Thursday, 26 January 2012

Rebellion in Canada: 1837-1885

In less than fifty years Canada experienced six major rebellions: in Lower and Upper Canada in late 1837 and 1838, the Fenian rebellions of 1866 and 1870 and Louis Riel’s resistance at Red River in 1869-1870 and his rebellion fifteen years later.

This book originated in my trilogy of studies on colonial rebellion and develops material from those books on rebellion in Canada. This allows me to examine the significance of rebellion in the development of the Canadian state as it evolved from a colonial organisation through responsible government and finally to its continental federal form after Confederation in 1867.
Chapter 1 examines the development of the two Canadas between the end of French Canada in 1760 and the turn of the century. Chapter 2 considers the economic, social, political, ideological and cultural tensions that evolved from the 1790s and the largely unsuccessful attempts by the colonial state and politicians in London to find acceptable and sustainable solutions to populist demands for greater autonomy. Chapter 3 looks in detail at the rebellions in 1837 and 1838 and at their immediate aftermath. Chapter 4 examines the ways in which Canadian politics developed in the newly united Province of Canada in the years between 1841 and the creation of Confederation in 1867. Chapter 5 considers at the ways in which Irish nationalism maintained a strong political presence in the United States and Canada from the beginning of the nineteenth century and the emergence of the Fenian Brotherhood in New York in 1858. The political impact of this movement was both enhanced and restricted by the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865 yet the Fenians emerged in April 1865 as a powerful, if increasingly divided, force with concrete plans for the liberation of Ireland. Chapter 6 explores in detail at the three Irish-American Fenian incursions into Canada in 1866, 1870 and briefly and debatably in 1871, the impact that they had on Canadian and American politics and how this led to changes in Irish nationalism in the 1870s. Chapters 7 and 8 extend the story geographically beyond Quebec and Ontario across the continent to the unchartered and largely unsettled prairies of the North-West and considers the two rebellions associated with Louis Riel.

Although much of the book has already been drafted, the need for further research means that the book will not be available on Amazon Kindle until early 2013.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Sex, Work and Politics: Women in Britain, 1830-1918

The book focuses on the key areas necessary to explain the development of women’s role in nineteenth and early-twentieth century British society and develops themes explored in the Nineteenth Century British Society series.

Sex. Work and Politics: Women in Britain, 1830-1918

The first chapter considers the relationship between different approaches that have evolved to explain the role of women in history. This is followed by a chapter that looks at the ways in which women were represented in the nineteenth century in terms of the female body, sexuality and the notion of ‘separate spheres’. Chapter 3 explores the relationship between women and work and how that relationship developed. Although women’s suffrage has had a symbolic importance for generations of feminists, the campaign for the vote has obscured the broader agitations for women’s rights during the nineteenth century and was, in terms of its impact before 1914, far less significant. Before the 1880s, the focus was not on winning the vote and the demand for parliamentary suffrage was only one of a range of campaigns. These are explored in Chapter 4.
The following two chapters look at the ways in which women actively sought access to the public sphere through political activity and demands for suffrage reform. Women’s interest in securing access to political rights was not limited to the campaign for parliamentary suffrage. Women, from working- and middle-classes were involved in political protest such as the Chartist movement and in campaigns against slavery and the Corn Laws. The growing powers given to various levels of local government also attracted their keen interest and in the arena of local party politics women were to play a prominent role as early as the 1870s.
It was not until the first decade of the twentieth century that the suffrage movement achieved widespread national recognition largely through the activities of the militant Suffragettes. The nature of the suffrage campaign is considered in Chapter 7 while reactions to this from anti-suffragists, political parties and different social groups form the core of Chapter 8. The impact of the First World War on women generally and the suffrage campaign in particular is discussed in Chapter 9. The book ends with an examination of the notion of ‘borderlands’ as a conceptual framework for discussing women in nineteenth century Britain and the ways in which their personal, ideological, economic, legal and political status developed and changed.

This book will be published in print media in the middle of 2012 and this will shortly be followed by a Kindle version.