Studio 2: Green Romanticism

Stephen Hunt of the Bristol Radical History Group will start the day with an overview of the ecology movement’s roots in the Romantic era. Industrial capitalism emerged together with the mass exploitation of fossil fuels during the Eighteenth Century. Over the next century it became increasingly apparent that accelerating processes of expansion and extraction threatened many habitats, or even the whole planet. Green Romantic anti-capitalism was an outcome of such processes. The negative social […]

Mining Labour Wars

The Pennsylvania Coal Company and Organized Crime in the Anthracite Coalfields of Pennsylvania

miscellaneous events 2019
Based on his co-authored book, Anthracite Labor Wars, Prof. Bob Wolensky will speak about a 40-year "labour war" that resulted from the mining arrangements between the Pennsylvania Coal Company and a gang of organized criminals. Beginning in 1916, the company decided to subcontract and, later, to lease mineral rights to the mobsters in an effort to discipline the labour force, enhance productivity, and boost profits. Statistics indicated that the scheme worked quite well when it came to […]

The Sons of Belial

Protest and Community Change in the North West 1740-70

By David Walsh
This is a very good book, extremely informative. Even though the bulk of the book is set in the North West of England, there is a wider historical scope. Which would be very useful for the student or historian of the period. The book opens with an in depth examination of developing economic theories. It charts the shift from a largely agrarian, paternalistic society, to an industrialising nation, and rapid urbanisation. Furthermore, the study looks at the development of a mercantilist philosophy […]

A Brief Political And Economic Introduction To Bristol Glass

There were a number of economic and political changes during the 16th and 17th centuries which prepared the ground for the establishment of the glass industry in Bristol. In 1522 the ‘Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol’ was incorporated. It grew in power and influence through the 17th century during which the Society revitalised and effectively reorganised itself to allow Bristol’s maritime merchants to take the fullest advantage of the Britain’s developing colonial […]

History Walk 2: Bristol – Feeding the people

Markets, trade, transport and conflict (17th-19th Centuries)

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
On this history walk we will discover how Bristolians were fed during the early modern era (17th-19th Centuries). Hear how a rapidly expanding urban area, without the ability to feed itself, was kept supplied. How Bristol in turn helped supply the rural hinterland and its relationship with Wales and the wider world. How the market system worked, and how it was regulated, at times by the civic authorities, or by the “moral economy” and the crowd. What happened when the chain broke, and how did […]

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 […]

Book Launch: In Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism

Karl Marx remarked that the only way to write about the origins of capitalism is in the letters of blood and fire used to drive workers from the common lands, forests, and waters in the sixteenth century. In this collection of essays, George Caffentzis argues that the same is true for the annals of twenty-first-century capitalism. Information technology, immaterial production, financialization, and globalization have been trumpeted as inaugurating a new phase of capitalism that puts it beyond […]

Poor Man’s Heaven: The Land of Cokaygne and Other Utopian Visions

“We’ll eat all we please from ham and egg trees that grow by a lake full of beer? The landlord well take and tie to a stake and we won?t have to work like a slave..." In the face of a life defined by exploitation and suffering, the poor of the Middle Ages dreamed up a fantastical land where their sufferings were reversed; where people lived in idleness and plenty and the rich were barred. "Those who sleep the longest earn the most here." This myth of a free earthly paradise emerged in a popular […]

Bold Defiance

Downlaod this article as a PDF file. The Spitalfields Silk Weavers: London’s Luddites? Pretty much everyone has heard of the Luddites, although many people still have a misconception about the reasons why they destroyed machinery. The weavers of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Leicestershire smashed machine looms not because they were blindly opposed to progress, or afraid of new technology, but because the introduction of machinery was undermining the livelihoods of themselves and […]

Why History Matters & Radical History Matters More – Part 2

Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street New York, New York 10002 A series of lectures, presentations and discussion presented by Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) emphasising the importance and relevance of radical history. Using a diverse series of historical case studies the speakers will demonstrate the various interventions BRHG have made into their local and national histories including: uncovering hidden histories challenging established narratives questioning previous generations of 'radical […]

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