A Marxist History of the World Part 48: The French Revolution - The Jacobin Dictatorship
In his latest instalment, Neil Faulkner explores the rise of the Jacobin dictatorship and the ever-present threat of counter-revolution in 18th Century France.
A Marxist History of the World part 47: The French Revolution - Storming of the Bastille
In the latest of his series on the Marxist understanding of history, Neil Faulkner explores revolution and counter-revolution in 18th-Century France.
A Marxist History of the World part 46: The American Revolution
In 1764, Americans thought of themselves as British subjects of King George III. By 1788, they would, by their own decisions and actions, have made themselves the free citizens of a new republic forged in revolution and war.
A Marxist History of the World part 45: The Enlightenment
What gave the Enlightenment its subversive, politically corrosive character was its critique of institutions and practices which appeared comparatively irrational in the light of modern thinking, argues Neil Faulkner.
A Marxist History of the World part 44: Wars of empire
The English Revolution transformed Britain into a capitalist economy engaging in geopolitical competition. Neil Faulkner looks at how Britain became the dominant global superpower of the 19
A Marxist History of the World part 43: Colonies, slavery, and racism
Capitalist contradictions were most evident in the 18th century, when the wealth of the merchant-capitalist class of Britain’s port-cities was contrasted with the untold human misery of the slaves, ramping up the historical significance of racist ideology.
A Marxist History of the World part 42: The Army, the Levellers, and the Commonwealth
Neil Faulkner looks at how even the most radical bourgeois forces, if they are to preserve their property and status, must break the momentum of the movement that has brought them to power.
A Marxist History of the World part 41: 1640-1645: revolution and war in England
The attempt to impose Absolutism by Charles I led to a revolutionary civil war in which the King would be executed - Neil Faulkner looks at the English Civil War.
A Marxist History of the World part 40: The causes of the English Revolution
Neil Faulkner looks at the how the unresolved contradictions in English society and the attempt to establish Continental-style absolutism led to the execution of the king, and the establishment of a bourgeois republic.
What do we mean by a General Strike?
Chris Harman, in this article from 1985, summarises the history of general strikes and analyses different forms of mass working class resistance. He also outlines the factors determining when it is appropriate for socialists to raise the general strike slogan.
A Marxist History of the World part 39: The Thirty Years War
Between 1618 and 1648 Germany was wrecked by insecurity, depopulation, disruption to trade, the destruction of property, and military plundering. Neil Faulkner looks at The Thirty Years War.
A Marxist History of the World part 38: The Dutch Revolution
For more than 40 years, with wildly fluctuating fortunes, the Dutch Revolution of 1566-1609 took the form of a protracted popular war of national defence against the Spanish Empire.
A Marxist History of the World part 37: The Counter-Reformation
Neil Faulkner looks at how the Reformation was followed by a counter-revolutionary response which involved a dogmatic reassertion of Catholic orthodoxy: the Counter-Reformation.
A Marxist History of the World part 36: The Reformation
The Reformation after 1521 tore apart church and state. Neil Faulkner looks at how the new social forces formed inside late medieval Europe helped undermine the thousand year domination of the Roman Catholic Church.
A Marxist History of the World part 35: The new colonialism
The Portuguese and Spanish overseas empires founded at the beginning of the 16
century were soon followed by Dutch, English, and French empires. Neil Faulkner looks at how the transformation of the world by European colonialism began.
A Marxist History of the World part 34: The new monarchies
Neil Faulkner looks at how the transition from feudalism to capitalism introduced a new model of unified states, centralised government, royal armies, internal repression and national-dynastic wars.
A Marxist History of the World part 33: The class struggle in medieval Europe
Despite dominating western Europe in the 11
century by the 14
century Feudalism was faced with a crisis that generated a wave of revolutionary struggle. Neil Faulkner looks at the causes and outcomes.
A Marxist History of the World part 32: Lord, burgher, and peasant in medieval Europe
Feudalism is often portrayed as a stagnant system where little changed over centuries. The reality was a system that was more dynamic and productive than anything before it argues Neil Faulkner.
A Marxist History of the World part 31: Crusade and Jihad
The Crusades lasted 200 years and represented the most extreme expression of the futile violence inherent in western feudalism - a murderous attack on the Middle East by western feudal thugs under the banner of religion.
A Marxist History of the World part 30: The rise of western feudalism
Following the collapse of the Roman Empire Western Europe became a politically fragmented region of warring states from which a radically new social, military, and political order developed.
A Marxist History of the World part 29: The peculiarity of Europe
Why Europe? Why was it that the second great transformation in human existence - the development of capitalism and industrial society - was pioneered on the western edge of the Eurasian land-mass?
The cycles and arrows of time: A Marxist History of the World part 28
Part 9 of A
Marxist History of the World
, we paused to discuss ‘how history works’. It would be useful to pause again to review some general lessons of the history of the ancient and medieval civilisations we have looked at since.
The Iraq Inquiry - Timeline with John Rees
John Rees looks at the Iraq war and whether the current government Inquiry will be a whitewash.
A Marxist History of the World part 27: New World Empires: Maya, Aztec, and Inca
The early civilisations of the Americas were limited by geography - in only two areas did urban revolution occur and civilisations develop: in parts of Mesoamerica, and in the Central Andes.
A Marxist History of the World part 26: Africa: cattle-herders, iron-masters, and trading states
Neil Faulkner looks at the early civilisations in Africa and how geography ensured the continent would develop differently from Eurasia.
A Marxist History of the World part 25: Chinese History’s Revolving Door
Neil Faulkner examines China's imperial history, where for two millennia political revolution did not lead to social transformation, but simply to the replacement of one dynasty by another.
A Marxist History of the World part 24: Hindus, Buddhists, and the Gupta Empire
More than half a millennium separated the fall of India’s Mauryan Empire in the late 3rd century BCE (before the common era) from the rise of the Gupta Empire in the early 4th century CE (common era). Economic and social change during the interval altered the foundations of imperialism.
A Marxist History of the World part 23: The Abbasid Revolution
slam created a single overarching allegiance throughout the Arab-ruled world yet the Middle East came to be a divided region of weak and unpopular states. Neil Faulkner looks at the conflicts that lay behind this process.
A Marxist History of the World part 22: Arabs, Persians, and Byzantines
This week Neil Faulkner describes the rise and explosive spread of the third great monotheistic religion, where compassion, charity, and protection became moral imperatives - Islam.
A history of student revolt - Timeline with John Rees
John Rees charts the political history of student movements - from volunteer strikebreakers in the twenties to their more recent role as a catalyst for mass movements of radical social change.
A Marxist History of the World part 21: Huns, Goths, and Romans
Neil Faulkner charts the transformation of the Huns from tribal nomads into continent-straddling militarists.
A Marxist History of the World part 20: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Neil Faulkner examines how the three great monotheistic religions produced by the contradictions of the ancient world owed their extraordinary power to their origins in the myths and rituals of the oppressed.
A Marxist History of the World part 19: Mother-goddesses and power-deities
Neil Faulkner looks at how the growth of private property altered the position of women - from occupying a central role in society to suffering what Engels called ‘the world historic defeat of the female sex’.
The Real History of The Second World War: part 2 - Timeline with John Rees
John Rees introduces part two of his history of the second world war told from the perspective of ordinary people.
A Marxist History of the World part 18: The Crisis of Late Antiquity
Neil Faulkner explains how the Roman Empire entered its terminal crisis as its military imperialism came up against geographical, economic, and sociological barriers to expansion.
The Real History of The Second World War: part 1 - Timeline with John Rees
John Rees introduces the first of a two part history of the second world war told from the perspective of ordinary people.
A Marxist History of the World part 17: The Roman Revolution
Neil Faulkner looks at the Roman Revolution - a complex, distorted, century-long process of class struggle.
A Marxist History of the World part 16: Roman Military Imperialism
Rome represented a unique fusion of Greek-style citizenship with Macedonian-style militarism. The result was the most dynamic imperialist state in the ancient world.
A Marxist History of the World part 15: The Macedonian Empire
Neil Faulkner looks at the defeat of the democratic empire centred around Athens in a protracted counter-revolution led by Greek aristocrats, Macedonian kings, and Roman viceroys.
A Marxist History of the World part 14: The Greek Democratic Revolution
Neil Faulkner looks at the radical participatory democracy which began in Athens between 510 and 506 BCE and spread to virtually every city-state in the Aegean.
A Marxist History of the World part 13: China: the Ch’in Empire
Neil Faulkner looks at the origins of the Ch'in Empire - short-lived, created by conquest and terror and characterised by extreme centralisation, military-style exploitation, and murderous repression.
A Marxist History of the World part 12: India: the Mauryan Empire
Neil Faulkner looks at the growth of the Mauryan Empire which at its zenith encompassed almost the whole of what is today India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
A Marxist History of the World Part 11: Western Asia: the Persian Empire
Neil Faulkner looks at the centuries following 1000 BCE when the scale of civilisation and empire exploded as the productivity of iron tools boosted the surpluses available to Iron Age empire-builders.
A Marxist History of the World part 10: Men of Iron
The constant rise and fall of Bronze age societies was a product of their wasteful, crisis ridden nature. But in the barbarian periphery around 1300 BCE an industrial revolution had begun that was to transform the world.
Trotsky: The Lessons of October | 70th Anniversary
On the 70th anniversary of the death of Leon Trotsky, a leading figure in the 1917 Russian revolution, Alex Snowdon introduces a key chapter from the radical book "The Lessons of October".
How History Happens: A Marxist History of the World part 9
The complex societies that emerged from the division of society into classes also created societies that were wasteful, violent, stagnant and crisis prone. Understanding why is the key to how history happens argues Neil Faulkner.
A Marxist History of the World part 8: Crisis in the Bronze Age
Why did Bronze Age empires rise and fall amid crisis and war? And why did this contradictory social form simply replicate itself over long periods of time? Neil Faulkner looks at the evidence.
A Marxist History of the World part 7: The Spread of Civilisation
This week Neil Faulkner looks at the spread and development of ancient city civilisations around the world, each governed by a new ruling class of priests, city-governors and war-leaders.
Revolution and Counter-revolution in Russia - Timeline with John Rees
In this programme in the Islam Channel's
series John Rees looks at the Russian revolution and investigates how and why it descended into the horrors of Stalinism
A Marxist History of the World part 6: The First Ruling Class
This week Neil Faulkner looks at the rise of the first ruling classes as the surplus created through the increasing productivity of human labour allowed a section of society to live without producing.
A Marxist History of the World part 5: The Rise of the Specialists
The Early Neolithic economy was doomed by insoluble contradictions. Technique was primitive and wasteful. Society lacked reserves against natural disaster and hard times. Virgin land ran out as old fields were exhausted and populations grew.
A Marxist History of the World Part 4: The origins of War and Religion
This week Neil Faulkner looks at the origins of War and Religion in the Early Neolithic world.
A Marxist History of the World Part 3: The Neolithic Revolution
In part three of Neil Faulkner's Marxist history series he reveals how the advent of farming lead to primitive communistic societies who through land depletion and scarcity of resources would be forced into global war.
A Marxist History of the World | Part 2: The Upper Palaeolithic Revolution
In the second of his regular series Neil Faulkner reveals the incredible innovation and adaptability of our ancient ancestors, their unique combination of language and imagination and how cultures formed to fit the different environments in which early societies lived and worked.
A Marxist History of the World | Part 1: The Hominid Revolution
In the first of a regular series, Neil Faulkner charts the evolutionary development of modern day humans from primitive apes to socially co-operative human beings.
The struggle to free Palestine - Timeline with John Rees
Stop the War officer John Rees provides a short history of imperial intervention in the middle east and the ongoing struggle of the Palestinians to regain their homeland
Alexandra Kollontai: Class and women’s oppression
When will someone make a film about the incredible life of Alexandra Kollontai? Born into a rich family, she rebelled with an 'unsuitable' marriage, was radicalised by visits to textile factories, became a political campaigner in the late 1890's and then left her husband and child to study Marxism in Europe.
A brief history of capitalist crisis - Timeline with John Rees
John Rees provides a brief account of the history of economic crises and their causes in this edition of his popular Timeline TV series.
E P Thompson and The Making of the English Working Class
Dominic Alexander defends E P Thompson’s
The Making of the English Working Class
- one the most debated and influential of all the books produced by British Marxist historians
The first decade of the new century - Timeline with John Rees
John Rees surveys the first decade of this century, from the emergence of the Seattle generation to the Copenhagen climate change protests.
Obama and US power - Timeline with John Rees
There are more hopes resting on the shoulders of Barak Obama than on the shoulders of any US President since John F Kennedy was elected in 1960.
Peasant movements and political agency
of 1381 the result of organised political action or a spontaneous response to the hated
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