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Written by students, for students!

Autumn 2013 Edition

Winstanley College

History Magazine!

‘Take from the altars of the past the fire - not the ashes.’ Jean Jaures


Contents: Page 3……….Editorial Page 4……….George Armstrong Custer: A Hero or a Fool? Page 7……….Berlin: From Dynamic to Draconian Page 9……….Jack the Ripper: Has History Overstated the Skill? Page 13……….68 Years Later: Did Germany Really Lose? Page 16……….Wigan: Land of the Pie Eaters Page 17……..Eton, Oxford, Cabinet Page 21………Che Guevara: A Cultural Hero? Page 24……..Voguing: Standing Out to Fit In Page 25……….Meet the History Society Page 26……...What’s on in the History Society? Any views or opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of opinions of Winstanley College or its History Department


Editorial As American politician John W. Gardner once pointed out, ‘history never feels like history when you’re living through it.’ This, in my opinion, reflects in one short sentence the true nature of the dynamic field that we have come to know as ‘history’. On hearing the word you may think of the horrors of the holocaust; the murder of Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo; or Henry VIII’s controversial divorce of Catherine of Aragon. These are indeed all events in history – events which shaped the course of the future and whose impacts are still echoed in society today. But the term ‘history’ doesn’t just refer to events centuries ago. When Tony Blair made the contentious decision to go to war in Iraq, he made history. The tragic murder of Lee Rigby outside army barracks in Woolwich made history. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has made history. The impact of these events amongst thousands of others occurring each day is felt worldwide, and will shape social attitudes and the lives of millions for years to come. In 2113, what will students be taught in their history lessons? Will they analyse the policies of Chancellor George Osborne? Will they investigate the success of the UN’s counter-terrorism efforts? Will they assess the UK’s involvement in Europe? Which countries will they identify as super-powers? And which names will they recognise as the victors and the defeated? The fascinating thing about history is that as much as humanity learns from the past, it has an uncanny ability to repeat itself whilst no-one’s looking. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 was caused by wild speculation on the stock market. The recession of the late 1980s was also caused by stock

market speculation. Woodrow Wilson referred to World War One as ‘the war to end all wars’. Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich in 1938 declaring ‘peace for our time’. But almost exactly one year later, World War Two broke out, another brutal clash of nations. This tendency means that the study and understanding of history is crucial, and will be for years to come. As Professor Johnston (an American Historian), rightly stated; ‘If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.’ This edition of the Winstanley History Magazine provides a fascinating insight into a wide range of historical events and debates, ranging from an entertaining insight into why Wiganers are branded as ’pie eaters’ , to a criticism of the skill behind Jack the Ripper’s cold-blooded murders. Articles for publication in the Winstanley History Magazine are always welcomed – please email the history society or speak to a member of our editorial team for more details or to submit an article. Many thanks to all those who have written for this publication! Enjoy!

Phoebe McGibbon Editor


George Armstrong Custer: A Hero or a Fool? By Megan Anderton

The Battle of Little Bighorn, 1876, is one of

as Last Stand Hill. But was Custer really a

the most famous battles of the Indian


Wars, and was the most decisive defeat of the US Army in the whole of the campaign. It is often referred to as ‘Custer’s Last Stand’, and Custer and his 210 men have gone down in history as courageous heroes, so much so that Custer is often referred to as ‘General’ Custer, despite being only ever rising to the post of Lt. Colonel in the Regular Army. Contemporary engravings show Custer dismounted from his horse, shooting two guns as he and the last of his men struggle heroically to hold off a mass of Indian Warriors who have surrounded them, on what is now known

During the Indian Wars, Custer was appointed Lt. Colonel of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, a division of soldiers created for the sole purpose of fighting Indians. In 1874, Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills, the sacred lands of the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians. In the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, the Black Hills were forever exempt from white settlement, however, when Custer announced the discovery of gold in the hills, thousands of miners flooded in to the area and the Lakota Indians were reassigned, against their wishes, to a reservation in South Dakota. The ris-


ing tensions caused by this promise break-

Crook to retreat to Fort Fetterman, and

ing and many similar incidents, as well as

Crazy Horse took his warriors to join Sit-

increasing violence between Indian tribes

ting Bull at Little Bighorn.

who refused to sell their land to the White Men and move to reservations was what eventually led to the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Terry, Gibbon and Custer then held a conference on the Yellowstone River on the 21st June. Terry and Gibbon would now attack the camp from the North, and Cus-

In 1875, Sitting Bull created the Sun

ter would take the 7th Cavalry around the

Dance alliance between the Lakota and

mountains to attack from the South. This is

Cheyenne tribes who were still resisting

where Custer made his first mistake. Cus-

being moved to the reservations. They

ter was allegedly offered 180 men from

camped close to the Little Bighorn River,

the 2nd Cavalry, which he refused, as well

and were joined by small groups of Indi-

as the Gatling Guns, which he also re-

ans who had escaped their reservations or

fused, claiming they would slow him

were still resisting being moved. Mean-

down. Instead of taking his men around

while the US Army was planning an attack

the mountains to the Little Bighorn River,

of the camp. The plan was to attack the In-

he marched them through the mountains,

dian Camp from three points; 450 infan-

intending to take the camp by himself in a

trymen under General John Gibbon were

surprise attack. This was his second mis-

to attack from Fort Shaw, North of the In-

take, as his men were now tired and would

dian camp. 1000 Infantrymen and cavalry

have no reinforcements from Terry and

with the Gatling Guns under General Al-

Gibbon’s forces for the next few days. On

fred Terry and Lt. Colonel George Custer

the evening of 24th June, Custer’s scouts

were to attack from Fort Abraham Lincoln,

reached a point called the Crow’s nest, 14

North East of the Camp, and General

miles east of the Little Bighorn River,

George Crook was to take 1049 Cavalry

where they spotted the Indian encamp-

and Infantrymen from Fort Fetterman,

ment. Here Custer made his next mistake

which was South of the Indian camp. The

in massively underestimating the size of

plan seemed sure to work, but they suf-

the Indian allied force. Custer was warned

fered a setback when General Crook’s

by one of his scouts “I have been with

forces were attacked by a band of Lakota

these Indians for 30 years, and this is the

Sioux led by Crazy Horse on the Rosebud

biggest village I have heard of”. When they

River on the 15th June, which forced

got to the battlefield, Custer’s forces were


outnumbered by more than 3:1. Despite

fire. This could arguably have been avoid-

this, Custer gave the order to launch the

able if it were not for Custer’s mistakes.

attack on the camp in broad daylight on the 25th June. He split his forces into four; Custer and Capt. Thomas McDougall would attack from the North, and Major Marcus Reno and Capt. Frederick Benteen would attack from the South. Dividing his forces was another mistake. The Indian’s ponies were far faster and more agile than the US Army Cavalry horses, and this made it much easier for the Indian Warriors to surround the men, where they could then deploy their incredible horsemanship skills to ride in circles around the US soldiers, firing arrows and repeating rifles.

So was Custer a hero? The evidence definitely puts his heroic image into dispute. He made numerous mistakes and was outsmarted time and time again by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. His refusal to obey orders and selfish glory hunting ultimately led to his own death and the deaths of all his men and many others. It has even gone down in some Native American folklore that Custer did not even fight in the ‘Last Stand’ and that he committed suicide on the battlefield, although there is little hard evidence for this. However, it is no doubt that Custer had been successful in the

Reno’s men were the first to attack, but

past, particularly in the Civil War when

were quickly spotted and forced to retreat

he Custer was promoted to Brigadier Gen-

to the river where they were rescued by

eral of the Union forces volunteers at the

Benteen’s men. Custer’s forces were left on

age of 23, despite having no direct com-

their own, and Custer was then outsmart-

mand experience. His daring cavalry

ed by Crazy Horse, who left half on his

charges or ‘Custer dashes’ gained him a lot

warriors defending the camp, and took

of prestige during the Civil War. He was

half to surround Custer and his men after

also well respected by his men, many of

taking an unexpected route to follow them

who copied his famous red neckerchief as

to Last Stand Hill. This was Custer’s fa-

an addition to their blue-shirt uniforms.

mous ‘Last Stand’, where he and all of his

However, in my opinion, at the Battle of

men were killed. Archaeological evidence

Little Bighorn, Custer proved to be arro-

shows that there was no ‘Last Stand’ and

gant and foolish, and was certainly not the

in fact, there was probably not even any

tragic hero that some people remember

hand to hand combat on Last Stand Hill;

him as to this day.

Custer’s force simply disintegrated under


Berlin: From Dynamic To Draconian How Berlin went from the capital of freedom and vibrancy to one of oppression and totalitarianism. By Harry Griffiths Yes, we all remember just how absolute the Nazis were with German society; we all make connotations to the Nazis as ruthless and authoritarian as we compare it to both modern society and the society we had in Britain in the 30’s; but imagine living, particularly as a teen/young adult, in Berlin between 1920 and 1940. The reality was that the society of Berlin in the ‘20’s was astoundingly free. Beyond the belief of many across Europe: bear in mind prejudice towards minorities in society was prevalent, and religion still vastly influential. One ground-breaking occurrence was the rise in openly homosexual members of society. Berlin shared this feature with other ‘roaring’ cities worldwide, including

the likes of Chicago. For the overwhelming majority, this was unheard of to have people being permitted to be homosexual, never mind openly, and Berlin was exceptionally out ahead of the rest: the homosexual community flourished through a decade of freedom and German Expressionism. Moreover, prior to the collapse of the Kaiser’s reign and the beginning of the Weimar Republic, music was strictly monitored: no black/afro influenced music existed in German society. Now, under Weimar, suddenly jazz became the most revered genre in Berlin and its freedom in musical terms mirrored the society that now existed in Berlin: where German Expressionism blossomed and people took advantage of the liberties they felt they had under the lack of guidance and legislation under Weimar. Dance halls were now filled with the sounds of saxophones, trumpets and trombones, and new, exciting dances took a stronghold: the Charleston wiped the dance-floor with traditional waltzes.


The ‘madness’ didn’t end there: German Expressionism influenced even architecture to the point at which traditional Germans disliked. But the new generation of Germans and the Weimar Republic in Berlin welcomed this innovative culture with open arms. Films and literature were unrestricted; fashion became more liberated; even German psychology changed in line to this new wave of Expressionism. Of course, there’s always one to spoil the fun. Adolf Hitler. By all means, he was not the sole ‘kill-joy’: he could not have carried out his ideals without public support. Once again, cast your mind back to the beginning: imagine being in Berlin as Hitler rose in popularity. Freedom; liberty; independent thinking. Yes, it wasn’t all fun and games: unemployment had hit 6 million by the end of the ‘20’s; severe hyperinflation; no leadership and street violence. However, it had remained the party capital of Europe alongside Paris. But then, along comes a former soldier, an Austrian born man of extremist morals and principles. What he offered was what everyone wanted to hear: jobs, prosperity, and German pride. How he implemented these ideals on the other hand, was not going to float Berlin’s party boat. Again, imagine you are a German teen, or in your early/mid-20’s by the time Hitler waltzes in to town. Yes, waltzes: you couldn’t tango with Hitler around – much too liberated. You’d be having the time of your life, jumping from cinema to restaurant to dancehall, listening to the rebellious, fantasising jazz music: yet this was suddenly cut from your life. Forget freedom: you listened to Hitler now. You’d grown up with a variety of possibilities

and indefinite pathways giving you the choice to be just who you are and express it with glory. Now you were a Nazi: that was unquestionable. Don’t like it? Tough. Your world of idealism is shattered. Yes, you may have a few more job opportunities, but at a tender age, is that your priority? Or wasn’t it until the Nazis took control? Your individual thoughts preyed upon by the newly appointed Gestapo. The dancehalls now stricter and less free. The urban fashion dashed from looseness to long skirts. Jazz? It was inconsiderable; anti-Germanic and a fundamental flaw in Berlin society in the eyes of the Nazis. A once colourful city representing the joy of youth and liberty, the cacophony of individuality, all destroyed to smithereens: it had become a fortification of vigilance, prejudice and poverty - all in the space of three years. Yes, the city had previously been hit by Depression: but all optimism through freedom was lost. New legislation forbade all that young adults and urban trend-setters of 20’s Berlin had lived for. Persecution draped over the city like a barricade of disease which no one could change. Not even the ’36 Berlin Olympic Games could lift the spirits to the previous levels. To rub salt in to the wound, the Nazi authoritarian government used the Games to depict themselves as the ultimate ruling political power, keeping everyone in tow: of course, the truth could not be told; if it was, you could say goodbye to your life. All Berliners had their lives transformed from one extreme to the other in less than half a decade.


Jack the Ripper: Has History Overstated the Skill? By Sarah Higham

and could be seen as a reason the Ripper’s

Jack the Ripper has been painted as the most evil serial killer in existence since 1888, the start of the Whitechapel murders. However, it can be argued that as careful as the Ripper was, a certain degree of luck was involved in this committal of “the perfect murder”. For instance, it is

identity has never been conclusively proved. For example, Depp demonstrates Abberline’s continual exhaustion, not beneficial to catching a killer. Therefore, police officers of today are likely to not have the same distractions induced by drugs, as they would lose their jobs if they did.

generally agreed that, had these murders

Another hindrance in the case is the lack

been committed in the present age, of

of preservation. As these murders were

CCTV and self defence classes, the cold

committed two centuries ago, it is impos-

blooded killer may not have been so lucky.

sible to solve the case today. A ridiculous

In any investigation, human error is a possible cause for never uncovering the real truth. Police officers are only human after all. This theory is explored particularly well in Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the Ripper’s




George Abberline (who led the hunt for the Ripper). In 2001 thriller ‘From Hell’ Abberline is shown to be taking opium throughout, to the point where it becomes his downfall, killing him at the conclusion of the film. Opium is presented positively, inducing dreams or visions that warn the inspector of any danger- ultimately giving him the power every officer wishes they had, the chance to catch a killer before he kills. However, drug addiction is dangerous, (as we all know in this day and age)

notion as, with modern technology it is likely the case would have been solved and the perpetrator caught, however, without evidence a detective has nothing to go on. In the time of the Ripper, there was no CSI style of preserving a crime scene, no chalk around the body (which oddly has held the key to many a case in the past) and often a rushed way of dealing with things. Particularly with cases as gruesome as the Whitechapel murders, the main concern was getting the crime scene as clean as possible, as quickly as possible. In their haste, the original investigative team could have missed a vital piece of the puzzle. area no longer looks like a crime scene and there is no possible spark or lead that can come from it. The greatly feared and respected Queen Victoria was on the throne


during the murders of the canonical five

crime. Despite police being stationed at

(and any other un-confirmed victims of

every point, 50 people were inside the po-

the Ripper) and when one considers the

lice circle within minutes; having come

rumours of the grandson of the monarch’s

through a passageway Moore said, “my

the monarch’s (Prince Albert Edward Vic-

men knew nothing about.”

tor) involvement, it’s no surprise vital evi-

Anyone would think that the amount of

dence were possibly destroyed- to protect key positions. Important police figures in the case, were quickly climbing to the top of their professions and getting comfortable in power. One way to avoid dismissal in a world of dog eat dog- was not by accusing a royal of cold-blooded murder. Therefore, it’s likely that any evidence pointing to ‘The royal ripper’ would have been destroyed or hidden from any case files.

personnel placed on this case would have cracked it swiftly, but it wasn’t just primitive technology that stopped them in their tracks. The prestige of catching the infamous Ripper was immense, so everyone was desperate to catch him, to add to their status-amateur sleuths even got involved. The police investigation was nearly overwhelmed by the amount of bogus information and dead ends. As Inspector Abberline is on record as saying “We were

In the press, the police have been criticised

almost lost in theories; there were so many

ever since the murder of first victim, Mary

of them.”

Nichols, both for their ineptitude and cor-

The government must also be blamed. It

ruption. This fits well with the theory of Prince Albert’s guilt, as a corrupt officer would have absolutely no qualms with destroying vital evidence. Also, the police have been seen as hugely incompetent, displayed particularly when Inspector Henry Moore showed an American journalist (R. Harding Davis) how his men had set up a circle around the scene of the

was even stated outright at the inquest of Annie Chapman, that if a reward had been offered for information, key leads could be unearthed. However, the government had the common practice of not offering rewards, due to the suspicion that offering these would encourage the giving of false information, for financial gain.


Also, the private investigators that got in

dark corners where the police could phys-

the way of the police investigation put up

ically no longer protect them. This caused

their own rewards (they were not respon-

the women to cope, by developing a wea-

sible to the government directly for their

ry, depressing acceptance of the danger

practices). Following the murder of Cathe-

that they faced daily, just by trying to

rine Eddowes, London offered £500 for

work. Inspector Moore highlighted this

any information, but failed to discover any

when telling prostitutes to go home, but

useful or valuable evidence, or new direc-

they simply replied with “I ain’t afraid of

tions for the case. Without the necessary

him. It’s the Ripper or the bridge with me.

amount of evidence, all the police could do

What’s the odds?” The canonical five

to protect the women of Whitechapel was

chose death over starvation.

increase the number of officers, aiming to pick up on a vital piece of evidence or even be at the scene to catch the murderer in action. Since this was all they could actively do, it’s no surprise that he has never been captured to this day.

It’s obvious that the main flaw in catching the Ripper in the 1880’s was the lack of resources and technology available today. Something as simple as dusting for fingerprints on letters written to Inspector Abberline may have sealed his doom. DNA

Even victims have been blamed for the

testing came into usage in 1901, a time

lack of justice. The five women were pros-

when theoretically the Ripper still may

titutes, so their business was based on

have been caught. However, many people

street corners and illicit alleyways, provid-

felt this was an infringement on their pri-

ing the perfect location for his crimes. The

vacy and were worried that fingerprints

nature of how they made a living meant

would be kept and used negatively in the

taking clients into places with little danger

future. This meant that the letters and

of interruption, this being emphasised by a

bodies held key evidence, never tapped in-

police officer at the time who said “It’s not

to, as DNA fingerprinting was not widely

as if he has to wait for his chance, they

accepted or used until the late 1970’s, by

make that chance for him.” After each

which point it was too late. CCTV would



have captured the killer’s movements,

eventually forced women back onto the

possibly giving a time and place to wait to

streets, to make the money necessary to

lure the Ripper to his impending doom.

provide food. This meant once again put-

Coupled with digital databases there is a

ting their lives at risk by taking clients into

strong argument that the 19th century




Ripper wouldn’t have stood a chance against today’s technology. This argument has never been explored before, perhaps because we have conclusive evidence that the Whitechapel murders committed by the infamous Ripper cannot be recreated and couldn’t have taken place at all with up to date techology. 1980’s technology is hardly impressive now, yet copycat Peter Sutcliffe was caught in his Yorkshire homage to the 19th century London menace. It can be argued he didn’t have the knowledge or ability of the original Ripper, but is a more convincing explanation that technology had just advanced too far for this scale of murder. The main subject addressed when writing about Jack The Ripper is, who was he? As it is impossible to prove or know anything conclusively over a hundred years later, this fact is of little importance. Due to noone being one hundred per cent positive of his identity, the phrase always used is that: “Jack the Ripper committed the perfect murder.” However, with all this evidence to the contrary (suggesting today he would not get away with it so easily), the police do seem to be right about one thing… “There is no such thing as the perfect murder.”


68 Years Later: Did Germany Really Lose?

By Phoebe McGibbon On 7th May 1945, German forces in Europe surrendered to the allies; just seven days after Adolf Hitler shot himself in a deserted bunker. In the celebrations that followed the declaration of peace, Winston Churchill appeared on the balcony of the Ministry of Health in Whitehall and addressed the masses. “This is your victory!” he told Britain. The world watched as a people who had suffered at the hands of Blitzkrieg, of fierce enemy attacks and of Adolf Hitler; celebrated what Churchill described as “the victory of the cause of freedom in every land.” In spite of the devastating losses of the war years, (total British deaths during the war are estimated to have totalled 330,000); when victory was declared, the general mood in Britain was positive – the years of fighting, of uncertainty, of rationing, and of fear were

over. Britain was victorious. The situation in Germany was completely different. 3,750,000 Germans had been killed during the war; cities were heavily damaged from bombing in the later years; agricultural production had decreased massively compared with the pre-war years and vast areas of German territory were lost to Poland and the Soviet Union. Additionally, the Allied Commission on Reparations met in Moscow in June 1945, and reached a decision that the German economy would be limited to that required to meet the needs of civilians; and that Germany should pay the Allies the maximum quantity of goods that they could afford to, in order to compensate for the severe losses incurred whilst bringing about the defeat of the Third Reich. It would therefore be incorrect to suggest that Germany was not punished in the af-


termath of World War Two. However, in time, the bitterness of the Allies began to fade, and an element of sympathy for Germany began to emerge. In July 1947, President Truman recognised in a new directive that ‘an orderly, prosperous Europe requires the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany’. This attitude is arguably somewhat reminiscent of the attitudes towards Germany following World War I – David Lloyd George felt that Germany must be ‘beaten but not destroyed’, and he, President Wilson and Georges Clemenceau were keen to keep Germany as a trading partner. From mid-1946 Germany received much aid from the US through the GARIOA programme (Government and Relief in Occupied Areas). By 1948 combined US and UK expenditure on aid to Germany reached a total of roughly one billion US dollars. Although this was mainly spent on the provision of food to starving civilians, without this aid, the already struggling German economy would have been in an even more desperate state. By 1953 West Germany owed some three billion US dollars debt to the allies as a consequence of aid through the GARIOA programme and the Marshall plan. It was decided however, in 1953, that Germany need only be made to pay one billion dollars and even that only by 1971. The aid Germany received in the post war years undoubtedly boosted the recovery of the economy. Furthermore, socially, Germany no longer felt ostracised by the rest of the world. In July 1951 the UK, France and the US had declared that Germany was no longer a war enemy. The Soviet Union did the same on 25th January 1955. It could be argued that even by 1955,

just ten years after defeat, Germany was on track to rise as major world power. In 1949, the US, French and British zones in the West of Germany became the Federal Republic of Germany; whilst the Soviet zone in the East became the communist German Democratic Republic. Konrad Adenauer, of the Christian Democrats, became the first Chancellor of West Germany. He oversaw the massive economic recovery in West Germany throughout the 1950s. By 1955, just ten years after emerging from defeat in World War II, Germany was gradually becoming accepted in international affairs – West Germany joined Nato; whilst East Germany signed the Warsaw Pact along with Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union. This was officially entitled ‘The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance', and was a military alliance – the significance being that East Germany would now go to the aid of many of her old enemies, should they be attacked. In 1957, West Germany became part of the European Economic Community. On September 18th 1973, both East and West Germany were appointed as members of the United Nations. Germany had been appointed a member of the League of Nations in 1926, having been declined membership when the League began in 1919. However, Germany had left the League following the disastrous Disarmament Conference of 1935. It appeared that old resentments had been laid to rest when Germany was welcomed into the UN. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, and by 1990, Helmut Kohl was leading a united Germany. 1994 saw the ruling of a Constitutional


Helmut Kohl was leading a united Germany. 1994 saw the ruling of a Constitutional Court that German troops could participate in UN peacekeeping operations outside Nato. Soon after this decision, Allied and Russian troops finally left Berlin. In November of 2001 - Chancellor Schroeder survived a parliamentary confidence vote after a government decision to deploy 4,000 troops in the US-led campaign in Afghanistan – this was Germany's largest deployment outside Europe since World War II. In January 2002, Germany’s currency (the Deutsche Mark) was replaced with the Euro and Germany entered into monetary union with sixteen other European countries. Germany continues to play a major role in the ongoing Euro crisis. In May 2010, the German parliament voted to approve a €22.4 billion German contribution to bail out Greece; and in June 2011 Chancellor Merkel defended her decision to back a second huge bail-out for Greece – insisting that Germany has a historic duty to protect the Euro currency. Germany has since then had a critical influence in negotiations to bail out other debt-ridden European countries; and is the main contributor to the European Central Bank’s funds. On Monday 11th March 2013, members of Angela Merkel’s coalition government claimed that Germany should have bigger voting rights on the ECB’s governing council. The attitudes towards Germany following the war, although at first hostile, gradually became more sympathetic - Germany undoubtedly benefited from this. Whilst Britain’s economy was suffering miserably in the post war years, huge loans were being

paid out to Germany in order to rebuild their economy. In 2013, Germany boasts Europe’s top economy whereas the public finances of Britain, the great victors of World War II, are in a worse position than those of Greece according to the latest figures on government borrowing. Despite victory in the war, long sequences of events in British history since the war years have led to recession, social problems and a poor economy; whereas in Germany, irrespective of the many hardships she has faced as a nation, the country is undeniably prosperous. The road has not been smooth for Germany, and the battle to prosperity has been a long and hard one. But in 2013, it is difficult to consider the contrasting situations in Great Britain and Germany without asking the question: who really won the war?


Wigan - Land of the Pie Eaters By Robyn Yates Having lived in Wigan, I've had my fair share of abuse of being called a 'pie eater', and I know I'm not alone! Some people think its because Wiganers like pies, or that the pie shops in Wigan are pretty good, but actually, Wigan eats just the same amount of pies as any other town and the name has been around before Greggs, Galloways & Greenhalghs were! The label actually goes back to the strike of 1926, when the General Council of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) called a strike to protest against the low wages and long hours expected of coal miners. The first day of the strike was 4th May 1926, and roughly 1.5 million workers from various industries were part of it, including coal miners and bus and train drivers. The strike lasted nine days and brought the country to a standstill, some industries were relying on volunteers to keep the country moving, called 'scabs'. However, the miners of Wigan were being starved to death by the collieries there to get back down the pits, and these cruel tactics worked, as the Wigan miners returned before the TUC called an end to the strike, and before all of it's local constituencies. People of the time said that Wiganers had been forced to eat

'humble pie'(which is apparently a saying), and that is where our nickname was born, not because we all love meaty pastry, or because we are host to the World Pie-Eating Championship. We are known as the 'pie eaters' because the Wigan miners were starved into ending their strike before everyone else in 1926, therefore eating 'humble pie'. So next time you get (or are giving out) abuse for being a pie eater, at least you know now it's not because you look like you've eaten too much pastry.


Eton, Oxford, Cabinet: How The Upper Class is Dominating Politics By Oliver Lambert The typical Member of Parliament is a white, middle class, middle aged male; most have attended a top university and over a third have been to Oxford or Cambridge, most especially in the Conservative Party and at Cabinet level. The current Prime Minister, David Cameron, is from an extremely privileged, socially exclusive background. He went to Heatherdown Preparatory School in Berkshire when he was young, which counts Princes Andrew and Edward among its alumni. He then attended Eton, possibly the most prestigious boarding school that has educated generations of the aristocracy and untitled members of the British ruling elite. The Prime Minister then carried on to study at Brasenose College, Oxford where he was a member of the extremely exclusive elite student dining society Bullingdon Club. Furthermore, Mr Cameron is related to the Queen through his paternal grandmother, making him a 5th cousin to Elizabeth II. This may seem a typical British Conservative phenomenon given former leaders like Lord Liverpool and the Duke of Wellington but politicians from privileged back-

grounds are common in many if not all modern democracies: Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president is related to the Hungarian nobility; George Bush Jr, the 43rd American president, is the son of the 41st president. The list of privileged politicians goes on. Even though not all are from such high-class backgrounds, most come at least from comfortable middle-class backgrounds like the Miliband brothers. The privileged are born into wealth; they receive better education and have lots of wellplaced relations. All these factors give them an advantage over others when entering the struggle for power that is politics. Because of this, a certain elitism imposes itself whereby a minority possesses the most influence and authority in society. These individuals are from wealthy families that support them throughout their lives. This gives them a direct advantage on all fronts. They can afford the best legal aid for example or more importantly can afford to campaign widely. In recent years, voting behaviour has changed, giving more importance to shortterm factors, such as recent events, issues


and the media. The candidate with most money can afford more extensive campaigning and media coverage hence giving him an upper hand; this is especially true in democracies like the US where it is possible to buy TV advertising time in essentially candidate-centred primary election campaigns. “Turnout is skewed and is an important variable that money and organization can affect. Perceptions are malleable, subject to media advertising that costs a lot of money… For these reasons there is every reason to expect that money affects electoral outcomes” (Winters & Page, 2009) This extract from Oligarchy in the USA by Jeffrey Winters and Benjamin Page, supports the point perfectly that the wealthiest have an advantage when entering politics and that the playing field is not level. However, it must be stressed that according to Sir Ivor Crewe, 80% of the British electorate know who they will vote for before the official campaign, therefore only a decisive minority is affected by the campaigning. Probably one of the most exploited resources of this elite is their relations. A large proportion of those in the top jobs including politics, are from similar backgrounds and know each other. Many politicians even went to school together or made ties long ago, for example: David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris and Jo Johnson were all members of the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University, or Cameron’s “Etonian Chums” as newspapers nicknamed them that currently surround him in Cabinet. By using their family’s and friend’s connections, they gain access to jobs or simply information and help about how to get where they want to. I do not mean to be disrespectful of the Prime Minister, but he is a perfect example of a politician with a privileged background and illustrates my points. The leader of the Conservative party gained a considera-

ble amount of political experience by working for his godfather, the Tory MP for Lewes, as a researcher when he was 18 years old, attending House of Commons debates. By using their connections, the privileged can access what others would with greater difficulty. This process of pulling strings continues and to some extent those at the top are recycled: they ask for favours when they are up and coming and return them in the future to others. Hence those at the top will not change; it will be the same people helping each other out to keep the power between the same elite. Thus the concept of the “revolving door” in US politics can be applied in the broadest perspective. As Charles Wright Mills wrote in The Power Elite in 1956: “The conception of the power elite and of its unity rests upon the corresponding developments and the coincidence of interests among economic, political, and military organizations. It also rests upon the similarity of origin and outlook, and the social and personal intermingling of the top circles from each of these dominant hierarchies” The “power elite” as Mills calls them have great interest in keeping the power in their own hands. Elites are naturally distrustful of democracy as they understand that politics, when boiled down to basics can be defined as “who gets the power”. The two most important principles of democracy however are the rule by the majority and protection for minority rights, which for them represents the risk that government would be dominated by a majority faction whose goals do not align with theirs, as they are a minority. Hence, by keeping the power between themselves they are able to keep their privileges. This is exactly what James Madison among others opposed when arguing for a separation of powers, to stop a minority taking control of everything. However, as we see in today’s democracies,


the top members of all branches of government whether it’s the executive, the judiciary, the legislature or the military, are from similar backgrounds and look after each other. Education also plays a big part in why so many politicians are from privileged backgrounds. The simple fact that they received the top schooling already gives them an advantage and even the confidence to take a chance at the top positions. Furthermore, this faction of society is brought up being told that they are the “elite” and deserve what’s best. Hence, they believe it is their duty, as the said “elite” that knows what’s best, to govern since the ordinary man has no idea of how to look after everyone; he hasn’t received the best education or seen what the life of a politician actually is. Thus, this form of Noblesse Oblige keeps the status quo, making sure the top of is well looked after as these are the people like them, aristocrats, businessmen… the other so-called “major benefactors” to society. We have seen why so many politicians are from privileged backgrounds. However, it is also useful to take the opposite approach to the question and ask why so few politicians come from unprivileged backgrounds. Firstly, politics is a gamble. It requires time, effort, money and there is no guarantee of success. A person from the working class may not be able to afford losing time and money on getting involved in politics where they aren’t sure to succeed as they need to support their family. On the other hand, a wealthier person may be able to live off his savings while he or she tries to get the job. This is maybe a naïve point but it can still be made, although those considering politics probably do not view it as a career so much, given the unstable nature of the job. Furthermore, the reason why there are so few working-class politicians may also be due to deference. In

the past, when class-party alignment was strong in Britain, a third of the working class voted Conservative nonetheless, partly due to deference. Indeed, the working class tend to be taught to “know their place” and be obedient and respectful of their teachers for example when they are young as “they know best”. The deferential feel that they do not have the knowledge or experience to be politicians and nor do others from their background. So they believe that the more privileged are better than them as they have had the right credentials for leadership and so they should make political decisions. The middle classes too may be prepared to buy into this manipulation of social hierarchy as it protects their place in the food chain. More importantly, people from the working class tend to be apathetic or even disinterested in politics. Indeed, figures show that people from A/B classes are twice more likely to vote than people from D/E classes. As voters are likely to elect people they think they can relate to and that represent them, the elected politicians will most likely be, and are from the middle-class or higher backgrounds as they are those that turn out most. Inner city areas see political disengagement and given the predictability of FPTP, turnout in these seats is often low; Manchester Central had a 44% turnout in 2010 for example. Candidate selection rests with the party membership in the UK and Conservative selection committees prefer to play safe. Labour increasingly opts for the graduate model given the decline in internal promotion from the genuine working class leaders of the trade union movement. Hence in some countries, the election of privileged politicians may be due to the party structure, electoral system and electoral geography. Another non-negligible element is the absence of an obligation to vote in most countries. It can be speculated that in nations with compulsory voting, the representation is


far more reflective of the nation's population. In Australia for example, compulsory voting is enforced and it is either Labour or a coalition in power, parties that represent bigger proportions of society, and the current prime minister, Julia Gillard, is from a low middleclass background. Furthermore, the less privileged may also have somewhat a feeling of disillusionment toward the political system and may not feel they have a say in political decisions. This may even lead them to becoming anti-political i.e. have a negative outlook towards politics. The Hansard Society published figures in 2009 showing that only 21% of D-E classes questioned thought our governing system worked well, 77% thought it needed improvement and 78% agreed that MPs made a lot of money using public office improperly. However, they don’t want more decision making power, it would be too complex and time consuming. They would rather have more faith in the process of politics undertaken by their representatives; they want to know that politicians are driven by public interest and not acting out of selfish motives. These disillusioned voters need to regain faith in the electoral process and vote for there to be more politicians from modest backgrounds as these voters are mainly from working class backgrounds. Moreover, society has changed from a mainly working class to a more middle-class society. Indeed, from the 1970’s, traditional social class spread changed due to several factors. Firstly, there was a certain post-war affluence for those in employment which enabled more people to have access to “white goods” and foreign holidays which were formerly seen as middle-class. Furthermore, better educational opportunities and an increase in home ownership as loans became cheaper and easier to get, saw a rise in the middle-class. These factors coupled with deindustrialisation that caused a shift from blue-collar to white-collar

work, less affiliated with trade unions, resulted in an “embourgeoisement” of society. Once again, as voters elect representatives, if there is a larger middle-class there will be more politicians from middle-class backgrounds or higher. In conclusion, so many politicians in modern democracies are from privileged backgrounds mainly because of the elitism already in place in society and the apathy and disadvantage of the less privileged. Despite this, it must be stressed that not all politicians are. Some make it from reasonably non-elite backgrounds such as Barack Obama. Indeed, polls showed that Mitt Romney, the republican candidate, was rejected by voters for being too privileged and out of touch with ordinary Americans during the 2012 United States presidential election. Karl Marx argued that society has evolved from one where we lived under a ruler who owned everything, to one where a government permits many people to own property and that eventually it will develop into a society where everyone owns everything in common. If Marxist theory predictions are correct, then one day, the privileged will not hold the power, it will be shared out equally between everybody.


Che Guevara: A Cultural Hero? By James Loftus Most people probably recognise Che Guevara from the famous photo taken by Alberto Korda that has been turned into pop art by Andy Warhol. This image can be found on posters, T shirts, calendars and even on the cover of one of Madonna’s album covers. In Cuba he is still regarded as a national hero. In the 1960s he captured the imaginations of rebellious teenagers and he continues to attract people today. People like Jay Z (rap star) have said they admire him and many others like Johnny Depp (actor) proudly wear his T shirt, but would they still do this if they knew he was viewed by some as a war criminal, a racist and an extreme socialist. There is clearly a lot of assumptions and lack of knowledge about the nature of Guevara’s character. In the 2004 film the motorcycle diaries Guevara is portrayed as a heroic rebel. This boosted his popularity and kept his legendary character going. Consequently the film got a lot of critics. It was “like making a film about Adolf Hitler and portraying him as a vegetarian and animal lover” (Anthony Daniels) Guevara was very charismatic, he sacrificed a great deal for his country and he won over the hearts of many, but does he deserve his iconic status? Guevara was a very intelligent man. Before he became a revolutionary he studied medicine and became a Doctor. He could also talk coherently about philosophers and loved poetry and books. However his life changed in 1954

in Guatemala when the socialist government of Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown by a military coup which was backed by the Americans. This was the spark that ignited Guevara’s revolutionary ideas. This way of thinking can be seen by phrases like “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall” and “Better to die standing than live on your knees” Guatemala was indeed a turning point for Guevara. During his travels in south and Central America he also witnessed a great deal of poverty and oppression. Guevara was disgusted with what he had seen and this balanced with his interest in Marxism brought him to believe that revolution was the answer that would end the suffering. In 1954 he went to Mexico and met Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader. He joined Castro’s 26th July movement and its aim was to use guerrilla warfare to overthrow the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Castro, Guevara and eighty others arrived in Cuba. However by the time they reached the rendezvous in the Sierra Maestra Mountains they had been reduced to sixteen men with twelve weapons. This was the result of a government ambush on the way up which they narrowly escaped. They had very few supplies and Guevara found it especially hard, because he suffered from bad asthma since he was a child. However the movement recovered from its terrible


start after raiding small military barracks in the coming months. This enabled them to replenish their supplies and weapons. The movement took over land and they redistributed it amongst the peasants and got their support against the soldiers. This made Batista worried and he realised the increasing threat of the 26th July movement. To get information he allowed the torture of peasants. Many suspects including children were hanged publically without a trial. They left them hanging for days to put a message across to anyone thinking of joining the guerrillas/rebels. The barbaric, oppressive nature of Batista’s regime became more vivid during the revolution. Furthermore this didn’t have the impact Batista was hoping for. You could say it added fuel to an angry fire which was spreading throughout Cuba. After this behaviour more people joined the guerrillas. National bodies and the influential middle classes were now joining the movement. The revolution was no longer being fuelled by peasants alone. Batista responded to this by sending over 10,000 men to hunt for Guevara, Castro and the movement members. However even with these numbers the government continued to be defeated. The rebels gained a reputation of showing compassion and mercy on the government troops who surrendered. This was the opposite to the orders that came from Batista. The US supplied Batista with weapons, tanks, planes and Napalm, but not even this was enough to stop the rebels. After a string of defeats the government troops realised that the revolutionists were getting the advantage. Consequently some of the government troops joined the rebels because of the rebel’s reputation. However whether Guevara was the source of this chivalry is a different question. It became so clear that the rebels had the up-

per hand now that even president Eisenhower had to examine the situation again and he suggested Batista should hold elections. However most of the Cuban people boycotted it to show their dissatisfaction. The revolutionaries marched on the main towns and Batista fled the country. Castro marched into Havana on January 9, 1959 and became a new radical Cuban leader. In the new Cuba Guevara took charge of the La Cabana Fortress prison. This is where he becomes a controversial character. Despite all he said about putting a stop to oppression and corruption he executed between 156 to 550 prisoners, without a fair trial. How much did Cuba really change after years of bloodshed? From 1959-1961 Guevara was also president of the National bank and the minister of industry. In this time he also travelled the world and became an ambassador for Cuba. In Cuba he wanted to redistribute land and nationalise the industry. With his position at the bank he shifted Cuba’s trade relations from the US to the Soviet Union. The US placed sanctions on Cuba and Guevara began to fall out with the other Cuban leaders. He expressed his desire to spread revolution to the other parts of the world. Guevara left Cuba and went to Africa and particularly in the Congo he tried to train rebel forces in the art of guerrilla warfare but this failed. In Guevara’s diary another dark aspect of his character is revealed. He expressed that black people were inferior and lacked intelligence. The fact that he was a racist makes it shocking that Jay Z admires him. However Guevara’s fans and followers defended him by saying it was misinterpreted, but this appears to be very unlikely, due to it being very clearly written. Guevara abandoned his campaign in the Congo and went to Bolivia in 1966 to join a rebellion against the government there. However he couldn’t incite enough people and with


few guerrillas to back him he was captured by an American backed Bolivian army. He was executed shortly after his capture. His last words were “shoot coward you’re only going to kill a man”. Guevara certainly left behind a legacy and he is a name that won’t be forgotten for a while. Forty six years ago this October he died (aged 39) and he continues to be the subject of great public interest. You can make your own judgements about whether he deserves to be an icon. However I believe his executions in Cuba were ruthless and the system he fought so hard for to get into power, proved to be oppressive like the old one. Somewhat ironically Guevara stated “Cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel.”


Voguing: Standing Out to Fit In By Holly Browett Woolnough The word 'vogue' in today's society holds two main connotations. Either you'll think of one of the world's leading fashion magazines, or you'll think of the Madonna song which reached number one in over thirty countries worldwide. However, the idea of 'voguing' reaches back to the 1930s Harlem ballroom scene, where decadent parties became a haven for members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community to feel comfortable and accepted in a time when they faced harsh discrimination for their sexuality. "Voguing" really came into its own in the 1980s and 1990s in New York. Whilst society had moved on since the 1930s, sexual acts between same sex couples only became legal nationwide in the USA in 2003, and the laws of same sex marriage still vary from state to state in 2013. America, and even New York was still a very prejudiced place towards people deemed 'unnatural' because of their sexual preferences, and therefore many people still hid their true nature to make life easier for themselves. Predominantly, the members were black or Latino men and women, living in a very hostile society. It's likely that whilst these people were victimised because of their sexuality, they would also be discriminated against due to their race. Here was a portion of society that would on a daily basis find themselves the subject of abuse because of something about them that they had no means to change.

Therefore, the existence of the ballroom community, also called the 'house system', offered members of the LGBTQ community necessary respite from the malicious, largely homophobic world they lived in. Competitors in these ball competitions would 'walk' to win prizes. This involved dressing in drag, with the ambition to convincingly emulate a specific gender, social class, fashion trend or a way of being. Most people involved in the balls belonged to a house which had its own leader, thereby creating the 'house system'. These houses are described by the Village Voice, a New York newspaper, as ' loose-knit, typically same sex, confederacies of "children" who adopt a family name, usually swiped from a fashion designer, and adhere to rules set up by a presiding "mother" and "father.' The existence of these 'houses' which seem to have a parental figure and create a warm, family feeling, suggests that many of the competitors yearned for a sense of belonging which was near impossible to find in the wider world due to the discrimination they faced on a daily basis. The ballroom competitors had various degrees of status, ranging from 'star' (the very beginner) to 'statement' to 'legend' to 'icon' - the ultimate aim of any member of the ballroom scene. Being an icon meant that you had been participating for at least twenty years, and you had created your own personal legacy throughout the community. It meant you could retire from the ballroom scene, reassured that your name would forever be synonymous as a legend.


There were many different categories to compete in, some of which would not seem out of place at an ordinary fashion show. For example, 'Labels' was judged on how many of that year's labels the competitor was sporting, and how authentic they appear, whilst 'Best Dressed' was a self explanatory opportunity for participants to show off their individual creativity and styling ability. However, one of the most popular categories was that known as 'Butch Queen Realness'. Here, participants were judged on how well they could blend in with the idea of a 'heterosexual image'. They were judged in four sub categories: 'Thug', 'Pretty Boy', 'School Boy' or 'Executive'. Whilst it is clear that the competitors were clearly comfortable with who they were, there is something highly ironic about it, that whilst proudly displaying their personality, they did this in such a way as to pretend to fit into what society ultimately wanted them to be. In the ballroom scene, they found comfort, and a place in which they could truly be themselves, whilst also dressing up against the hostility they faced on a daily basis. The idea of 'realness' was very important in the ballrooms. Nowadays, we'd say that 'realness' was a sense of staying true to yourself and not changing yourself to be accepted. However, here participants were using it as a way to showcase how well you could dress up to be someone else, and to fit into the 'real' person the world wanted them to be, probably a skill they'd picked up whilst trying to fit in with day to day life. Ultimately, the ballroom scene offered a place of comfort for those who felt that they did not fit in with the rest of society. Here, they felt safe to be who they were and to find people who identified with them too. However, there is a still a lingering sadness about the way that in doing this, the ballrooms were also a platform for showing how the hostile outside world had forced them into an existence where it was necessary to pretend to be as 'real' as possible. Almost thirty years after the ballrooms were at their height of popularity, you'd hope that society had evolved enough to accommodate the LGBTQ community so that these secret hiding places were no longer necessary. Whilst in general, we now have a much more accepting culture that has more liberal views, there are still people of the opinion that being heterosexual is the only 'right' option and in America same sex marriage is

still a contentious issue. The ballroom scene is still an underground phenomenon, but it has influenced many people who are in the public eye. An obvious example is the dance style of 'voguing' which was showcased in Madonna's music video for 'Vogue', whilst BeyoncĂŠ, in an interview with The Independent says "how inspired she's been by the whole drag-house circuit in the States, an unsung part of black American culture where working-class gay men channel ultra-glamour in mocked-up catwalk shows." Whilst the ballroom scene became, and still is, a safe haven of acceptance, it's important that one day, there's no need for the LGBTQ community to have to try to 'fit in'.


Who’s Who In The History Society? President Magazine Editor Magazine Assistants

Quiz organiser Debates coordinator External speakers researcher (work in collaboration with Elaine P) Guest Speakers & Museum Coordinator Internal speakers coordinator Social Media coordinator

Joe Gaffney Phoebe McGibbon Holly Browett-Woolnough Isaac Tweedale Georgia Sampson Georgia Ascroft Megan Owen James Knowles Lucy Weir Lewis Williams Julia Taylor Georgia Sampson Robyn Yates Robyn Yates

Jack Lunt Lucy Francis Emily Havard History Mentor coordinator Joe Gaffney Trip researcher (working with Matt) Lucy Weir Chris McLauchlan Connor Simms-Page Medieval Total War organiser David Farrimond Display coordinator Jessica Mills Amy Platt Advertising overseer Lucy Weir Competitions Amy Platt Discussion group leader (films/ Silvia Marques articles…) Kayleigh Gibson


Dates for your diary... History Discussion Group: Every Wednesday Debate: Friday 27th September Quiz: Friday 4th October Medieval War Tournament: Friday 18th October

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