Historic Notes

Is a 186 paged pdf collection that covers episodes in British working class history, providing a brief account of some familiar milestones in the calendar of struggle and other less known occurrences. They began appearing in The Worker, newspaper of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) in 1978.

Reading these “notes” the worldview of the CPB (ML) can be seen, particularly blatant with regard to their position on a united British state, incorporating the three nations and expressed in political opposition to both devolution and membership of the European Community. These were written with a purpose, and the contemporary relevance and political references providing history lesson for its reader.

What’s missing? The specific contribution and concerns of black people and women. There is a narrow focus that is pale and male reflective of the organisation’s binary understanding of, and what constitute, class struggles. Intersectionality is not a concept to be found in the understanding or writings of the CPB ML . The emphasis is on the organised working class in its industrial institution, the trade union hence the Match Girl Strike makes an appearance due to its nature as a trade dispute. There is an Anglocentric focus on events in England, some Imperial episodes, the French, Irish and Russian Revolutions so “Historic Notes” is a partial contribution, a scaffolding of events towards recording a history far from comprehensive, riddled with the perceptions and concerns of the writers, which may provoke further research to raise the voices of the unheard.

Reproduced here is not the complete series but a selection of articles, arranged chronologically rather than by date of publication. There are some duplication of subject as the writers return to commemoration some achievements of working people.

index of articles

1215 Magna Carta

1349 Statute of labourers

1381 Peasant Revolt

1395 Lollards

1549 Class war

1560 Robert Crowley

1598 Stow’s Survey of London

1640 The Levellers as pioneers

1648 William Walwyn

Books available for download at archive.org

Berens, Lewis Henry (1906) The Digger movement in the days of the Commonwealth: as revealed in the writings of Gerrard Winstanley, the Digger; mystic, and rationalist, communist and social reformer. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent

Clayton, Joseph, (1910) Leaders of the People; studies in democratic history. London: Martin. Secker

Stow, John, (1912) The Survey of London 1598 .London: J.M. Dent

Trevelyan, George Macaulay, (1904) England in the age of Wycliffe. London,Longmans

1707 The Treaty of Union

1750 Adam Smith

1750 Britain was the first country to industrialise

1750 The Destruction of the old Highland

1779 The Iron Bridge

1788 The Times

1789 The French revolution

1795 The Road to Speerhamland

1797 Mutiny at Spithead

1800 Not deemed respectable enough

1800 Developing Capitalism Integrated Britain

1807 Wilberforce

1810 The British Empire

1810s Friendly Societies

1810s Luddities Act against Destitution

1812 Luddities

1817 Peterloo

1831 Merthyr Riots

1831 Working Class Union

1832 Workers and the Vote

1833 Tolpuddle Martyrs

1834 The Way to the workhouse

1840 Miners Advocate

1848 Communist manifesto

1850s Crimea war

1857 The Indian Revolt

1860 Robert Applegate1861-1865

1862 The Hartley Calamity – a pit disaster

1864 delegates

1868 TUC Forged

1869 The First international

1870s Afghanistan under the British

1870s Fight for the shorter working week

1870s Samuel Plimsoll

1871 The Paris Commune1971 The first jolt to the ruling classes

1872 Joseph Arch

1878 Kent & Sussex Lockout

1880s Truth behind the Boer War

1888 Matchgirl Strike

1889 A Day for the working class

1889 The Docker’s Tanner

1900 Taff vale

1902 The Education Act

1907 Strikes in Belfast

1910 Social progress and the great unrest

1911 Burston teachers

1913 Farm workers strike

1914 The First World War

1914 the war to end all wars

1916 The Easter Uprising

1917 International Women’s Day

1917 The October Revolution

1919 Army sent to break the strike

1920 Jolly George

1921 Economic crisis

1921 The Popular struggle

1921 Popular Councillors Imprisoned

1922 Lowestoft Teachers Strike

1926 The General Strike

1926 The general strike in Brighton

1939 Capitalism Pact of Steel

1939 Non-Aggression Pact

1939 Swife Scales Seven

1941 Betteshanger Colliery

1941 Stalin: war leader

1941 The battle for Moscow

1943 Battle of Kursk

1945 Second World War in Europe

1948 Malaya after the end of WW2

1950 Outbreak of the Korean War

1950-53 The Korean War

1952 The Mau Mau Rebelliion

1958 Iraq

1970s Resisting anti-union laws

1972 The Miners’ Strike

1979 Albania celebrates 35 years

1980 Nalgo and white collar unionism

1987 the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale

1989 Bitter Winter of struggles.

Download the pdf here

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