Studio 1: John Maclean and The War After The War

This talk places John Maclean's pamphlet The War After The War in its broader international and political context. Exploring connections (and differences) between the various international socialists fighting against World War One. These include James Connolly, Eugene Debs and Lenin. In the context of Brexit, Scotland's independence referendum and Trump, with political events increasingly viewed through the prism of nationalism at home and abroad we ask what now for Maclean's working class […]

Studio 2: 800 Years and Counting

The 1217 Charter of the Forests in the Forest of Dean and its Enduring Legacy

The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire - royal larder or people's larder? The Charter of the Forests, a lesser-known but wider-ranging companion to the Magna Carta, confirmed any "freemen" or commoners could help themselves to many of the resources of forests across England. Within 500 years, those subsisting in the woods were declared illegal squatters as aristocrats and the Crown tried to fence them out and grab all the iron ore, coal, timber and land. Successive waves of tenacious, described […]

Studio 1: Refusing to fight

Conscientious Decision-Making & Martyrs or Rebels? Another side of Britain’s 1914-18 war resisters

Conscientious Decision-Making [Lois Bibbings] This talk gives a brief insight into what First World War conscientious objectors to military service meant when they talked about 'conscience' or the reasoning behind their decision and how their beliefs or thinking impacted upon the course of action they took during conscription. It does so by telling stories about a few of those who objected. Martyrs or Rebels? Another side of Britain’s 1914-18 war resisters [Cyril Pearce] Our view of Britain’s […]

Studio 2: Bristol Radical History Group highlights

Lady Blackshirts, The Smoke Dragon, Bristol's Aircraft Industry, From Wulfstan to Colston

A series of 10 minute 'taster talks' covering recently or soon to be published Bristol Radical History Group texts. These include: Lady Blackshirts: The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists [Rosemary Caldicott] During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, who considered themselves feminists, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking members of the suffragette movement. The Smoke-Dragon and How […]

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, […]

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