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Historic Notes

Historic Notes

The Long March (1934-35)

24 August 2017

On 16 October 1934, about 100,000 men and women in China’s Red Army broke out of their surrounded soviet base. Their extraordinary year-long march to the other end of China changed not only the balance of forces in China but also the world.

1833 - 1838: The Tolpuddle Martyrs

7 July 2017

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were transported for resisting starvation wages and forming a trade union. The annual festival commemorating them – absent for two years because of Covid-19 – was held again this July in Tolpuddle, Dorset.

Class struggle across a nation

25 February 2017

Since the birth of industrial capitalism, a web of industrial sinews has held the constituent regions of Britain together. The recent dismembering of much of that web has brought not only economic collapse to regions but also threatened our national integrity. We recount struggles in Scotland, London and North Wales that pursued essential class goals of improving wages and conditions of work.

England's Break from Rome (1532-40)

29 October 2016

The English Reformation evolved from the need of Henry VIII to divorce. Such a relatively trivial episode in led to a process that ultimately brought the total reconstruction of political power and social attitudes in England.

London rebuilt

6 September 2016

As London commemorates 350 years since the Great Fire of 2 September 1666, we are reminded of what a real catastrophe looks like – unlike the spurious and risible warnings of the “disaster” of Brexit.

The Earth and the Sun

25 August 2016

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries two men, Copernicus and Galileo, helped to cast out ancient ideas about physics and astronomy. Their work laid the foundation for modern scientific understanding.

1916: out of empire and war

13 February 2016

The 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin stubbornly troubles the present. Prompting strong feelings, it has been categorised wildly as dismal failure and tragic folly, daring adventure and noble sacrifice. Yet the Easter Rising obstinately shines through as a most extraordinary, challenging event whose ideals are not yet fulfilled.