European History

The Voyages of Joseph Banks

Toby Musgrave— As a young man Joseph Banks (he was knighted at the age of thirty-eight on 23 March 1781) undertook three voyages of scientific discovery. With his first, to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1776, he established a paradigm for the study of natural history as an integral component of

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The Verbal Imperialism of “Germany, Awaken!”

Karl Kraus— A literary man sensitive to fine writing might even understand my position and recognise that, in the journalism and rhetoric of the new creed, we have not seen or heard a single German verbal expression that has not belied its purported content. Among the many neologisms inspired by

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Jewish Life during the Interwar Period

Todd M. Endelman and Zvi Gitelman— The new states that emerged in Europe and the Middle East from the collapsed German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman empires were insecure, fearing their neighbors and their demands to change the borders created by the treaties ending World War I. They were suspicious of

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The Moment of Parallel Emancipations in Jamaica

Stanley Mirvis— Thirteen years ago, Yale’s Center for British Art, in collaboration with the Institute of Jamaica Museum, commemorated the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade with an exhibition focused on the 1834 emancipation of slaves. The exhibit centered on the work of the Jamaican artist Isaac Mendes

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The Life of an American Seaman

Stephen Taylor— He was a patriot who took up arms in the Revolution against the Crown. Jacob Nagle was aged just fifteen when he set out from his Pennsylvania home in 1777 to join his father in Washington’s army. Once independence had been won, however, Nagle had no difficulty in

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The Scottish Enlightenment

J. H. Elliott— When asserting their equality of status with English men and women in the British national enterprise, Scots in the 1760s and early 1770s could point to Scotland’s new-found prosperity and to the dramatic improvements in the agrarian economy made in recent years. At this rate they would

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The Pace of Change

Danny Dorling— Did you think that the rate of innovation was rising and that more and more was being invented every year? Did you pause to question the claim, if you ever heard it, when, on January 23, 2018, at Davos, Justin Trudeau said: “Think about it: The pace of

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The Brave Silence of Harry Rée

Jonathan Rée— Back in May 2016 I was sitting in the garden of my little cottage outside Oxford when I got an email from someone whose name I didn’t know and a place I hadn’t heard of. He explained that he was a French soldier called Jean-Luc Fleutot, and he

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Art in Nazi Germany

Michael H. Kater— One morning late in October 1938 the Viennese poet Josef Weinheber rose from among 250 of his compatriots assembled in the landmark Elephant hotel in Weimar. Fortified by two bottles of wine he stepped up to the lectern at the front of the hall and gave what

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Social Order in the New World

J. H. Elliott— Family and hierarchy were the twin pillars supporting the social structure of Early Modern Europe. The ordered family, under the control of the head of the household, patterned the state in microcosm, just as the state, under royal government, was a microcosm of the divinely ordered universe

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