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Achievement and self-doubt

In the 1970s, the University of Manchester was proud of its achievements and given to reciting them at length. Needing to assert its distinction and to struggle against its austere appearance, it possessed neither the ancient universities' sense of natural superiority nor the Londoners' confidence that ambitious academics would gravitate towards the capital. While the institution maintained its capacity for nurturing and attracting eminent scholars in a variety of subjects, not all regarded a Manchester chair as their crowning achievement, and a few succumbed to the blandishments of other institutions. However, Manchester was still among the ten leading universities of the country.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
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Consultation and conditions

During the 1970s little appeared to have come of the 1960s dream of transforming the University into a workplace democracy, rather than a specialised institution dedicated to extending and communicating knowledge and know-how. However, the institution was well-equipped with committees and consultative bodies, with departmental boards to advise professors and staff-student consultative committees to advise departmental boards on the curriculum and the pastoral care of students. Some saw them as talking-shops, harmful in that they created confusion, wasted time and worsened resentments by airing them publicly. Others saw in them a device for smoothing the way towards better relations between professors and their colleagues and ensuring that considered decisions were taken.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
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The predicament of history

The term ‘West Indian’ always represented a complex of competing ideas, a resource for both colonial and anticolonial politics. West Indians were colonial Britons who experienced the civilisation of the British, in Britain, from a very particular vantage. Three overlapping and interconnected areas of thought are addressed: race and ethnicity; the project of decolonisation; and the historical imagination itself. The issue of the popular brought the cultural activists of Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) hard up against the question of British civilisation. It suggests that the work of decolonisation in its expansive register requires popular self-activity, not only on the part of the colonised but on the part too of the native citizens of the metropolis. Maybe in the future the most profound impact of Caribbean thought will be on the capacity to imagine the past, and to strive to bring it into consciousness.

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
Charity and the economy of makeshifts in eighteenth-century Britain

This chapter elaborates the idea of an economy of makeshifts through examining the charitable context. In charitable context, the poor Welsh parents, and hundreds of thousands like them, responded to various opportunities and attempted to turn them to a perceived advantage. It focuses on schools, a specific form of charity. Charity schools explicitly offered three benefits: clothes, a basic education and the necessary premium to secure an apprenticeship. The chapter examines various occasions when the actions, and sometimes the words, of charity applicants, recipients and officials were reported. It traces manoeuvres around access to material benefits and the creation of social relationships. The chapter considers how a philanthropic interest in independence might shed light on those earlier awkward intersections of charity and survival. It reflects on what the evidence of charity could add to our understanding of makeshifts in eighteenth-century Britain.

in The poor in England 1700–1850
Slander and speech about witchcraft

This chapter explores popular speech about witchcraft, explains why the inhabitants of Rothenburg and its hinterland were generally unwilling to accuse suspected witches at law, and details the non-legal methods with which they more usually coped with witches. The Wettringen case from 1561 is used as a starting point to focus on two legal factors central to this web of restraints: the unwillingness of the Rothenburg council to abandon due legal procedure in its treatment of witchcraft, and the role that the legal treatment of slander in Rothenburg played in dissuading people from accusing others formally of witchcraft, and even from voicing suspicions of witchcraft publicly at all. The Wettringen case is the forerunner of a case-type in which allegations of witchcraft were treated as instances of slander and in which the slanderers rather than the alleged witches came off worst—which played an important part in shaping the council's judicial engagement with witchcraft in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century and remained of some, albeit lesser, significance thereafter.

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
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Protestant liberties and the Hanoverian succession, 1700–14

This chapter examines John Toland's collaboration with elite Whig politicians as a leading defender of Protestant liberty, activities which resulted in the vindication of the legitimacy of the Hanoverian succession under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701. A key problem for Toland and other republicans in the 1700s was the dynastic insecurity of the platform for their vision of politics, because the principles espoused in his Anglia libera were dependent upon the successful coronation of Sophia or George rather than the restoration of James.

in Republican learning

This chapter focuses on metropolitan poor and colonial peoples, which are often considered as one of the most threatening antitheses to progress. The writings of travellers and evangelicals were by far the most influential and provided the clearest evidence of a concern—realized in practical action—that embraced the plight of slaves and the poor. In terms of their chronologies, rhetoric, narratives and agencies, there were distinct homologies between the discursive appropriations of the antithesis of progress during the long nineteenth century. Agents operating across narrowly defined boundaries using an intellectual and linguistic repertoire forged from the transformation in human consciousness conceptualized imperial progress on the fronts of slavery, poverty and colonialism. Furthermore, the chapter explores the rise of the idea of progress and how it structured British thought on the place of non-European peoples in the new world order.

in The other empire

Labour's handling of the British economic crisis occasioned a great deal of concern on the part of the President, given the possibility that sterling might have to be devalued or that any rise in the Bank of England lending rate could precipitate a run on the dollar. There was also concern about the multilateral force (MLF), a matter due to be discussed at the planned summit meeting in Washington early in December. President Lyndon B. Johnson had never feared a Labour victory in Britain, but he felt it necessary to ease any concern in the world at large (especially in financial markets) about the British 'socialists' entering office. Britain's role in the world would depend in large part on the country's economic health. Some of Harold Wilson's colleagues disdained his efforts to gain American help for Britain's economic problems.

in A ‘special relationship’?

This chapter presents the results of a survey of United Kingdom museums and archaeological establishments, and introduces the current facts and theories about these artefacts. The artefacts concerned provide physical evidence of the continuation and survival of counter-witchcraft practices before, during and after the witch trials. The archaeological record illuminates historical understanding of witchcraft and the popular fear of misfortune by providing primary physical evidence of individual actions, and therefore requires more consideration from those researching the cultural history of witchcraft and magic. Objects such as witch-bottles, dried cats, horse skulls, shoes, written charms and numerous other items have been discovered concealed inside houses in significant quantities from the early modern period until well into the twentieth century. All these archaeological finds provide material evidence for the continued preoccupation with witchcraft and evil influences from the early modern period through to the early twentieth century.

in Beyond the witch trials

Despite strenuous efforts by the French Crown and its allies over a period of eight years, Boniface VIII was not ultimately tried. Legal procedures for a trial were put in motion in 1303, in an attempt to summon the pope before a General Council of the Church. This chapter focuses on the evidence of 1303: specifically, the sets of complaints against the pope of March and June 1303 which constituted the first stages in the planned legal process and from which the later accusations very largely stemmed. The attack upon Boniface VIII by the French king and court was, there is no question, a political attack, concerning the nature and the exercise of papal authority in relation to royal authority. The very accusation of heresy was, of course, charged with deep political significance. The heresy charge was an echo of imperial accusations against Gregory VII in the late eleventh century.

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700