Sailing against the tide: Tsardom and Russian Society c.1900

Russia – described by Churchill as ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’ by British political Winston Churchill in 1939 – was as juxtaposed, inscrutable and confusing a political and social entity in 1900 as it has been to many observers from the outside world before and after. Russia at the dawn ofContinue reading “Sailing against the tide: Tsardom and Russian Society c.1900”

Enter Bismarck, arise Prussia: The Road to German Unity 1862-66

Despite the failure of the ‘experiment’ of 1848-49 and the repressive and reactionary climate which followed, it can be argued that in the long term the seeds of Liberalism (and as it is Germany of the mid-19th Century, Nationalism by association) had been firmly planted to blossom at a later date. And whilst Prussia –Continue reading “Enter Bismarck, arise Prussia: The Road to German Unity 1862-66”

The German ‘Revolution’ of 1848

The ‘old order’ of post-Vienna Europe – that of absolute rulers and their reactionary plutocrats enforcing their rule on a subjugated population – seemed on the brink in the year of 1848. From Sicily in the south through the heart of Central Europe, voices for constitutional reform and national re-awakenings grew in tandem to generateContinue reading “The German ‘Revolution’ of 1848”

The Rise of Hitler and the Nazi’s: The Munich Putsch

The year of 1923 seemed to point towards the impending collapse of the Weimar state; hyper-inflation, crisis in the Ruhr with the French and Belgian occupation and an increasingly disconnected, depressed and desperate population still angry about the humiliation of Versailles seemed on the brink. Emboldened by the rapid rise of his own party andContinue reading “The Rise of Hitler and the Nazi’s: The Munich Putsch”

The Rise of Hitler and the Nazi’s: The seeds of evil and totalitarianism

Despite the chaos, destruction and shame Hitler left as his legacy, his time as ‘Der Fuhrer’ of the German Reich lasted a mere 12 years of his life. An unquestionably talented politician and captivating orator, as well as a genocidal megalomaniac who presided over a racist totalitarian state, Hitler is a complex and fascinating studyContinue reading “The Rise of Hitler and the Nazi’s: The seeds of evil and totalitarianism”

The Old Firm and football’s ‘forgotten’ disaster: Ibrox Stadium, January 2nd 1971

The end of the old year just passing and the bringing in of the new one to come is an event which is celebrated and commemorated with varying levels of pomp, pageantry and cultural flavouring around the world. For those in Scotland, the New Years celebrations marked the social pinnacle of the year, with HogmanayContinue reading “The Old Firm and football’s ‘forgotten’ disaster: Ibrox Stadium, January 2nd 1971”

Liberalism and Nationalism in Germany 1815-71: Economic foundations of the Zollverein

History – from ancient times to contemporary – provides considerable evidence in supporting the belief that economic necessity is the major precursor to social or political change. From ancient times where humans migrated to areas which were the most fertile and productive – fertilising culture and identity as well as the soil on which theyContinue reading “Liberalism and Nationalism in Germany 1815-71: Economic foundations of the Zollverein”

Liberalism and Nationalism in Germany 1815-71: How did ideals of ‘reform’ look prior to 1848?

The idea of both political and social reform as well as the concept of a ‘Greater Germany’ was so naive and unrefined in the immediate aftermath of the Napoleonic period that – despite both Liberals and Nationalists having the mutually inclusive ambition of a ‘unified’ German political entity – there was no consensus as toContinue reading “Liberalism and Nationalism in Germany 1815-71: How did ideals of ‘reform’ look prior to 1848?”

Liberalism and Nationalism in Germany 1815-71: The road to 1848 – How ‘Germanic Europe’ emerged into the post-Napoleonic world

Prior to the years of Napoleonic conflict and according domination of the Germanic states of Central Europe, the concept of ‘Germany’ as political ideal was vague and distant for all but a very few dreamers and eccentrics. As late as 1789 those who identified as German in a cultural or ethnic sense found themselves dividedContinue reading “Liberalism and Nationalism in Germany 1815-71: The road to 1848 – How ‘Germanic Europe’ emerged into the post-Napoleonic world”

An uneasy relationship: Soviet control over Central and Eastern Europe – The Prague Spring of 1968

The shifting sands of Soviet internal power in the 1960s – Khrushchev being replaced by Brezhnev – heralded a change in the dynamics of the foreign policy and international relations of the USSR and its sphere of influence. The mantra of ‘peaceful co-existence’ – in principle if not always in practice – from the KhrushchevContinue reading “An uneasy relationship: Soviet control over Central and Eastern Europe – The Prague Spring of 1968”

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started