Matching Items (5)

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Is the "Special Relationship" Still Special? The Politics and Role of Anglo-American Relations since 1980

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This research looks at the state of Anglo-American political relations since 1980. By examining the political partnerships between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush, George

This research looks at the state of Anglo-American political relations since 1980. By examining the political partnerships between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, and Barack Obama and David Cameron, it explores if the so called ‘special relationship’ remains so special today in a world of growing political animosity and challenges. The thesis argues that the success of the ‘special relationship’ between the United States and United Kingdom has not been just due to similar political ideologies or goals, but also personal friendships which often overcame national interests or immediate personal political gain. Furthermore, it is often the periods of disagreement between these sets of leaders that helped strengthen the relationship between America and Britain, evidenced by episodes like the Falklands War, policy towards the Soviet Union, the invasion of Grenada, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ultimately, the thesis explores how current relations have deteriorated due to problems on both sides of the Atlantic under the Obama, Brown, and Cameron administrations, but the research concludes that the special relationship is, while damaged, alive and fixable.

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  • 2015-12

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Thriving as a Jew in Victorian Britain: Scapegoat or Get Scapegoated

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The rigid hierarchical social structures that dictated nineteenth-century English society were capped at the municipal level for anyone who was not an Anglican citizen of Britain. Rather than shirk this

The rigid hierarchical social structures that dictated nineteenth-century English society were capped at the municipal level for anyone who was not an Anglican citizen of Britain. Rather than shirk this exclusion, many communities who fell outside of the upper echelon of society mimicked this practice internally. One such example of this adoption was the Jewish community in Britain; in order to be accepted into aristocratic Britain, a handful of generationally wealthy Anglo-Jews conducted a campaign to elevate themselves across the Victorian era through demonizing their less assimilated Jewish brethren. In 1828, Roman Catholics and Protestant dissenters were granted parliamentary access, and the absence of this ability shot to the forefront of concern in Jewish High-Society. What ensued was an attempt to mold their Jewishness into a form as close to Protestantism as possible, and a campaign to separate their community from the vast majority of Jews who were not Anglo-born. In an effort to distance themselves from the less palatable Jews, England's most privileged Jews placed perpetuations of antisemitic stereotypes upon other Jews in order to show their demonstrable difference. Anglo-Jews, successfully, made the case that the form of Judaism which they practiced was a more refined version of the exotic savagery that was the other type of Judaism. The influx of Eastern European refugees in the 1840s fleeing pogroms and antisemitic legislation aided Anglo-Jews in making the case for their separation from Ashkenazim. By othering, their non-anglo counterparts, the highest class of the Jewish society in Britain mimicked the British colonial mentality in verbalizing and specifying their superiority.

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  • 2021-05

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Brexit and the Resurgence of Nationalism in the United Kingdom

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Behind the United Kingdom's unexpected decision to leave the European Union was a resurgence in nationalism caused by a range of issues including economics, cultural change, and rising anti-EU sentiment.

Behind the United Kingdom's unexpected decision to leave the European Union was a resurgence in nationalism caused by a range of issues including economics, cultural change, and rising anti-EU sentiment. Economic factors include globalization and competition with foreign workers. The culture and immigration section discusses the backlash against post-materialist cosmopolitan values and demographic changes caused by immigration. The relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union is analyzed using concepts discussed in Michael Hechter's Alien Rule (2013). In addition to these factors, we theorize that rising global tension and the interconnectedness of European countries were exploited by nationalist forces to strengthen the backlash against both the European Union and liberal cosmopolitan values in general.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Economic and Military Impact of Privateers and Pirates on Britain’s Rise as a World Power

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Privateers and pirates were instrumental in the development of English and British colonies and territories through military support and economic enrichment. British policy was to use privateers to help break

Privateers and pirates were instrumental in the development of English and British colonies and territories through military support and economic enrichment. British policy was to use privateers to help break into the New World when it was dominated by Spain, and Britain’s navy was no match for Spain’s navy. The privateers were used to protect the colonies, like Jamaica, from Spanish invasion and to militarily weaken Spain, Portugal, and others by taking or destroying their ships. Plundering brought in substantial wealth to the colonies and the crown while working for British governors. Eventually, Britain’s policy changed when it became more established in the Caribbean and the New World, and because some of its pro-Catholic monarchs made peace with Spain. Sugar production increased and there was less need for privateers. Most privateers moved to new bases in the North American colonies and Madagascar where they continued to be paid to work on behalf of others, in this case mostly for merchants and local politicians. Besides enriching the North American colonies economies through plunder, the privateers also helped protect them from the Native Americans. As pirates from Madagascar, they raided Mughal merchant fleets, bringing loot and exotic goods to the North American colonies in the seventeenth century, which also helped boost trade with Asia because colonists desired Asian goods. The pirates brought massive numbers of slaves from Madagascar to the colonies to sell. Pirates also operated in the Caribbean. There, they were beneficial to the colonies by bringing in money, yet problematic because they would sometimes raid British ships. When Britain became a global power, privateers and pirates became more of a nuisance than a help to the empire and it stopped using them. Still, in the 1800s, a privateer resurgence occurred in the United States and these individuals and their ships served the same function as they had with Britain, helping a new power break into areas across the sea when it lacked a strong navy. Though somewhat problematic to Britain these privateers did benefit the empire by helping Spain’s colonies gain their independence.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Interrogating rusticism: extrapolitan collisions between rural and urban cultures in nineteenth-century literature

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Interrogating Rusticism utilizes concepts from postcolonial theory and studies in cosmopolitanism to examine the relationship between the country and the city in nineteenth-century Britain. The project considers the way in

Interrogating Rusticism utilizes concepts from postcolonial theory and studies in cosmopolitanism to examine the relationship between the country and the city in nineteenth-century Britain. The project considers the way in which rural people, places, and cultures were depicted in popular literature and introduces two new terms that help inform one’s understanding of rural and urban interaction. “Rusticism” refers to a discourse reminiscent of Orientalism that creates an “us and them” dichotomy through characterizations that essentialize rural experience and cast it as distinct from urban living. “Extrapolitanism” evokes a cultural practice similar to rooted cosmopolitanism that entails traveling back and forth between the country and the city, engaging in both urban and rural cultural practices, and not committing oneself solely to the social and political causes of either the country or the city. Because rusticist stereotypes regarding rural life, such as the notion that rural labourers possess an energy and love for their work but are also uneducated and backward, have persisted into the twenty-first century, studying the more nuanced, less-rusticist aspects of rural life in nineteenth-century Britain is an often overlooked, but still very important, endeavor. Interrogating Rusticism closely examines literature by authors known for imbuing their works with rusticist portrayals of country life, and seeks to illuminate how, in addition to perpetuating rusticist discourse, those authors also cultivate an extrapolitan type of mindset when they do depict more nuanced aspects of rural life.

Each chapter follows a similar methodological approach that involves looking at a specific rusticist notion, the binary distinctions that help construct it, the historical background that contributed to its rise, a critically overlooked work that informed the writing process of a commonly studied piece, and how the commonly studied piece challenges the rusticist notion by revealing that the binary distinctions actually inform one another. Chapter 1 focuses on the rusticist idea that rural communities are pastoral, pre-modern sites untouched by the effects of modernity, the repeal of the Corn Laws, which eventually led to rampant poverty in the countryside, George Eliot’s travel memoir “Recollections of Ilfracombe” (1856) that chronicles her visit to a rural, sea-side community, and her first novel, Adam Bede (1859). Chapter 2 turns to the comparison that was often made between rural workers and nonhuman animals, the negative connotations it carried, which became even more pronounced following the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins’s dramatized account of their 1857 walking tour of rural England, The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, and Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend (1864-65). The final chapter examines the expectation for male rural workers to be hearty, highly masculine figures, which was emphasized by both the use of the derogatory term Hodge to refer to rural workers and the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1884, Richard Jefferies’s post-apocalyptic novel After London (1885), and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure (1895). Interrogating Rusticism helps elucidate often overlooked aspects of rural life in nineteenth-century Britain that can and should inform rural and urban interaction today as long-held stereotypes regarding rural life still persist and the world becomes increasingly more urban.

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Date Created
  • 2016