Pound by Pound: Exiting a Monetary Union and Defining British Exceptionalism

Twenty-five years ago today, the British government withdrew from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). The Conservative administration found itself unable to maintain the agreed upon semi-pegged exchange rate, set between the pound sterling and the German mark, and was forced to leave on September 16, 1992, what was later coined as "Black Wednesday." Readers will surely … Continue reading Pound by Pound: Exiting a Monetary Union and Defining British Exceptionalism

The Orations of Winston Churchill: “We Shall Fight on the Beaches”

Nearly nine months after the Nazi invasion of Poland in September 1939, the Phoney War had come to an end. The German armies advanced westward, as French and British troops were pushed further toward the coast. General Viscount Gort, the Commander of the British Expeditionary Force, ordered a retreat to the nearby port of Dunkirk. Government … Continue reading The Orations of Winston Churchill: “We Shall Fight on the Beaches”

The Orations of Winston Churchill: The Abdication of King Edward VIII

A constitutional crisis erupted in Britain when the reigning monarch, King Edward VIII, decided to marry Wallis Simpson. Not only was Simpson an American divorcée, but she had also been married twice beforehand. And, not only that, but both her former husbands were still alive. These incomprehensible circumstances had no place within the established Anglican … Continue reading The Orations of Winston Churchill: The Abdication of King Edward VIII

The Orations of Winston Churchill: “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat”

On May 10, 1940, Neville Chamberlain resigned from the position of Prime Minister amidst pressure from the other MPs in Parliament. Just three days earlier, MP Leo Amery had delivered a political tirade at the House of Commons, critiquing Chamberlain's failed Norwegian Campaign and calling for his resignation: "There must be a change. First and foremost, it … Continue reading The Orations of Winston Churchill: “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat”

The Attack on Automation

The Industrial Revolution was a period of rapid economic growth and technological change. Eighteenth-century onlookers saw a wave of new manufacturing processes that were more efficient than prior methods, as well as the expansion of the factory system, which replaced the putting-out (workshop) system. The new era for technology began in Britain in the late-eighteenth century and … Continue reading The Attack on Automation

Hong Kong: Twenty Years Later

On July 1, 1997, British and Chinese representatives attended the Hong Kong handover ceremony in Wan Chai. The assembly witnessed the transfer of the island's sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China (PRC). In the course of Sino-British diplomatic relations, the build-up to the transfer represented one of the most symbolic … Continue reading Hong Kong: Twenty Years Later

Cecil Rhodes, The Face of British Imperialism

On the front of the Rhodes Building at Oriel College, Oxford stands the statue of Cecil Rhodes, the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (1890-1896). The figure was installed after Rhodes' £100,000 gift to the university, his alma mater, upon his death. But, in recent years, the statue has received criticism from those who want to see … Continue reading Cecil Rhodes, The Face of British Imperialism

Great Britain and the Great Political Blunder

Given the results of the 2017 general election, the Prime Minister's attempt to gain a greater majority in Parliament decisively failed. What happened at the polls yesterday was nothing short of a political blunder by the Conservative Party. In April, Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election. Amidst concerns of great divisions in Westminster, May saw … Continue reading Great Britain and the Great Political Blunder

Introduction

Modern British History analyzes economic and political events within the United Kingdom, providing historical context and relevant primary sources geared toward a wide audience. The goal is to provide insight into aspects of British society through the integration of key ideas, perspectives, and historical methodologies. Articles mainly focus on the history and legacy of the British Empire from … Continue reading Introduction