Historians for History Statement, May 2015

Historians for History

   We welcome the useful contribution made by Historians for Britain in the current issue of History Today, which provides a timely reminder of the value of history in contemporary debate. More specifically, it raises important questions about British nationalism and claims of Anglo-exceptionalism at a significant moment in time for both. As historians, however, we take issue with the statement’s highly reductive distortion of the history of the United Kingdom.

The authors seem to have interpreted the past to fit their desire to see a renegotiation of Britain’s EU membership in the present. And while they don’t even hint at what aspects of British membership they would like to see renegotiated, they clearly feel that the country’s  ‘largely uninterrupted history since the Middle Ages’ sets Britain apart from her continental neighbours. The unambiguous proposition is that as national communities from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean struggled through a…

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About J. Chambliss

Julian Chambliss is professor of History and coordinator of the Africa and African-American Studies program at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida. With research, teaching, and service centered real and imaginary urban spaces, he is an interdisciplinary scholar and award-winning teacher. He has designed digital humanities projects to investigate community and document black culture in the United States. Follow him on Twitter @JulianChambliss.
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