• William Tyler

Synopses for this week's JW3 Lectures. 25th June

Morning: The Agricultural Revolution

This week we turn to the impact that humans have had on their environment, beginning with The Agricultural Revolution in Britain, approx 1750-1840. After an overview we turn to the great Age of Enclosures ( new material and approach from when we last briefly mentioned Enclosures).The Government's attitude towards the rural poor was one of indifference tempered by violence. The situation In Scotland proved worse. I8th century words carried an implied threat to the environment, words such as Improvement and Prospects. There were those who lamented the passing of the old ways, most notably Oliver Goldsmith in his poem 'The Deserted Village'. Even industrial processes began to expand in rural areas adding to the ongoing agricultural changes to the environment. Yet another 18th century word, Romantic, led to the growing middle class turning to the countryside for pleasure and enjoyment. Rural Tourism was born, inspired by writers such as Thomas Pennant, and poets such as Wordsworth. This is a very British story, as well as a very modern one. A changing landscape brought about for economic reasons, a nostalgia for the 'good old days', and exploitation in the name of tourism. The modern battle over our rural environment had been joined.

Book references;

The Making of The British Landscape by Nicholas Crane

Customs in Common by EP Thompson

A History of Britain Vol 3 by Simon Schama

The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith

Afternoon: Berlin 1945

We begin, after a short introduction, with the Battle for Berlin, before moving to the fall of the city as The Red Army stormed through its streets. Life for Berliners in the immediate aftermath of defeat was tough, from murder and rape to the lack of food and shelter. Berlin, along with the whole of Germany, was divided into four Allied Sectors of Control. The winter of 1945/46 proved especially difficult. We leave the story with an increasingly divided Berlin, yet with the Western Allies' sectors beginning the task of recovery. The Cold War and The (West) German Economic Miracle lie ahead in the weeks to come.

Book references;

Hitler's Last Day by Richard Dargie

Hitler's Last Day by Mayo & Craigie

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