Current History Group Topic

6th March 2024; Shakespeare and his contemporaries, including the First Folio.

Shakespearean tragedy is the designation given to most tragedies written by playwright William Shakespeare. Many of his history plays share the qualifiers of a Shakespearean tragedy, but because they are based on real figures throughout the history of England, they were classified as "histories" in the First Folio. The Roman tragedies—Julius CaesarAntony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus—are also based on historical figures, but because their sources were foreign and ancient, they are almost always classified as tragedies rather than histories. Shakespeare's romances (tragicomic plays) were written late in his career and published originally as either tragedy or comedy. They share some elements of tragedy, insofar as they feature a high-status central character, but they end happily like Shakespearean comedies. Almost three centuries after Shakespeare's death, the scholar F. S. Boas also coined a fifth category, the "problem play," for plays that do not fit neatly into a single classification because of their subject matter, setting, or ending.[1][2] Scholars continue to disagree on how to categorize some Shakespearean plays.

21st February 2024; ' A Year In History 1560 AD'

7th February 2024:

Sweden from the Era of the Vikings to the 30 Year War.

Sweden has a rich and varied history that spans many centuries. The Viking Age, which lasted from the late 8th century to the mid-11th century, was a time of great exploration and expansion for the Swedes, as well as the Norwegians and Danes. During this period, the Swedish Vikings journeyed far and wide, spreading their influence across many lands, including England, France, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Russia, the Balkans, Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan 1.

After the Viking Age, Sweden continued to play an important role in European history. During the 17th century, Sweden emerged as a great power after winning wars against Denmark-Norway, Russia, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Sweden’s role in the Thirty Years’ War determined the political and religious balance of power in Europe 2. The Swedish Empire, which lasted from 1611 to 1721, was a period of great expansion and prosperity for Sweden. During this time, Sweden acquired territories seized from Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as well as its involvement in the Thirty Years’ War, which transformed Sweden into the leader of Protestantism 3

17th January 2024;

The Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas) was a ten-week undeclared war between Argentina and the United Kingdom in 1982 over two British dependent territories in the South Atlantic: the Falkland Islands and its territorial dependency, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Island

20th December 2023;

The Topic for this session is;

The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment,[note 2] also known as the Age of Reason, was an intellectual and philosophical movement that occurred in Europe, especially Western Europe, in the 17th and 18th centuries, with global influences and effects.[2][3] The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centred on the value of human happiness, the pursuit of knowledge obtained by means of reason and the evidence of the senses, and ideals such as natural lawlibertyprogresstolerationfraternityconstitutional government, and separation of church and state.[4][5]

The focus on this occasion will it's impact during this period within the UK. Particularly, Philosophy, Science, Politics, Sociology, Economics ,Law, @ Theories of Government. Group members may decide to focus on a particular period of interest .

6th December 2023:

The Topic for this session is;

6th December Topic The English Restoration;

Restoration, Restoration of the monarchy in England in 1660. It marked the return of Charles II as king (1660–85) following the period of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth. The bishops were restored to Parliament, which established a strict Anglican orthodoxy. The period, which also included the reign of James II (1685–88), was marked by an expansion in colonial trade, the Anglo-Dutch Wars, and a revival of drama and literature.

15th November Topic JFK PRESIDENT OF THE USA

JFK PRESIDENT; Elected in 1960 as the 35th president of the United States, 43-year-old John F. Kennedy became one of the youngest U.S. presidents, as well as the first Roman Catholic to hold the office. Born into one of America’s wealthiest families, he parlayed an elite education and a reputation as a military hero into a successful run for Congress in 1946 and for the Senate in 1952.

As president, Kennedy confronted mounting Cold War tensions in Cuba, Vietnam and elsewhere. He also led a renewed drive for public service and eventually provided federal support for the growing civil rights movement. His assassination on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, sent shockwaves around the world and turned the all-too-human Kennedy into a larger-than-life heroic figure. To this day, historians continue to rank him among the best-loved presidents in American history

18th October; Topic

The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom against the invading and occupying forces of the First French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. In Spain, it is considered to overlap with the Spanish War of Independence.

Wednesday October 4th Topic

The War of the Triple Alliance (The Paraguayan War).

The topic, discussion and ideas from the meeting from the 20th September may help to tie these issues together.

Following the SUMMER BREAK we begin the Autumn meeting's on Wednesday September 20th 2023 10-12 noon. The Topic is The Long March in Brazil;

The 1920s in Brazil saw the First Republic (founded in 1889) come to an end and with it the fall from power of the rural oligarchies that had been dominant for the last three decades. This, broadly speaking, was a result of urban development and rapid industrialization, which caused both the middle classes and labour movements to become restive. Many low-ranking officers in the military came from the small, but influent, middle classes and were becoming deeply dissatisfied with the political establishment. A period of multiple rebellions ensued that is referred to as 'Tenentismo', from the word 'tenentes' (Portuguese for 'Lieutenants').

The Prestes Column (named after Luiz Carlos Prestes, one of the most combative among the 'tenentes') was formed in the wake of one such rebellion. Between 1924 and 1927, a fluctuating number of rebels, averaging perhaps 1,000-1,500 people ('tenentes' and subordinates, but also people from various professions, including women), kept up a long march through the hinterland of Brazil, chased by governmental forces, fought hundreds of skirmishes across eleven states of Brazil, and, all in all, covered around 25,000 km (15,534 mi) of difficult, sometimes untouched terrain, over around 780 days. For comparison, the Column travelled almost three times as many miles as Mao's Long March over about twice as many days.

Wednesday 21st June 10 am 2023 Topic;


Wednesday 7th June Topic

The Great Walls of China; The history of the Great Wall of China began when fortifications built by various states during the Spring and Autumn (771–476 BC)[1] and Warring States periods (475–221 BC) were connected by the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, to protect his newly founded Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) against incursions by nomads from Inner Asia. The walls were built of rammed earth, constructed using forced labour, and by 212 BC ran from Gansu to the coast of southern Manchuria.

Later dynasties adopted different policies towards northern frontier defense. The Han (202 BC – 220 AD), the Northern Qi (550–574), the Jurchen-ruled Jin (1115–1234), and particularly the Ming (1369–1644) were among those that rebuilt, re-manned, and expanded the Walls, although they rarely followed Qin's routes. The Han extended the fortifications furthest to the west, the Qi built about 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) of new walls, while the Sui mobilised over a million men in their wall-building efforts. Conversely, the Tang (618–907), the Song (960–1279), the Yuan (1271–1368), and the Qing (1636–1912) mostly did not build frontier walls, instead opting for other solutions to the Inner Asian threat like military campaigning and diplomacy.

Although a useful deterrent against raids, at several points throughout its history the Great Wall failed to stop enemies, including in 1644 when the Qing troops marched through the gates of the Shanhai Pass and replaced the most ardent of the wall-building dynasties, the Ming, as rulers of China proper.

Wednesday 17th May Topic; Constitutional Monarchy The Principal

A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises their authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in making decisions.[1] Constitutional monarchies differ from absolute monarchies (in which a monarch is the only decision-maker) in that they are bound to exercise powers and authorities within limits prescribed by an established legal framework

Topic for Wed 3rd May 2023 History of Poland from the 12th Century

The history of Poland spans over a thousand years, from medieval tribes, Christianization and monarchy; through Poland's Golden Age, expansionism and becoming one of the largest European powers; to its collapse and partitions, two world wars, communism, and the restoration of democracy.

19th April Topic; The Manhattan Project (The Atomic Girls)

The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs during World War II. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. From 1942 to 1946

Wednesday 5th April topic. Part 1 & 2

The Cultural Revolution, formally known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement in the People's Republic of China (PRC) launched by Mao Zedong in 1966, and lasting until his death in 1976. Its stated goal was to preserve Chinese communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society. The Revolution marked the effective commanding return of Mao –who was still the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)– to the centre of power, after a period of self-abstention and ceding to less radical leadership in the aftermath of the Mao-led Great Leap Forward debacle and the Great Chinese Famine (1959–1961). The Revolution failed to achieve its main goals.

Wednesday 15th March topic.

The Highland Clearances (Scottish Gaelic: Fuadaichean nan Gàidheal [ˈfuət̪ɪçən nəŋ ˈɡɛː.əl̪ˠ], the "eviction of the Gaels") were the evictions of a significant number of tenants in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, mostly in two phases from 1750 to 1860.

The first phase resulted from agricultural improvement, driven by the need for landlords to increase their income – many had substantial debts, with actual or potential bankruptcy being a large part of the story of the clearances. This involved the enclosure of the open fields managed on the run rig system and shared grazing. These were usually replaced with large-scale pastoral farms on which much higher rents were paid. The displaced tenants were expected to be employed in industries such as fishing, quarrying or the kelp industry. Their reduction in status from farmer to crofter was one of the causes of resentment.[1]: 212

Wednesday 1st March Topic

Burgundy (/ˈbɜːrɡəndi/; French: Bourgogne [buʁɡɔɲ] (listen)) is a historical territory and former administrative region and province of east-central France. The province was once home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th century. The capital of Dijon was one of the great European centres of art and science, a place of tremendous wealth and power, and Western Monasticism.[1] In early Modern Europe, Burgundy was a focal point of courtly culture that set the fashion for European royal houses and their court.[2] The Duchy of Burgundy was a key in the transformation of the Middle Ages toward early modern Europe

Wednesday 15th February 20 Topic:

The city of Petra was established as a trading post by the Nabateans, an Arab Bedouin tribe indigenous to the region in what is now southwestern Jordan.

The Nabateans living and trading in Petra soon accumulated a significant amount of wealth, and an envious Greek Empire attacked the city in 312 B.C. This event marks the first reference to Petra in recorded history

Wednesday 1st February 2023. Topic; The Topic for our next meeting has a double edged focus. Primarily on the demise of the Ottoman empire (during and following the First WW)

1) The Armenian Holocaust and 2) The Turkey Greece war which resulted in the mass exchange of populations and it's consequences for their respective population's

Wednesday 18th January 2023 Topic The Spanish Flu. The 1918 Spanish flu was the first of three flu pandemics caused by H1N1 influenza

Wednesday 4th January 2023 Topic The Peasants Revolts in England and Europe in the 13/14th Centuries

Wednesday 16th November Topic;

A wave of revolutions swept across Europe in 1848. Beginning in Sicily and followed by the February revolution in France, many countries were rocked by popular uprisings. Britain though remained largely impervious to revolutionary change

Wednesday 2nd November. Topic; The Rise & Fall of Babylon;

Babylon was the capital city of the ancient Babylonian Empire, which itself is a term referring to either of two separate empires in the Mesopotamian area in antiquity. These two empires achieved regional dominance between the 19th and 15th centuries BC, and again between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. The city, built along both banks of the Euphrates river, had steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. The earliest known mention of Babylon as a small town appears on a clay tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334–2279 BC) of the Akkadian Empire. The site of the ancient city lies just south of present-day Baghdad. The last known record of habitation of the town dates from the 10th century AD, when it was referred to as the "small village of Babel".

Wed October 19th Topic. Caesar Augustus[a] (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), also known as Octavian, was officially the first Roman emperor who reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14.[b] He is known for being the founder of the Roman Principate, which is the first phase of the Roman Empire, and Augustus is considered one of the greatest leaders in human history.[3] The reign of Augustus initiated an imperial cult as well as an era associated with imperial peace, the Pax Romana or Pax Augusta. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.ednesday October 19th Topic.

Wednesday 5th October Topic

a) 1830: The establishment of Bourbon Restoration following the fall of Napoleon.

b) The June 1832 Rebellion (also known as the Paris Rising), when republicans in Paris attempted to reverse the establishment of the 1830 establishment of the monarchy – quashed & remembered mainly for its inclusion in Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel – Les Misérables.

c) The February 1848 Revolution, when Louis Philippe was forced to abdicate & the short-lived Second Republic was established.

d) The unsuccessful later attempts to re-establish the Kingdom in the 1870s, during the Third Republic.

It might be easiest to make a strong focus on the reasons for the uprisings.

Wednesday September 21st, Topic: Napoleon, also Napoleon Bonaparte[a] (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), and later known by his regnal name Napoleon I,[b] was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars. He was the de facto leader of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804, and as Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814 and again in 1815. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured to this day, and he stands as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in world history.[

The History Group will meet again for the Autumn on Wednesday 7th September 2022.10am to 12 noon. The venue remains St Anne's Centre. The first topic will focus on the 'The French Revolution'.

This is our final meeting before the summer recess. We begin again in September 2022. Wednesday 15th June History of; Hatshepsut (/hætˈʃɛpsʊt/;[4] also Hatchepsut; Egyptian: ḥꜣt-špswt "Foremost of Noble Ladies";[5] c. 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, after Sobekneferu.[6] (Various other women may have also ruled as pharaohs or at least regents before Hatshepsut, as early as Neithhotep around 1,600 years prior.)

Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC.[7] As the principal wife of Thutmose II, Hatshepsut initially ruled as regent to Thutmose III, a son of Thutmose II by another wife and the first male heir. While Thutmose III had inherited the throne at about two years old, Hatshepsut continued to rule by asserting her lineage as the daughter and only child of Thutmose I and his primary wife, Ahmose.[8][9]

Her husband Thutmose II was the son of Thutmose I and a secondary wife named Mutnofret, who carried the title 'King's daughter' and was probably a child of Ahmose I. Hatshepsut and Thutmose II had a daughter named Neferure. Thutmose II with Iset, a secondary wife, would father Thutmose III, who would succeed Hatshepsut as pharaoh.[

Wednesday 1st June. History of Ireland between 1880 to early 1920's Hoem Rule, Easter Rising and Partition

Wednesday 18th May Topic; Skara Brae The Ness of Brodgar.

Around 1850 , a violent storm, together with an exceptionally high tide, undermined part of the dunes at “Skerrabrae” to reveal an artefact-filled “kitchen midden”. Investigation by William Watt, resident of the nearby Skaill House, suggested “the existence of extensive buildings” . Watt wasted no time before digging into these and, by February 185...

Wednesday 4th May Topic; The Great Stink was an event in Central London in July and August 1858 during which the hot weather exacerbated the smell of untreated human waste and industrial effluent that was present on the banks of the River Thames. The problem had been mounting for some years, with an ageing

Wednesday 20th April 2022. Topic; The Industrial Revolution and the White Peak

The south east corner of the White Peak provided the perfect place for Sir Richard Arkwright and Jedediah Strutt to build the `cradle of the Industrial Revolution’ complete with water-powered cotton mills, purpose-built housing for the workforce, as well as schools and a fine churches.

The next meeting is on Wednesday April 6th 10am. The Topic centres on 'The Agrarian Revolution circa 1714-1830. The period in general covers the Hanoverian period and probably most of the significant changes to agriculture and the social fabric of the then society.

Wednesday 16th March 2022 Topic; Operation Barbarossa (German: Unternehmen Barbarossa) was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II.

Wednesday March 2nd. 2022.Topic; Alexander the Great his campaigning and the aftermath

Wednesday 16th February 2022 topic. Philip II and the Rise of Macedon Tom: Macedon’s meteoric rise from a small kingdom on the periphery of the Hellenic world to an ancient world superpower occurred in just 25 years, presided over by the administrative and military genius of Philip II and his son, Alexander the Great

Wednesday 2nd February 2022 topic. Achilles Trojan War Discussion of Achilles in preparation for discussing Alexander later on, that rather than Achilles per se, we'd try to discuss Achilles with an eye on how Alexander viewed him.

Wednesday 19th January 2022 Topic: The Huguenots – England’s First Refugees The Huguenots were French Protestants from the sixteenth and seventeenth century who fled from the French Catholic government fearing persecution and violence. As they fled, a diaspora of Huguenots travelled across the globe, settling and forming new communities in America, Africa and Euro

Wednesday 5th January: 2022 Topic The USA The Origins of first 13 Colonies 1675-1765 leading to change and Revolution and Independence.

Wednesday 15th December Topic. THERMOPYLAE is a mountain pass near the sea in northern Greece which was the site of several battles in antiquity, the most famous being that between Persians and Greeks in August 480 BCE. Despite being greatly inferior in numbers, the Greeks held the narrow pass for three days with Spartan king Leonidas fighting a last-ditch defence with a small force of Spartans and other Greek hoplites. Ultimately the Persians took control of the pass, but the heroic defeat of Leonidas would assume legendary proportions for later generations of Greeks, and within a year the Persian invasion would be repulsed at the battles of Salamis and Plataea.

Wednesday 1st December 2021. Topic History of Cuba; The history of Cuba is characterized by dependence on outside powers—Spain, the US, and the USSR. The island of Cuba was inhabited by various Amerindian cultures prior to the arrival of the Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492. After his arrival on a Spanish expedition, Spain conquered ... and more to the 21st century.

Wednesday 17th November; Burma/Myanmar in the 20 & 21st Centuries. This is quite a challenging topic and we will focus only on this period.

3rd November 2021 The Korean War; The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against International Communism.

20th October 2021 The topic is Cambodia from the early 60's. Background During the early-to-mid-1960s, Prince Norodom Sihanouk's policies had protected his nation from the turmoil that engulfed Laos and South Vietnam. Neither the People's Republic of China (PRC) nor North Vietnam disputed Sihanouk's claim to represent "progressive" political policies and the leadership of the … Revolt in Battambang The prince then found himself in a political dilemma. To maintain the balance against the rising tide of the conservatives, he named the leaders of the very group he had been oppressing as members of a "counter-government" that was meant to monitor and criticize Lon Nol's administration. One of Lon Nol'…

Wednesday 6th October 2021 The topic is; Anghor Wat History & Culture.....

*********The Topic's noted below have been copied for reference and relater to topic's discussed by the group during the recent Pandemic The previous topic's (2020) have been deleted from this page, however, they have been copied During the course of this pandemic (2021) we will continue with the Zoom project. Below are the topic's currently discussed alongside the new topic's as raised by the group for discussion.

Wednesday 6th Jan 2021 2 SESSIONS 10AM+10-45AM. Next Zoom meeting topic 'THE HISTORY OF VACCINATIONS'.

Wednesday 20th January 2021 Zoom session from 10am to 12 noon. Two session's. Topic 'Eyam’s response to the plague'

Wed 3rd Feb 2021; The Democratic and Republican Parties Interesting topic given the event's of the recent American election.

Wed February 17th, the topic will be the Berlin Conference of 1884 and the subsequent carve up of Africa among European empires.

Wed March 3rd 10am Two session's Orthodox Christianity becomes established in the tenth century. Kievan Rus is invaded by the Mongols from 1237 and the Khan of the Golden Horde controls Russia until 1480 when Ivan III frees Russia and establishes rule from Moscow. In other words, Oleg of Novgorod (862) to Ivan The Great. (died 1515). We will return to this topic at a future date.

A list of topics several weeks ago which we’ll stick to for a couple more sessions. On Wednesday the 16th March at 10am (Zoom) the topic is the Caste system in India and, after that, we’re going to delve into the origins of the Holy Roman Empire.

Our next topic will be centred on;

Wed 7th-April; The Holy Roman Empire. We are going to cover Charlemagne to Frederick III, the first Hapsburg emperor. So 800-1452.

Wed 21st April The Holy Roman Empire after Frederick 111.

Wed 5th MAY; We plan to follow the Spanish branch of the Hapsburgs in the next session from the unification of Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella up to the War of the Spanish Succession and the Treaty of Utrecht in 1715. We’ll leave the Austro-Hungarian branch of the Hapsburgs for another time. After the next session about Spain we will abandon the HRE for a while and look at some notable women in history. Mary Wollstonecraft will be the first. Her life and the time she lived in.

Wed. 19th May; 10am. We have changed the topic to 'Beth of Hardwick for today's session.

Wednesday. 2nd June 10am. The topic will focus on Mrs Gaskell, Alternatively if Tony is available we will return to The topic of Mary Wollstonecraft and her times. NB, it is MW the elder, not her daughter who became Mary Shelley.

Wednesday. 16-06-21 10am. We will address the topic Mary Wollstonecraft.

Wed 7th July Elizabeth Gaskell in particular her novel 'Mary Barton' This is an interesting period of social history and the novel in many ways reflects the changing dynamic between agriculture and the developing Industrialisation.

Wed 21st The Mitford Sisters. This will be the last session prior to a Summer break. All changes will be updated for the Autumn period. The group begins again on the 6th October and the topic is Angkor Wat.