Welcome to this sample collection which gathers together articles from notable stories and themes that appear in this archive, and provides you with links to view the articles on the Gale Primary Sources platform.
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In 1861, Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, starting the American civil war. The result of increasing tensions over the rights of states to expand slavery in the face of Abraham Lincoln’s (1809-1865) election and his support for banning slavery, the war would last four years before being won by the Union, culminating in the abolition of slavery and the release of millions of slaves. The Times covered the Civil War in great depth, considering the issues and causes as well as covering engagements and military activity, printing the perspectives of figures such as Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) and an exploration of the history of slavery by their New York correspondent.
From 1853 to 1856, an alliance of Britain, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire were in military conflict with the Russian Empire. There were many causes of the conflict, and conflict began in the Balkans with Russian forces occupying modern Romania. After several destructive battles with significant casualties, the Treaty of Paris was signed, bringing the conflict to an end. The war was marked by criticism of military failures, especially logistical and tactical ineptitude, and began to lose public support. The Times followed the conflict, utilising the new resource of war correspondents to report on major battles including Balaklava and Sebastopol, and the peace agreement.
The Great Reform Act of 1832 brought significant and wide-ranging changes to the British electoral system, and is seen as one of the earliest bills to pass due to public pressure. The Act reduced the number of nomination boroughs and consequently MPs, whilst simultaneously creating 130 new seats in England and Wales. It also expanded the franchise, which led to an increase of the number of men who could vote, and introduced voter registration and multiple polling stations within constituencies to make voting more accessible. The Act did not cover Scotland or Ireland, though both subsequently passed their own Acts, and did not cover the working classes, a major contributor the Chartist movement that emerged in future years.
During the Lebanese Civil War, many western hostages were taken, with 104 foreign hostages taken during a ten-year period, with at least eight dying during captivity. In 1986, both Brian Keenan (1950-) and journalist John McCarthy (1956-) were taken hostage, and shared a cell for several years. McCarthy was the longest-held British hostage, spending over five years in captivity. In 1987, Terry Waite (1939-) was taken captive whilst on a mission to negotiate the release of existing hostages, and his kidnapping added to widespread media coverage, which gained traction due to the public campaign to free McCarthy led by his sister. Keenan, McCarthy and Waite were eventually released in 1991, after the end of the Lebanese Civil War.
In 1920, The Times reported on a pamphlet that was set to “perturb the thinking public”, claiming that a ‘Jewish Peril’ was coming due to the insidious accusations it made about Jew’s plans for world domination. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was claimed to be the minutes from a meeting of Jewish elders in the 19th century laying out the plans, which had been circulated internationally in multiple languages since its original publication in 1903. It was endorsed by Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) who referred to in in Mein Kampf, and used by the Nazis as anti-Semitic propaganda, even after The Times had established it as a forgery in 1921.
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