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 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


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