Late nineteenth-century Britain and America: The people and the empire
Late nineteenth-century Britain and America: The people and the empire

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Late nineteenth-century Britain and America: The people and the empire

Late nineteenth-century Britain and America: the people and the empire

Introduction

Historians on both sides of the Atlantic have argued that the empire was not an issue of popular interest in the late nineteenth-century Britain and the United States. This course examines some of the evidence available to assess the truth of this claim. More broadly, the course raises questions related to evidence: is it possible to discover what ‘ordinary’ people thought about expansionism?

‘I couldn't give a damn’; ‘I don't know anything about politics’; ‘Why don't they leave us to get on with it?’ How often do we hear sentiments similar to these from the people on the proverbial street today? Yet there are some political issues which do arouse popular interest and concern. Historians on both sides of the Atlantic have argued that the empire was just such an issue in late nineteenth-century Britain and the United States. They urge that the question of expansion drew an enormous response from among the workers.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in Arts and Humanities [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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