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Making of the Modern World (HI153): Ideologies and States

The Modern Records Centre holds nationally important collections for the study of political, social and economic history. Just a small selection of documents relevant to the 'Ideologies and States' section of the course 'Making of the Modern World' are shown below, organised into three sections - The Socialist Challenge, Fascism and Imperialism.

 

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How to find out more about the documents:

Click on the reference codes of the documents to go to their descriptions in our on-line catalogues. This can help you to put the documents in context and find similar items.

 

Where to find more sources:

For more documents relating to socialism, see The Victorian City (HI371) and The Politics of Protest (HI157).
For more documents relating to fascism, see Anti-fascism, Resistance and Liberation in Western Europe (HI392).
For more documents relating to imperialism, see Politics and Society in Eastern Africa (HI268).
Try searching our online catalogues to find other sources.
 

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Ideologies and States: The Socialist Challenge

Outline of the principles of socialism, c1890s

Outline of the principles of socialism, c1890s

This leaflet advocates equal distribution of work, leisure and wealth. It was issued to promote 'Practical Socialist', the journal "of evolutionary or non-revolutionary socialism".

[Included in the papers of William Wess, trade unionist, socialist and Jewish activist; MSS.240/W/3/29]

Open letter alerting "the workers of London" to a May Day demonstration in Hyde Park, 1896 

Open letter alerting "the workers of London" to a May Day demonstration in Hyde Park, 1896

The leaflet summarises the aims of the First of May Celebration Committee, including the overthrow of capitalism, universal adult suffrage and free maintenance of all children in schools. Other documents relating to 19th century socialism are included in the module resources for 'The Victorian City'.

[Included in the papers of William Wess, trade unionist, socialist and Jewish activist; MSS.240/W/3/29]

Part of a 'Programme of the Demonstration to congratulate the Democrats of Russia on their Charter of Freedom held at the Royal Albert Hall' on 31 March 1917

Part of a 'Programme of the Demonstration to congratulate the Democrats of Russia on their Charter of Freedom held at the Royal Albert Hall' on 31 March 1917

The February revolution in Russia was hailed by many in the British labour movement as a triumph of democracy over the totalitarian rule of the Tsar. Speakers at this event include the future Labour Party leader George Lansbury.

[Included in the papers of Henry Sara, Trotskyist; document reference MSS.15/5/6/2]

Message to the English workers from the International Bureau of the Central Executive Committee of the Council of Workmen's, Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, undated [c1917-1918]

Message to the English workers from the International Bureau of the Central Executive Committee of the Council of Workmen's, Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, undated [c1917-1918]

This 8 page document states the reasons for the Bolshevik revolution, comments on its aftermath, and appeals "to you, the advance guard of the English proletariat".

[Included in a file on Russia, from the records of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC); document reference: MSS.36/R30, file 1 of 5]

Graph showing the percentage of workers, engineers and economists amongst the 'Directors of the industry in Leningrad', 1924

Graph showing the percentage of workers, engineers and economists amongst the 'Directors of the industry in Leningrad', 1924

One of a series of hand drawn graphs included in 'The State of Labour in Leningrad during 1924: Atlas of diagrams', produced by the Council of Trade Unions of Leningrad.

[Included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/60]

'To Parents. Save the Children of the Nation', c1924'To Parents. Save the Children of the Nation', c1924

'To Parents. Save the Children of the Nation', c1924

British Empire Union leaflet. It attacks socialist and communist Sunday schools which "teach materialism and revolution, and aim at weaning the children away from the Christian Church".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series'; document reference: MSS.21/1589]

Petition: 'Save the life of Chen Du Siu', 1933

Petition: 'Save the life of Chen Du Siu', 1933

Chen was one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party and had been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment by the Chinese National Government. This copy of the petition has been signed by Tom Mann, the British socialist and trade union leader.

[Included in the papers of Henry Sara, Trotskyist; document reference MSS.15A/3/1/2]

'London under socialist rule': pamphlet by Herbert Morrison and D.H. Davies, 1935

'London under socialist rule': pamphlet by Herbert Morrison and D.H. Davies, 1935

Labour Party pamphlet summarising the work of the London County Council during the first 16 months of Labour majority control.

[Included in the records of the International Transport Workers' Federation, document reference: MSS.159/5/3/534]

'Statement by Leon Trotsky in reply to the charges made against him by the "TASS" agency', 1936

'Statement by Leon Trotsky in reply to the charges made against him by the "TASS" agency', 1936

This statement responds to accusations that Trotsky had masterminded assassination plots against Soviet leaders. Trotsky states that he is "an uncompromising opponent of individual terror as a method of struggle, a method which in the final analysis can only serve the interests of absolutism and bonapartism".

[Included in a file on the Moscow trials, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/947/58. An English language translation of the court proceedings which found him guilty is included in the records of the National Union of Railway Workers, document reference: MSS.127/NU/5/5/8/35]

'Socialism and Peace', 1938'Socialism and Peace', 1938

'Socialism and Peace', 1938

Programme of May Day rally at Hyde Park, produced by the Joint Committee of the London Trades Council and the London Labour Party. It includes messages from leading Labour Party figures, including Clement Attlee and George Lansbury, on the need for socialism and peace. The extracts shown here are by J.S. Middleton, Secretary of the Labour Party, on May Day and socialism, and the murdered French socialist Jean Jaures on 'The spirit of socialism'.

[Included in the archives of the Transport and General Workers' Union; document reference: MSS.126/TG/RES/X/1029A/1]

'Defend Socialism - from the Communists', 1942

'Defend Socialism - from the Communists', 1942

Independent Labour Party booklet by Tom Taylor, replying to "the campaign of lies and calumny which has been launched against the ILP by the Communist Party of Great Britain".

[Included in the records of Victor Gollancz; document reference: MSS.157/5/MIS/9]

'Treat the Trotskyist as you would a Nazi', undated [1940-1945]

'Treat the Trotskyist as you would a Nazi', undated [1940-1945]

Communist Party leaflet attacking followers of Trotsky as members of a Nazi Fifth Column.

[Included in the papers of Henry Sara, Trotskyist; document reference MSS.15/5/2/1]

'You voted left... you did right', 1946'You voted left... you did right', 1946

'You voted left... you did right', 1946

Labour Party booklet outlining the progress made in the first six months of their socialist government - after the electorate had "rejected the moth-eaten myths about Socialism meaning slavery".

[Included in the archives of the Transport and General Workers' Union; document reference: MSS.126/TG/RES/X/1029A/1]

Report on the 7th All-China Congress of Trades Unions, 1953

Report on the 7th All-China Congress of Trades Unions, 1953

It comments on the increasing control of the Communist Party over union officers.

[Included in a file on China, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/951/2]

'Translation of speech by Major "Che" Guevara, Director of the National Bank of Cuba', 18 June 1960

'Translation of speech by Major "Che" Guevara, Director of the National Bank of Cuba', 18 June 1960

The 18 page speech is mainly concerned with the political and economic tasks of the Cuban revolution, as seen by Che Guevara.

[Included in a file on Cuba, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/972.72/2]

The Cultural Revolution in China, 1966

The Cultural Revolution in China, 1966

The Cultural Revolution in China, 1966

Photographs from 'China Pictorial', an English language magazine published in China which contained government propaganda and promoted the thought of "our great teacher, great leader, great supreme commander and great helmsman Chairman Mao". The captions praise the Red Guards and "revolutionary young people" for "destroying old ideology, old culture, old habits and old customs of the exploiting classes and for setting up new ideology, new culture, new habits and new customs of the proletariat".

[Included in the papers of Bob Purdie; document reference: MSS.149/2/4/1/2]

 

Ideologies and States: Fascism

'Currents in Italy', 1924'Currents in Italy', 1924 

'Currents in Italy', 1924

Two page memorandum on "the trend of recent political events in Italy", written following a meeting with the editor of the journal of the United Socialist Party of Italy. It concludes by saying that "it would not be true to say that Fascism is on the verge of dissolution but it has passed its climax and is now on the down grade".

[Included in one of a series of files on 'Fascism & Dictatorship', from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/743/1].

'Adolf Hitler': two page memorandum on the principal points in his election programme, 1933'Adolf Hitler': two page memorandum on the principal points in his election programme, 1933

'Adolf Hitler': two page memorandum on the principal points in his election programme, 1933

It comments on the areas of society "that he has drawn his party from" and on anti-semitism in Germany. The second page summarises Hitler's perceived foreign and home policies.

[Included in a file on 'Germany: political situation, 1933', from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/943/40].

Berlin, the "Reichshauptstadt" (Imperial capital) prior to the Olympic games, 1936

Berlin, the "Reichshauptstadt" (Imperial capital) prior to the Olympic games, 1936

[Included in a series of photographs of Berlin and Nuremburg in 1936, from the papers of Lady Allen of Hurtwood; document reference: MSS.121/GEN/12/1]

'The truth about sport in Nazi Germany', 1935

'The truth about sport in Nazi Germany', 1935

Extracts from letter written by the President of the American Athletic Union to the Head of the German Olympics Committee.

[Included in a file relating to the drafting of a pamphlet on sport in Germany, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference MSS.292/808.91/3]

Public festival during the 1936 Nuremburg rally

Public festival during the 1936 Nuremburg rally

[Included in a series of photographs of Berlin and Nuremburg in 1936, from the papers of Lady Allen of Hurtwood; document reference: MSS.121/GEN/12/1]

Report of an interview with Dr Paul Dornbusch of Krefeld, Germany, a supporter of the Nazi Party, 11 March 1945

Report of an interview with Dr Paul Dornbusch of Krefeld, Germany, a supporter of the Nazi Party, 11 March 1945

The interview was with two representatives of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Psychological Warfare Division. Dr Dornbusch explains his reasons for supporting National Socialism - "he went into the Nazi party in '33, he said, "because he wanted to do away with the chaos of the Republic and to prevent Communism"", and because he saw the Nazis as the party of the upper middle class.

[Included in the papers of Richard Crossman MP; document reference: MSS.154/3/PW/1/124-133]

'Fascism in Great Britain', 1934

'Fascism in Great Britain', 1934

Report on the five fascist organisations operating in Britain, including Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists.

This is one of sixteen reports on the political situation in Europe compiled for a meeting of the General Council of the International Transport Workers' Federation in June 1934. Countries reported on were: Britain, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Spain, the Saar Territory, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark and Austria.

[Included in the records of the International Transport Workers' Federation, document reference: MSS.159/3/C/A/42]

'The spotlight on the Blackshirts': Labour Party leaflet, 1934

'The spotlight on the Blackshirts': Labour Party leaflet, 1934

It attacks Mosley's pretentions to become the British dictator and "Great Tyrant", and describes fascism as "a new-fangled Italian word for tyranny".

[Included in one of a series of files on 'Fascism & Dictatorship', from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/743/6].

Section of the leaflet 'British Fascism Explained', 1934

Section of the leaflet 'British Fascism Explained', 1934

This was distributed by members of the Labour League of Youth at a Blackshirt rally at the Albert Hall, London, in April 1934.

[Included in one of a series of files on 'Fascism & Dictatorship', from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/743/6].

'Fascism is not Anti-Semitic' by Sir Oswald Mosley, 1933

'Fascism is not Anti-Semitic' by Sir Oswald Mosley, 1933

Declaration published and distributed in leaflet form by the journal 'Jewish Economic Forum'. It claims that "Fascism stands for religious and racial tolerance" and that "the attacks on Jews in Germany do not rest on any Fascist principle but are the manifestation of an inherent quality in the German character".

[Included in the papers of Victor Gollancz; document reference: MSS.157/5/J/1]

'His Majesty's Sub-Government - Departmental Jew Contacts', 1936

'His Majesty's Sub-Government - Departmental Jew Contacts', 1936

Leaflet containing a reprint of an anti-semitic article from 'The Fascist', "the organ of Racial Fascism and of the Imperial Fascist League". The reverse side continues the list of "Office holders and their Jew contacts" and emphasises that the Imperial Fascist League has "no connection with Sir Oswald Mosley".

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records, document reference: MSS.21/3285/22]

'Brief summary of the forty points of party policy' of the National Workers' Party of Great Britain, 1936

'Brief summary of the forty points of party policy' of the National Workers' Party of Great Britain, 1936

This is included on the back of a publication, 'Truth (The evidence in the case)' by the party leader Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Seton Hutchinson. The main subject of 'Truth' is the perceived involvement of "World Jewry" in almost everything, ranging from Communism to the "White Slave Traffic" to modern art.

[Included in the records of the National Union of Railwaymen; document reference: MSS.127/NU/GS/3/8]

Advertisement for the British Union [of Fascists], undated [1930s]

Advertisement for the British Union [of Fascists], undated [1930s]

This is on the back cover of a British Union of Fascists pamphlet entitled 'Strike Action or Power Action', on the fascists' relationship with trade unions.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records, document reference: MSS.21/3011]

'The Capitalist Wolf': British Union [of Fascists] leaflet, 1939

'The Capitalist Wolf': British Union [of Fascists] leaflet, 1939

It attacks capitalism, Communists and British involvement in the Second World War.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records, document reference: MSS.21/3021]

'The National European', September 1965

'The National European', September 1965

Union Movement journal, including articles by the party's founder Oswald Mosley. The Union Movement was strongly pro-European and anti-immigration.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records, document reference: MSS.21/1451/75]

For more documents relating to fascism, see Anti-fascism, Resistance and Liberation in Western Europe (HI392).

 

Ideologies and States: Imperialism

General Election address to the electors of the borough of Christchurch, 1900

General Election address to the electors of the borough of Christchurch, 1900

This address by the Liberal candidate, T.A. Brassey, includes his suggestion for the administration of the colonies by a Federal Parliament. The Boer War made the management of the British Empire one of the main issues of the 1900 election.

[Included in the records of the Brewers' Society; document reference: MSS.420/NT/4/1/2]

'White Capital and Black Slaves. Commercial exploitation of the East. A missionary's exposure', (c1919)

'White Capital and Black Slaves. Commercial exploitation of the East. A missionary's exposure', (c1919)

Pamphlet summarising the arguments of Frank Lenwood in his book 'Social problems and the East'. It comments on the results of economic globalisation and the evils of colonialism.

[Included in the records of the Union of Post Office Workers; document reference: MSS.148/UCW/6/13/7/5]

'The agony of Amritsar and the reign of terror in the Punjab', 1920

'The agony of Amritsar and the reign of terror in the Punjab', 1920

Booklet published by the British Committee of the Indian National Congress. It describes the massacre of unarmed Indian civilians at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, and the events leading up to the killings.

[Included in a file on India, from the records of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC); document reference: MSS.36/I3, file 1]

'Rabindranath Tagore's protest against the enormity of government measures in the Punjab', c1919

'Rabindranath Tagore's protest against the enormity of government measures in the Punjab', c1919

Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood following the Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) massacre. This leaflet, published in London, reproduces Tagore's letter to the Viceroy of India.

[Included in a file on India, from the records of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC); document reference: MSS.36/I3, file 1]

'Jute crisis', c1923

'Jute crisis', c1923

Leaflet containing an appeal to British workers by Shapurji Saklatvala, Secretary of the Indian Section of the Workers Welfare League of India (and British Communist MP). Saklatvala argues that the imperialist system subjects Indian workers to slavery and British workers to starvation.

[Included in a file on India, from the records of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC); document reference: MSS.36/I3, file 1]

Speech by Sir Leslie Scott at the opening of the Southampton Branch of the British Empire Society, 24 May 1930

Speech by Sir Leslie Scott at the opening of the Southampton Branch of the British Empire Society, 24 May 1930

The nine page speech was made to mark the change of the name of the Royal Colonial Institute to the Royal Empire Society. It comments on the "definite change of outlook... which corresponds with political realities" that the name-change represented.

[Included in the papers of Sir Leslie Scott, judge and Conservative politician; document reference: MSS.119/3/S/EM/3]

Labour Party policy document on 'The Colonial Empire', 1933

Labour Party policy document on 'The Colonial Empire', 1933

It states that "the immediate objectives of the Colonial policy of the Labour Party may be summed up in the two words - socialisation and self-government".

[Included in the records of the Transport and General Workers' Union; document reference: MSS.126/TG/RES/X/1058]

'Empire Day': leaflet issued by the League Against Imperialism, 1934

'Empire Day': leaflet issued by the League Against Imperialism, 1934

It attacks "the annexation policy of imperialist aggression" and outlines atrocities committed in the British Empire. The League Against Imperialism was a Communist organisation.

[Included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/778.22/6]

Outline of the objects of the National Union of Empire Africans, 1935

Outline of the objects of the National Union of Empire Africans, 1935

The Union aimed to improve "inter-racial relations", oppose attempts to "undermine African national character" and promote the study of "African history, languages, institutions, beliefs and customs", whilst working for "continuous unswerving loyalty to the British connection".

[Included in the records of the Trade Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/960/1]

'The demand for colonial territories and equality of economic opportunity', 1936

'The demand for colonial territories and equality of economic opportunity', 1936

Labour Party pamphlet examining "the claims of dissatisfied powers" (mainly Italy and Germany) to foreign territories. It outlines some of the benefits of being a colonial power and comments on what the "dissatisfied" countries consider to be the unequal distribution of "territory sufficient for their needs, their safety, or their pride".

[Included in the records of the Transport and General Workers' Union; document reference: MSS.126/TG/RES/X/1058]

Empire Industries Association monthly bulletin: 'A Family Affair', November 1945

Empire Industries Association monthly bulletin: 'A Family Affair', November 1945

It condemns the relinquishment of the policy of Imperial Preference (free-trade agreements within the empire) following economic pressure from the United States of America.

[Included in the records of the Empire Industries Association; document reference: MSS.221/4/2/1]

Report on racial discrimination in the Maltese Civil Service, 1950

Report on racial discrimination in the Maltese Civil Service, 1950

The report comments on the overlooking of experienced local staff and the upgrading and appointment of unqualified British staff. The opening line states that "a local entrant, however capable and brilliant, can never hope to attain a position of importance under the Imperial Government".

[Included in a file on racial discrimination in the Colonial Civil Service, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/805.7/1]

'Princess Margaret in the Spice and Sugar Islands', Mar-Apr 1955

'Princess Margaret in the Spice and Sugar Islands', Mar-Apr 1955

Part of the lead article from 'United Empire', the journal of the Royal Empire Society. It reports on the royal visit, designed to strengthen the links between Britain and the West Indies, and bring the Caribbean islands closer together as part of "the cautious progress towards West Indian federation".

[Included in a file on the British Empire, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/932.91/5]

'You vote for them too: remember the 70 million on Polling Day', 1955

'You vote for them too: remember the 70 million on Polling Day', 1955

Labour Party election leaflet on the subject of the British colonies. It emphasises Labour's encouragement of the "right for self-government" and the Party's social policies.

[Included in the 'Miscellaneous series' of records, document reference: MSS.21/338]

Leaflet from the League of Empire Loyalists: 'What it is and why it is needed', 1955

Leaflet from the League of Empire Loyalists: 'What it is and why it is needed', 1955

The League of Empire Loyalists was deeply opposed to the granting of independence to countries in the Empire.

[Included in a file on the British Empire, from the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/932.91/5]

For more documents relating to imperialism, see Politics and Society in Eastern Africa (HI268).