Battle of Cable Street 1936

On 4 October 1936, 1,900 supporters of Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF) attempted to march from the City of London through London’s East End only to find their way was blocked by a crowd of more than 100,000 anti-fascists at Gardiner’s Corner, the main route into east London.

Their grand scheme of 4th October failed. It met determined resistance not just from that community they had long been assaulting with words and, for many weeks, physically terrorising. The wider East End population, including many from the equally impoverished Irish community that Mosley tried to turn against the Jews, came out to stop the fascists too. A human wall blocked every entrance to the East End, especially at Gardiner’s Corner, Aldgate, and a series of barricades were built in Cable Street.

Cable St vimeo from Toby Trackman on Vimeo.

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The Chronicle of The French Revolution

Chronology is a part of the foundation for the study of anything in history.  Developing a sense of the chronological frameworks involved in any topic & coming to understand how contested those frameworks are is more than half the battle.

Chronologies for the study of France in Revolutionary, Napoleonic, & Restoration times:

http://www.port.ac.uk/special/france1815to2003/

]http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/searchfr.php?function=find&start=1

http://library.brown.edu/haitihistory/index.html

http://www.pbs.org/marieantoinette/timeline/index.html

R. Darnton, “How historians play God”

The historian certainly creates life. He breathes life into the mud that he digs out of the archives. He also passes judgment on the dead. He can’t do otherwise: either Brissot spied for the police, or he did not. The facts will not go away, but their pattern changes as I rearrange them, not merely by whatever artistry I can summon up but by gestalt switches: revolutionary or police spy? philosopher or literary hack? rabbit or duck?

Perhaps, however, the either/or approach to biography is flawed. Perhaps life is a bundle of contradictions, and the attempt to impose consistency on it is wrong. Was Brissot both a dedicated revolution­ary and a crass spy for the police?

God only knows. The historian knows, but imperfectly, through documents darkly, with help from hubris, by playing God.

R. Darnton, “How historians play God”,
Cromohs
, 11 (2006): 1-3, <URL: http://www.cromohs.unifi.it/11_2006/darnton_historians.html>

The reference to rabbit or duck is to Wittgenstein’s discussion on the Duck-Rabbit in the Philosophical Investigations and the problem of being certain about that which one sees and reports as seeing (in Darton’s case – our case – this is normally a lack of certainty about what one reads and reports as reading).

 

Imaging the French Revolution

This website provides detailed examinations of some of the images the French Revolution produced well worth reading through.  Thinking with images is a useful way to approach history as it gets us round the textual dependence we are usually faced with.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: a website about the French Revolution

This collaboration between two US universities is worth perusing.

The French Revolution: other ways of learning

The Open University has for a long time now been trying to offer the course materials its work generates online through LearningSpace & there is a wealth of material available.  This unit on the French Revolution will be worth looking at.

Indian Independence: From The British Library

The British Library has an amazing array of material available on-line and this exploration of Indian Independence is a useful short guide to the topic.

 

The Recent Historiography of the French Revolution

  In short, and with a few notable exceptions, the French Revolution has become about politics conceived primarily in terms of the 600–1,000 men who served at any one time in the national political body.

Mechanical organ – Tippoo’s Tiger – Victoria & Albert Museum – Search the Collections

Tipu’s Tiger from Six to Start on Vimeo.

Mechanical organ – Tippoo’s Tiger – Victoria & Albert Museum – Search the Collections.

Tipu’s Tiger

 

The French Revolution: The Short Version

The French Revolution began in 1789 with the meeting of the States General in May. On July 14 of that same year, the Bastille was stormed: in October, Louis XVI and the Royal Family were removed from Versailles to Paris. The King attempted, unsuccessfully, to flee Paris for Varennes in June 1791. A Legislative Assembly sat from October 1791 until September 1792, when, in the face of the advance of the allied armies of Austria, Holland, Prussia, and Sardinia, it was replaced by the National Convention, which proclaimed the Republic. The King was brought to trial in December of 1792, and executed on January 21, 1793. In January of 1793 the revolutionary government declared war on Britain, a war for world dominion which had been carried on, with short intermissions, since the beginning of the reign of William and Mary, and which would continue for another twenty-two years.

 

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