A Brief History of Britain 1851-2010 by Jeremy Black

By Jeremy Black

From the nice Exhibition to the credits Crunch - the transformation of england from the world's maximum country to the current day

In 1851 Queen Victoria opened the good Exhibition in Hyde Park, it was once the excessive water mark of English fulfillment - the kingdom on the leading edge of the commercial Revolution, on the middle of a burgeoning Empire, with a queen who could reign for an additional 50 years. within the following a hundred and fifty years, the destiny of the state has confronted turmoil and transformation. however it is just too easy to speak of decline? Has nice Britain sacrificed its id so one can remain a part of the current global order.

Leading historian, Jeremy Black, completes the landmark 4 quantity short background of england sequence with a super, insightful exam of ways contemporary Britain used to be formed.

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In military terms, and in terms of lost resources, this event was of very little consequence, and it certainly did not spell the immediate end of west Roman power. But Rome, although it had seldom been visited by emperors during the fourth century, remained in the hearts and minds of Romans the City: all freeborn men of the empire were its citizens. Not for eight centuries, since the Gauls had sacked Rome in  , had Rome been captured by barbarians; and on that occasion the pagan gods, and the honking of some sacred geese, had saved the city’s last bastion, the Capitol, from falling to a surprise attack.

The right way to treat hostile barbarians, as shown on the column of Marcus Aurelius in Rome (built at the end of the second century ). Above, captured males are being beheaded, apparently by fellow prisoners acting under duress; below, a woman and child are being led into slavery—while behind them another woman prisoner is stabbed in the chest by a Roman soldier.  ‘The Return of Good Times’ (Fel. Temp. Reparatio), as imagined on a fourthcentury coin: a Roman soldier spears a diminutive barbarian horseman.

27 These dismissive and hostile sentiments were not kept quietly under wraps, for discussion only amongst Romans. The monuments of the empire were covered in representations of barbarians being brutally killed (Fig. ); and one of the commonest designs of copper coin of the fourth century shows Rome’s view of the correct ordering of things—a barbarian being speared to death by a victorious Roman soldier (Fig. ). The invaders must have been fully aware of these Roman sentiments towards them, and it is unlikely that they were wholly unaffected by them.

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