` 125 Years Today a Man Who Made Us Laugh by Saying Nothing and Expressing Everything was Born ‘

#AceBritishHistory – LONDON – April 16 – Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, film-maker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “the Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry.

His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death at age 88, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.

Charles Chaplin – (IBN) – They foiled plots and cracked Nazi codes, but Britain’s spies were unable to solve the mystery of Charlie Chaplin’s birth.

Although the entertainer is celebrated as one of London’s most famous sons, declassified files reveal that Britain’s MI5 domestic intelligence service found no records to back up Chaplin’s claim that he was born in the city on April 16, 1889. Chaplin’s life is a Dickensian rags-to-riches story.

Raised in London in a family of music-hall entertainers, he moved to the United States in 1910 and became one of Hollywood’s first megastars with his shabby, bowler-hatted every-man persona, the Little Tramp.

He was a box office sensation in movies such as ‘The Gold Rush,’ ‘City Lights’ and ‘The Kid,’ but his left-wing friends and activities alarmed the FBI, which began tracking the actor in the early 1920’s.

He was married four times, twice to 16-year-old girls.

He eventually became Sir Charles Chaplin in March 1975, two years before his death at age 88. Here are 10, full length Chaplin movies available on YouTube you need to watch to celebrate 125 years of the master. (Inputs from AP)

#ABHN2014

#abhn2104, #britain, #charlie-chaplin

` Norwegian Campaign of the Second World War between Allies and Germany ‘

#AceHistoryNews – April 09 – The Norwegian Campaign was a military campaign that was fought in Norway during the Second World War between the Allies and Germany, after the latter’s invasion of the country. In April 1940, the United Kingdom and France came to Norway’s aid with an expeditionary force.

Despite moderate success in the northern parts of Norway, Germany’s invasion of France in May 1940 eventually compelled the Allies to withdraw and the Norwegian government to seek exile in London.

The campaign subsequently ended with the occupation of Norway by Germany, and the continued fighting of exiled Norwegian forces from abroad. The conflict occurred between 9 April and 10 June 1940, the 62 days of fighting making Norway the nation that withstood a German invasion for the longest period of time, aside from the Soviet Union.

Outbreak of the Second World War:

Both Britain and France had signed military assistance treaties with Poland and two days after Germany invaded Poland (on 1 September 1939), they declared war on Nazi Germany. Neither country mounted significant offensive operations, however, and for several months no major engagements occurred in what became known as the Phoney War or “Twilight War”. Winston Churchill in particular wished to move the war into a more active phase, in contrast to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

Almost immediately after the outbreak of war the British began pressuring the Norwegian government to provide the United Kingdom with the services of the Norwegian merchant navy, themselves being in dire need of shipping. Following protracted negotiations between 25 September and 20 November 1939, the Norwegians agreed to charter 150 tankers, as well as other ships with a tonnage of 450,000 gross tons. The Norwegian government’s concern for the country’s supply lines played an important role in persuading them to accept the agreement.

Value of Norway

Norway, though neutral, was considered strategically important for both sides of the war for two main reasons. First was the importance of the port of Narvik, from which large quantities of Swedish iron ore (on which Germany depended) were exported; this route was especially important during the winter months when much of the Baltic Sea was frozen over. Narvik became of greater significance to the British when it became apparent that Operation Catherine, a plan to gain control of the Baltic Sea, would not be realized. The Norwegian ports could have also served as holes in the blockade of Germany, allowing the latter access to the Atlantic Ocean.
Iron ore

The principal reason for Germany’s invasion of Norway was its dependence on Swedish iron ore, which during the winter was shipped primarily from the Norwegian port of Narvik. By securing access to Norwegian ports, the Germans could more easily obtain the supply of iron ore they needed for their war effort

#AHN2014

#britain, #france, #german, #germany, #nazi-germany, #norway, #norwegian, #poland

` History of Women’s Right to Work Act ‘

A Woman's Work

A Woman’s Work (Photo credit: jumpinjimmyjava)

#AceHistoryNews says following on from `International Woman’s Day‘ l thought this post about `Women’s Right to Work’ was apt.

Firstly this act changed the previous legal situation, in which all property automatically transferred to the control of a husband on marriage.

It granted some limited separate protection to a married woman’s property and also permitted women to retain up to £200 of their own wages or earnings.

Similar changes did not take effect in Scotland until 1877.

“PLEASE NOTE WELL SOME PARTS OF THIS ARTICLE AND POST ARE COPYRIGHTED AND ARE MARKED”

` Thank You Editor ‘ 

International Woman's Day :*Denomination: 60 F...

International Woman’s Day :*Denomination: 60 Filler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Families and households:

Because of high birth rates and improving life expectancy, Victorian families were generally large. The growth of residential domestic service, even low down the social scale, and the prevalence of lodgers, especially in towns, meant that many households were further swollen in size and complex in formation.

Although households consisting of more than two generations or containing more than one husband/wife partnership had never been common in Britain, there was a tendency, especially in textile districts, for grandparents to live in households containing young children, particularly where mothers were working outside the home.

…many households were dependent upon female earnings, especially those households run by widows.

Many young people, especially young women, migrated to towns and cities in search of work as the possibilities of agricultural employment declined. Migration was facilitated by family and other connections: communities were recreated in towns and cities through local concentrations of settlement of particular ethnic, religious, regional or familial groups and by the possibility of finding accommodation through lodging or domestic service in the homes of contacts of this kind.

Most households necessarily drew income from a number of sources, with many women and juveniles adding to wage earning even if their employment was usually more intermittent and low-paid than that of adult males. Although the male breadwinner wage was increasingly regarded as the ideal and even the norm, in practice many households were dependent upon female earnings, especially those households run by widows.

As the mid-Victorian boom got under-way the demand for female and juvenile labour expanded, particularly where new technologies or patterns of work were resented by skilled men. Cheap female and immigrant labour was often used to undercut male workers. Urbanisation created manifold opportunities for female employment despite the regulation of hours and conditions of work for women and juveniles in certain sectors, and the coming of compulsory education after 1871. Thus most women in Victorian society, in the two-thirds of the population below the upper and middle classes, worked for wages. But in what occupations and how much?

The evidence of women’s work:

Two Victorian woman at work in a hat factoryWorkers in a hat factory  ©One of the greatest problems facing the historian of women’s work is the absence of reliable information. The census enumerators’ books are the most obvious source, especially for the period after 1841 when occupations were included; but in practice such information is vastly more accurate for men than for women for several reasons. Firstly, contradictory and inconsistent instructions were given about how to classify women’s work, particularly where this involved home-working or consisted of helping in a family run business (such work was sometimes deliberately excluded from the record). Furthermore, women’s work was often part-time, casual, and not regarded as important enough to declare.

Women may have also have preferred to keep their income-earning a secret from their husband.

Sometimes it was illegal (as with prostitution) or performed in unregulated sweatshops (a further reason for failure to record). Women may have also have preferred to keep their income-earning a secret from their husband. An occupational designation, for whatever reason, meant something very different for men than for women.
With the emphasis primarily upon their role as wives and mothers, women workers did not usually see their occupation as a centrally defining characteristic of their lives, and therefore frequently failed to declare it.

Business records can be used to supplement the census and to give an indication of the gender-specific nature of employment and wage earning in certain firms and regions. But the survival of wage books is generally poor and biased in favour of larger firms in the regulated sector – for example factory textile employment, where wages and employment levels were generally much higher than the norm.

Trade directories are another useful source but suffer from the fact that they were published irregularly, and record not employment but the names of business proprietorships. Household budgets have recently been used for research on women’s work. They have the advantage that they generally record all incomes, including poor relief and self-provisioning, allowing one to assess the contribution of women and juveniles to the family economy. Their disadvantage is that they have patchy survival over time and region, and they have varying levels of detail, accuracy and comparability because they were compiled for differing purposes.

The varieties of women’s work:

Two Victorian woman working on the stitch work of a womans dressWorking in the rag trade  ©What do we know from the difficult evidence about patterns of women’s work over time and in different regions and sectors of the economy? The most obvious feature of women’s work was its importance to most families, its variability across time and space and its persistent association with certain trades and sectors.

Female employment in the 1850s, 60s and 70s appears to have been higher than any recorded again until after World War II. Family budget evidence suggests that around 30-40 per cent of women from working class families contributed significantly to household incomes in the mid-Victorian years. This might have been even higher during the industrial revolution decades, before the rise of State and trade union policies regulating female labour and promoting the male breadwinner ideal.

Domestic service of all kinds was the single largest employer of women ...

As in earlier centuries, the bulk of waged work for women appears to have been found in trades associated with female skills or proclivities, particularly where these were also casual and low paid.
Domestic service of all kinds was the single largest employer of women (40 per cent of female occupations stated in the census of 1851 in provincial cities and 50 per cent in London). The textile and clothing sectors came a close second. Women were also found in large numbers in metal wares and pottery and in a variety of petty trades, especially in towns: confectionery, brewing and other provisioning, seam-stressing, laundry work, cleaning and retailing. Because many sectors which employed large numbers of women were concentrated in certain regions of the country (as with the cotton and woollen industries of south Lancashire and west Yorkshire), the statistics of female labour force participation varied across the country.
Women and the family firm:

Outside the working classes the traditional view of Victorian women is that they were little involved in business or enterprise and that their lives were largely devoted to the private sphere of domestic and family life. Certainly the cultural and evangelical ideals of the period placed women on a pedestal of moral probity, motherhood and domestic orderliness. There is some evidence that middle class women in some sectors of the economy did increasingly withdraw from direct involvement in family firms in the mid-Victorian period, whilst the legal status of married women and their limited property rights made it difficult for them to operate in business on their own account at least before the 1880s.

…the stereotype of the middle-class woman as the angel in the house can easily be overplayed.

 However, the stereotype of the middle class woman as the angel in the house can easily be overplayed. Widows and spinsters were rarely in a position to rest on their laurels or be ladies of leisure. Many of the former carried on family businesses after the death of their husbands, whilst the significant surplus of spinsters in Victorian society found work as governesses or in trades which were regarded as suitable for women such as millinery and inn-keeping, grocery retailing and other victualling.
Both widows and spinsters were prominent in property ownership and in financing businesses as sleeping partners. The typical firm in the 19th century was a small family partnership. Because of this many opportunities existed for wives and daughters to be closely involved. There is evidence of their important roles, especially behind the scenes: in retailing, book-keeping, correspondence, dealing with clients, arranging deals.
Women’s work, industrialisation and gender:

A photograph showing a Victorian woman working on making hat boxesMaking hat boxes  ©The nature of industrialisation was much influenced by the prevalence of women’s work and by the wider role of women in Victorian society. Women were prominent in many sectors which underwent considerable technological and organisational change partly because employers at first found it easier to recruit women and juveniles to new practices in the face of opposition from established, unionised or skilled adult male workers. Women provided a flexible, cheap and adaptive workforce for factories and sweatshops, and had feminine skills associated with some of the most rapidly expanding consumer goods industries at the forefront of industrialisation such as textiles, pottery, clothing and victualling. Some new technologies were adapted and modified with young female workers in mind, while the cheap labour of women and children could also hold back mechanisation in favour of traditional labour intensive methods.

Women provided a flexible, cheap and adaptive workforce…

Regional and sectoral variations in the extent to which women were involved in waged work had a major impact upon regional differences in gender relations within families and communities, and upon the complexion of local politics and trade unionism. Women’s wage-earning ability often gave them more influence over wider familial and community decision-making. This included decisions about consumption, and has been held partly responsible for the increasing independence and fashion consciousness of young women, and the rise in mass spending on household goods, clothing, furniture, curtains and foodstuffs. The more women worked for wages the less time they had to produce their own goods for the home.
A double burden:

A Victorian wife keeps house for her on looking husbandVictorian working women bore the brunt of household duties (Punch cartoon, 1894)  ©In areas where many women, including married women, worked full-time for wages (for example in some of the cotton textile towns of the north-west such as Preston) there may have developed greater sharing of housework between men and women, and a more prominent role for women in local politics. However, there are more examples where working women shouldered the double burden of waged work and the bulk of household responsibilities, and where their role in politics remained marginal.

…working women shouldered the double burden of waged work and the bulk of household responsibilities…

As the 19th century progressed, there was a greater prevalence of gender-specific employment which was often used to enhance control and discipline in the workplace.
Supervisory roles were almost exclusively taken by men, and men also came to operate the most expensive and sophisticated machinery and to monopolise the high status and higher paid jobs even in textiles.
The expansion of heavy industries such as iron, steel, mining, engineering and ship building in the later century also created sectors which employed almost exclusively male labour, which were associated solely with male attributes and which endorsed the male breadwinner ideal. Thus a hardening of gender assumptions in the nineteenth century was closely associated with corresponding changes in the workplace.
Find out more:

Books

Women’s History in Britain, 1850-1945 ed. June Purvis (London UCL Press 1995) A collection of essays covering a range of topics from women’s work and the family to education, health, sexuality and politics.

Women, Gender and Industrialisation in England, 1700-1870 by Katrina Honeyman (Basingstoke Macmillan, 2000) A concise volume good on gender, class and industrialisation.

The First Industrial Woman by Deborah Valenze (Oxford OUP, 1995) Good on the implications of shifting employment patterns, agricultural work and domestic service.

A History of European Women’s Work, 1700 to the present by Deborah Simonton, (New York Routledge, 1998) Good for the longer time perspective and for European similarities and contrasts.

Links:

The Womens’ Library An organisation of historians of women in Britain promoting research and writing on women’s history. This website also contains a number of very useful links to other websites associated with the history of women.

Spartacus Schoolnet A website directed at schools containing biographies of key women in the history of the British women’s movement.

Places to visit:

There a several museums which help to recapture the nature of Victorian society and the place of women within it, most obviously the Victoria and Albert Museum in London which has wonderful collections of art and artefacts reflecting the nature of the middle and upper-class Victorian home. Smaller museums yield information and evidence of women’s work and their patterns of dress and consumption. Most notably Quarry Bank Mill at Style, Cheshire; the textile museum in the Halifax Piece Hall; and Platt Hall Museum, Manchester.

The new industrial and commercial middle classes of the Victorian era were great patrons of the arts, and some British provincial art galleries contain major collections of the sorts of works which they commissioned as well as work depicting domestic interiors and women. Amongst the best of these art galleries are the Birmingham City Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Consult some primary sourcesT detailing the nature of women’s work and household activities such as business records, census enumerator’s books, trade directories, household budgets and private diaries. Details of business records relating to women in the West Yorkshire textile industries can be found in The West Riding Wool Textile Industry: a catalogue of business records by Pat Hudson, (Edington, Pasold, 1976). Other guides to archive holdings can be found on the websites of most major repositories. Many collections of working class autobiographies have been published and include several written by women. For a guide see for example, The Autobiography of the Working Class: an annotated critical bibliography vols 1-3 ed. by J. Burnett, D. Vincent and J. Mayall, (Hassocks Harvester 1984, 1987, 1989).

Examining surviving Victorian housing from outside and from within can be very revealing particularly if these can be matched to information from Census returns. It is possible to reconstruct Victorian households at each census point and to imagine where each household member resided within the house. In many major cities there are now organised walks which are helpful in tracing Victorian history and women’s history trails. Details of these can usually be obtained from local history libraries.

About the author:

Pat Hudson is Professor of History in the School of History and Archaeology at Cardiff University. She specialises in the impact of economic and social change within different local and regional, economic, social and cultural settings. Her books include The Industrial Revolution (London, 1992).

 

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“The Civil Partnership Act & English Women’s Property Act”

#AceHistoryNews says “The Civil Partnership Act” came into force, granting civil partnerships in the United Kingdom with rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage.

History:

The Civil Partnership Act 2004The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c 33) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Bill for this Act was introduced by the Labour government and supported by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition. The Act grants civil partnerships in the United Kingdom with rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage. Civil Partners are entitled to the same property rights as married opposite-sex couples, the same exemption as married couples social security and pension benefits, and also the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner’s children as well as responsibility for reasonable maintenance of one’s partner and their children, tenancy rights, full life insurance recognition, next-of-kin rights in hospitals, and others. There is a formal process for dissolving partnerships akin to divorce.

This led to even further Rights for Women with the advent of the Married Women’s Property Act that  provided women with further protection for themselves and their children.  Though this was well before “Property Rights” were enshrined into law.

Married Women’s Property Act {Originally called English Women’s Property Rights}

Womens RightsEnglish law defined the role of the wife as a ‘feme covert’, emphasizing her subordination to her husband, and putting her under the ‘protection and influence of her husband, her baron, or lord’. Upon marriage, the husband and wife became one person under the law, as the property of the wife was surrendered to her husband, and her legal identity ceased to exist. Any personal property acquired by the wife during the marriage, unless specified that it was for her own separate use, went automatically to her husband. If a woman writer had copyright before marriage, the copyright would pass to the husband afterwards, for instance. Further, a married woman was unable to draft a will or dispose of any property without her husband’s consent.

Women were often limited in what they could inherit. Males were more likely to receive real property (land), while females with brothers were sometimes limited to inherited personal property, which included clothing, jewellery, household furniture, food, and all moveable goods. In an instance where no will was found, the English law of primogeniture automatically gave the oldest son the right to all real property, and the daughter only inherited real property in the absence of a male heir. The law of intestate primogeniture remained on the books in Britain until 1925.

Aware of their daughters’ unfortunate situation, fathers often provided them with dowries or worked into a prenuptial agreement pin-money, the estate which the wife was to possess for her sole and separate use not subject to the control of her husband, to provide her with an income separate from his. 

In contrast to wives, women who never married or who were widowed maintained control over their property and inheritance, owned land and controlled property disposal,  since by law any unmarried adult female was considered to be a feme sole. Once married, the only way that women could reclaim property was through widowhood.

The dissolution of a marriage, whether initiated by the husband or wife, usually left the divorced females impoverished, as the law offered them no rights to marital property. The 1836 Caroline Norton court case highlighted the injustice of English property laws, and generated enough support that eventually resulted in the Married Women’s Property Act.

English Womens Property RightsThe Act: 

After years of political lobbying, the Married Women’s Property Act addressed the grievances presented by English women. The Act altered the common law doctrine of coverture to include the wife’s right to own, buy and sell her separate property. Wives’ legal identities were also restored, as the courts were forced to recognize a husband and a wife as two separate legal entities, in the same manner as if the wife was a feme sole. Married women’s legal rights included the right to sue and be sued. Any damages a wife might pay would be her own responsibility, instead of that of her husband. Married women were then also liable for their own debts, and any outside trade they owned was subject to bankruptcy laws. Further, married women were able to hold stock in their own names. The Act applied in England (and Wales) and Ireland (subsequently only Northern Ireland), but did not extend to Scotland.

Property Rights: 

In abstract, property is that had by or belongs to/with something, whether as an attribute or a component. For the significant context of this article, property is one or more components (rather than attributes), whether physical or incorporeal, of a person’s estate; or so belonging to, as in being owned by, a person or jointly a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation or even a society. (Given such meaning, the word property is uncountable, and as such, is not described with an indefinite article or as plural.) Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property has the right to consume, alter, share, redefinerentmortgagepawnsellexchange,transfergive away or destroy it, or to exclude others from doing these things, as well as perhaps to abandon it; whereas regardless of the nature of the property, the owner thereof has the right to properly use it (as a durablemean or factor, or whatever), or at the very least exclusively keep it.

Property that jointly belongs to more than one party may be possessed or controlled thereby in very similar or very distinct ways, whether simply or complexly, whether equally or unequally. However, there is an expectation that each party’s will (rather discretion) with regard to the property be clearly defined and unconditional, so as to distinguish ownership and easement from rent. The parties might expect their wills to be unanimous, or alternately every given one of them, when no opportunity for or possibility of dispute with any other of them exists, may expect his, her, its or their own will to be sufficient and absolute.

The Restatement (First) of Property defines Property as any thing, tangible or intangible whereby a legal relationship between persons and the State enforces a possessory interest or legal title in that thing. This mediating relationship between individual, property and state is called as property regimes.

Important widely recognized types of  property include real property (the combination of land and any improvements to or on the land), personal property (physical possessions belonging to a person), private property (property owned by legal persons, business entities or individual natural persons), public property (state-owned or publicly owned and available possessions) and intellectual property (exclusive rights over artistic creations, inventions, etc.), although the latter is not always as widely recognized or enforced. An article of property may have physical and incorporeal parts. A title, or a right of ownership, establishes the relation between the property and other persons, assuring the owner the right to dispose of the property as the owner sees fit.

#History2Research 

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Rare 1, 900-Year Old Sculpture of Found at Aldgate Station London

Eagle and SnakeThe latest piece of Roman history to be unearthed at a London building site has been described as an exceptional find.

The statue, which shows an eagle with a serpent in its beak, has been hailed by experts as one of the finest artefacts ever unearthed in Britain.

It was found on the building site of a hotel near Aldgate tube station.

Video of find: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-24737472

Here is some significance that has been given to the Mexican Eagle or Mexican seal

  • The Mexican Eagle stands on a Nopal (cactus) the fruit of this particular Cactus is the Tuna (a small, round red fruit) that for some represents the human heart and the Aztec belief of human sacrifice as an offer to the Gods to guarantee a new day.

The island has a banner with three stripes: green represents hope and victory, white symbolizes the purity of Mexican ideals and the red represents the blood shed by the Mexican national heroes.

On the lower part of the seal, there is a crown of flowers that represents strength and victory.

English: Interpretation of Mexican Eagle 1887

English: Interpretation of Mexican Eagle 1887 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout Mexican history, several other meaning have been adjudicated to the Mexican Eagle and Seal, here are a few more of the most common:

  • The Eagle represents the Mexican people, and its fighting pose means that the people is ready to face the challenges that life and the world have to offer.
  • The Snake represents Mexico’s enemies, that, although unidentified, they could mean any strange interest that means to harm the people of Mexico. The fact that the Eagle is eating the snake means that the Mexican people will overcome its enemies.
  • The cactus, with its thorns; represents the challenges and problems of Mexico. The Mexican eagle, defiantly standing on top means that the Mexican people will overcome these challenges.

*The Aztec symbols of the Island and the water represent the Indigenous origins of Mexico, united by the Colony by the mix between Europeans and natives.
*One other meaning has been given to the Mexican seal, that the Snake is not dead but still fighting, to some, has a sort of “Mexican Yin-Yang” meaning where we find the eternal struggle between good and evil, or aerial and terrestrial, if you would like.

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Snapshot of History -The British Overseas Territories

English: All territories held by the British E...

English: All territories held by the British Empire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the height of its power in the late 19th century, the British Empire had acquired about one-quarter of the world’s land area, including territories with large indigenous populations in Asia and Africa. Some colonies have since gained independence, but Britain continues to control the administration and legislature of 14 colonies known as the British Overseas Territories. As they are found on or near every continent, the sun still never sets on the British Empire. What are the 14 colonies?

 

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