Paupers in Rhode Island, 1780–1820: Dependents in the Era of American Independence
This essay examines the social and cultural history of paupers in Rhode Island in the forty years after American independence from the British Empire, 1780–1820. It outlines typical experiences of paupers themselves, concluding that they inhabited a special legal status that was sharply distinguished in its rights and privileges from that of most ordinary Americans. Paupers stood out in stark contrast in this era of increasing equality and democratization. With little dissent, Americans believed that the legal disabilities imposed upon paupers were quite appropriate. A stereotypical figure of the pauper was also an important element in popular culture of the period. Most frequently, this figure of paupers appeared in popular discourse either as a means of insulting political opponents. Americans’ ideas about paupers also played a significant role in national self-identity in this period. Americans argued that the relative lack of paupers in the United States was an important marker that distinguished the United States from Europe, which was allegedly full of paupers.
The settler woman and the savage – The depiction of Aboriginal people in the personal narratives of British genteel women in colonial Australia
Many British genteel women left for Australia in search of a better and more prosperous life in the nineteenth century. These women often recorded their experiences in their memoirs, recollections and travel books. On the pages of their personal narratives female settlers and visitors recounted the challenges of their colonial enterprise and also made observations about the Aboriginal people. This study seeks to explore colonial gentlewomen’s ways of seeing the indigenous people of Australia. Mainstream arguments concerning racial superiority and social hierarchy determined the way colonial women perceived the Aborigines. Genteel women belonged to that cultured and learned layer of British society that was familiar with these theories. Female colonists’ images of the native people therefore reflected contemporary western ideas. This paper concludes that colonial women’s depiction of the indigenous inhabitants of Australia was not substantially different from their menfolk.
The Wilson government's attempt to renew the House of Lords in 1966–1969
The House of Lords, until the end of last century retained its composition of medieval basis that is its members were largely hereditary Peers. Since the 19th century it had been exposed to constant attacks, all the same, the Lords’ sphere of authority and composition by degrees was transformed. In the 1968/69's session the chamber was the closest to the implementation of reforms in that period when the UK economy and industrial restructuring was urgently necessary. In principle the Labour governments undertook the case of reform by the House of Lords, but they considered it a third-rate problem, even if some influential members of the party also urge a solution proposed by Richard Crossman, who recognized that the problems of composition and sphere of authority. This little group undertook the fight when the conflicts deepened between legislative and executive power, between the chambers and between the governing party and the Opposition. The study examines process of attempted reform, the causes of failure, as well as of consequences.
A Nation Reborn? The Way of Devolution in Scotland in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century
This paper deals with the various demands for self–governance in Scotland from 1707, with special focus on the period between the two referendums on a Scottish body of selfgovernment: 1979, when devolution failed to attract enough support and 1997 when devolution was endorsed. The paper offers a detailed examination of this in–between era when the political, economic and social changes in the United Kingdom awakened Scotland The changes of the Scottish national identity are examined in relation to the Scottish selfgovernment movements. The appearance and strengthening of the Scottish National Party, the reactions of the Labour and the Tories to the rise of nationalism are investigated in connection with the way to devolution. After this the referendums of 1979 and 1997 are examined and compared. It is argued that the “democratic deficit,” the growing influence of the European Union, and the revaluation of the Scottish national identity together led to the success of the 1997 referendum after the unsuccessful referendum of 1979.
The fabrication of authenticity: constructing the counterrevolutionary continuity in post-1956 Hungary
The article explores a case of rendering abstract historical representations authentic: the modes Hungarian communist party historians, propagandists and historico-politicians attempted to support their construction of the counterrevolution by various types of visual, material and textual evidence. The post-1956 Hungarian communist party elite construed a historical continuity from the fall of the First Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 to the alleged counterrevolution in 1956, which functioned as a major tool justifying their authority. The essay examines how various techniques and forms of historical representation and practices of evidence – photographies, museum exhibitons, textual arguments – were used to render the abstract interpretation tangible, credible, thus, authentic.
The Missing Dossier on István Borzsák, or What Did the Political Police Want from a Scholar of Antiquity?
The fate of István Borzsák, a prominent figure in Hungarian classical scholarship, well exemplifies 20th-century Hungarian history. But it is not the life of the scholar, who survived captivity and was removed from office, that I present in my paper. Primarily, I was curious to find out what interest did the political police take in his person. Because of his involvement in the revolution, Borzsák was removed from his university post and was entered into the operative records of state security as an enemy of state.
From 1963, he taught at the university of Debrecen and could return to his former department in Budapest in 1978. Not even during this period did he conceal his views about the existing system, but it was only among close friends that he was openly talking about politics. First and foremost, he was a scholar. The political police of the era had been collecting data about the professor from 1959 until 1978. The reports were filed in a separate dossier, which did not survive. Yet, from the so called working dossiers of the agents we can reconstruct the original dossier on Borzsák. At the university of Debrecen several agents were spying on him, among them one of his doctoral students, a colleague at the faculty of arts or one of the student leaders of the time. Their reports were assessed by state security officers from the Hajdú-Bihar county police. Analyzing Borzsák's activity proved to be a real challenge for these people as they have little knowledge of classical philology.
The surviving reports focused primarily on with Borzsák's relationship with former “56ers”, his influence on his students and his scholarly and friendly relations with Westerners. Though the political police got some information about his so called “hostile political views”, they did not intervene as Borzsák refrained from discussing politics openly. In spite of that, his dossier had been diligently kept. From the 46 reports on him only 17 were deemed valuable by the liaison officer (tartótiszt), that is, only 40% contained useful information. When, in 1978, Borzsák left Debrecen his file was transferred to the so called “objektum” dossier of ELTE. Finally, he was deleted from the operative records of the state security. His surveillance turned out to be unsuccessful after all as neither the agents watching him, nor the liaison officers overseeing them could get close to his person.
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