This short introduction offers an overview of second part of the volume. It highlights humanitarianism’s focus on the victims of armed conflicts and begins with the foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1864. Stemming from Genevan philanthropy, the ICRC aimed to reduce the degree of cruelty in war and to aid those soldiers struck down by enemy arms or by illness. The success of its programme was partly the result of the wide and rapid accreditation the new body managed to obtain from the European governments. In the First World War, civilians became the primary recipients of the ICRC’s assistance. In the post-war years international aid was planned to combat hunger, epidemics and population displacement, and humanitarianism acquired a new meaning in the overall transition of the European countries from wartime to peacetime. The same function was relaunched and strengthened after the Second World War, when humanitarian programmes became the symbol of the victorious powers’ will to write a new start for the history of humanity.
This short introduction offers an overview on the third part of the book, which opens on the development programmes that, from the early 1950s, made up the main activity of international aid, now fully deployed on a global scale. The aim of these programmes was the economic and social advancement of Third World countries and flanked interventions for the industrialisation and mechanisation of agriculture, projects for sanitation, education and professional training. The areas of activity on which international humanitarianism grew over time became an integral part of development politics. In the late 1960s, the armed conflicts that shook the fragile and still mobile postcolonial set-up brought back to the centre of humanitarian action aid for the victims of war. The conflict immediately following the secession of Biafra from Nigeria (1967–69) was just the first in a series of dramatic events that captured public attention. Such emergencies formed the complicated context in which international aid was mobilised.
Chapter two charts educational reformers who prized the female intellect and supported its development. It delineates the social advantages to be derived from educating girls better and allowing them access to universities. It contains proposals for improving the public educational system and extending its curriculum.
The origins of the Jacobite movement lay in the Revolution of 1688, a confessional Revolution that drove out the Catholic James II and VII and his family. Like most revolutions this was a traumatic event, inaugurating profound changes in the nature of politics and government. This chapter correspondingly explores the Jacobites’ role in terms of both resisting the new order through civil war in Ireland and Scotland and by allying themselves with the new order’s enemies in Europe. The strains and difficulties of winning the war at home and abroad then forced the Williamite regime to take measures to defeat them that compromised its initial objectives and disillusioned key elements in the Revolution’s support base.
The chapter explains why the anti-slavery movement is considered an important component of the archaeology of humanitarianism. It shows that the battle against slavery was intimately connected with the recognition of the suffering of other human beings, different because of their servile condition, from another race and from often geographically distant populations. This recognition was considered in itself a demonstration of humanity and Christianity. The chapter shows that the abolitionist cause was associated with ‘modern’ forms of mobilisation adopted by the anti-slavery activists who – especially in Britain – enlisted the support of wide segments of the population to exert pressure on national institutions and government. The creation of associations, information campaigns, popular petitions and widespread boycotting of products from the plantations were significant expressions of the new development of collective action against the slave trade and slavery. The chapter explores the global dimension that places anti-slavery in the pre-history of international humanitarianism: the commitment to the abolition of slavery and the trade in human beings connected different countries and continents, charting a vast field of action and promoting a close network for exchanging information, experience and knowledge. This global expansion, however, cannot be considered independently of the different national and imperial contexts which influenced the motivations behind and tendencies in abolitionism.
Chapter four highlights a variety of advanced intellectuals whose challenge of gender roles paved the way to modern sexual culture. It deals with women’s rights to birth control, a healthy sexuality, divorce, and underlines the need for a new code of manners between the sexes. It also reveals the importance of women’s social roles for the Church, and presents new models of fatherhood.
Chapter three looks at a range of exponents of women’s civil rights from liberal, socialist, eugenics, and unitarian quarters , as well as at the rationale behind their arguments. The texts promote mothers’, wives’, and women workers’ rights. They also defend women’s right to vote.
The afterword draws together the key messages of the book, reiterating the strategies for researchers to undertake effective work in this field. It also conveys the significance of this field and how historical material culture studies are capable of shaping the wider field of history in exciting ways in years to come
There are many different ways of accessing information about material culture through observation, examination and other forms of investigation. This chapter works through the main methods of analysis for working with objects. Here, the opportunities and constraints of examining objects in person are also discussed. The chapter is arranged in sections, the first dealing with methods of investigating objects physically, the second section considers contextual research and the last section discusses ways to further extend the research process on the basis of the first two modes of analysis.
This chapter provides an overview of the origins of material culture studies and the disciplinary specialisms that have had the strongest bearing on their development. The theoretical underpinning of material culture studies will be elucidated through a clear and concise discussion of the work of philosophers and social theorists – making clear that 'things' have agency. The chapter demonstrates that by viewing the objects of the past as inanimate and inactive as compared with the living, breathing humans who made, exchanged, and used them - researchers can miss the dynamism of the object-person interactions that took place many decades or centuries ago. Moving on from the theoretical principles that have shaped the study of material things, the chapter discusses the circumstances that brought about historical material culture studies. It also considers the particular place of historical work within this context and the many potentialities material culture history offers for future research.