Saturday, November 29, 2008

History Podcasts

“We must get the suffrage, we must get votes, that we may send the men to Parliament who will do our work for us; …and we must have the country divided so that the little kings of the counties can't do as they like, but must be shaken up in one bag with us.”

So declares a working class reformist in George Eliot’s novel Felix Holt: the Radical. It is set in 1832, the year of the so-called “Great Reform Act” which extended the vote and gave industrial cities such as Manchester and Birmingham political representation for the first time. The Act is often described as a landmark moment in British political history.

But to what extent was Britain’s political system transformed by the Great Reform Act? What were the causes of reform in the first place and was the Act designed to encourage democracy in Britain or to head it off?

Historian Shifflett on Thanksgiving Significance of Jamestown
Crandall Shifflett, the project director of ``Virtual Jamestown,'' an Internet site on the first permanent English settlement in America, talks to Bloomberg's Tom Keene about the creation of Thanksgiving as an American holiday by President Lincoln and the historical significance of Jamestown, Virginia compared with Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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