to his ability"

A. Key Passages in Marx and Engels' The Communist Manifesto (1848)

All references are to the Penguin edition: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, ed. A.J.P. Taylor (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985) (or Avalon online edition).

Chapter 1: "Bourgeois and Proletarians"

  • "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles" (p. 79, or Avalon).
  • the simplification of class struggle in the modern world into two hostile camps bourgeoisie vs proletariat (p. 80, or Avalon).
  • the revolutionary changes brought about in the world by the bourgeoisie - crushing of feudal structures (pp. 81-5)
  • the productive forces unleashed by capitalism leads to commercial crisies and overproduction (p. 86)
  • the proletariat will turn the "weapons" of capitalism against itself (pp. 87-9 or Avalon), i.e. monopolisation of industry makes natiopnalisation easier, concenttration of WC in factories creates class consciousness.
  • the creation of an organised, self-conscious proletarian movement (p. 92 or Avalon) whose victory over the bourgeoisie is inevitable (p. 94).

Chapter 2: "Proletarians and Communists" (Avalon edition)

  • "The distinguishing feature of Communism" is the abolition of "modern bourgeois private property" (p. 96 or Avalon) with the "middle-class owner of property... swept out of the way, and made impossible" (p. 99). Advocates "despotic inroads on the rights of property" (p. 104 or Avalon).
  • In the future communist society private capital will be "converted into common property, into the property of all members of society" (p. 97 or Avalon).
  • Abolition of "bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom" (p. 98 or Avalon). Disappearance of "free trade, free selling and buying" (p. 98 or Avalon).
  • Abolition of the "bourgeois family", the end of exploitation of children by their parents, the "intervention of society in education" (p. 100 or Avalon).
  • The creation of "an openly legalized community of women" (p. 101 or Avalon) with the elimination of "the staus of women as mere instruments of production" (p. 101 or Avalon).
  • The abolition of "all religion, and all morality" and their reconstitution "on a new basis" (p. 103 or Avalon).
  • The creation of a dictatorship of the proletariat by raising the proletariat to "the position of ruling class" (p. 104 or Avalon).
  • The wresting of all capital from the bourgeoisie and the centralization of "all instruments of production in the hands of the State" (p. 104 or Avalon).
  • A 10-point program of measures to be taken to advance the revolution (pp. 104-5 or Avalon). Abolition of land ownership and rent; heavy progressive income tax; abolition of inheritance; centralisation of bank credit, communication, transport in hands of state; expansion of state owned factories; creation of industrial armies for agriculture; abolition of distinctionbetween town and country; free state education.
  • The claim that eventually "the public power will lose its political character" (p. 105 or Avalon) and the state will wither away. Creation of a classless society "an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all" (p. 105).

B. Marx's and Engel's 10-point program to "entirely revolution(ize) the mode of production" (Avalon ed.)


  • Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  • A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  • Abolition of all right of inheritance.
  • Confiscation of the property of emigrants and rebels.
  • Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  • Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  • Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  • Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  • Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
  • Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc." (pp. 104-5).



State, Empire & War I - Empires & Colonies in the 19th Century

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What is an "empire"?

Who were the main imperial powers in the 19thC? and where were their colonies located?

What is good about imperialism?

What is bad about imperialism?

Who benefited from empire?

Who lost out?

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (Glasgow: Fontana, 1976).

Latin "imperium"

"imperialism" emerged in England after 1870


4 different types of Empire:

  • protectorates - India, Malaya, Tunisia
  • settler societies - North America, Australia
  • plantation colonies - Southern colonies in North America, Latin America, Brazil
  • military bases - Cape, Singapore, islands in Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean


Spain and Portugal (Central and South America, Philippines) - 15thC to 1763

late 18th and 19thC France and Britain - 1763-1815, 1815-1882

Late 19thC and early 20thC entry of new imperial powers - Germany, USA, Japan 1883-1914.

After WW2 "decolonization"

1. The Spanish Empire

Nth, Central, Sth America, Caribbean, Philippines.


revolts and wars to achieve independence 1814-1824

2. The Portugese Empire

Main colony Brazil

Angola, Guinea

bases and ports in Macau and Japan

3. The French Empire

Plantation colonies in Caribbean - San Domingo, Louisiana

Settler society in Canada (Arcadia, Montreal)

7 Years war 1754-63 against Britain

French Rev 1789

slaves freed 1794

Peace of Amiens 1802

San Domingo slave revolt 1802

Louisian sold to USA 1803.

West Africa (Senegal)

military bases in Indian Ocean - Mauritius, Madagascar, Bourbon

4. The British Empire

loss of North American colonies through a revolutionary war of independence (1775-1783)

plantation colonies in Caribbean (Jamaica, Barbados) and Southern seaboard of America (Virginia, Carolinas, Georgia)

Settler societies

  • middle colonies of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, NY
  • New England colonies (Connecticut, Maine, Mass, RI, New Hampshire)

navigation laws

Ed. Burke - "a state of commercial servitude and civil liberty"

"World war" with France 1741-63 then 1792-1815

New types of colonies

  • Sierra Leone 1787 as refuge for freed English slaves
  • New South Wales 1788 new penal colony

Africa: Gambia River (gold, ivory, spirit gum for silk industry), Sierra Leone, Cape of Good Hope


  • decay of Moghul Empire
  • English East India Co
  • 3 fortified posts - Bombay 1661, Madras, Fort William Calcutta (1698)

C. EMPIRES AFTER 1815-1883

1756-1815 - Franco-British rivalry

1815-1881 - classic period of European imperialism

1881-1914 - New Imperialism

1. Changes in the Nature of Empire

Imperialism in retreat in first 25 years of 19thC:

  • independence movements in America
  • free trade in colonies 1820
  • peace from 1815 to Crimean War 1854
  • British navy unrivalled in power until naval arms race of 1890s (Germany)

Christian missionaries


2. The French Empire

North Africa - colonization of Algeria 1830, Tunisia 1881

Tropical West Africa (Senegal)


  • "gunboat diplomacy" 1847, 1858
  • occupation of Saigon delta 1858-60
  • 1862 Treaty cession of 3 provinces of Cochin-China


  • protectorates over Tahiti and Marquesas 1847
  • seized New Caledonia 1853 for use as penal colony (black-birding or kidnapping Kanaks)

3. The British Empire

North Africa - Egypt

  • Suez canal 1854
  • 1878 financial crisis led to rule by Debt Commission controlled by France and Britain
  • nationalist revolt 1882; Britain conquers Egypt

South Africa

  • containing Boer expansionism
  • 1848 Britain occupies new Boer settlements
  • diamonds discovered in Kimberly region, seized 1871
  • War against Boer independence 1899-1902.


  • Punjab annexed 1849
  • Afghan wars 1839-42, 1878-80


  • Colonial Office took over British Straits settlements (Penang, Malacca, Singapore) from the India Office


  • "triangular trade" - Indian opium to Canton, tea to England
  • Opium Wars to maintain trade
  • 1839-40 Treaty of Nanking - Hong Kong

Pacific - Australia and NZ


1883-1890 final "carving up" among European Great Powers of Africa, Asia, Pacific

Emergence of new players:

  • USA 1898 war against Spain and seizure of Spanish Philippines, Cuba and annexation of Hawaii
  • Japan - war against Russia, expansion into Korea and northern China

1. The Scramble for Africa

2. . The German Empire

18845 Bismarck - Tanganyika, SW Africa, Kamerun, Togoland, Nth New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Kiou Chou.


1. Supporters of Empire

a. Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796-1862) and South Australia

"systematic colonization"

South Australian Land Company

A Sketch for a Proposal for Colonizing Australia (1829)

colonists' "natural slavery"

Second Report from the Committe on South Australia (1841)

b. Scientific Racism

hierarchy of races

study of racial characteristics

level of "civilisation"

c. Imperialism and the "White Man's Burden" (Civilising Mission)

Christianise and educate coloured people

d. Popular Imperialism - "Jingoism"
  • national prestige - "by jingo..."
  • opportunities for employment in colonial trade, emmigration, military
  • genuine belief in "civilising mission" of white man
e. Imperialism and Culture - Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling - Kim and the Jungle Book - India and South Africa

Baden-Powell - Boy Scouts - Boer War

2. Critics of Empire

a. Richard Cobden (1804-1865) and Liberal Anti-Imperialism

Opposed colonialism:

  • costly to taxpayer
  • benefits went to a small group of aristocrats (staffed army, navy, civil service) (Bentham's and James Mill's "sinister interest")
  • restricted free trade
  • cause of war with rival powers (e.g. Crimean War)
  • source of much state interference in the economy
  • diverted productive resources into wasteful expenditure (harder to compete with rising economic power of USA)

"Peace, Retrenchment, and Reform"

b. Marxism and Imperialism

Imperialism "highest stage of capitalism" (Lenin)



State, Empire & War II - War & State-Making

Questions to think about

What is a "war"?

What were the major wars of the 19thC?

Where were they fought? and why?

How were they fought?

Who benefited from the war? who lost out?

Which was the most warlike state of Europe? which was the least war-like state?

Who supported and who opposed war in the 19thC? why?

What impact did war have on the development of 19thC European society?

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




19thC began and ended in war and revolution:

  • French Rev 1789 and French Revolutionary Wars 1792
  • WW1 1914-18 and Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution 1917

French "levée en masse" 1793


the "nation in arms"

national anthem "La Marseillaise"

Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) - On War (1832)

ideologically motivated mass army


III. THE 40 YEAR PEACE (1815-1854)

"balance of power"

"Great Powers" of Europe - France, Britain, Austria, Russia - (later Germany and Italy)


  • France invaded Spain 1823
  • Russia and Greece fought Turkey 1827-8 - attempt at Greek national independence
  • Belgium sought independence from Holland 1830

organised peace movements

  • Christian pacifism, Quakers - war was "unchristian"
  • classical liberals and political economists - war was "uneconomic" (Richard Cobden, Frederic Bastiat)
  • liberals (Charles Comte, Charles Dunoyer, Gustave de Molinari, Herbert Spencer) and Saint-Simonian socialists - society was evolving from warlike aristocracy to higher stage of pacifistic "industrialism

James Mill

"the pestilential wind which blasts the prosperity of nations. This is the devouring fiend which eats up the precious treasure of national economy, the foundation of national improvement, and of national happiness."

Prince Metternich of Austria

Congress of Vienna (Concert of Europe after 1820s):

1830 Revolution contained

1848 Revolution militarily suppressed

  • General. Cavaignac (Algeria) crushed Paris workers in June 1848
  • Gen. Windischgrätz crushed Viennese Rev Oct. 18148
  • Gen. Wrangel crushed independent liberal National Assembly in Berlin in Nov. 1848
  • Gen. Radetsky defeated Italian nationals

flintlock musket

Minié rifle 1849

Dreyse "needle guin" 1841



1880 Maxim machine gun

"ironclad" hulls 1860s and 1870s

Gen Moltke

Schlieffen Plan


A: The Crimean War (1854-56)

Britain, France, Turkey, Piedmont vs Russia.

Florence Nightingale at Scutari

W.H. Russell of The Times of London

B: The Italian War (1859)

Piedmont, France (Napoleon III) to liberate Lombardy and Venetia from Austrian control.

Battle of Solferino

Henri Dunant A Memory of Solferino (1859)

Red Cross (1864)

C: The German Wars of Unification (1864, 1866, 1870)

Otto von Bismarck, Minister President of Prussia King William I (1861-88)

  • the war against Denmark in 1864
  • the war with Austria in 1866
  • the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.
a. War against Denmark 1864

Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein

b. War against Austria 1866

Fortress of Königgrätz

c. The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71

annexation of Alsace and Lorraine

18 January 1871 the Second Reich was proclaimed in the hall of mirrors in Versailles

King William I of Prussia proclaimed Kaiser of the new German Reich

D: War and Peace in the Mid-19thC

Betha von Suttner's anti-war novel Lay Down Your Arms! (1889)

Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel

Geneva Conventions of 1864, 1868

Tsar Nicholas II

peace conference at The Hague 1899

American Civil War (1861-65):

  • "unlimited warfare"
  • war of attrition
  • total war
  • greater strength of concealed defender ("trench warfare")

V. THE ARMED PEACE (1870-1914)


  • Balkan wars
  • Russia vs Turkey 1877-78
  • Japan vs China 1894
  • US vs Spain 1898
  • Britain vs Boer Republics 1899-1902


General Staff

War College in Berlin

military attachés

fortresses at Verdun, Liege, Antwerp.

German fear of "encirclement"

strategic railway building

Schlieffen Plan

naval arms race - Tirpitz plan 1900


Japan's naval defeat of European power Russia at Tsushima 1904

rise of American empire in Philippines, Cuba 1898

Jean de Bloch's The Future of War (1898)

Friedrich Engels



Economic Revolution I - The Industrial Revolution & its Impact on Ordinary People

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What is the Industrial Revolution?

Where and when did it take place?

Why is it called a "revolution"?

Who benefited from the IR?

Who lost out?

Which country was the most industrialised country in Europe?

Which country was the least industrialised country in Europe?

Who in the 19thC supported the IR and why?

Who in the 19thC opposed the IR and why?

What impact did the IR have on 19thC society?

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -





"Revolution" in Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (Fontana, 1976), pp. 226-30

  • "the great transformation" (Karl Polanyi)
  • the "Great Discontinuity" (Max Hartwell)
  • "the unbound Prometheus" (David Landes)


Blanqui (1830s)

Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), ed. Eric Hobsbawm (Panther, 1974)

  • the change in technology (steam power, machine weaving)
  • urban factory production with wage labour
  • laissez-faire economic policies
  • the increase in transport and international trade
  • new forms of business and financial organisation
  • the rise of a new capital owning class of entrepreneurs and factory managers (capitalists)
  • new class of consumers
  • increase in population in general and in urban populations in particular

substitution of machines for human skill and effort

substitution of inanimate for animate sources of power

use of new and abundant raw materials

steam engine

Matthew Boulton

James Watt

England - "the largest coherent market in Europe"

Dissenters (nonconformists)

Max Weber

"Protestant work ethic"


R.M. Hartwell, The Industrial Revolution and Economic Growth (London: Methuen, 1971).

Theodore S. Hamerow, The Birth of a New Europe: State and Society in the Nineteenth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983).

Peter Mathias, The First Industrial Nation: An Economic History of Britain, 1700-1914 (London: Methuen, 1978)

Hartwell - the industrial revolution as onset of sustained "economic growth" and increased productivity


W.W. Rostow, "The Take-Off into Self-Sustained Growth," Economic Journal, March 1956, vol. LXVI, no. 261

2% per annum

path of industrialization

  • England (third quarter of the 18thC)
  • Belgium and north eastern France (early 19thC)
  • Ruhr valley in Germany (1830s and 1840s)
  • other parts of Germany and Bohemia

Sidney Pollard, Peaceful Conquest: The Industrialization of Europe, 1760-1970 (Oxford University Press, 1981)

steady state economy

"Malthusian trap"

Alan Macfarlane, The Origins of English Individualism: The Family, Property and Social Transition (Cambridge University Press, 1979)

pockets of economic prosperity and centres of sophisticated technology


the northern Italian cities

"Stadtluft macht frei" (city air makes one free)

hindrances to industrialisation - absence of market relations and the persistence of of the institution of serfdom

Jerome Blum, The End of the Old Order in Rural Europe (Princeton University Press, 1978)

Two great emancipations of serfs - August 4, 1789 (France), March 1861 (Russia)

Thomas Hodgskin, Travels in the North of Germany (2 vols, Edinburgh, 1820)






traditional handicrafts

handloom weavers


Lyon (1834)

Marxists, pessimists or deteriorationists

liberals, optimists or meliorists

consumption of cotton (1821-25 to 1861-66) grew 220%

Arthur Taylor, "Editor's Introduction" in The Standard of Living in Britain in the Industrial Revolution (1975)

Eric Hobsbawm, "The Human Results of the Industrial Revolution, 1750-1850," in Industry and Empire (Penguin, 1969)

Jürgen Kuczynski

A. Seven Criticisms of the Industrial Revolution

the "social question"

Andrew Ure

Edwin Chadwick

Friedrich Engels

Benjamin Disraeli

John Stuart Mill

Arnold Toynbee

J.H. Clapham's An Economic History of Modern Britain (1926)

J.L. Hammond, "The Industrial Revolution and Discontent," Economic History Review, 1930

capitalism's "dark satanic mills" (William Blake)

T.S. Ashton, The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1830 (1948)

i. improved wages and purchasing power to acquire consumer goods is not what "true happiness" is all about

Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845) - idyllic life in pre-industrial society

poverty in the city vs poverty in the country-side

Thomas Babington Macaulay, "Southey's Colloquies on Society" (1830)

ii. the first generation of people who left the land, migrated to the towns and cities and worked in the new factories experienced dislocation and psychological disorientation

Émile Zola's novel L'Assomoir


iii. the British economy adapted itself to the needs of ordinary consumers - the bith of "consumer society"

Neil McKendrick, John Brewer, and J.H. Plumb, The Birth of a Consumer Society: The Commercialization of Eighteenth-Century England (Indaian University Press, 1885)

iv. it has a corrosive impact on the structure of traditional society and especially on the traditional sources of authority
v. the idea that poverty is a relative notion and that "inequality" (or relative poverty) in industrial society was increasing
vi. a perception that poverty was increasing - the discovery by reformers of the "social question"

Gertrude Himmelfarb, The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age (London: Faber and Faber, 1985)

vii. industrial system is subject to periodic economic crises

depressions in 1816, 1819, 1842

B. Jeffrey Williamson on the Industrial Revolution and Inequality.

Jeffrey Williamson, Did British Capitalism Breed Inequality? (1985)

Jeffrey G. Williamson, "Why Was British Growth So Slow During the Industrial Revolution?" Journal of Economic History, September 1984

per capita income growth

  • 1770-1815 (0.33% per annum)
  • 1815-1841 (0.86% per annum)

Aggregate income growth

  • 1770-1815 (1.31% per annum)
  • 1815-1841 (2.33 % p.a)

"crowding out effect" of war expenditure



Economic Revolution II - Impact of the Industrial Revolution on War & Imperialism

Questions to think about

What impact did the Industrial Revolution have on war fighting in the 19thC?

  • on wars within Europe?
  • on wars fought in the colonies?

What technological changes most influenced the way wars were fought?

Why were European powers able to so quickly and easily defeat African and Asian people?

How quickly were technological advances adopted by 19thC armies and navies?

Who supported these technological innovations and who opposed them?

Is the industrial/capitalist system inherently militaristic or pacifistic? who thought this was the case and why?

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -





  • Martin Van Crefeld, Technology and War from 2000BC to the Present (1989) (New York: The Free Press, 1991).
  • Daniel Headrick, The Tools of Empire: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford University Prfess, 1981).
  • William H. McNeill, The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since AD 1000 (University of Chicago Press, 1982).
  • Jon Ellis, The Social History of the Machine Gun (London: Cresset, 1975).

the impact of the "twin revolutions" of the 19thC on war and empire

  • French Revolution - idea of changing the world by imposing "universal principles" (Liberty and Democracy and Republicanism) by force of arms, committed citizenry (nationalism, Patriotism), French expansionism, Napoleon's Empire
  • Industrial Revolution - creates the wealth which can be taxed to fund war and empire, creates the technology which makes war and empire possible to achieve


The "Modern Major General"

Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance"(1880), Victorian State Opera 1993, Reg Livermore, (0.51-0.57)

The Headrick Thesis - "Ends" vs. "Means"

changing relationship between "ends" and "means"

  • "ends" - the desire to conquer, invade, control another people (liberate them, civilise them, exploit them)
  • "means" - the capacity to achieve the above end/s (changing technology reduces cost of achieving ends)

"Headrick Thesis" - technological change in the late 19thC suddenly increased the effectiveness and lowered the cost of weapons (transport, communication) in favour of European powers vis-à-vis rest of the world, thus triggering "New Imperialism"

extent of European control of land surface of the world (British largest share)

  • 1800 - 35%
  • 1878 - 67%
  • 1914 - 84%

colonial wars during Queen Victoria's reign 1837-1901 - 72 wars

The Technologies of Transport

changes in the technologies of transport (getting men, materiel, weapons to the front)

  • steam power (Robert Fulton 1807, first trans-atlantic crossing 1819)
  • propeller
  • iron/steel hulled ships - "ironclad" hulls 1860s and 1870s
  • railways

steam powered boats enabled European powers to penetrate African and Asian hinterland ("upriver" to Conrad's "Heart of Darkness")

  • quote from Laird and Oldfield (1837) - the Bible and Steam Power in the hands of the Anglo-Saxons (Headrick article, p. 238)
  • East India Company first large-scale river war against Kingdom of Burma 1824
  • Opium Wars 1840-42 - Britain vs China, Chinese river forts and navy easily overpowered by British "fire boats"
  • Niger river 1860s and 1870s

problems of supplying army in wartime before railways

  • Napoleon's armies plundered countryside they passed through
  • British ships to Crimea, Russian peasant carts

Prussia realised strategic important of railways for moving troops and supplying them in time of revolution or war

  • 280,000 men against Austria 1866 - partly successful use of trains
  • Gen. von Moltke's "revolutionary use" of train transportation for military purposes in Franco-Prussian War 1870

argument that WW1 became inevitable once Great Powers mobilised their troops for war - train timetables could not be disrupted without causing chaos

The Technologies of Weaponry

the "gun revolution" 1860s-90s

changes in the technologies of weaponry (killing men, destroying property)

  • improved muzzle loader - percussion caps, rifling, cylindrical bullets, paper cartridges (Minié muzzle loading rifle)
  • breech loading rifles - smokelsss powder (1885), ammunition magazine (1877) (Prussian Dreyse "needle gun" 1841)
  • the "American System" of manufacturing weapons - automatic milling, interchangeable parts
  • steel artillery, naval guns
  • "Dreadnoughts"
  • machine guns - ultimate repeating rifle (Gatling gun in American Civil War, Montigny mitrailleuse 1869-70, Maxim 1884)
  • "dum-dum" bullets - 1897 Indian ammunition works at Dim-Dum invented expanding bullet used only against Asians and Africans

French Minié rifle 1849 - tested by French in Algeria, increased effective range 5 fold to 500 yards

breechloaders could be rearmed whilst lying down and loaded 3 times faster than muzzle loaders

extensive use of machine guns in colonial wars - small European forces against large numbers of warriors attacking in frontal assaults

  • 40,000 Dervish army in Sudan 1898
  • Zulus 1879

The Technologies of Communication

changes in the technologies of communication (running an empire or a war from afar)

  • telegraph
  • submarine cables

telegraph is the "Victorian Internet"

provided information for business and government (diplomacy, governors, military commanders)

undersea telegraph cables

  • Port-Vendre to Algiers - 1861
  • Britain to India - 1865
  • Britain to Port Darwin - 1871

Other Miscellaneous Innovations

  • control of malaria - quinine 1827
  • Suez Canal

Central Africa nearly impossible to conquer because disease killed most men and horses (death rates in Sierra Leone 48.3% 1817-36) until discovery of effective pill against malaria

canal linking Mediterranean and Indian Oceans nearly halved sailing distance between Britain and India

  • Suez Canal opened 17 November, 1869
  • planned by Saint-Simonian, Prosper Enfantin 1846
  • Pasha of Egypt gave concession to de Lesseps 1854
  • construction funded by French private capital, dug by Egyptian forced labour (corvée), mostly used by British ships
  • Egyptian Khedive Ismail sold shares to British govt in 1875, bankruptcy led to overthrow by Ottomans in 1879, British seized Egypt in 1882 to maintain its "financial solvency"


Friedrich Engels, "The Danger of World War" (1888)

  • predicting the economic and social consequences of total war - economic collapse and revolution

Jean de Bloch's The Future of War (1898)

  • extrapolates from manufacturers' gun manuals to predict superiority of defence over offence, trench warfare

... everybody will be entrenched in the next war. It will be a great war of entrenchments. The spade will be as indispensable to a soldier as his rifle... quoted by Clarke, p. 114)

At first there will be great slaughter - increased slaughter on so terrible a scale as to render it impossible to get troops to push the battle to a decisive issue (Clausewitz's Hauptschlacht). They will try to, thinking that they are fighting under the old conditions, and they will such a lesson that they will abandon the attempt for ever. Then, instead of a war fought out to the bitter end in a series of decisive battles, we shall have as a substitute a long period of continually increasing strain upon the resources of the combatants. The war, instead of being a hand-to-hand contest in which the combatants measure their physical and moral superiority, will become a kind of stalemate, in which, neither army being able to get at the other, both armies will be maintained in opposition to each other, threatening each other, but never able to deliver a final and decisive attack. (Clarke, p. 114.)

Thus, if the present conditions continue, there can be but two alternatives, either ruin from the continuance of the armed peace, or a veritable catastrophe from war.

The question is naturally asked: What will be given to the people after war as compensation for their immense losses?...

Will the armies of Western Europe, where the socialist propaganda has already spread among the masses, allow themselves to be disarmed, and if not, must we not expect even greater disasters than those which marked the short-lived triumph of the Paris Commune? The longer the present position of affairs continues the greater is the probability of such convulsions after the close of a great war. It cannot be denied that conscription, by taking from productive occupations a greater number of men than the former conditions of sevice, has increased the popularity of subversive principles among the masses. Formerly only Socialists were known; now Anarchism has arisen. Not long ago the advocates of revolution were a handful; now they have their representatives in all Parliaments, and every new election increases their number in Germany, in France, in Austria, and in Italy. It is a strange coincidence that only in England and in the United States, where conscription is unknown, are representative assemblies free from these elements of disintegration. Thus sise by side with the growth of military burdens rise waves of popular discontent threatening a social revolution.

Such are the consequences of the so-called armed peace of Europe - slow destruction in consequence of expenditure on preparations for war, or swift destruction in the event of war - both events convulsions in the social order. (pp. 355-56)

H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (1898)

  • turns European imperialism on its head - what if aliens treated "us" like "we" treated the Tasmanian aborigines?
  • what if the aliens encountered a local disease as debilitating as malaria for the European "invaders" of tropical Africa?

And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling, and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is indeed their only escape from the destruction that generation after generation creeps upon them. And before we judge them too harshly, we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction are own species has wrought, not only upoin animals, such as the vanished bison and dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. (quoted, Clarke, p. 85)



Ideas & Culture I - "High" Culture

Questions to think about

What is "high" culture? give an example of it.

What is "high" about high culture?

What is "popular" culture? give an example of it.

What impact did democratization have on European "high" culture in the 19thC?

What impact did the industrial revolution have on European "high" culture in the 19thC?

What attitudes to war, empire, revolution and emancipation were expressed in "high" culture?

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




Culture - everything which human beings create to give meaning to their lives and to express their values, aspirations, fears

A. "High" Culture

  • the culture of the ruling class - patronage and repression
  • the culture of the educated upper middle class - concert music, sophisticated novels, respectable art, opera, ballet, art galleries, symphony orchestras
  • "avant garde" - "bohemianism"

B. Bourgeois Culture

"High" culture which has become respectable

C. Popular Culture

Culture of the majority of the people


Hobsbawm - impact of the "dual revolution" of the French and Industrial Revolutions on all apsects of European life, thought, institutions

A. The French Revolution

  • the ideal of liberty and equality
    • 19thC tradition of "political art"
    • major theme of Romantic art of Géricault and Delacroix
    • Realism of Millet and Courbet
    • social realistic novels of Zola
  • challenge to the power of the monarchy and the church -
  • recognition of the power of "great" individuals to change the course of history
    • cult of Napoleon
    • individual heroism
    • cult of "genius" (artisic genius)
  • nationalism - response to military occupation
    • rediscovery of national language - literature, dictionaries
    • "Volk" culture
    • fairy stories (Grimm brothers) - uniqueness of Germanic past (forests, witches, princes)
    • folk tunes (nationalist music - Liszt and Hungary, Chopin and Poland, Smetena and Czech lands)

B. The Industrial Revolution

  • purschasing power of prosperous middle class
    • created demand for depictions of bourgeois family life (Biedermeier style in German lands)
    • purchase of pianos for family entertainment (sheet music - Schubert lieder)
    • women major market for novels
    • purchase of tickets at musical performances (Mozart's dependence on aristocratic patronage vs Berlioz's entrepreneurial activity (entrepreneur/composer/conductor)
  • relocation of peasantry to cities to become urban proletariat - village life (magic,supersticion, religion) replaced by
    • tavern
    • music hall
    • trade union
    • penny newspaper
    • sports clubs
    • cinema
  • new technology
    • cheap printing - books, newspapers (serialization of Dickens' novels), sheet music, upright pianos
    • photography - rival to painting, cheap portraits, challenge to realism
    • cinema - centennial in 1995, new popular cultural art form (1st hero Chaplin)
    • phonograph
    • architecture - steel bridges, Victorian railway stations and court houses, Chicago skyscrapers
    • industrial design of household items - art nouveau, Liberty style, Morris arts-and-crafts


  • Religion
    • revival of religious fervour in middle class - German Pietism, Methodism in industrial towns, "chapel" culture, commitment to political reform (free trade, antislavery, temperance)
    • resistatance of peasants (and ex-peasant in cities) to influence of aristocratic or middle class religion, fear by Church of "paganism" of working class district of big cities
    • secularization - rise of scientific explanations to challenge biblical accounts of creation (geology, Darwin's evolution), place of earth in cosmos (astronomy)
  • Imapct of Imperialism and Globalisation of Trade
    • popular support for imperialism in Britain, France, Germany
    • USA - noble savage in literature, frontier, sublime scenery, cowboy stories (Hitler and German "Westerns")
    • Middle East - Orientalism in art
    • Japan - woodcuts, water colours
    • Africa - Picasso's discovery of primitive art


Music, Opera and the Industrial Revolution

  • piano music and Lieder for the bourgeoisie
    • Schubert (1797-1828) Lieder - "Die Schöne Müllerin" (1823) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore (1972)

Music, Opera and Political Revolution

  • Rouget de Lisle (Berlioz), "La Marseillaise" (chant de guerre de l'Armée du Rhin) (1792)
  • 10th anniversary of the 1830 revolution - Hector Berlioz, "Grande symphonie funebre et triomphale" (1840)
  • nationalistic music
    • Chopin
    • Dvorzak
    • Richard Wagner's "Ring Cycle" - Das Rheingold (1869), Die Walküre (1870), Siegfried (1876), Götterdämmerung (1876)

Music, Opera and Political Power

  • Giovanni Paisiello, "Coronation Music for Napoleon" (1804)
  • the coronation of Charles X 1826 - Gioacchino Rossini, "Il Viaggio a Rheims" (1825)
  • German martial music -
  • Edward Elgar
    • Britain's second national anthem - "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1"
    • 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's reign - "The Banner of St. George" (1897)

Music, Opera and War

  • Opera Goes to War! (EMI CD, 1990 - CDM 7 637333 2)
    • martial fanfare - Rossini, "The Siege of Corinth" (1826)
    • Gauls vs Romans - Bellini, "Norma" (1831)
    • the English Civil War - Vencenzo Bellini, "I Puritani" (1835)
    • a woman as a soldier hero - Giuseppe Verdi, "Giovanna d'Arco" (1845)
    • the Huns attacking Rome - Giuseppe Verdi, "Attila" (1846)
    • a rebellion against the King of Aragon in 15thC - Giuseppe Verdi, "Il Trovatore" (1853)
    • Soldiers' Chorus - Gounod, "Faust" (1859)
    • Italy vs Germy "war is a joy for soldiers" - Giuseppe Verdi, "La Forza del destino" (1862)
    • Pharoah's Egypt defeats the invading Ethiopeans - Giuseppe Verdi, "Aida" (Cairo, 1871) - "Glory to Egypt", "Triumphal March and Ballet"
  • Hector Berlioz, "The Trojans" (1854)
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    • The Eroica Symphony
    • "Wellington's Victory" (The Battle of Vitoria) (1813)
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky "1812 Overture" (1880)

Music, Opera and Emancipation

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the Enlightenment
    • "The Magic Flute" (1791)
    • "The Clemency of Tito"
  • Ludwig van Beethoven and individual freedom
    • "Ode to Freedom" in Symphonie No. 9 - Schiller's poem
    • opera of freedom "Fidelio"

Music, Opera and Empire

  • Opera Goes to War! (EMI CD, 1990 - CDM 7 637333 2)
    • Verdi, "Aida" (Cairo, 1871) - "Glory to Egypt", "Triumphal March and Ballet"
  • the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan


Art and the Industrial Revolution

Art and Political Revolution

Art and War

Art and Emancipation

Art and Empire



Ideas & Culture II - Popular Culture

Questions to think about

What is "popular" culture? give an example of it.

What is "popular" about popular culture?

What impact did democratization have on European "popular" culture in the 19thC?

What impact did the industrial revolution have on European "popular" culture in the 19thC?

What attitudes to war, empire, revolution and emancipation were expressed in "popular" culture?

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




Chapters on culture in Robert Gildea, Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914 (Oxford University Press, 1987).

Chapters on "The Arts" in Hobsbawm's "Age of..." trilogy

Peter N. Stearns and Herrick Chapman, European Society in Upheaval: Social History Since 1750, (Third Edition) (New York: Macmillan, 1992).

Imperialism and Popular Culture, ed. John M. Mackenzie (Manchester University Press, 1986).


A. "Mass/Popular" Culture After 1870

Hobsbawm, Age of Empire, p. 236 on real cultural revolution which changed 20thC

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977)

  • size and purchasing power of middle and working classes
  • increasing literacy due to spread of basic education
  • increasing leisure time and prosperity
  • free economies which permit market to satsify needs and tastes of this huge market
  • industrialization which permitted mass production of culture and advertising revenue for press
  • urbanisation which allows concentration of huge choice of cultural activities

Idea of "leisure ethic" vs "work ethic"

B. Varieties of Popular Culture

  • language
    • "national" language (Tuscan Italian, Parisian French, Hanoverian High German) vs.
    • regional dialects (Calabrian, Swabian) or minority languages
  • education
    • elite secondary education (Gymnasien, lycées, "public" schools in England - emphasis on classics)
    • general "free" public education system (France 1881, Britain 1891) - emphasis on job skills, loyalty to state and emperor
  • leisure - "leisure ethic"
  • religion
  • newspapers
    • London "Daily Mail" founded 1896
    • "tabloid" journalism
  • books
    • Mannheim publisher Bagel published 967 stories 1877-1906
    • 1896 Penny Library of Famous Books
    • 1879 "Boy's Own Paper" ("BOP") regularly sold 250,000 copies
  • cinema
    • "kinetograph" patented by Thomas Edison in USA 1891
    • Luimière brothers in France 1895
    • purpose built cinemas (3,000 in Britain, 1,500 Germany in 1911)
  • sports
    • blood sports (cock-fighting, dog-fighting, bull-baiting, prize-fighting)
    • team sports to encourage cooperation or spectator sports to encourage passive watching
    • gymnastics and shooting - Deutsche Turnerscahft had 627,000 members in 1898
    • cycling - France
    • football - Britain
    • athletics
      • British "muscular Christianity"
      • build character fit to rule an Empire
      • Baron de Coubertin Olympic Games 1896 in Athens
  • music halls and theatres


Victorian era "little wars"

  • Ashanti campaign 1874
  • Afghanistan and Zulu defeat 1879
  • Egypt and Sudan 1882, 1884-5, 1896-8
  • Jameson Raid and Boer War 1899-1902

Hobsbawm, Inventing Tradition - need for British state to "invent" imperial tradition

  • popular press - "jingoism", "yellow journalism"
  • music hall - patriotic and imperial songs
  • Victorian hero cults in press - Gordon
  • junvenile literature - "glory" of England, superiority of British race
  • public schools - training for imperial leadership
  • youth movements - Boy Scouts and Girl Guides
  • Empire Day

A. The Militarism of the Music Hall

Extract from Richard Attenborough's "Oh What a Lovely War" (1969)

"Jingoism" - "We don't want to fight, but by jingo if we do, we've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too!" "Play up! play up! and play the game!" - Sir Henry Newbolt, "Vitaï Lampada". Quote from Stallworthy, War Poetry (OUP)

B. Graphic Celebration of Imperial Military Victories

Elizabeth Thompson Butler (1850-1933)

"Lady Butler has done for the soldier in Art what Mr. Rudyard Kipling has done for him in Literature - she has taken the individual, separated him, seen him close, and let the world see him." (1898)

Royal Academy summer exhibition

C. Imperial Duty in British Juvenile Fiction

images of chivalry in 19thC

"Young England"

"The Great Crusade of Youth" - the Empire Youth Movement

D. Scouting for Boys



Ideas & Culture III - Science & Technology

Questions to think about


  • What scientific discoveries in the 19thC most transformed our views of the world?
  • Who were the most important scientific researchers in the 19thC and what did they discover?
  • Who supported and who opposed scientific development? and why?


  • What technological inventions most transformed 19thC society?
  • Who were the most important inventors and engineers in the 19thC and what did they invent/build?
  • Who supported and who opposed technological change? and why?

What impact did scientific and technological change have on ordinary poeple in the 19thC?

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




L. Pearce Williams, Album of Science: The Nineteenth Century (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978). Excellent short items with contemporary illustrations and photographs.

John Marks, Science and the Making of the Modern World (Heinemann, 1983). Part 4 "The Development of the Scientific Revolution in the 18th and 19th Centuries."

Stephen Kern, The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918 (1983) (Harvard University Press, 1991).

I. Bernard Cohen, Revolution in Science (Harvard University Press, 1985).

David Knight, The Age of Science: The Scientific World-View in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986).

Stephen G. Brush, The History of Modern Science: A Guide to the Second Scientific Revolution, 1800-1950 (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1988).

Ian Inkster, Science and Technology in History: An Approach to Industrial Development (London: Macmillan, 1991).


impact of scientific discoveries on thought and society compared to other "revolutions"

  • "scientific revolution"
  • 19thC called the "age of science"

France dominant scientific nation at start of 19thC

Germany dominant at end of 19thC

English science dominated by 2 traditions of scientific thought

  • Isaac Newton - mathematical tradition
  • Francis Bacon - empiricism (died experimenting with freezing chicken to solve food supply problem)

invention of term "scientist" (Whewell 1840)

  • Raymond Williams, Keywords, p. 234
  • transformation of amateur to professional working in a university or industry
  • Marx's desire to create a "scientific socialism"
  • "scientism" - excessive faith in scientific method

science introduced into school and university curriculum

decreasing delay/period between theoretical scientific discovery and industrial application


idea of advancements in scientific knowledge like a "revolution"

central place of science in Enlightenment - Diderot's Encyclopedie

interest in science by American and French revolutionaries - further demonstration of Reason and Natural Law

introduction of science and technology in French education during revolution


democratisation of science? - genius knows no class

emergence of professional bodies independent of courts and aristocratic bodies to debate and disseminate scientific discoveries

  • German Scientific Association - 1822 Leipzig
  • British Association for the Advancement of Science - 1831
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science - 1842
  • French Association for the Advancement of Science - 1872

famous debate on evolution between Thomas Henry Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce in Oxford for BAAS

observatories - to study heavens

  • new ones in USA and Southern Hemisphere (Herschel in South Africa) to observe different parts of the sky

scientific expeditions

  • to study solar eclipses, transit of Venus (Cook's purpose in going to Pacific 1769 - European discovery of east coast of Australia 1770)
  • magnetic variation
  • atmosphere and weather
  • plant and animal life - HMS Challenger 1873-76
  • geology

public museums

  • Museum of Natural History in Paris - revolutionary aim to enable public to contemplate rationality and harmony of nature
  • public interest in curiosities of plant and animal world - fossils (enduring appeal of dinosaurs)

laboratories - institutionalision of scientists

  • funding by state or universities permitted larger, team efforts and purchasing of expensive equipment (galvanic "battery" - Napoleon and Ecole Polytechnique)
  • combined with teaching of students, training of postgraduates (Liebig's chemistry laboratory in Giessen 1826)
  • German linking of labs with industry
  • Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge 1873

teaching science

  • science in the central schools created in every Department of France during Revolution
  • Ecole polytechnique 1794 - model for MIT and German polytechnics
  • reluctance of "Oxbridge" to incorporate science in university life - finishing school for aristocrats, dominated by Anglican church
  • German technical high schools


technology made possible greater precisions and much more accurate measurements

  • larger telescopes - reflecting telescopes, ball bearings and gears to move frame accurately
  • better mirrors - silvered mirrors
  • photography - greater detail, time exposures
  • spectral analysis of star light

determination of size and location of planets and stars

mapping of sun, planets, moon and nearby galaxies

  • William Herschel - "nebulae" (other galaxies), Earth part of a galaxy which we can see "Milky Way"
  • William Parsons - observed spiral structure of nebulae
  • first photograph of moon 1852
  • observation of "canali" on Mars - Pietro Secchi 1859, implied existence of "canal builders", challenged Christian idea of uniqueness of mankind
  • sun spot activity, coronas indicated deep processes within the sun

proof that earth and solar system moved through space (stellar parallax 1838)

accurate measurement of changes in orbit of Uranus

  • prediction and then discovery of new planet Neptune 1846
  • drew considerable popular interest - proof that theory could discovery something "new"


19thC science constant challenge to the Biblical account of Genesis:

  • creation accomplished in 7 days
  • time frame based on genealogy of people mentioned in Bible led to conclusion that Earth was about 6,000 years old
  • single catastrophe of Noah's flood
  • uniqueness and centrality of human existence

Neptunism (Johann Gottlob Werner) - evidence of sedimenary activity initially confirmed biblical accounts of Flood

geological evidence

  • that Earth subject to constant, very slow processes interspersed with several catastrophes (volcanic as well as sedimentary)
  • James Hutton (1726-1797) - primacy of Vulcanism (heat and fire)
  • existence of fossils - animals not on the Ark, species extinction several times before Flood, suggested gradual evolution of living species
  • Georges Cuvier attempted to reconcile Bible and science - Bible only described last of the catastrophes, scientists had to fill in the rest
  • industrial activity kept revealing new evidence which contradicted Bible - cuttings for canals and railroads exposed sedimentary beds (strata), fossils (the deeper the stratum the more primitive or older the fossils, similar fossils appeared in the same strata across Europe)

astronomical evidence

  • that Earth not centre of universe
  • Earth evolved from condensation of nebula
  • possibility of life elsewhere - Mars

theory of Earth as "planetary whole" or "Kosmos" - Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)


Christian idea of man as God's creation (problem of Adam's navel)

idea of Great Chain of Being which links all of God's creatures with man at the pinnacle because of soul and reasoning ability

challenged by discovery of Neanderthal Man 1857 - bones of a pathological idiot or a human-like creature outside of Great Chain of Being?

theory of evolution to explain development of species over time

  • Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871)
  • "natural selection" - survival of fittest in a specific environment leads to gradual changes in species

ever increasing estimates of age of earth to allow for geological processes - millions of years?

end of direct link between man and Divinity/God?

the scientific study of race made possible by exploration, colonisation


exploration and colonisation of world led to discovery of extraordinary number of news species of plant and animal life

  • puzzle of "black swan" and platypus is Australia
  • strange fish caught by deep-sea telegraph cable ships

scientific cataloging of species (taxonomy)

inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution was voyage of Beagle, visits to South America

new science of biology

  • discovery of cells - better microscope 1837
  • unicellular organisms
  • cell theory - all organisms made up of tissues and cells 1838
  • discovery of cell fertilization
  • Gregor Mendel and genetics of garden peas 1860s
  • germ theory of disease - Jenner and smallpox


atomic theory of matter

  • John Dalton (1766-1844) - gas as molecules
  • Jons Jacob Bezelius (1779-1848) - discovery of positive and negative electrostatic forces in chemical reactions, chemical bonding
  • August Kerkulé 1860s - bonding between atoms, benzene ring structure
  • Dmitry Mendeleev 1869 periodic table of elements - gaps for yet to discovered elements

electricity and magnetism

  • Alessandro Volta 1800 - voltaic pile produced steady electrical current instead of sparks
  • decomposition of water by electrical current
  • Galvani - electrical stimulation of frog's leg (Frankenstein's monster)
  • Oersted - 1820 curent carrying wire has a magnetic effect
  • Michael Farraday 1830-40s - electricty as a "force" through space
  • James Clerk Maxwell - mathematical unification of electricty and magnetism, light is an electromagnetic disturbance, possibility of other types of "light"
  • Heinrich Herz 1886 - existence of radio waves
  • vacuum tubes - cathode ray tubes - electrons (J.J. Thomson 1897)
  • Wilhelm Röntgen - X-rays 1895


  • wave or particle?
  • constant or relative speed?

Einstein's special theory of relativity 1905


Frankenstein's monster

Turner, Vesuvius

H.G. Wells - invading Martians


manned flight

new geometries - cubist art



Conclusion I - Fin de siècle- the End of an Era? - 1900, 1901, 1914, 1917/18?

Questions to think about

How long is a "century"? a "millenium"?

How do "eras" or "centuries" come to an end?

Why are people so interested in "turning points" like the end of the century, or the end of the millenium? does it matter?

What were the most significant changes which took place in the 19thC? to 19thC people? to us?

What did 19thC people expect from the future?

(Same questions as above applied to late-20thC Australia)

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -



Lecture exercise to fill in your own "Balance Sheet" of 19thC from different perspectives. Imagine you are alive in 1900/1901 and work for a newspaper. The editor asks you to interview a number of people to get their views on the achievements and failures of the 19thC and the prospects (both positive and negative) for the coming century:

  • a classical liberal (or liberal consrvative like Hamerow)
  • a Marxist (like Hobsbawm)
  • a feminist
  • a science fiction writer
  • a defender of the Imperial Monarchies
  • a defender of a republic
  • a General in one of the Great Powers' General Staff
  • a pacifist
  • an imperialist
  • an anti-imperialist
  • a scientist
  • a Bishop


Theodore Hamerow, Birth of a New Europe (1983). Chap. 16 "The End of an Era".

Eric Hobsabwm, The Age of Empire, 1875-1914 (1997). "Epilogue".

Felix Gilbert, The End of the European Era, 1890 to the Present (Second Edition) (New York: W.W. Norton, 1979).

Asa Briggs, "XII. Retrospect and Forecast: The 19thC Faces the Future" in The Nineteenth Century: The Contradictions of Progress, ed. ed. Asa Briggs et al. (London: Thames and Hudson, 1970).

Fins de Siècle: How Centuries End, 1400-2000, ed. Asa Briggs and Daniel Snowman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996).

Arno Mayer, The Persistence of the Old Regime: Europe to the Great War (New York: Pantheon, 1981).


birth of Christ - 3 or 4 BC?

Christian notion of "millenium"

  • second coming of Christ
  • Armageddon - Book of Revelations.

Y2K - computer "millenium bug"

Sydney Olympics 2000

centennary of Australian Federation - 1 January, 1901

when does the "new century" begin? - 1 January 1900 or 1 January 1901

Idea of "fin de siécle"

A. Drawing up of a "Balance Sheet" of the 19thC

following Asa Briggs :

Charles Pearson (1830-1894) - National Life and Character: A Forecast (1894).

  • "age of individualism" was over
  • the "higher races" would be pushed aside

A.R. Wallace - The Wonderful Century (1898)

  • failures - militarism and greed
  • successes were inventions and science

H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

  • The Time Machine (1895)
  • War of the Worlds (1898)
  • Anticipations (1902) - rule by technocratic elite

William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) - "The Bequest of the 19thC to the 20th"

  • Spencerian Social Darwinist
  • competition was a law of nature
  • society based upon "status" replaced by society based on "contract"

B. An End brought about by a Transforming Event

i. 1789 - The French Revolution
ii. 1914/1917/1918 - World War and the Bolshevik Revolution

Hamerow - a "boundary marker between two distinct ages" (p. 420)

Elie Halevy - "the world crisis"

iii. 1989 - End of Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc

The "short 20thC" from 1914-1989?

C. The Chronological End to an Era

Fins de Siècle: How Centuries End, 1400-2000, ed. Asa Briggs and Daniel Snowman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996).

i. 1800/1801
  • French Revolution well underway - 1st of Hobsbawm's "dual revolutions"
  • Napoleon Consul, Emperor (1804)
  • 14-15 more years of war, imperial expansion, revolutionary transformation of European society
  • struggle between French democratic (republican?) ideas and British supported monarchies
  • still to come - the industrial revolution outside of northern Britain
ii. 1900/1901
  • France and Switzerland only "full" or true republics
    • Dreyfus Affair
  • Britain constitutional monarchy with considerable liberal freedoms
    • death of Queen Victoria in 1901
    • Boer War
  • Germany becoming rival to Britain for economic supremacy
  • Russia
    • 1905 revolution
    • 1904-5 defeated by Japan in war
  • arms race between Great Powers
  • USA becomes a colonial power with the defeat of Spain and acquisition of the Philippines and Cuba 1898
  • "Second Industrial Revolution"
    • steel, chemicals, electrical industry
    • internal combustion engine (car and aeroplanes)
iii. 2000/2001
  • Christian notion of "millenium"
  • Y2K - computer "millenium bug"
  • Sydney Olympics 2000
  • centennary of Australian Federation - 1 January, 1901


Europe transformed:

  • political liberalisation
  • democratisation
  • industrialisation
  • urbanisation
  • liberalisation and globalisation of the economy
  • cultural and scientific intellectual revolutions

A. Population Growth

  • 188m in 1800
  • 401 m in 1900

B. Urbanisation

"internal migration" - countryside to city

life in city a "liberating process"

C. Improvement in the Standard of Living

end of economy of old order

Per capita income in fixed prices doubled in North western Europe 1860-1913

D. Class Mobility and Economic Opportunity

class mobility "the most significant social consequences of the industrial revolution" (Hamerow, p. 175).

Creation of a new "middle class"

  • 10.4% of population in 1861
  • 24.6% in 1907

E. Spread of Education and the Decline in Illiteracy

F. The Revolution in Government Institutions and Political Ideas

divine right of kings vs. idea of limited, constitutional, representative government

desanctification and demytholgizing of state power

Phenomenon of "Revolution" in 19thC

  • 1789, 1830, 1848, 1870, 1905

Liberalisation of politics and economy (free trade, deregualtion) up to 1870

Spread of manhood suffrage "sharp break with the past"

Bonapartism, Bismarck

  • "the facade of fundamental reform" (Hamerow, p. 420) and
  • Arno Mayer "the persistence of the old regime".

progressive embourgeoisement of politics

G. Waves of Emancipation

  • adult males
  • Jews and religious minorities
  • serfs
  • slaves
  • women?


revolutionary transformations to come in the 20thC:

  • the clash of empires and militarism which resulted in WW1 (popular bellicosity)
    • Norman Angell's warnings in The Great Illusion: A Study of the Relation of Military Power in Nations to their Economic and Social Advantage (1910)
  • the destructiveness of war in WW1 made possible by technology and mass armies
    • Jean de Bloch's warnings in 1899 in The Future of War (1899)
  • the revolutionary potential of Marxism - 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, China 1949
    • Marx's historical fascination with the French Revolution
  • the dramatic collapse of the authoritarian imperial monarchies after defeat in WW1 (some Marxists like Engles saw the revolutionary possibilities in war)
    • Romanov dynasty in Russia
    • Hohernzollern - Germany
    • Habsburgs - Austria/Hungary
    • Ottoman - Turkey
  • the upheaval in thought caused by Einstein's Theory of Relativity and quantum mechanics
  • the technological innovations of the 20thC
    • Jules Verne and H.G. Wells science fiction writings

Hobsbawm - WW1 introduced idea of "catastrophe" to European society:

  • the extremes of nationalism and racism which culminated in Nazism
  • the violent clash between Nazism and Communism in WW2
  • the comprehensive discrediting of liberal democracy as a result of war, revolution and great depression
  • the rejection of liberal culture by intellectuals
    • Marinetti and the Futurists, glorification of war
    • Nietzsche and Superman not bound by normal morality
    • Hitler in Vienna and Munich before WW1, Germans destined to rule Europe

LECTURE EXERCISE: FIN DE SIECLE: THE END OF AN ERA? - 1900, 1901, 1914, 1917/18?


Imagine you are alive in 1900/1901 and work for a newspaper. The editor asks you to select one of the following individuals to get their views on the achievements and failures of the 19thC and the prospects (both positive and negative) for the coming century:

  • a classical liberal (or conservative liberal like Hamerow)
  • a Marxist (like Hobsbawm)
  • a feminist
  • a science fiction writer
  • a defender of the Imperial Monarchies
  • a defender of a republic
  • a General in one of the Great Powers' General Staff
  • a pacifist
  • a defender of European Empire
  • an opponent of imperialism
  • a scientist
  • a bishop
 A MARXIST        
 A FEMINIST        
 A GENERAL        
 A PACIFIST        
 A SCIENTIST        
 A BISHOP        



Conclusion II - The Importance of (19thC) History

[See the Seminar Reading Guide on this topic.]

Questions to think about

What's the use of history? of 19thC history?

Is history beneficial? If so, to whom?

Why did you choose to study history?

Should other people (taxpayers, parents) pay for it?

What role (if any) should history play in education?

What is the future of the study of history?

Find a contrasting quote on this topic by each of our textbook authors:

  • Hamerow -
  • Hobsbawm -




  • why did you choose to study history?
  • what do you think is the value/use/importance of history? (if any)
    • to you personally?
    • to society at large?


A. Bibliography

Hamerow "The Crisis in History" in Reflections on History and Historians (1987).

B. The "Crisis"

Hamerow - "deep-seated disorder" in the discipline

  • Declining numbers of students taking history at high school
  • Loss of identity as separate "discipline"
  • the "lost generation" of younger history academics
  • Cuts in funding to BSL
  • Why should tax-payers fund research in history?
  • Crisis within the discipline of history itself - fragmentation
  • The "politicization" of history

The "history wars":

  • the "black armband" view of Australian history vs "white armband" approach ("Whig interpretation" of history" - "God's own little country")
  • controversies surrounding public memory- "Enola Gay" exhibition at Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
  • Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (1992)
  • "Culture Wars" - debate about content of high school history textbooks in USA

Public questioning the value of arts/humanities degree in general


Hamerow's conclusion that history has "no use" (p. 33)

A. Historian as Policy Advisor to State (1918-1989)

to advise governments on :

  • rise of nazism and fascism
  • to understand behaviour of main rival in Cold War (i.e. USSR and its satellites).
  • to contain or fight revolution in Third World (e.g. China, Vietnam)

B. The Historian as Statesman (late 19th and 20thC)

Bismarck and Churchill

Julius Caesar

C. Historian as Nationalist, Revolutionary, Scientist (19thC)

"national myths"

Michelet's "le peuple"

Edmund Burke - use history to avoid repetition of revolution

Marx - French Revolution as model for future socialist revolution

Late 19tC positivism - history as a science governed by "laws"

Karl Marx and Herbert Spencer

Lord Acton and the Cambridge Modern History project 1896

D. Historian as Enlightened Critic of Society

to expose the crimes and errors of old regime govt, church and ruling class:

  • Voltaire's history of Louis XIV - attack on absolutist state
  • Gibbon's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776) - attack on Christianity
  • Raynal's History of West Indies - attack on slavery
  • Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776) - attack on mercantilism and protection

E. The Historian of God's Work (pre-18thC)

how God's plan was revealed:

  • wars, plagues, natural disasters punishment for sin
  • examples of miracles
  • actions of saints and martyrs


A. History as a Way of Thinking

the uniqueness of the historian's "world-view" (Weltanschauung)

"historical way of thinking"

  • origins
  • change over time
  • contexts
  • comparative method

Historical Origins

  • a "sense of the past"
  • the past as a "foreign country"

Change over Time

  • Constant change through evolutionary change (industrial revolution)
  • violent, revolutionary "ruptures" with the past (French Revolution)

Historical Context

  • Contemporary meanings different from our meaning

Comparative Method

  • highlight similiarities and differences

Parallels between Past and Present

  • History repeating itself?
  • Possibility of learning from the past?

Scepticism at Official Explanations

  • Power wielders are self-serving

Awareness of Complexity

  • No simple explanantion of events
  • Richness of human life - tolerance for the unorthodox

Sense of Impermanence and Relativity of Things


Awareness of How Much/Little Things have Changed


B. History as the "Pillar" of a (Liberal) Arts Degree - Education vs Training

i. History and the Flourishing of the Individual

John Stuart Mill "Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of Saint Andrew, Feb, 1st 1867"

the creation of "capable and cultivated human beings"

principles and values vs. the "mere details" of learning the profession

David Hart, "The Relevance of the Humanities":

  • language and literature (words and experience)
  • philosophy and theology (values and meaning)
  • social theory (economics, sociology, anthropology)
  • politics and history (idividuals, institutions, events)
  • science and technology (the material world)
ii. History and the Creation of "Good Citizens"

"civics" instruction in schools

obedient vs critical and sceptical citizens

  • an awareness of how our society came about, how its insitutions function, and the values and ideas these institutions represent
  • awareness of our place in the world, how we came to be here, our immediate neighbours and the forces molding our future
  • the ability to see through unscrupulous politicians and ambitious businessmen
  • able to defend the values which make peaceful and productive societies possible (personal freedom, tolerance of others, openness, liberality)
  • critical awareness of the weaknesses of our society, crimes of the past, current abuses and injustices
iii. The Necessity of Fighting the "History Wars"

the contribution history can make an informed discussion of current debates.

land rights and "reconciliation" with aboriginal people of Australia

26 May 1998 is first "National Sorry Day"

Henry Reynolds "war on the frontier"

Role of the historian is:

  • to provide the information necessary for a decision to be made
  • to oppose complacency
  • to overcome "forgetfulness"
  • to challenge conventional thinking
  • to put on the "black armband" in order to expose crimes committed in the past
  • to show that "the emperor has no clothes" (the abuse of power by ruling elites)
  • to combat the "misuse of the past" - celebratory, nationalistic histories; the Adelaide Institute and Holocaust deniers


Questions posed for discussion at next week's seminar

different ideological perspectives:

  • liberal conservative Hamerow - Reflections on History and Historians (1987)
  • Marxist Hobsbawm - most recent book On History (on order in BSL)

grounds for optimism - continuing public interest in:

  • historical (period) films based on work of Jane Austen, Skakespeare
  • films on difficult subjects like Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993) (the Holocaust) and Armistad (1997) (the transatlantic slave trade)
  • readers of biographies (the great men and women of the past)
  • "blockbuster" art exhibitions ("The Impressionists")