Studio 1: Black Lives in A White Man’s War

The impact of World War One on Africa

Few historians mention that both the first and last campaigns of World War One took place, not in Europe but in Africa. In 1914, all of sub-Saharan Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, was in the hands of European powers. Colonial subjects contributed people, money and resources to their imperial rulers to wage war not only in Africa but also in Europe. In both its costs and its consequences, WW1 had a major social, economic and political impact on Africa. Besides the huge human cost, the social […]

Studio 1: Mutiny

Mutinous murmuration – Ringleaders and resistance by British Army soldiers

The biggest revolt in the history of the British Army occurred during 1919 involving hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Massive mutinies by stroppy soldiers humiliated generals, terrified politicians and undermined the British Empire. British, Dominion and Colonial troops who had mostly obeyed their officers during the First World War decided that enough was enough. They demanded an end to military bullshit, speedy demobilisation and much, much more – and they mostly got what they wanted! In […]

Studio 1 & 2: Three British Anarchists in America

Miriam Daniell, William Bailie and Archibald Simpson 1890-1914

This talk examines the lives of three British migrants who became Individualist anarchists and part of the network around the journal Liberty. The Bristolian activist and poet, Miriam Daniell was a defiant free spirit who clashed fiercely with the basket maker and writer, William Bailie. Bailie later lived in a free union with her close friend from Bristol, Helena Born and wrote the first biography of America’s original anarchist, Josiah Warren. Bailie and Born’s friend, Archibald Simpson, a […]

History Walk 2: Riots, Massacres and Reform 1700s-1832

This 1.5 hour walk in the centre of Bristol takes us through a century of working class history, charting the path of the 'crowd' from the 'moral economy' of the 1700s, through the effects of the French Revolution to the 'Reform Riots' of 1831/2. So come and find out: Why Bristol merchants trembled if the Kingswood Colliers were in town How best to do 'collective bargaining by riot' What happened during the infamous Bristol Bridge massacre What a silver coin, some stolen hammers and a tricolour […]

Studio 2: ‘History should be common property’

The History of the History Workshop Movement in Britain and Beyond, c.1960s-1990s & Popularising radical history online

The History Workshop movement was a grassroots coalition of radical-academic, feminist, amateur and labour historians, which was founded at Ruskin College in the late 1960s under the guidance of the Marxist historian Raphael Samuel. This talk will explore the origins, development and eventual decline of the movement, with particular interest paid to the social composition of the movement, the different forms of “doing history” it pioneered, and the connections it established with similar […]

History Walk 1: Edward Colston

Why is our city dominated by this man’s legacy?

Starting with St Mary Redcliffe church, this walk takes in other historic Diocese of Bristol churches in the city centre where 'the life and work' of Edward Colston is still provided religious legitimacy on an annual basis. Along the way we will share the most recent historical research regarding this man's involvement with the transatlantic slave trade and discover how the Victorian elite created a 'cult of Colston' that is now said to form part of our city's 'identity'. At our final stop, […]

Studio 1: Women against World War One

Bristol women campaigning for peace in World War One & “An advance of ¾d on khaki work”: Trade Unions and Manchester’s working women during the First World War.

Bristol women campaigning for peace in World War One [June Hannam] June Hannam will focus on women in Bristol who opposed militarism and sought a negotiated peace. The most high profile activists were Mabel Tothill, Annie Townley and Mrs Higgins, all socialists from the Independent Labour Party (ILP). Others, such as the Quaker Helen Sturge, had been involved in the pre-war suffrage movement. The talk will explore what women did to push forward their cause and the ideas that underpinned their […]

Studio 2: Bristol and the arms trade

A look at the early development of Bristol's aeroplane industry and how Bristol planes helped 'police' the empire in the interwar years. Special reference to Afghanistan, Iraq and Aden (Yemen).

The War after the War

In the light of the elements of working-class economics

“Every intelligent person now admits that the antagonism among the nations of Europe that led to competition of armaments and the present world war was fundamentally due to a universal desire to secure increased empires for the deposit of capital, the enslavement and robbery of the conquered races, and the monopoly of the oil, rubber, tin, and other products of the annexed territories” – John Maclean (1918) Written in 1918, as World War One drew to its bloody close, The War after the War is […]

Passing of a star…. Jayne Dentith

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Jayne Dentith on 5th July. Jayne was one of the Red Hot Frilly Kickers Can Can troupe who literally kicked off the first ever Bristol Radical History Group event in October 2006. The Frilly Kickers played the role of the ranting women who with radical Quaker preacher James Nayler blasphemously recreated Christ's entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday in Bristol in 1656. Jane is shown below protecting James Nayler (Ben) from arrest by […]

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