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This Month's Magazine

The print cover (left) and digital cover of our August magazine

    

In the August edition of History Today, Vernon Bogdanor and Anthony Fletcher mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with an examination of why Britain and its Empire went to war and what the country at large thought about the conflict in August 1914.

Also in this issue:

  • Allan Mallinson draws worrying parallels between the British army today and its state in 1914;

You can buy the August issue in shops (here is a list of UK stockists), directly from our website, or subscribe and save 20% on the cover price,

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Main Features

Graeme Garrard describes the events that led to the torching of the new US capital by British troops in August 1814 and considers the impact of the ‘greatest disgrace ever dealt to American arms’ on the US, Britain and Canada.

T.P. Wiseman looks at how Roman republican ideals and the struggle between optimates and populares shaped the lives and legacies of the Roman imperator, Augustus, and his designated successor, Tiberius.

Matthew Parker, on the centenary of the completion of the Panama Canal, describes the gruelling challenges faced by those competing to succeed in the project to join the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, from the 16th century to the present day.

Three hundred years ago, in August 1714, the Protestant Elector of Hanover ascended to the thrones of Great Britain and Ireland, becoming George I. Graham Darby describes the latter phase of the personal union, which lasted until 1837.

Stephen Cooper and Ashley Cooper find parallels between the Schleswig-Holstein question and more recent European interventions.

The Concert of Europe, the diplomatic model championed by Britain in the run-up to the First World War, was doomed by the actions of competing nationalisms. Britain’s entry into the conflict became inevitable, despite its lack of military preparation, as Vernon Bogdanor explains.

With the independence referendum just around the corner, Naomi Lloyd-Jones asks why the Scottish Home Rule Association, an important precursor of the SNP, has been largely forgotten.

When Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914 there was no outbreak of jingoism and no immediate rush to enlist. What Anthony Fletcher finds instead, in letters, diaries and newspapers, is a people who had little comprehension of the profound changes to come.

History Matters

Neglected by politicians, today’s British army bears an alarming resemblance to the force of 1914.

Britain and Russia came close to blows over Crimea in the 18th century.

The Foreign Office was long a bastion of male chauvinism. Only during the Second World War did women diplomats begin to make their mark.

Plans to remake the landmark BBC TV series raise challenging questions about contemporary pieties.

Other articles

A vicious killer died on August 21st, 1614.

Dan Jones argues that Nigel Saul’s article on Henry V and the union of the crowns of England and France does not take into account the long-term consequences of the king’s achievements.

Understanding the emotional lives of people in the past is one of the most difficult challenges facing the historian, argues Suzannah Lipscomb.

British historiography has been offered a once-in-a-generation opportunity to integrate Ireland’s contribution into analyses of the Great War, argues Catriona Pennell.

One of the key figures of the Italian Renaissance died on August 1st, 1464.

Roger Hudson expands on a photograph of a locomotive taken during the American Civil War by one of Mathew Brady’s team.

The muh-loved film first appeared on August 12th, 1939.


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