Socialist Worker

History


Byron's rage at anti-Ludd laws

28 February 2012
Two hundred years ago last month the radical poet Byron spoke in the House of Lords against a bill to make frame-breaking a hanging offence. Bitter anger and contempt runs through his speech, made on 27 February 1812.

The Real Luddites

28 February 2012
Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith said last week that "the government’s opponents constitute a group of modern-day Luddites". Then health minister Andrew Lansley denounced those opposed to his assault on the NHS as "Luddites" too.

1972 - how workers broke a Tory government

07 February 2012
The battle of Saltley Gate is one of the high points of working class struggle in Britain.

From peasants to workers

17 January 2012
Russia’s revolutionary movement at the turn of the century was shaped by the country’s large peasantry and small and historically young working class.

The birth of the Bolshevik party

17 January 2012
The Bolshevik party—the party that led the 1917 Russian Revolution—was formed a century ago this month. It did not emerge from nowhere. The Bolsheviks split with the Mensheviks, ending a period in which the two groups had been factions inside the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP).

The union leaders and revolution

06 July 2010
The outbreak of war in 1914 dampened class struggle in Britain—but not for long.

Korea: the forgotten war

18 May 2010
When Japan surrendered on 14 August 1945, five days after the United States had dropped the atom bomb on Nagasaki, Korea posed a problem.

A History of the World in 100 Objects - reveals how our labour defines us

16 February 2010
I don’t know whether Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, is a secret socialist. I doubt it somehow.

William Morris: Victorian artist and revolutionary

05 January 2010
william Morris is known today for his exquisite patterned wallpapers, his famous chair design, and his rule, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

Llanelli 1911: war on the railways

08 December 2009
The wave of strikes in Britain between 1910 and 1914 saw millions of workers fight over wages and conditions with the most militant methods. The period became known as the Great Unrest.

The peasants’ revolt shook England's rulers

01 September 2009
The Climate Camp descended onto Blackheath in south east London last week. Activists chose this piece of common land because of a tradition of radical events taking place there, most famously the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.

Stalin’s unholy alliance with Hitler

01 September 2009
When German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop arrived in Moscow in August 1939 to meet his Russian counterpart, Russian dictator Joseph Stalin turned out to greet him.

Outbreak of the Second World War: Who were the ‘guilty men’?

01 September 2009
Prime minister Neville Chamberlain broadcast that Britain was in a state of war with Germany at 11.12am on 3 September 1939. The Second World War had begun two days earlier when the German dictator, Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland.

Revolutions led to a new kind of society

21 April 2009
England and Holland emerged as powers representing a new capitalist logic of production by the end of the 17th century.

The struggles that shook the old feudal order

14 April 2009
The changes that took place within feudalism between the 10th and 14th centuries created the basis for a different logic of production – one based on commodity exchange rather than an immediate consumption.

Feudalism and the growth of the market

07 April 2009
Supporters of capitalism tell us that, no matter how bad the current economic crisis gets, the system cannot be changed.

The fall of Rome

17 March 2009
With the world economy in freefall, it is not such a great leap of imagination to consider what the collapse of society might look like today.

Brian Pearce 1915-2008: Historian of the rank and file

06 January 2009
Brian Pearce, who died recently, was a socialist intellectual and activist over eight decades, having joined the Communist Party (CP) in 1934.

Scotland’s solidarity with Republican Spain

15 December 2008
"If I don’t go out and fight fascism, I’ll just have to wait and fight it here." That was how John Patsy McEwan explained his decision to leave Dundee to go and fight in the Spanish Civil War – alongside hundreds of others.

The First Crusade: for faith and plunder

15 December 2008
The princes, knights, peasants and pilgrims who answered the pope’s call for the First Crusade in 1095 were driven by many different motivations, writes Conor Kostick

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