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Marxist History-writing for the Twenty-first Century$
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Chris Wickham

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264034

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264034.001.0001

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Marxism and Its Others

Marxism and Its Others

(p.112) 5. Marxism and Its Others
Marxist History-writing for the Twenty-first Century

Catherine Hall

British Academy

This chapter is written from the perspective of a historian trying to comprehend the complexities of the nineteenth-century societies and to use those conceptual theories that would define the many layers of the social, cultural, and political world. In the absence of Marxism, there has been a tendency to lose interest in the large-scale changes and to resort to micro-histories. A return to Marx is therefore needed to understand how change occurs in the relation between key categories of difference. And while Marx may not have full answers to the questions on the logic of capital and class antagonisms, he nevertheless initiated questions on agency and change. The focus of the chapter is on the United Kingdom and its empire from 1828 to 1833. This was a period when political citizenship and forms of rule at home and across the empire were reassessed; when the forms of conservative aristocratic rule in Britain and the colonies were ruptured; and when the new vision of the nation and the empire was introduced. In all of the places ruled by the UK, emphasis is placed on Ireland, Britain, Jamaica, and India, including Westminster, which is the seat of the British government. Each of the cases is dealt with extensively, with stress on ethnicity, class, race, and gender. All of these cases are examined within the framework of Marxism, wherein the salience of the theory is measured on its capacity to address issues of differences.

Keywords:   nineteenth-century societies, Marxism, Marx, logic of capital, class antagonisms, United Kingdom, 1828 to 1833, political citizenship, forms of rule, conservative aristocratic rule

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