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Summary 1999(2)

Summary


Nineteenth-century British politics in late Twentieth-century historiography (Giovanni Orsina)

This essay aims at analysing how the historical image of Nineteenth-century British politics has changed in the last decade. It identifies the interest in political cultures and ideologies, the crisis of sociological models of historical explanation and the rejection of any kind of "Whig" interpretation of modern British history as the main methodological innovations of recent historiography. It then examines how these new methods and perspectives have shaped the research in key-areas of Nineteenth-century British history - e.g. the First Reform Ad popular politics, whiggery and liberalism, the Home Rule crisis, the rise of Labour. It contends that recent historiographical developments also seem to propose a new periodisation, moving the beginning of a "long twentieth century" back to the 1880s and making the period 1832-1880s either a "short nineteenth century", or the end of a long epoch starting in the late Seventeenth century.



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