This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Ibrahim Rauza
The Ibrahim Rauza complex, built by Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580-1627). Photograph: Mukul Banerjee.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From what is global history to uncovering illegal documents of the slave trade, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Imagining Markets 3rd Workshop – Cambridge, 7 April

Cross-posted from Imagining Markets

Below are the details of the 3rd workshop of the Imagining Markets network. The network brings together scholars working in the fields of Imperial, European, and Asian studies, and scholars from cultural studies and economic studies, which have become increasingly separated branches of enquiry calling for reintegration. Working with and through a range of public policy intermediaries including History and Policy, the Churchill Archives Centre, and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies this project will provide policy-makers with an inter-disciplinary analysis of the long-term development of British overseas trade, which in turn will illuminate the diversity of cultural values and political perspectives that have, and continue to be, brought to bear in growing exports to key markets. There are still a handful of places available. If you wish to attend, please email Dr. David Thackeray. Continue reading “Imagining Markets 3rd Workshop – Cambridge, 7 April”

The Historians’ Group of the Communist Party – Ten Years that Reshaped History

In late 1946 a group of historians, friends and members of the Communist Party started regularly meeting in Marx’s House in London, picture here.
In late 1946 the Historians’ Group – made up of historians, friends, and members of the Communist Party – started regularly meeting in Marx’s House in London, pictured here.

Gil Shohat
Humboldt University Berlin

In today’s history cosmos, terms such as ‘History from Below’, ‘People’s History’ and ‘Social History’ belong to the essential canon of most academics and students. Thus, it is important to remember how these terms found their way into historiography before they were considered legitimate. Members of the Communist Party Historians’ Group in the UK laid the cornerstone for a new paradigm in historiography, today largely referred to as Social History, in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But exactly how did these historians perceive their own role as academic insurgents in the heart of ‘Whig history’ and what were the problems facing them as historians and members of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB)? Continue reading “The Historians’ Group of the Communist Party – Ten Years that Reshaped History”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Lisbon 1975 2
Street scene, Lisbon 1975. Photo: Mieremet, Rob / Anefo, National Archives of the Netherlands / Anefo, licence CC-BY

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From 1970s colonialism in Lisbon to saving digital archives, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.

Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Revisiting Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” Speech 70 Years After

1946_Churchill's-'Iron-Curtain'-speech

Richard Toye
History Department, University of Exeter

Follow on Twitter @RichardToye

The 5th of March marks the seventieth anniversary of Winston Churchill’s speech in Fulton, Missouri, in which he declared that an ‘iron curtain’ had descended across Europe. Delivered in the presence of US President Harry Truman, who had been instrumental in securing the former Prime Minister his invitation to speak, the address is well known as a landmark in the onset of the Cold War. Yet it is rarely considered in its full historical context. For the speech – formally entitled ‘The Sinews of Peace’ – was not merely a criticism of Russia. It was the means by which Churchill publicly enunciated his vision for a new world order. Continue reading “Revisiting Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” Speech 70 Years After”

The “Conspiracy” of Free Trade

Book cover

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

Living as we do in an era where many of the world’s political elites commonly support free trade initiatives, it is perhaps difficult to imagine that the global economy looked very different in the late 19th century. Aside from the notable case of Free Trade England, most nations in the latter half of the 19th century sought safety from the gales of modern global market competition behind ever higher tariff walls, buttressed with government subsidies to domestic industries and imperial expansion. The United States was the exemplar of this global turn to economic nationalism and empire.

In the wake of the Second World War, the United States would become the leading proponent of free trade. But for nearly a century before, American foreign trade policy was dominated by extreme economic nationalism. What brought about this pronounced ideological, political, and economic about face? How did it affect Anglo-American imperialism? What were the repercussions for the global capitalist order? In answering these questions, my new book, The “Conspiracy” of Free Trade (Cambridge University Press, 2016), offers the first detailed account of the controversial Anglo-American struggle over empire and economic globalization in the mid to late 19th century. Continue reading “The “Conspiracy” of Free Trade”