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Social Science History: Time line for the history of science and social science

A time line from before writing began to the present, linked to Andrew Roberts' book Social Science History and to other resources, including extracts and works of authors and the timelines for crime America mental health sunrise and earthcore.

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Main Chronological Headings

In the begining
Prehistory (through archeology and myth)
Prehistoric imagination, art and craft
Pyramids and maths on tablets
Chinese civilisation
Ancient Greece Plato's Republic
Birth of Christ
materials of medicine
a map of the heavens
a critical turning
Birth of Muhammad
Medieval Europe
8th Century
11th Century
a critical turning
Ibn al-Haytham
1066 and 1086
Omar Khayyám
12th Century
Euclid rediscovered
a Common Law for England
13th Century
Thomas Aquinas
14th Century
Geoffrey Chaucer
15th Century
Slavery and social science
1492: Columbus hears about cannibals
16th Century
Paracelsus - alchemy and experiment
new knowledge contrasted with schools
a triangular run
1517: individual judgement: bible over church
1528: map of the universe
1544: map of the world
1577 state of nature theory
1593 God's gift of reason
1597: The music of the spheres and a great herbal
17th Century
1610: by God called gods   1611 Authorised Bible
1642: English Civil War
1646: King contained - 1649: King beheaded
1651: Hobbes' Leviathan
Louis 14: "l'etat c'est moi"
1660: Restoration and Royal Society
1662: Bills of mortatlity
1686: Newton's mathematical physics:
1688 Bloodless English revolution
Locke's politics and theory of science.
1697: balance of trade figures
18th Century
Coffee houses and newspapers
1729: English translation of Newton's Mathematical Principles
1734: The Koran for Christians
1740: David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature
1748: Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws
1759: British Museum
1761 Transit of Venus
1762: Rousseau's The Social Contract and Emile
Steam and Machine
1764: Beccaria's Essay on Crimes and Punishment
1768: Priestley's principles of government and 1774 dephlogisticated air
1769 Another transit of Venus
1776: Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and Bentham's A Fragment on Government
1787: Federalist Papers
1789: French Revolution
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
French Constitution of 1789
French Constitution of 1791
Rights of woman
France at War
French King Guillotined
French Constitution of 1793
1795 Speenhamland
metric system adopted in France
Institut National des Sciences et Arts
1798: Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population
19th Century
1801 First British census
1806: the decomposition of matter into its elements by electricity
1812: Owen's Essays on the Formation of Human Character
1819: Idyllic country villages and a Manchester massacre
1820: James Mill's Essay on Government
1822: Utilitarian Society
1827: London University
1831: The spirit of the age
1833: Statistical Societies formed
1834 Poor Law
Speed annihilates distance
Hungry Forties
Womens' Rights Movement
1841 British census with names
the steamship and the railway and the thoughts that shake mankind
1842: Women and children in coal mines
1843: The birth of anthropology
1843: Superphosphates and classic field experiments
1844 The Claims of Labour and Vestiges of Creation
1848: All Things Bright and Beautiful - Principles of Political Economy - and The Communist Manifesto
1848 Revolutions
1850: History of "the social movement"
1851: The Enfranchisement of Women
1857: Association for the Promotion of Social Science
1859: The Origin of Species
1861: History of the family
1863: Emancipation of United States slaves
1869: The Subjection of Women
1870: European war and German worker's parties
1871: The Descent of Man
1872: Durkheim's nephew born
1872: The secret of Giuseppe Villella's skull
1874: Mary Paley and economics
1876: L'uomo delinquente
1879: Psychology laboratory
1880: electric light and the experimental method applied to the novel
Emile Durkheim and Max Weber
1886: New York and Liverpool: World Cities.
1887: Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft
1889: Life and Labour of the People of London
1890: Alfred Marshall's Principles of Economics
1891: Our Baby
1893 Evolution and ethics
La donna delinquente
1895: Fabians found The London School of Economics and Political Science
International association
20th Century   germs   magic blood and science words  
1900: Freud's Interpretation of Dreams
Psychological and sociological societies
Sociological Review
1904: Conditioned reflexes
1908: Social Psychology
1910: Linguistics proper
1911: Galton Chair of Eugenics
1913: Behaviourism and Ecology
First World War
1917: Russian revolution
1919: The ABC of Communism
1920: The New Psychology and its Relation to Life and The Outline of History
1922: Stalin
1925: Nazi theory
1925: The City
1928: USA Sociology
1929: Our Baby's discipline and The Science of Life
Wall Street Crash
1931: death of George Herbert Mead
A National Plan for Britain
The scientific treatment of criminals
1932: an atom split
1933: betrayed by evolution
1935: Turing's meadow computation
1936: Heavy rain
Mass Observation
1937: Symbolic confrontation
Musée de l'Homme founded in Paris.
Second World War
1942: Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, by Franz Neumann
1943: this holocaust
1944: Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom
1945: United Nations
Cold War
1949: Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex
new international sociology
1951: Talcott Parsons'The Social System
A new British Sociological Association
1953: The Institute of Community Studies
1956: Karl Popper's Science, Conjectures and Refutations article
1956: New Scientist magazine launched
1957: International Geophysical Year
1958: a new sort of political mobilisation
1959: Outline of Human Genetics
1960s: a global village    Goffman    Foucault
computers and statistics
1962: New Society magazine launched
the people's university
1963: Claude Lévi-Strauss The Structural Study of Myth
criminology for criminals
1966: Psychology so far
1967: summer of love     Ethnomethodology
1968: anti-everything
A Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
1970; sexual politics and a crisis looms in USA Sociology.
1971: Ronald Fletcher's The Making of Sociology
1972: anti-Oedipus in France as crisis in sociology hits Britain. Evidence based medicine?
1973: women's studies and peace studies
1974: Juliet Mitchell's Psychoanalysis and Feminism
1974-1979: The coming (and going) Corporatism
1975: prison and society
1978: chips with everything
the Adam Smith revival
1979: Postmodern?? Condition: Report on Knowledge??
re-structuring society
1980 Enterprise Culture
1981 Communicative action
1984 Education and race
1985: Glasnost
1988 Diana H. Coole's Women in Political Theory
Dependency Culture
Black film, British cinema
1989 Revolutions
1990 The avalanche of post-modernism
1992: Do your own word processing!
1993: the world wide web
1996: Manuel Castells' The Information Age
1998: Sociology top ten
1999: Globalised: Anthony Giddens' Reith Lectures
2000/2001: Free and democratic encyclopedia
11.9.2001: New international relations
2003: The will to make poverty history?
2004 A prize for humanities and social science
2006 Life after Durkheim?
Pope against gender theory
Global age financial crisis
2010 Royal Society claims 350 years
An arab spring
2011 Lauruie Taylor interviews Stuart Hall - Recession mapped

2073 Mary Shelley's Social Science utopia

Alphabetical index
of authors

Theodor Adorno
Cecil Alexander
Louis Althusser
Jane Adams
Thomas Aquinas
Hannah Arendt
Babikir Badri
Francis Bacon
Johann Jakob Bachofen
Roland Barthes
Janina Bauman
Zygmunt Bauman
Mary Beard
Cesare Beccaria
Ulrich Beck
Howard Becker
Daniel Bell
Jeremy Bentham
Peter Berger
William Blackstone
Jean Bodin
Charles Booth
William Booth
Pierre Bourdieu
Ernest Burgess
Edmund Burke
Judith Butler
Georg Cantor
Thomas Carlyle
Manuel Castells
Geoffrey Chaucer
Harriette Chick
Frederic Clements
George Combe
Auguste Comte
Diana Coole
Charles Horton Cooley
Henry Cowles
Robert Dahl
John Dalton
Charles Darwin
Humphrey Davey
Simone De Beauvoir
Geoff Dench
René Descartes
John Dewey
Jan van Dijk
Wilhelm Dilthey
Pedanius Dioscorides
Mary Douglas
Emile Durkheim
Albert Einstein
Friedrich Engels
Norbert Elias
Enrico Ferri
Robert Filmer
Shulamith Firestone
Ronald Fletcher
Julienne Ford
Michel Foucault
Frankfurt School
Sigmund Freud
Erich Fromm
Francis Galton
Harold Garfinkel
Anthony Giddens
William Godwin
Erving Goffman
Benjamin Gompertz
Olympe de Gouges
Antonio Gramsci
John Graunt
Jürgen Habermas
Stuart Hall
David Hartley
David Harvey
Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hegel
Adolf Hitler
Thomas Hobbes
Leonard T. Hobhouse
Richard Hooker
Max Horkheimer
Luke Howard
David Hume
William James
Immanuel Kant
John Maynard Keynes
Imam Khomeini
Julia Kristeva
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
Claude Levi-Strauss
Lucien Levy-Bruhl
Carolus Linnaeus
Martin Luther
John Locke
Cesare Lombroso
Charles Lyell
Jean-François Lyotard
Thomas B. Macaulay
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Malthus
Henri François Marion
Karl Marx
Roderick McKenzie
Marshal McLuhan
George Herbert Mead
Gregor Mendel
Juliet Mitchell
Robert King Merton
James Mill
John Stuart Mill
Charles Montesquieu
Elaine Morgan
Lewis Morgan
William Morris
Max Müller
Franz Neumann
Isaac Newton
Barthold Georg Niebuhr
Maureen Orth
George Orwell
Robert Owen
Ivan Pavlov
Robert Park
Talcott Parsons
Frank Pearce
Jean Piaget
Karl Popper
James Cowles Prichard
Joseph Priestley
Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown
Franz Leopold Ranke
Rosalie Rayner
David Ricardo
Sheila Rowbotham
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Bertrand Russell
Alfred Schütz
Henri Saint Simon
Jean Paul Sartre
Ferdinand de Saussure
Roger Scruton
Andrew Scull
William Shakespeare
Mary Shelley
Percy Shelley
Georg Simmel
Burrhus Skinner
Adam Smith
Pitirim Sorokin
Herbert Spencer
Oswald Spengler
Benjamin Spock
Ed Stephan
William Sumner
Joseph Swan
Arthur and Edith Tansley
Harriet Taylor
Alfred Tennyson
William Thompson
Alexis de Tocqueville
Ferdinand Tönnies
Peter Townsend
Alan Turing
Edward Burnet Tylor
James Usher
Ludwig Von Bertalanffy
James D. Watson
John Watson
Max Weber
Alfred Wegener
Anna Wheeler
Alfred North Whitehead
Peter Willmott
Mary Wollstonecraft
William Wordsworth
C. Wright Mills
Wilhelm Wundt
Michael Young
Jock Young

15,000,000,000 years ago The creation of the universe according to Physical Sciences information gateway (psigate) (26.9.2006 - last surviving archive traced) - Usher's date was 4,004BC

600,000,000 years ago First traceable fossils dated to this time. (psigate) [Edgeworth David (1928 and before) analysed pre-Cambrian rocks in Australia and found traces of micro- biological material]

230,000,000 years ago "The first dinosaurs appeared about 230 million years ago and for the next 160 million years, the Earth belonged to these ancient reptiles" Natural History Museum

65,000,000 years ago Asteroid impact in what is now Quebec, Canada, created crater 70 kilometres in diameter and wiped out many species (psigate) - Dinosaurs (and 90% of all species) wiped out after a meteorite.

34,000,000 years ago Impact at Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, created crater almost 200 kilometres across, caused global devastation and possible extinction of dinosaurs, along with an estimated 85% of all life - (psigate)

4,400,000 years ago Earliest known hominid [human, not ape] fossils dated to this time (psigate) - Ardipithicus ramidus, named September 1994, found in Ethiopia by research team headed by Tim White.

Paleolithic (Old stone age)

2,600,000 to 2,550,000 years ago Oldest known stone tools (See Wikipedia). "Archaeology studies human history from the development of the first stone tools.." (Wikipedia). It is one of the main ways in which social theorists have tried to access pre-history (the human story before writing). Another major way has been through speculation on the content of myths. Artefacts, like stone tools, can be dated in a way that inferences from myths can not. On the other hand, myths may give access to the mind in a way that artifacts do not.

Lower Paleolithic

1,800,000 years ago "Early human migrations began when Homo erectus first migrated out of Africa over the Levantine corridor and Horn of Africa to Eurasia about 1.8 million years ago". (Wikipedia)

400,000? years ago First use of fire

Middle Paleolithic

200,000 years ago "It is most likely that modern Homo sapiens born 200,000 thousand years ago, somewhere in Eastern (Central) Africa" (Dates in the history of biology) (I have assumed it means 200,000)

Modern humans, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa up to 200,000 years ago and reached the Near East around 125,000 years ago. From the Near East, these populations spread east to South Asia by 50,000 years ago, and on to Australia by 40,000 years ago, when for the first time H. sapiens reached territory never reached by H. erectus. H. sapiens reached Europe around 40,000 years ago, eventually replacing the Neanderthal population. East Asia was reached by 30,000 years ago. (Wikipedia)

Upper Paleolithic

Prehistoric imagination, art and craft

    "It was in the upper Palaeolithic that for the first time man gave expression to his beliefs, his feelings and thoughts with figurines, engravings and exorcist rock-paintings". ( Schenk, G. 1961 , p.111)

Between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago Venus of Hohle Fels

About 30,000 years ago, modern homo sapiens entirely replaced earlier man-like forms. Weapons and tools of flint and bone survive along with female carved stone figures with exaggerated sexual features, suggesting fertility symbols and magical ceremonies.

26,000 years ago

The mammoth hunter of Dolni Vestonice was found in Southern Moravia. It is an ivory figurine of a face:

    "finely strung, lively, sympathetic and also suffering, a being which stood facing the world devout, pure and humble. This picture...has all the characteristics of human elevation. Everything points to the Ice Age hunter having depicted himself". ( Schenk, G. 1961 , p.127)
22,000 years ago

The Venus of Willendorf was found in Austria. It is thought to be a carving of a woman, without facial features, fat, with pendulous breasts and a huge, perhaps pregnant, belly. Many figures with similar characteristics have been found from Russia to France [Microsoft Encarta, 1994]

Interpretations of Stone Age Art
Venus of Willendorf weblinks


Darren Brewer's events in science and history (archive) begins between 15,000 and 10,000 BC with the world warming up from the ice age and people painting in caves.

David Lee's science timeline begins about 10,000 BC, when wolves were probably domesticated. [Darren Brewer "dog domesticated" about 12,000 BC

9,500 BC? Early neolithic

From prehistoric to historic times:

5,000BC to 4,000BC Millennium between pre-history and (recorded) history. History is story told by human beings about human beings, and our first written records come from Babylonian (Sumerian) and Egyptian cultures in the millennium from 4,000BC to 5,000BC

antiquity is the (long) period before the middle ages. Sometimes classical antiquity is used for the period of ancient Greece and Rome. Christian antiquity refers to the early centuries of the Christian church.

4,700BC Possible beginning of Babylonian (Sumerian) calendar.
4,228BC Possible introduction of Egyptian calendar.

Sumerian writing on clay tablets using picture signs.

"Babylonian census (for taxation purposes)" - Start of
Ed Stephan's demography timeline

The cuneiform (wedge shaped) writing of Sumeria (now Iraq) starts about 3,400BC. It is the earliest form of writing known that does not use pictures. The early stages of Egyptian hieroglyphics date from about 3,200BC

3,000BC: Five thousand years ago, the Egyptians began the invention of practical
geometry. The waters of the river Nile overflowed every year and wiped out the land boundaries. Perhaps geometry was invented because it was necessary to reconstruct the fields for taxation purposes and to tell people where to plant their seeds.

One of the geometrical rules discovered was the 3,4,5 Rule for constructing right angles. It may have been discovered by people laying out fields, or perhaps by builders or architects. This way of making right angles was used as a trick of the trade. It was not known why the rule works, but it does, and it was used to make temples and pyramids.

Old Kingdom of Egypt

The first pyramid of Egypt. The Pyramid of Djzosèr built at Saqqara in Egypt around 2630-2611 BC. Said to have been designed by Imhotep, who may be the first architect whose name we know, and who was defied 2.000 years later as a god of medicine and healing. The picture is taken from the Wikipedia website. Clicking on it will take you to more information
The pyramids in the Egyptian deserts are monumental tombs for the rulers of ancient Egypt, who were believed to be gods.

The Great Pyramids at Gizah were erected about 2650BC. One of these, the grave of Cheops, is built of stone blocks
averaging 2.5 tons in weight. The pyramid, 481 feet high, is of great geometrical accuracy.

The way the pyramids were built and the mathematical calculations involved are subjects of much speculation.

"In China a complex civilisation flourished from about 2500BC which developed its own independent outlook on the world" (Colin Ronan, The Atlas of Scientific Discovery, 1983, page 12).

Xia Dynasty 2100-1600 BC - Shang Dynasty 1600-1046 BC - Zhou Dynasty 1045-256 BC - Qin Dynasty 221-206 BC - Han Dynasty 206BC-220AD - Three kingdoms - Jin Dynasty 265-420 - Southern & Northern Dynasties 420-589 - Sui Dynasty 581-618 - Tang Dynasty 618-907 - Liao Dynasty 907-1125 - Song Dynasty 960-1279 - Yuan Dynasty 1271-1368 - Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 - Qing Dynasty 1644-1911 - Republic of China 1912-1949 - People's Republic of China 1945 -

2,400BC Babylonian baked clay tablets with arithmetic . There is a large body of mathematical tablets dating back to the old Babylonian period (1800 to 1500BC).

2200BC Approximate date for the erection of the standing stones at Stonehenge. The earlier earthbank and ditch have been dated about 3100BC

about 1700BC Code of Hammurabi - Babylonian law code.

1500BC Domestication of silk worm in China. [I think this is far too late a date]

Iron age in the middle east sometimes dated from about 1200BC, with the diffusion of iron technology following the collapse of the Hittite Empire (centred in what is now Turkey)

1400BC Possible date for Jews settling in what became Israel. Traditionally, the ten commandments and the rest of the Torah is conceived to have been received by Moses before this.



850 BC: Date assigned to Homer by Herodotus. Stories recited as poems transmitted culture. See Wikipedia on Odyssey.

776 BC First Olympiad: The olympic games were held every four years and became the standard measure by which Greek and Roman historians dated time.

Amasis, a common man, was Pharaoh in Egypt from 569-525BC. He allowed the Greeks (previously excluded for bad behaviour) to enter Egypt to trade, but not to study in the Royal Library. His golden foot-pan trick gave Aristotle an illustration, used in his comparison of state and family politics

In Greek philosophy the nature of " reason " is explored. Human thought consciously sought to define what reason is and to use it as the key to understanding the world. The Greek philosophers were drawn on by later thinkers in the Arabic and European worlds. They include Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Euclid.

PYTHAGORAS Pythgoras's theorem

Pythagoras, who died about 500BC, founded the Pythagorean School of thinkers. They created mathematical ways of representing and analysing musical harmony, and theories explaining sight mechanically: thinking of light as an emission of particles travelling in straight lines between the eye and the object seen. Mathematics, experiment, theory, aesthetics and religious speculation were all part of the Pythagorean imagination. They established the relationship of harmonious sound between families of notes produced by striking metal bars of different lengths, and the numbers that relate the lengths to the notes. Pythagorus also believed in the harmony of nature: See
Derek Antrobus, 7.2002 Philosophy of diet - or philosophy of life?


Before 469BC
Socrates (philosopher) born in Athens, Greece

451BC In Rome the laws were inscribed on
tablets. These were the foundation of Roman jurisprudence. (The science of law). The Ten Commandments of the Jews, another source of jurisprudence, were also originally inscribed on tables of stone.

431BC Start of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta) [Thucydides Book 2]

429BC Pericles (leader of the democracy in Athens) died of fever during a long war between Athens and Sparta. Political turmoil followed his death.

Plato (philosopher) born

404BC Athens surrendered to Sparta. Government of the thirty tyrants came to power in Athens.

403BC Restoration of democracy in Athens.

399BC Socrates tried for misleading the Athenian youth with his philosophy. Sentenced to death.


386BC Plato, a pupil of Socrates, established the Academy - the first university - where he taught for the rest of his life. See later academies

Socrates, Plato
Aristotle in Raphael's School of Athens Plato argued that:
  • truth and reason are external.
  • we must govern our personal and social lives using reason.
  • humans can reason to external truth.
  • 384BC Aristotle (philosopher and naturalist) born.

    363BC Aristotle studied under Plato.

    347BC Plato died. Following Plato's death, Aristotle left Athens.
    342BC Aristotle tutor to Alexander, who became the
    Emperor Alexander.


    335BC Aristotle returned to Athens, where he opened a school called the Lyceum. Most of his writings were composed during the following thirteen years.

      Aristotle argued that:
    • truth and reason are within things
    • the truth of something is its essence or nature
    • the essence of something is what it could become. An acorn, for example, is a seed that could become an oak.

    331BC onwards Alexander destroyed the power of Persia, and established an empire which stretched from Macedonia to Egypt, and to the Indus.

    322BC Aristotle died


    About 300BC Euclid taught in Alexandria, Egypt. Building on the practical
    geometry of the Egyptians, Euclid laid the foundations of theoretical geometry
    Read: Euclid's axioms

    ARCHIMEDES - born about 287BC - died 212Bc


    58BC to 51BC Conquest of Gaul (France and north west Europe) by the Roman proconsul Julius Caeser (13.7.100BC - 15.3.44 BC)

    Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War) ascribed to Julius Caeser, describes the north-west European tribes the Roman legions fought. A source of images of Druids practising human sacrifice. It is also the source of the statement (6.19) that, amongst the Gauls, "Husbands have power of life and death over their wives as well as over their children". [See John Stuart Mill 1869]

    44BC Julius Caesar, constitutional dictator of Rome, declared himself dictator for life and, shortly afterwards, was assassinated. See Neumann's dictatorship types


    The Age of Augustus, from 31BC to 14AD, is taken as the transition from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. The empire may have included a larger percentage of the world's population than any other, before or since. Its survival was dependent on trade. Roads it built survive today. Its engineers also constructed long tunnels and bridges, including aqueducts. The arithmetic of its trade and commerce was calculated using counting boards and hand abaci. See problems of arithmetic with Roman Numbers


    AD1 Alleged date of the birth of Jesus Christ. Calendar dates back from here (BC: Before Christ) and forward from here.

    Centuries are also numbered backwards and forwards from here.


    1600 AD to 1699 AD is the 17th century AD not the 16th century
    1900 AD to 1999 AD is the 20th century AD not the 19th century
    2000 AD to 2099 AD is the 21st century AD not the 20th century

    The system of numbering things at equal intervals (years in this case) from an arbitrary starting point (the birth of Christ in this case) with items being counted backwards and forwards from the starting point, is called an Interval Scale.

    The birth of Jesus took place in Bethlehem (instead of Nazareth) because the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, ordered people throughout his empire to go to their family home to be counted for taxation. This is an example of political arithmetic, state arithmetic, or statistics.

    37-41 Reign of the Roman Emperor Caligula who banished or murdered most of his relatives, executed large numbers of people, confiscated property and, for entertainment, had people tortured and killed whilst he was eating. He made himself a God. A Jewish philosopher, Philo Judaeus, went to Rome to plead with Caligula for the lives of Jews who had refused to worship him as God. Philo is remembered as a theorist who fused Greek and Jewish thought. Caligula was assassinated and is remembered by many social theorists as an example of an undesirable ruler. They read about him in the works of Philo.

    about 40 to 90AD Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek physician who compiled five volumes about the (largely herbal) materials of medicine in Greek. Translated into Latin as De Materia Medica.

    90 to 168AD Claudius Ptolemaeus or Ptolemy: Astronomer and geographer who lived in Alexandria and compiled a large compendium of astronomy, with the earth as the centre of the universe. His compendium was called the Almagest when translated into Arabic.

    The two centuries from 200AD to 400AD are a critical turning point in the Saint-Simonian system of history between the epoch with polytheist ideas and a society based on slavery, and that with "theological" ideas and a feudal organisation of society.

    306 to 337 Constantine Emperor of the Roman Empire. He rebuilt Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinopolis (Constantinople), which became the new capital of the Empire, tolerated Christianity and other religions, and promoted Christianity throughout the empire.

    393-397 AD Synods of the Christian Church decided which books would form the Christian Bible. This is composed of an "Old Testament" (the Hebrew Bible) and a "New Testament" (books about Jesus and the early Christians). The whole is arranged in approximate chronological order, giving a history of the material world from its beginning (Genesis) to future end (Revelation) [See 1611]

    405 AD Jerome completed his translation (commenced in 382) of the Bible from Hebrew and Arabic into Latin: the language common to educated christendom. It became known as the versio vulgata or Vulgate [external link   another ]

    Mythologiae (mythologies), a book accredited to the the Christian writer Fulgentius, re-told classic Greek stories of the Gods, and tried to explain them in Christian terms. - [early 5th century AD]

    410 Sack of Rome by Alaric 1

    De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii ("On the Marriage of Philology and Mercury") by Martianus Minneus Felix Capella, in which the seven female servants of Philologiae (word-love) are Grammar, who cuts out errors with her knife, Dialectic, Rhetoric, Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy and (musical) Harmony. Architecture and Medicine, were present but kept silent, because they are earthly rather than heavenly arts.

    429 Conquest of North Africa by the Vandals

    The legendary King Arthur of medieval romances is said to have led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders before his death at the Battle of Camlann about 542.

    "The Chronicles of Arthur relate how King Arthur, with the help of a Cornish carpenter, invented... the miraculous Round Table at which his knights would never come to blows... "no knight will be able to raise combat, for there the highly placed will be on the same level as the lowly"." (Mauss p.81)


    There is well established division of European history into antiquity or the Classical Period (ancient Greece and the Roman Empire), which comes to an end about the 5th century AD, the Middle Ages or Medieval Period, which stretches from there to about the 15th century, and then Modern Civilisation. [External Link]. This last period may be what present day theorists mean by modernity.

    Foucault: Middle Ages

    External link to Fordham University's Internet Medieval Sourcebook

    James Richards of Gordon University, Georgia, maintains that European culture has a "core of recurring basic ideas, values, beliefs, and aspirations"


    ARABIC CIVILISATION empire   weblinks

    570 to 632 Muhammad. The Quran, the revelations of God to Muhammed from 610 to 632, was compiled into a single book shortly after Muhammed's death. It is the primary source of Shariah law. A translation into English was made in 1734.

    The works of the Greeks and Egyptians originally reached Christian Europe via the translations of scholars living in muslim countries

    At about the time that Muhammad was born, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms were emerging in England (external link: Anglo-Saxon Origins: The Reality of the Myth by Malcolm Todd)

    about 680 AD death of Caedmon, who gave birth to English poetry

    673 to 735 The Venerable Bede of Jarrow. (external link: visit his world). Bede's The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (AD 731) was the first history to use the AD dating system.

    10.10,732 The Battle of Tours or Poitiers (Christian) or Battle of Court of the Martyrs (Muslim) held Muslim advances and helped lay the foundations of the Christian Carolingian Empire.

    751 Battle of Talas between Abbasid caliphate and Tang dynasty. The Abbasids obtained the secret of papermaking from Chinese prisoners.

    762 Abbasid caliphate established its capital at Baghdad

    Charlemagne (Charles the Great) was king of the Franks from 768 to 814

    809 to 877 Hunain ibn Ishaq who directed the translation of numerous texts from Greek to Arabic at Baghdad

    859 The University of Al-Karaouine or Al-Qarawiyyin founded at Fes in Morocco.

    The Ghana Empire or Wagadou Empire in West Africa existed from before about 830 until about 1235)

    The history of hourglass shaped talking drums can be traced back to the Ghana Empire.

    868 "the 'Diamond Sutra' is the world's earliest complete survival of a dated printed book". (British Library)

    Woodblock printing made the written word available to many more people during the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907) in China

    Feudalism? Marc Bloch's Feudal Society covers the period (roughly) from the middle of the ninth century to the first decades of the 13th in western and central Europe. He divides the period into a first and second feudal age, separated by "profound and widespread changes" towards the middle of the eleventh century

    The two centuries from 1000 to 1200 are a critical turning point in the Saint-Simonian system of history between the epoch with "theological" ideas and a feudal organisation of society and that with positive, scientific ideas and an industrial social organisation.

    Kalmar County Museum (Kalmar Läns Museum) in Sweden has a "Meet the Middle Ages" website that describes life in the 11th and 12th centuries.

    About 990 to 1050 Guido d'Arezzo (Guido Aretino) lived. Guido was an Italian monk trying to find ways of improving the teaching of monks to sing the Gregorian Chants that were a large part of their religious duty. He used a system of recording music as writing by arranging symbols for notes on either side of a line (later lines) so that, if you understood the notation you could sing the music. As music became writing it became possible to compose on paper instead of having to work as a group developing and transmitting it. Writing music created a system of concepts for the analysis and manipulation of a sphere of deep sensual experience believed to be sacred. It was part of the development of rational analysis out of religious tradition in Europe.

    1021 Ibn al-Haytham's Book of Optics in Iraq.

    1086 " William 1st commissioned a detailed inventory of all the land and property in England and Wales. The results of this first major statistical enumeration were set out in the Domesday Book" - First entry UK Statistical System Timeline

    1088 Convenience date for the foundation of the University of Bologna - the first in Europe. See L'Antico Studio di Bologna But where is it? by Mary Tolaro Noyes, January 1996 and Wikipedia article on universities
    See Paris and Oxford - 13th century - 14th century - 15th century

    Late 11th century on: European translations from Arabic into Latin of Greek authors, including the anatomist, Galen

    1095 Pope Urban 2nd called upon all Christians to join a war against the Turks. First of the Christian Crusades against the Muslims that ended in the late 13th century. See Wikipedia articles on Crusades.

    1048-1131 Omar Khayyám - Persian philosopher - Author of Al-jabr wal mugabalah of Omar Khayyam, a Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra - and of the poems known as the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

    "towards the 12th century Carolingian script was replaced by a heavier, more pointed Gothic style. One of the reasons for this was that quill pens began to be cut at an angle, making it easier to produce these shapes." [External Link]. The term gothic (German) was used in the 17th century to distinguish this style of writing from the (French) Carolingian. Gothic then was applied to the architecture of the period.

    About 1120 Euclid rediscovered

    A Common Law for England: Henry 2nd (ruled 1154-1189) established royal courts at Westminster and divided England into circuits, over which his judges travelled and tried the more important civil and criminal cases in county courts. The judges did not impose a law from above, but brought together the traditional law they found in the different parts of the country to create one law that was common for the whole nation. To establish what the law of a district was, the traditional practice of trial by a jury of local people was revived. See law and crime time line

    Before 1170? The University of Paris developed out of the Cathedral schools of Notre Dame. The short history of Oxford University says it (Oxford) developed rapidly after 1167, when Henry 2nd "banned English students from attending the University of Paris".

    1175 Ptolemy rediscovered

    Universities founded at Cambridge (1209) - Salamanca (1218) - Padua (1222) - Naples (1224) - Toulouse (1229) - Siena (1240) - Montpellier (1289) - Lisbon (1290)

    1220 Start of the building of the (new) Salisbury Cathedral - the one we now have. It took about hundred years to build. [external link]. The Norman Westminster Abbey was replaced in the middle of the 13th century. The oldest parts of the present building date from this period. [external link]

    1225 to 1274 Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas created a synthesis between Christian theology and Aristotelianism. He asserted that political power is natural, as hierarchic relations already exist among the angels in heaven.

    1271 Last of the Christian Crusades against the Muslims. By 1291 muslims had re-captured all the territory in Syria held by the Crusaders

    1299 Osman I declared himself Sultan. His territories became known as the Ottoman Empire. Centred in what we now know as Turkey, The (Islamic) Ottoman Empire established itself in Asia, Europe and Africa. Constantinople, the capital of the (Christian) Byzantine Empire, was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1453

    The Renaissance (cultural rebirth) is generally regarded as beginning in Florence, Italy, in the early 14th century. However, some historians speak of an earlier renaissance in 9th century France.

    "The civilisation of Greece and Rome, which ever since the fourteenth century obtained so powerful a hold on Italian life, as the source and basis of culture, as the object and ideal of existence, partly also as an avowed reaction against preceding tendencies - this civilisation had long been exerting a partial influence on medieval Europe, even beyond the boundaries of Italy. The culture of which Charles the Great was a representative, in the face of the barbarism of the seventh and eighth centuries, essentially a Renaissance, and could appear under no other form. Just as in the Romanesque architecture of the North, beside the general outlines inherited from antiquity, remarkable direct imitations of the antique also occur, so to monastic scholarship had not only gradually absorbed an immense mass of materials from Roman writers, but the style of it, from the days of Eginhard onward, shows traces of conscious imitations." (Burckhardt, J. 1960 pp 176 and 178. See also p.5.)

    Universities founded at Rome in 1303 - Prague in 1348 (external link) - Krakow in 1364 (external link) - Vienna in 1365 (external link) - Heidelberg in 1386 (external link) - Erfurt in 1379 - Cologne in 1388 (external link)

    1347-1350 Black Death (Bubonic Plague) in Europe. "In England it reached a peak in July 1349"... "between a third and a half of the population died, the total falling from about 4.7 million to about 2 million, with a consequential severe shortage of labour." (Michael Warren). Further outbreaks (England) in 1361-1362, 1369, 1379-1383, 1389-1393, and during first half of the 15th century.

    1349 English "Ordinance of Labourers"

    Ornamental gardens and civilisation

    "The creation of ornamental gardens indicates a degree of civilisation and a settled economy.... Such conditions had obtained in China long before the Christian era and also for a long time in Persia, whence they spread to Turkey about A.D. 1360." Richard Gorer The Growth of Gardens 1978, page 38.

    1362 The English Statute of Pleading required English as the language of the courts

    1362 Piers Plowman by William Langland published. New versions were published in 1377 and 1392.

    Mental Health 1377 Bethlem

    1387 Geoffrey Chaucer (1328-1400) started writing The Canterbury Tales. The East Midland dialect he wrote in became the basis from which standard English evolved.

    Although she was the daughter of a town Mayor, Margery Kempe (about 1373-1438) was unable to read and write, but heard many sermons, and books read. When she came to write her book, she dictated it.


      From Robin Rowles:

    "I am puzzled as to why you think that from AD1 (alleged year of birth of Jesus called the Christ) to AD99 is a century. At best it is 99 years and were Jesus to have been born in December AD1 as we celebrate it (unlikely), it is nearer 98 years. Why is the (eg) seventeenth century so called? Because it ends with 1700 so that is what it is! Mind you, this is a common mistake, after all the entire world celebrated the millennium a year early so you are not alone!"


    A schoolman is a teacher in any of the universities of medieval Europe - a medieval scholastic - someone versed in the traditional philosophy and theology of medieval scholasticism. The terms were developed in the 16th and 17th centuries to distinguish old knowledge from new knowledge.

    Scholasticism by Joseph Rickaby, Oxford, 1908

    Wikipedia article on scholasticism

    John Stuart Mill on importance of

    The ancient regime in France ended with the French Revolution in 1789. It is the revolutionaries term for the social and political order they abolished. But when did it begin? Wikipedia dates it from the 15th century. Others date it from 1610 France


    Universities founded at Leipzig in 1409 (external link) - St Andrews (1413) - Rostock (1419) - Leuven (1425) - Bordeaux (1441) - Barcelona (1450) - Glasgow (1451) - Greifswald (1456) - Bratislava (1465) - Uppsala (1477) - Copenhagen (1479) - Aberdeen (1495)

    Ancient civilisations, like that of Greece were made possible by slavery. In western Europe this method of production gave way to feudal relations and then to free labour. But, as free labour developed in Europe, Europe developed slave labour abroad. From the 15th century, a system of colonial slavery was developed by the European powers. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the theoretical analysis of slavery played an important part in the development of social science. In the 18th and early 19th century, these theoretical developments, in their turn, played an important part in undermining the colonial slavery that Europe had established throughout her colonies.

    1447 Pope Nicholas 5th authorised the Portuguese to make war on muslims and pagans, and to make them slaves. He applauded the trade in negroes, and hoped that it would end in their conversion.

    About 1450 Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press - Which is probably why the middle of the 15th century is the most popular date for starting "modern history" (see above) - Another suggested start is towards the end of the sixtenth century - - Although the Penguin Dictionary of Modern History starts in 1789 (and finishes in 1945!)

    The first printed edition of Euclid was a translation
    from arabic into latin in 1482

    1492 Columbus's first voyage to America. Visited Haiti. America

    23.11.1492 "The Indians aboard call this Bohio and say it is very large and has people there with one eye in the forehead, as well as others they call cannibals, of whom they show great fear. When they saw I was taking that course, they were too afraid to talk. They say that the cannibals eat people and are well armed" [Log entry of Christopher Columbus translated by Robert H. Fuson 1992. p.115 source]

    1493 Pope Alexander 6th apportioned the non-European world west of the Azores to Spain, that east of the Azores to Portugal. The grant was conditional on their converting the natives to Christianity.

    1494 ship of fools



    The transport of Africans to the West Indies, as slaves, began early in the 16th century. Slave ships made a triangular run. They took a cargo of manufactured goods (see Bristol 1746) from their European home port to the west African coast, where this was bartered for slaves and other produce. With slaves packed in the cargo holds, the ships than went across the Atlantic (the Middle Passage - where some cargo died) to colonies in the Caribbean and on mainland America. Slave were there auctioned and mainly became plantation workers. The ships returned to their European home with goods like cotton, sugar, coffee and tobacco.

    Early in the 16th century, Paracelsus (1493-1541) studied alchemy and chemistry at Basel University and learned the properties of metals and minerals in mines. His unorthodox mystical theories lost him the position of town physician of Basel (1526-1528), but through empirical experiment in pursuit of his dreams he made new chemical compounds and changed medicine and pharmacy. (See mental health history)

    1517 The publication of Luther's ninety-five theses became the official launch of protestant christianity. The Bible was given priority over the church as the source of authority. The scope for religious disagreements multiplied as more and more people were able to read it for themselves. The movement for the reform of the Catholic (universal) church and the breakaway of protestant and reformed churches is called The Reformation.

    1518: Royal College of Physicians founded

    1525 William Tyndale's The New Testament in English printed in Germany and shipped into England against official hostility

    1525 An anonymous herbal, an English translation of an unknown manuscript, published by the London printer, Richard Banckes, was the first English printed herbal. It was small, without illustrations, and therefore relatively cheap.

    1528 Copernicus finished a book arguing that the earth goes round the sun, not the sun round the earth. The first printed copy was in 1543 (see Galileo)


    Sebastian Cabot's map of the world

    "It was roughly towards the end of the sixteenth century that in parts of western Europe" a picture of the social world as naturally ordered "began to fall apart". (Bauman, Z. and May, T. 2000 p.117) - See nature and culture.

    Before this time, they say, is "often referred to as 'pre-modern'. The choice of date may relate to the publication of Bodin's Six Livres de la Republique.

    1577 Jean Bodin published Six Livres de la Republique, the first major systematic treatment of politics since Aristotle. He argued that property and the family form the basis of society. His arguments from the material world (in contrast to Aquinas who argues from theology) make him a founder of the philosophical approach to social theory known as state of nature theory.

    Marx and Engels argued that one of the qualifications required by science is that its theories should start from material premises rather than theological ones. In this sense, Bodin is one of the earliest founders of social science.

    Filmer (author of Patriarcha) and Thomas Hobbes (author of Leviathan) born

    1593 to 1597 Richard Hooker published the first five volumes of his
    Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. These argued that the Bible is not the only guide to truth that God has provided, because God has established the universe according to laws and provided human beings with reason by which they can discover those laws. Three other volumes were published after Hooker's death. Locke's arguments in his Two Treatises of Government, and elsewhere, have strong similarities with Hooker's.

    Rene Descartes born

    1597 William Shakespeare, in Merchant of Venice describes the music that the heavenly spheres create as they circle the earth. See Copernicus

    1597 John Gerard's (1545 - 1611 or 1612)'s Great Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes. Enlarged and revised by Thomas Johnson (Died 1644, probably aged under 44) in 1633 (also re-published 1636).

    1598 In Catholic France, Henry 4th enacted the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to the Protestants. He was assassinated by a Catholic in 1610. France

    1598 James 6 of Scotland (James 1 of England) published The True Law of Free Monarchies. Theories from this and other writings of the king were used by Filmer.

    In his play, As You Like It, William Shakespeare said that the whole social
    world is a stage on which the same people play different parts at different times. This is the basic idea of role theory, later developed by social scientists. The same passage defines the "seven ages of man".


    See Social Science History, chapter two:
    Hobbes, Filmer and Locke:
    17th Century Models for a Science of Society

    1601 Elizabethan Poor Law under which each parish was responsible for looking after its own poor.

    Mental Health and the Poor Law

    1603 Death of Elizabeth 1. James 6 of Scotland became James 1 of England

    Shakespeare's Macbeth, cannot be dated precisely, but appears to many to be celebrating King James's ancestors and the Stuart accession to the throne in 1603. Some have suggested their are allusions to the Gunpowder plot. (Wikipedia)

    The character of Lady Macbeth was used by Lombroso in 1876 as evidence for his conclusion that "violent women far exceed men in their ferocity and cruelly".

    21.3.1610 Speech to Parliament in which king James said "kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called gods". (external link)

    14.5.1610 Francois Ravaillac assasinated Henry 4th of France. Henry's widow initially acted as Regent for their son, Louis 13th. Under the guidance of his minister, Cardinal Richelieu, Henry 13th consolidated his royal power. An "absolute monarchy" was established in France in his reign and that of his son, Louis 14th. France

    1611 Official (King James or Authorised) version of the Bible in English published. [See 393] The Bible story is largely chronological - beginning with the genesis of the world and ending with divine revelation of its end. It provided the framework for many historical explanations of nature and society. Usher gave it precise dates. For generations this book, more then any other, provided the English speaking peoples with poetry, history, religion, politics, ethics, names, imagery and visions, as well as a framework for natural and social science. Its downfall as the basis of science in the 19th century was a cultural cataclysm. However, the Bible, critically read, continued to be a major source of material for emerging social sciences such as anthropology.

    The Westminster Confession (1647/1648) effectively, although only for a short time, set the Bible up against the King: Which was not what James had intended!

    1613 Francisco de Suarez, a Spanish Catholic theologian, published Defensio Fidei Catholicae, criticising James 1st's theory of the divine right of kings. Saurez's book was burned in London.

    1614 In France, the Queen Regent called the States General (a representative body like the English parliament) together in an effort to counter the power of the nobility. It was dismissed in 1615, and did not meet again until 1789 France

    1620 Francis Bacon published Novum Organum, one of the works in which he publicised his new method of gaining knowledge (science) by a process of induction.

    1623 Probably after this date that Hobbes translated several of Bacon's essays into Latin and took down his thoughts as Bacon dictated them.

    See Social Science History, chapter one:
    John Stuart Mill and his problems with Francis Bacon

    1625 De Jure Belli ac Pacis (On the Law of War and Peace) by Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) published.


    In Italy Galileo published his A Dialogue on the Two Principle Systems of the World-Ptolemaic and Copernican.   See Ptolemy and Copernicus. Notes on Hobbes and Galileo and Hobbes on Deductions from simple axioms

    John Locke (author of Two Treatises of Government) born

    1637 In France, René Descartes published Discourse de la méthod, a slim book in which he argued reason as the foundation of knowledge and the source of certainty. He also reviewed his previous argument that the body is a machine which, in humans, but not animals, is directed by the soul.

    November 1640
    Hobbes left England to live in Paris because he thought parliament might arrest him as a supporter of the king's powers against parliament.


    Newton born


    November 1642 English civil war began between Charles 1st and parliament over the power of each.

    1643 Filmer arrested by Parliamentary forces and kept for several months in Leeds Castle, Kent. It is not clear how much of 1643-1647 he was imprisoned, but he was at liberty in 1647

    In 1644 the seven General Baptist churches issued the London Confession which said that men must be allowed to obey their own conscience and understanding. In 1647 George Fox (Quaker) began preaching under the conviction of the "inner light". The civil war, and the republican Commonwealth that followed it, were a period of intense religious ferment, individual thought and social disorder. Knowledge by the inner inspiration of God was known as "enthusiasm". Locke's Essay on Understanding (1690) sought to establish science as a common knowledge that could control the divisiveness of enthusiasm.

    1646 In Paris Hobbes became mathematical tutor to the exiled Prince of Wales (later Charles 2nd)

    May 1646 King Charles 1st surrenders himself to the Scottish Covenanters, who ally with the English Parliament in the summer. He is still King - But from now on he is a king under duress. From June 1646 he was held by the army. He is still free enough (in prison on the Isle of Wight) to initiate a new civil war by a concluding a military alliance with the Scottish Covenanters that threatened the English Parliament - 1647/1648. (See Open University Civil War Timeline)

    1647/1648 The Westminster Confession: An official document (no longer official in England after 1660) specifying the Bible as a foundation of belief superior to (though not, presumably, contradicted by) nature. [External link to Michael Marlow's introduction]

    1648 Filmer published political pamphlets in support of absolute monarchy and the divine right of king's

    1648 Peace of Westphalia - It is argued that the peace treaties recognised the territorial integrity of nation states.

    30.1.1649 Execution of Charles 1st.

    Abolition of the monarchy and the House of Lords in England. Commonwealth established. Under the Commonwealth
    Filmer lost some of his property as a result of his loyalty to the king

    1650 Rene Descartes died

    Between 1650 and 1654, James Usher's Annales Veteris at Novi Testamenti (years of the old and new testaments) dated the events in the Bible. The creation was fixed as taking place in 4,004 BC. Usher's dates were not only printed in the margins of many Bibles, but were accepted as scientific for a long time.

    April 1651 Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan published in London (Hobbes still in France). It distressed some of his previous supporters because it defended absolute rule, but not necessarily monarchical rule.

    Lecture notes on Hobbes
    Social Science History, chapter two: Hobbes, Filmer and Locke
    Extracts from Leviathan
    Hobbes weblinks

    Louise 14th and absolutism France
    7.9.1651 Procession to mark the formal ending of the minority of Louis 14 of France. Hobbes watched the procession from his window. From 1661, when he threw his chief minister into prison, until his death in 1715, Louis 14 ruled personally. "L'etat c'est moi" (I am the state), he said.
    See his system of power and Wollstonecraft's comments

    End of 1651 Hobbes returned to England


    20.4.1653 Oliver Cromwell, Commander in Chief of the Parliamentary Army, dissolved Parliament.

    30.5.1653 Sir Robert Filmer died

    16.12.1653 Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector under a constitution that combined his rule with a Parliament.

    1654 Community care under the Old Poor Law


    1660 Restoration of English monarchy under Charles 2nd, who attempted to unify the country around a common religion. Charles landed at Dover on 25.5.1660 (Pepys). From then to 1662 there was a period attempting to include moderate puritans (not baptists, ranters and quakers) in the established church.

    " In the reign of Charles II. a degree of licentiousness was deemed the characteristic of a liberal education. It was connected, according to the notions of those times, with generosity, sincerity, magnanimity, loyalty, and proved that the person who acted in this manner, was a gentleman, and not a puritan" Smith, A. 1759

    28.11.1660 Meeting that decided to start a "College for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematical Experimental Learning" which led to the "The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge" (the Royal Society). John Locke became a member 26.11.1668. Isaac Newton became a member 11.1.1672. Thomas Hobbes did not become a member.

    External link to Royal Society web:. This includes a history of the Society and (via library and archives) information on its members.

    Trailblazing timeline 1650-2005 To celebrate the 350th anniversary in 2010 - Articles published by the Royal Society.


    Act of Uniformity

    Act of Settlement said one acquired a right to relief in a parish by being born there, married there or serving an apprenticeship there. Adam Smith later (1776) criticized this Act for interfering with the mobility of labour.

    Ed Stephan's A Sociology Timeline begins with the birth of John Graunt on 20.4.1620. In 1662 Graunt published his Observations on the Bills of Mortality which drew social conclusions from the tables of London deaths (See words). The time line concludes with Ed Stephan's own The Division of Territory in Society in 1995.

    1662: Simon Patrick in Brief account of the new sect of Latitude Men, together with some reflections on the New Philosophy argues that the mechanical idea of the world will mend a clock, but the scholastic will not. A fashionable version of the mechanical philosophy is that everything is the result of the inter-action of atoms. There was a hope (soon to be disappointed) that microscopes would reveal this. - See external link Atomism in the 17th century

    1662 Anonymous publication of The Port Royal Logic: La logique, ou l'art de penser (logic or the art of thinking), by Antoine Arnauld (1612-1694) and Pierre Nicole (1623-1695) of the Jansenist convent of Port Royal just outside Paris. Written in everyday French, and translated into everyday English and other modern languages, it popularised "the art of using reason well in the acquisition of the knowledge of things". (See Mill A System of Logic)

    1673 The first of the letters from Antony van Leeuwenhoek (1632- 1723) to the Royal Society, in which he described what he saw through his single lens magnifier (microscope). Amongst the small living things he looked at were sperm, blood cells, bacteria, algae (spirogyra) and protozoa (vorticella). See external link

    1679 Thomas Hobbes died.

    Patriarcha by Sir Robert Filmer (died 1653) published. This supported absolute divine right of kings.

    22.1.1680 Locke bought a copy of Patriarcha. It was probably at this period that Locke wrote the first treatise on Government (published 1689/1680), criticising Filmer. If so he would have kept it secret for fear of the king's police.

    Summer 1683 For his safety, Locke left England to live in Holland.

    7.12.1683 Algernon Sidney beheaded for High Treason, partly as a consequence of a book he had written (not published) criticising
    Filmer's Patriarcha

    1685 James 2nd English king. He tried to enforce Catholic toleration.

    1686 First edition, in Latin, of Isaac Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (English translation 1729). See also 1713, 1723, 1740.

    November/December 1688 Glorious Revolution: William and Mary (protestants) were invited to become king and queen by the English parliament. James 2nd fled to France.   -   Constitutional monarchy - The monarch having been selected by parliament, under conditions laid down by parliament, Divine Right ceased to be the legitimating argument for monarchy. Legitimacy could be built on the consensual grounds of theorists such as John Locke. This secular (non-religious) base reduced the need for all loyal subjects to be members of the established church.

    1689 Bill of Rights and Act of Toleration

    1689/90 John Locke's Two Treatises of Government published. They were probably first drafted in 1679/1680. The Two Treatises has 1690 on its cover, but it and his Letter on Toleration were both in print by the autumn of 1689. Both were published anonymously.

    1690 Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding published. This work he signed.

    1693 Locke's Thoughts Concerning Education published

    1697 Britain began to keep records of the gap between its imports and its exports (the "balance of trade"). When nations kept figures from year to year (time series) in economics, weather or whatever, it made possible the production of graphs like the following which shows the British balance of trade from 1697 to 1925. Click on the picture to read the article by James Galbraith from which the graph comes.



    Historical roots of the Public Sphere (Öffentlichkeit)

      "The clubs, salons and coffee-houses (there were 3000 [coffee-houses] in London in the early 1700s) supported by the growing and increasingly free press formed a critical forum, in which gentlemen independent of the court and other political institutions could get together on a basis of relative equality and discuss the great events of the day" ( Outhwaite, W. 1994 on Habermas, J. 1962).
    See Winchester Journalism on "Courants"

    Death of Locke.

    About 1705 Birth of
    Ukawsaw Gronniosaw


    John Arbuthnot's "An Argument for Divine Providence, taken from the Constant Regularity observed in the Births of both Sexes" (external text) published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society for 1710. "... perhaps the first application of probability to social statistics and includes the first formal test of significance. In this paper Arbuthnot claims to demonstrate that divine providence, not chance, governs the sex ratio at birth." (J J O'Connor and E F Robertson)

    Hume born

    1712 Jean Jacques Rousseau (author of The Social Contract) born

    1713 Second edition of Newton's Principles contained Roger Cotes' Preface trying to show how Newton's practice was consistent with the new ( Baconian) inductive science.


    27.2.1723 David Hume, aged 12, started at Edinburgh University. He did not take a degree, but for two or three years was exposed to the new philosophy particularly that of Sir Isaac Newton.

    Kant, author of the Critiques of Pure and Practical Reason, born.

    1727 Isaac Newton died

    1729 English translation of Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy and His System of the World (Published, in Latin, in 1686)

    1734: The Koran: Commonly called the Alkoran of Mohammed An English translation, directly from arabic, by George Sales, a London lawyer, who included a long Preliminary Discourse explaining the history and context of Mohammed. Served for centuries its declared purpose of making the Koran (Quran) available to christians. My copy (Frederick Warne 1889), first bought for the Seafarers' Education Service, then joined the small library of Herbert Henry Moss, a primitive methodist, from whom I would borrow it in the late 1950s.


    The Table of the Animal Kingdom (Regnum Animale) in Carolus Linnaeus's first edition (1735) of Systema Naturae (System of Nature) includes "Homo" (Latin: man) in "Anthropomorphia" (Latin: of human form) along with "Simia" (Latin: ape or monkey) and "Bradypus" (Latin: sloths). Homo is divided into European, American, Asian and African. In the tenth edition of Systema Naturae (1758) Linnaeus introduced the term Homo sapiens (sapiens Latin: wise). The full title of System of Nature (in English) is "System of nature through the three kingdoms of nature, according to classes, orders, genera and species, with characters, differences, synonyms, places". [See Race]


    John Atkins published A Voyage to Guinea, Brasil, and the West Indies 1723-35 in which he wrote "I am persuaded the black and white Race have, ab origine, sprung from different-coloured first Parents" (p.39).

    1740 David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature. Hume attempted to be the Newton of Social Science.

    See Social Science History, chapter three:
    What is science?:
    The Ideas of Locke, Hume and Wollstonecraft

    Extracts from Hume: on the origin of our ideas and on virtue and vice

    31.5.1740 to 17.8.1786 Reign of Friedrich 2nd of Prussia (Frederick the Great), who modernized the state bureaucracy and promoted religious tolerance


    Abury [Avebury], a Temple of the British Druids: and some others described; wherein is a more particular account of the first and patriarchal religion; and of the peopling the British Islands ... By William Stukeley. His Stonehenge, a temple restored to the British Druids was published in 1740 - External link to Earth Mysteries website archive

    1746 Champion's Brass Works established at Warmley, near Bristol, by the Quaker industrialist, William Champion (1709-1789). It closed in 1768, and in 1769 an inventory of what was in the factory was made. This shows that everything produced was for the African trade - probably to be exchanged for slaves. (external link)


    In The Spirit of the Laws, Charles Secondat "Baron de Montesquieu" (l689-l755) explored natural and human laws in a way that enabled people to analyse society as a whole, in relation to its parts, in relation to its history and in relation to its environment. [Montesquieu's satirical Lettres persanes (Persian Letters) was written in 1721]

    Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751) published L'homme machine. Translated into English as Man a Machine (external link) in 1749 - See Foucault

    Eulogy on La Mettrie by Frederick 2nd (the "Great"), King of Prussia (external link)

    Jeremy Bentham, (author of A Fragment on Government ) born
    Olympe de Gouges (author of Declaration of the Rights of Woman) born Marie Gouze

    Jean Jacques Rousseau's Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts.

    1751 Experiments and observations on electricity: made at Philadelphia in America, by Mr. Benjamin Franklin, and communicated in several letters to Mr. P. [Peter] Collinson of London, F.R.S.. Peter Collinson was a merchant, born a Quaker, who traded with Philadelphia. America


    Micromégas by Voltaire, a short novel telling the story of inhabitants of the star Sirius (the brightest statr in the night sky) and the planet Saturn to earth.

    Rousseau's A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality.

    Saturday 1.11.1755 The Lisbon earthquake. See Wikipedia


    William Godwin born. He was to develop a political philosophy to formalise and show the foundations of radical ones like Rousseau's preceding his.

    29.1.1756 Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia elected a Fellow of the Royal Society as the one "who first suggested the experiments to prove the analogy between lightning and electricity". Peter Collinson was one of those who proposed him America

    18.5.1756 Declaration or war between Britain and France. Official start of the global "seven years war"


    14.3.1757 Execution of Admiral John Byng


    Tenth edition of Linnaeus's Systema Naturae - See Wikipedia


    Voltaire's Candide, ou l'Optimisme; traduit de l'Allemand de M. le Docteur Ralph Candide's optimism was qualified by (amongst other things) the Lisbon earthquake - the seven year's war - and the execution of Admiral Byng

    Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments

    15.1.1759 The, new, "British Museum" opened to the public, complete with reading room, manuscripts, natural history specimens, old coins and medals, prints and drawings, and exhibits of strange objects from other cultures. (External link to official history)

    1762 Rousseau's The Social Contract and Emile. The controversial content of Emile made life in France uncomfortable for him. In 1766 and 1767 he lived in England as the guest of David Hume. He died in France in 1778. In 1794 the remains of Rousseau and Voltaire were moved to the Pantheon in Paris.


    6.6.1761 Transit of Venus -

    "Despite the fact that this transit took place during the latter half of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), a worldwide conflict involving the major powers of the time and their colonies, it was observed by many astronomers from around sixty locations ranging from China to England and from South Africa to Norway as part of the world's first multinational scientific collaboration" (external link)

    Economic cycles Jevons calculated that, between 1763 and 1878, commerical crises went in cycles with about 10.4. years between each. The crises were 1763 - 1772-1773 - 1783 - 1793 - 1804-1805 - 1815 - 1825 - 1836-1839 - 1847 - 1857 - 1866 - 1878
    Steam Steam came to power the machines that were developing fast (particularly in textile industries of England and Scotland), creating factories where people worked to the rhythm of the machine. Piston steam engines had been used to pump water since the end of the 17th century. In 1763 James Watt repaired a model of a steam engine designed by Thomas Newcombe. In the 1760s, Watt created more powerful engines by condensing the steam in a vessel separate from the cylinder. These made steam engines an alternative to water wheels, and moved industry from the side of highland streams to lowland coal-fields. In 1780s America and Britain, steam was first used to power paddle boats. The first rail- running steam carriages appeared in the first years of the 19th century. The revolutionary impact of steam became clear to everyone in Britain in the 1830s and 1840s as a network of railways was constructed, affecting every aspect of people's lives. Tennyson explained it to masses of English speaking readers six years before Marx and Engels explained it to small groups of revolutionaries in Europe.

    10.2.1763 Treaty of Paris concluding the seven year war


    Beccaria's Essay on Crimes and Punishment


    Joseph Priestley's Essay on the First Principles of Government

    "The good and happiness of the members, that is, the majority of the members of any state, is the great standard by which everything relating to that state must finally be determined".

    August 1768 Start of the scientific expedition of the Endeavour, commanded by James Cook, around the world via Polynesia and Australia.


    3.6.1769 Transit of Venus (external link)

    1770 Georg Friedrich Hegel born

    The phrase sciences morales et politiques was introduced into France about 1770. It is a term representing what we might now call the social sciences. See 1795 (Porter and Ross 9.2003)

    1771 Robert Owen born

    1772 David Ricardo born

    1772? Pageant: James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw's life narrative
    A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars In the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, An African Prince, As related by Himself. Bath. Price Six-Pence. (Born about 1705 - died 1775).

    1773 James Mill born

    1774 Louis 16th king of France.

    Medical inspection of London madhouses introduced

    Joseph Priestley isolated oxygen - dephlogisticated air
    from which everything except its
    life giving properties has been removed.


    The thesis of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840) De Generis Humani Varietati Nativa (Göttingen) divided the human species into five races, the American, Caucasian, Ethiopian, Malay, and Mongolian, on the basis of skin colour and conformation of the head. (Oxford English Dictionary). It was published as a book (still in Latin) in 1795 - See Wikipedia.

    28.9.1775 Death and burial in Chester of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw "a blackman" - aged 70.

    1776 Britain's American colonies declared themselves independent.

    David Hume died

    Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and Jeremy Bentham's A Fragment on Government were both published in 1776

    Lecture notes on Smith
    Extracts from Wealth of Nations
    Smith weblinks
    Adam Smith revival (late 20th century)
    Lecture notes on Bentham
    Extracts from Bentham
    Brief note on Bentham - Dictionary on Utilitarianism
    Radicals, Socialists and Early Feminists
    Bentham weblinks
    crime and
timeline Bentham's
    See Social Science History, chapter five on
    the theories that Smith, Bentham, Malthus and Owen made and
    chapter one John Stuart Mill and his problems with Francis Bacon

    1778 France, Britain's traditional enemy, entered the war of independence on America's side. America
    Death of


    Luigi Galvani observed electrical current passing from a generator to a frog's leg. See Wikipedia on Luigi Galvani   Galvanic cell   Galvanism . See Frankenstein introduction

    1781 Immanuel Kant's The Critique of Pure Reason attempted to salvage the philosophy of science by arguing that whilst reason alone cannot establish the truth of what is, categories provided by the mind are needed for us to order our experiences. In The Critique of Practical Reason (1788) he argued that pure reason is practical when it comes to morality. Reason alone establishes what ought to be, as distinct from what is. His third major book, Critique of Judgement (1790) argued that beauty is the perfect compatibility of the forms with which we perceive with what we perceive.

    May and August 1783 "Great Fogg", a dust and ash haze from volcanic eruptions in Iceland (Eldeyjar) and Japan (Asama Yama) produced unusual skies in the northern hemisphere. A fiery meteor flashed across western European skies during the early evening of 18.8.1783. These events stirred the imagination of eleven year old Luke Howard. Convinced, later, that God had given form to everything, he classified the forms of clouds.

    3.9.1783 The American war of Independence was concluded by the Treaty of Versailles America

    1784 Immanuel Kant's What is Enlightenment?

    Robert Alun Jones' Timeline on Durkheim (archive) begins with the appointment of Emile Durkheim's great-grandfather, Simon Simon Durkheim, as rabbi in Mutzig (Alsace) in 1784

    28.7.1785 Jeremy Bentham left Brighton to visit his younger brother, Samuel, in Russia

    22.5.1787 Society for the Abolition of the British Slave Trade formed in London.
    17.9.1787 The Constitution of the United States adopted. America

    The Federalist Papers, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, established an independent tradition of political analysis in the USA.

    1788 The cost of the American war overstrained the resources of the French King (Louis 16th) and was a reason for his calling the States General together in August 1788. This was the French representative body (like Parliament in England). But it had not met since 1614. The King hoped that it would enable him to raise new taxes.

    The Morning Dream, A Ballad was composed and used in the campaign against slavery in 1788.

    February 1788 A society called the Friends of the Negro formed in Paris to campaign for the abolition of the French slave trade. Its members included people (like Brissot, Mirabeau, Petion, Condorcet and Abbe Gregoire) who were to become leading figures in the early years of the French revolution.


    click on Stanley Morse's
Copper to visit Crimtim: The
timeline for crime and deviancy

    click on Stanley Morse's Copper to visit Crimtim: The timeline for crime and deviancy

    End of the ancient regime in France

    1789: Year of the Revolution. The States General met in May 1789. It had three parts: the first estate (clergy), second estate (nobles) and third estate (others). When it last met, 175 years before, the third estate had been overshadowed by the other two. Now the feelings of the representatives were very different. In February a pamphlet by Abbe Sieyes called What is the Third Estate? argued it was the whole nation. In other words, members of the Third Estate were claiming to represent the whole of France. The three estates sat apart, but the third estate argued that there should be only one assembly. On June 17th they took the law into their own hands and renamed themselves the National Assembly. On June 20th they resolved to go on meeting (even if the king dissolved them) "until the constitution of the realm is established" (tennis court oath). On June 27th they won: the king ordered the first and second estates to join the third.

    14.7.1789 Fall of the Bastille. The Paris masses captured the state prison: an event that remains the symbol of the revolution and the date of the national holiday. [See Breton festivities 1909]

    17.7.1789 The beginning of the Peasants' revolt. In the countryside people began burning the records on which their lords based their claims for "feudal" dues.

    July 1789 White people from Haiti asked for representation in the French Assembly proportional to the population of Haiti, which consisted mostly of slaves. Issue of race, slavery and rights of man began to be linked in the debates of the French Assembly. America

    4.8.1789: Begining of a series of decrees abolishing feudal rights and privileges. 11.8.1789: "The National Assembly totally abolishes the feudal system"

    26.8.1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

    5.10.1789 The Insurrection of the Women. Women marched from Paris to the King's palace at Versailles to complain about the lack of bread. On the 6th October they marched back to Paris - bringing the King and Queen with them. -
    [This event offends Burke]

    22.10.1789 People of mixed race from Haiti (not slaves) came to the French Assembly to ask it to recognise their rights as men.

    November 1789 Widespread persecution of people of mixed race began in Haiti.

    4.11.1789 In London, Richard Price delivered a Discourse on the Love of our Country to the "Revolution Society" (formed to commemorate 1688). The society sent a congratulatory letter to the National Assembly. In January 1790 Edmund Burke read a pamphlet containing the discourse, the letter and a reply from the president of the Assembly. This stimulated Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (November 1790). Mary Wollstonecraft published a reply, A Vindication of the Rights of Man, in December 1790. Tom Paine's two part reply, The Rights of Man, was published in 1791 and 1792.

    FRENCH CONSTITUTION OF 22.12.1789: This gave the vote on the basis of taxation. Citoyens actifs were involved in direct and indirect elections to local councils and the National Assembly. Citoyens passifs had civic rights (freedom of expression etc), but no political rights. The Assembly had 745 deputies for France (colonial deputies were added later) and these represented départements according to area, population and revenue.

    December 1789
    In Paris, a play by Olympe de Gouges that attacked slavery was hissed off the stage after three performances.

    14.12.1789 Count Charles de Lameth told the National Assembly of France that although he owned many slaves in Haiti, I would prefer to lose all I possess there rather than violate the principles that justice and humanity have consecrated. I declare myself both for the admission of half- castes into the administrative assemblies and for the liberty of the blacks!

    14.7.1790 William Wordsworth arrived in France
    "Among sequestered villages we walked
    And found benevolence and blessedness
    Spread like a fragrance everywhere...
    Unhoused beneath the evening star we saw
    Dances of liberty

    21.10.1790 Vincent Oge led an unsuccessful insurrection on Haiti. News of his brutal execution drew the attention of French people to the island.


    Spring 1791 Debates on a proposed Constitution for the French colonies. The Assembly heard evidence from people of mixed race.

    15.5.1791 Resolved by the Assembly that every mulatto whose parents were both free should have a vote.

    21.6.1791 Louis 16 attempted to leave France. He was stopped at Varennes and brought back to Paris. The king's flight led to popular protests calling for a new head to the executive.

    16.7.1791 Massacre of Champ de Mars: a meeting in Paris calling, in effect, for the king's abdication, was dispersed by the National Guard. About 60 petitioners were killed and 200 arrested.

    22.8.1791 Uprising of the slaves in Haiti. Toussaint L'Ouverture joined the uprising after about a month. As a result of the slave uprising the supply of sugar to France was cut off, leading to food riots in Paris in January 1792.

    Some historians wish to make 23rd August "Slavery Remembrance Day" - See weblinks Wilberforce No Way! - UNESCO - Petition

    24.9.1791 The decree of 15.5.1791, which gave a vote to some people of colour, was rescinded by the Constituent Assembly.

    Social Science History links: pars
    76; 81; 83;

    September 1791: French Constitution of 1791 adopted. This gave a vote to men with a minimum of income/property.

    Olympe de Gouges published her Declaration of the Rights of Woman, dated 14.9.1791   in French   in English   Social Science History   (weblinks)

    Talleyrand proposed a system of state education in France that would be confined to boys. This appears to have been the spur for Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, written in three months and published January 1792.   See Social Science History   (weblinks). The first chapter is about being human and how we know what is right and true. See Social Science History - What is science?

    25.9.1791 French Penal Code

    October 1791 Meeting of Legislative Assembly. Brissot agitated for war.

    November 1791 Commissioners arrived in Haiti to restore order. Slave leaders tried to bargain their freedom for the re-enslavement of their followers. When the white colonial government refused the bargain, Toussaint L'Ouverture resolved to fight for complete liberty for all.

    January 1792
    Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman published. On 14.1.1792 Talleyrand arrived in London on an unsuccessful diplomatic mission. Whilst in London he called on Mary Wollstonecraft.

    March 1792 The Paris Commune opened its galleries to the public, which made it more exposed to popular pressure.

    20.3.1792 to 23.3.1792 Formation of a new French ministry led by Brissot. On 24.3.1792 the Legislative Assembly, by a large majority, passed a decree giving full political rights to free men of colour in the colonies. This became law on 4.4.1792.


    20.4.1792 France declared war on Austria. This led to war with Prussia as well. Once France was at war, the influence of the streets on government became more powerful because of popular fear of traitors within the country.

    10.8.1792 Paris masses stormed Tuileries and imprisoned the royal family.

    Early September 1792 The election of the Convention, by almost universal male suffrage, took place at the same time as the defeat of the French army at Verdun and at the same time that crowds massacred over 1,000 prisoners in Paris.

    18.9.1792 Three commissioners from France arrived in Haiti to enforce the decree of 4.4.1792

    21.9.1792 Meeting of Convention which (on 22.9.1792) abolished the monarchy and established the Republic. The Republican calendar started Year One here.

    Early October 1792 News of the imprisonment of the king reached Haiti, where the French fell out over it. On 12.10.1792 the Commissioners dissolved the Colonial Assembly and assumed full control over the colony. Haiti was becoming increasingly split by internal war and, secretly, the British government began to consider taking it over.

    December 1792. Mary Wollstonecraft moved to France to experience for herself the revolutionary civilisation. At the time she went political forces in France were moving against the people she sympathised with (The "Girondins") many of whom went to the guillotine whilst she was there. She returned to England in 1795.

    19.11.1792 A decree of the Convention offered help to all peoples wishing to recover their liberties.


    21.1.1793 Execution of Louis 16th.

    1.2.1793 France declared war on Great Britain. War with Spain followed in March and also civil war (the revolt of the Vendee from March to December 1793). Spain invaded Haiti early in the war. At first, Toussaint L'Ouverture and other black leaders fought for Spain against the French Republicans and in defence of the kings.

    Spring 1793 to summer 1794 Period known as the reign of terror in France. The Oxford English Dictionary dates it from March 1793 to July 1794. It is in relation to this that the word "terrorism" was formed. In a 1900 Dictionary "terrorism" is still defined as "A system of government by terror".

    May/June 1793 Paris insurrection and downfall of the Girondins. Rule of the Jacobins.


    June 1793 French Constitution of 1793 adopted. This gave the vote to every adult male, apart from domestic servants, but it was never put into practice. [Social Science History link: par. 93]

    19.6.1793-20.6.1793 In Haiti the Republican French Commissioners quashed a revolt of the poor whites by sending armed free coloureds and slaves into the capital, Le Cap, which was destroyed in the fighting. For many colonists the destruction of Le Cap symbolised the end of white supremacy, and a mass migration followed. The main slave armies, however, were still fighting for the Spanish in defence of the kings.

    30.7.1793 A French Commissioner reported from Haiti that The slaves remaining in the party of kings march in company with a great number of white emigres

    29.8.1793 To secure some support from the slave armies, Sonthonax, a French Commissioner, declared the abolition of slavery in Haiti, but the slave armies continued to fight against him.

    3.9.1793 White Royalists in Haiti asked for British intervention. An army left Jamaica (a British slave colony) and landed in Haiti on 19.9.1793.

    16.10.1793 Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, guillotined in Paris

    31.10.1793 Brissot and twenty other Girondins guillotined in Paris

    3.11.1793 Olympe de Gouges guillotined in Paris

    8.11.1793 Madame Roland guillotined in Paris

    December 1793 In the cause of the kings, Toussaint's slave army occupied central Haiti after a series of victories.


    4.2.1794 Slavery abolished in French colonies.

    30.2.1794 French celebrated the emancipation of slaves in the Temple of Reason.

    Early May 1794 News of the abolition of slavery by France reached Toussaint in Haiti and on 6.5.1794 he and his army deserted the Spanish to join the French.

    July 27/28 1794: Fall of Robespierre and Jacobins. End of the reign of terror in France.

    1794 École normale supérieure established in Paris.


    1795 In England the parish of Speenhamland, in Berkshire, adopted a system of paying workers an allowance from public funds, on top of their wages, graduated according to the price of bread. Similar schemes were adopted by many other parishes. One of the consequences of welfare policies like these was that the money paid out on Poor Law soared.

    7.4.1795 Metric system of measurement adopted in France
    External link: Important dates in the history of the modern metric system

    25.10.1795 The Convention adopted a resolution establishing the Institut National des Sciences et Arts, which became the Institut de France in 1995. (website). This had three parts (classes), the second of which was the Classe des Sciences Morales et Politiques (see above). This covered the analysis of sensations and thoughts, ethics, social science and legislation, political economy, history and geography. The first class was the Classe des Sciences Mathématiques et Physiques and the third the Classe de Littérature et Beaux-Arts (External links: 1 - 2 - 3

    20.3.1796 Mulattoes in Haiti, led by Vilate, revolted against the French General Laveaux. Toussaint rescued Laveaux and crushed the rebels.

    1.4.1796 Toussaint was proclaimed Lieutenant Governor

    1797 Napoleon Bonaparte given command of the French army against England.

    10.9.1797 Mary Wollstonecraft died.

    1798 Thomas Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population contained the law that population increases much faster than subsistence unless checked by famine, war or vice (birth control). This was Malthus's refutation of the idea of people like Wollstonecraft and her husband, William Godwin that an unlimited improvement in the human condition was possible. It became very popular as a refutation of the philosophy behind the French Revolution.

    9-10 November 1799 Coup d'etat of 18 Brumaire. Napoleon Bonaparte, hitherto a military leader, became, by conspiracy and a "wiff of grapeshot" fired to disperse a crowd, the political and military leader of France. Under a new constitution he was First Consul of France. See 1804, 1806, 1815,


    Royal Institution founded
    It was here that Humphrey Davy and then Michael Faraday researched and lectured - External link to its website


    1800-1828 Robert Owen ran a model factory community at New Lanark in Scotland, demonstrating, he thought, that people respond to good treatment by becoming good people. This was a refutation in practice of Malthusian pessimism.

    Extracts from Owen   Radicals, Socialists and Early Feminists discusses Owen and Bentham in relation to Thompson and Wheeler. Social Science History, chapter five on the theories that Smith, Bentham, Malthus and Owen made discusses Owen in relation to the poor law.   Lecture notes   Owen weblinks

    Monday 10.3.1801: First British Census
    The censuses of 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 were purely numerical. Names were first recorded in 1841. 1801 recorded the number of people in each parish, the inhabited and uninhabited houses, and classified occupations into agriculture, manufacturing, commerce and handicrafts.
    Population of England and Wales: 8,893,000; Scotland: 1,608,000

    October 1801 Having established the preliminaries of peace with the British, Bonaparte began preparation for a military expedition to Haiti to restore white rule. War between French forces and Toussaint.

    March 1802 to April 1803 Peace of Amiens

    1.5.1802 Toussaint surrendered to the French and retired to private life on his estates.

    About 7.6.1802 Toussaint arrested and taken on board a frigate waiting in harbour at Le Cap to go to France.

    July 1802 News arrived in Haiti that the French had restored slavery in Guadeloupe. Bonaparte formally restored all the mulatto discriminations of the Old Regime.

    24.8.1802 Toussaint imprisoned in Fort-de-Joux in the Jura mountains

    October 1802 Armies of Mulattos and ex-slaves rebelled against the French in Haiti


    Second edition of Malthus on population

    April 1803 Resumed war between Britain and France

    Autumn 1803 French forced to evacuate Haiti by the black led armies

    Immanuel Kant died

    1.1.1804 First ever black republic established. Called Haiti as it had been before European conquest.

    May 1804 Napoleon became Emperor.

    8.10.1804 The black leader of Haiti, Dessalines, crowned himself emperor as Jean Jacques 1st.

    1805 Thomas Malthus became the first Professor of Political Economy


    20.5.1806 John Stuart Mill, co-author of the future of the labouring classes, born. (early life) Harriet Taylor was born 10.10.1807 (life and ideas).

    October 1806, Napoleon won the battle of Jena against the Prussians. Hegel described him as "the soul of the world"

    20.11.1806 Humphry Davy's Bakerian lecture to the Royal Society in which he described the decomposition of matter into its elements by electricity. The Institut de France awarded him a prize of 3000 francs for the most important research in electricity that year.


    25.3.1807 British Parliament prohibited slave trade. (1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act became law) - National Archives weblink - Wikipedia

    1808: John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy argued that all matter consists of a range of elemental atoms (indivisible particles) each of which has a distinct atomic weight. The chemical combination of different atoms in different proportions producing substances qualitatively different from each other - although the constituent atoms remain the same. The experimental power of this theory (related to the calculation of weights) laid the foundations of modern chemistry - And put an end to any idea that qualities can only be explained as a result of the merging of constituent qualities. (external link)   a precise and beautiful theory

    1808 Charles Fouriere Théorie des quatre mouvements et des destinées générales - (Theory of the Four Movements and General Destinies) "As a general thesis: Social progress and historic changes occur by virtue of the progress of women toward liberty, and decadence of the social order occurs as the result of a decrease in the liberty of women." (external source) - (Compare with John Stuart Mill)

    1809 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's Philosophie zoologique, ou exposition des considérations relatives à l'histoire naturelle des animaux. (Zoological Philosophy. An Exposition with Regard to the Natural History of Animals) - One of the books in which Lamarck set out his theory of evolution. - External link to extracts in English


    12.2.1810 French Code pénal de 1810

    Monday 27.5.1811: Second British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 10,165,000; Scotland: 1,806,000
    Owen in 1815 notes proportions employed in trade and agriculture

    The first two volumes of Barthold Georg Niebuhr's Römische Geschichte (Roman History) were published in Berlin in 1811-1812. The full three volume set was published in Berlin between 1811 and 1832. They were translated into English from 1827 onwards.


    1812 to 1814 Robert Owen wrote his four Essays on the Formation of Human Character


    1813 Humphry Davy engaged Michael Farady as his assistant at the Royal Institution and entrusted him with performing the experiments which led to the condensation of gases into liquids by pressure.
    First edition of James Cowles Prichard's Researches into the Physical History of Man

    End of the Napoleonic Wars

    April 1814: Napoleon abdicated

    Restoration of monarchies throughout continental Europe. Louis 18th King of France.

    July 1814 Mary Shelley elopes: She journeys through France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland

    Humphry Davy patented the miners' safety lamp

    1815 Napoleon returned, but was defeated at Waterloo (18.6.1815).

    notes on Wellington's surgeon, John Hume
    Honeymoon trips and lakeland bonfire

    The journey from London to Paris was calculated (Observer, 18.8.1816) to take 73 hours, consisting of 12 hours to Dover, an average of seven hours waiting at Dover, six hours crossing the channel and then 48 hours to Paris.

    Marx identified the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1815 with the class victory of landed capital.

    1815 Corn Law. During the Napoleonic Wars farmers flourished because corn from abroad could not undercut their prices. Once the war was over foreign corn could come in and bring down the price of corn. To protect the rents of the landed aristocracy Parliament passed the Corn Law (repealed 1846) which put taxes on imported corn. This rise in the price of the people's staple food coincided with a period of widespread poverty and unemployment, following the end of the war. The cost of poor relief soared, leading to a movement to reform the Poor Laws

    18.8.1816 The Observer reported a project in which a balloon the shape of a dolphin, powered by steam and with wings that would act as rudders would "carry the nobility and gentry to Paris, and subsequently elsewhere" in ten hours or less. [I do not know what happened]. Balloons for flight, carrying humans, had been demonstrated in France in 1783, and used by Napoleon as military observation platforms.

    1817 Ricardo's Principles of Political Economy and Taxation published. People, like Malthus and Ricardo, who wanted to abolish any form of poor relief were known as the Abolitionists. They argued that poor relief perverted the market, undermined incentive, reduced the mobility of labour and encouraged overpopulation. Such arguments were at the strongest about 1817. Between 1817 and 1834, when the Poor Law Amendment Act was passed, they were modified considerably.

    Wealth and Poverty: Malthus and Ricardo

    Major writings of Saint Simon L'Industrie (1817), L'Organisateur (1819), Du Systeme Industriel (1821), Catechisme des Industriels (1823), and Nouveau Christianisme (1825).


    Karl Marx, joint author of The Communist Manifesto was born in Germany in 1818; Friedrich Engels in 1820.

    1819 Our Village sketches by Mary Mitford in The Lady's Magazine. Idyllic pictures of an English village, its cottages and gardens and village green. Book form 1824 - 1826 - 1828 - 1830 - 1832. John Clare's Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery was published in 1820 and his The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems in 1821.

    16.8.1819 Peterloo. Troops fired on demonstrators in Manchester. (External Link- Spartacus schoolnet)


    James Mill's Essay on Government first published in the supplement to the Encyclopedia Brittanica. See 1825

    1820 Trial and acquital of Saint Simon

    the owl of Minerva 25.6.1820 The owl of Minerva does not fly until the evening - Hegel argues that we only understand history after it has happened.

    Monday 28.5.1821: Third British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 12,000,000; Scotland: 2,092,000

    1822 John Stuart Mill and his friends formed a Utilitarian Society (broken up 1826). Utilitarianism was the dominant theory of Social Science in nineteenth century Britain. It was challenged by the French Sociologist, Emile Durkheim, in the 1890s.

    1823: Charles Babbage built a mechanical computing device considerably more complex than an abacus.

    David Ricardo died


    German historian Franz Leopold Ranke (21.12.1795 -23.5.1886) wrote that rather than "judging the past" would seek "only to show what actually happened" (wie es eigentlich gewesen)

    1824 Comte and Saint-Simon fell out over the way Comte's Systeme de Politique Positive was to be presented in Saint- Simon's Catechism Des Industriels

    Finance capital, insurance, statistics and economic cycles Early in 1824 the Alliance British and Foreign Life and Fire Assurance Company was founded with four banker presidents: Moses Montefiore, Nathan Rothschild, Samuel Gurney and Francis Baring (link to another member of the family) and one MP: John Irving. In part, formed to take advantage of the mathematical abilities and knowledge of probability theory of Benjamin Gompertz (1779-1865), the company's actuary. Thomas Fowell Buxton, M.P. was one of the auditors. On 24.6.1824 the company secured an Act of Parliament breaking a monopoly on marine assurance and allowing the Alliance Marine Insurance Company to be formed with Gompertz as chief manager. The formation of the Alliance has been described as "an initial event in a speculative mania as exciting as the South Sea Bubble" - leading to the crash in December 1824. The work of Benjamin Gompertz was important in the development of statistics - See also external link and Wikipedia

    The Athenaeum club for leading artistic, literary and scientific men and for patrons of the arts and sciences was founded in 1824. Michael Faraday was secretary, and Humphry Davy chairman. The Athenaeum literary and scientific periodical was first published in 1828.

    James Mill's Essay on Government (1820) distributed in a free edition with other essays. William Thompson's Appeal on Behalf of Women written in collaboration with Anna Wheeler criticised this essay. . Thompson and Wheeler were Irish Owenites who developed socialist theories from Benthamism. See Radicals, Socialists and Early Feminists and Thompson and Wheeler weblinks

    December 1825: Two Lombard Street (London) banks failed with consequent failures of country banks. Over one hundred banks failed in a few weeks. The bank crisis was stabilised by greater reliance on gold, but this was the start of the first world wide economic depression.

    23.1.1826 "The Last Man by the author of Frankenstein published

    John Stuart Mill's melancholy winter of 1826/1827. Autobiography paragraphs 5.2c - 5.6

    30.4.1827 A foundation stone laid in Gower Street of what became London University, the first "godless" university in England. Although many who supported it were very religious, the University was founded on the principle that religious tests would not be required of staff or students. For the first time, dissenters and jews (in particular) could study for a degree without travelling to Scotland or continental Europe. (external link) - The first academic sessions started in October 1828 - On 28.11.1836 the university, renamed University College, was united with King's College as the University of London. King's College was a rival university founded by the established church. The North London Hospital was opened opposite the university in 1834. It became University College Hospital in 1837. See 1840s - 1846 - 1869 - 1871 - 1878

    Michael Farady succeeded Humphry Davy in the chair of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. He published the first edition of Chemical Manipulation

    1828 John Stuart Mill established contacts with Saint-Simonians at the London Debating Society.

    Thomas Babington Macaulay's review of James Mill's Essay on Government criticised it for using
    deduction rather than induction.

    John Stuart Mill read Comte for the first time.

    Robert Owen returned to England to find he is a guru of the labour movement.

    May 1829: The British Association for Promoting Cooperative Knowledge founded in London.

    1830: Revolution in France - Marx identified the revolution of 1830 with the class victory of finance capital.

    1830-1842: Auguste Comte's Cours de Philosophie Positive (six volumes), published. The first volume is believed to have only been published (1830) in Brussels, probably due to the revolution. It was re- published in Paris later. Volume two was published in 1835 - volume three in 1838 - volume four in 1839, volume five in 1841, volume six in 1842.

    what about the workers? Swing Riots in England.

    1830 was the end of the Liverpool Tory Government (The only English government to last longer than Mrs Thatcher's).

    1830: Royal Geographic Society founded. It incorporated the African Society (founded in 1788), in 1831. From 1830 to 1840 it met in the rooms of the Horticultural Society. [external link to history]. The National Geographic Society of the United States was founded in 1888.

    what about the workers? 1831

    James Clark Ross reached the magnetic north pole in 1831
    1831 to 1836 Charles Darwin's voyage on the Beagle
    In 1831, Patrick Matthew (1790-1874) published a book on On Naval Timber and Arboriculture (Edinburgh and London) the appendix to which outlined the idea of evolution by natural selection.
    Monday 30.5.1831: Fourth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 13,897,000; Scotland: 2,364,000

    September 1831 British Association for the Advancement of Science founded. A brief (pdf) history on the British Association's website implied that an objective was to make science more open, and less elitist. The focus of the Association's activities was its Annual Meeting "which was an important forum for major scientific announcements and debate". - There is now a web brief history.

    Major scientific announcements the brief history lists are "Joule's experiments on the mechanical equivalent of heat in the 1840s, Bessemer's steel process (1856), the discovery of the first of the inert gases, argon, by Rayleigh and Ramsay (1894), the first public demonstration of wireless transmission over a few hundred yards by Sir Oliver Lodge (1894), and J. J. Thomson's discovery of the electron (1899)." It also mentions the debate on Darwin's theory in 1860. As can be seen, the emphasis is on the natural sciences, and the new statistical section (1835) was told not to be political.

    The Spirit of the Age

    Georg Friedrich Hegel, the philosopher of history as the development of ideas, died in Germany in 1831.

    German "idealism" and French "positivism" provided English speakers with alternative approaches to social science to utilitarianism.

    John Stuart Mill's articles on the Spirit of the Age (1831) showed the influence of Saint-Simon in his explanation of the way different ideas fit different periods of history. Mill was a utilitarian arguing that there is a cultural difference in what gives pleasure. He adapted utilitarianism to the philosophy of history.

    Thomas Carlyle argued against utilitarianism in a fiction called Sartor Resartus (Latin for "clothes maker repaired"), which he wrote in 1831 (published later). This argued for a social science based on the analysis of symbols. Clothes are typical social symbols. We are naturally naked, but in society we use clothes to convey meaning to one another. Although the movement of planets may be described on the model of a machine, Carlyle said social science requires the analysis of meanings. Religion had provided this, but, like old clothes, it no longer fits. The times require new clothes. Utilitarianism will not do, because it removes the significance of symbolic meanings, reducing them all to degrees of pain and pleasure in an effort to imitate the machine model used by physics.

    what about the workers? 1832
    In 1832 a Whig Government passed a
    Parliamentary Reform Act. This did not add many voters, but it spread the vote more evenly over the country. There was a marked shift in the balance of power from the landed aristocracy to the urban middle classes.

     Jeremy Bentham died. He left his body to medical science and you can still visit his corpse at the University of London.

     Royal Commission on the Poor Laws appointed. It reported in 1834

    1832 Michael Faraday (England) Joseph Henry (USA) reported their separate conversion of electricity into magnetism and back into electricity, Faraday sent a current through a coil of wires, creating a magnetic field which induced a momentary current in a second coil. This discovery of electromagnetic induction led to the development of electric motors, generators and dynamos.

    what about the workers? 1833

    Emancipation of Slaves: In August 1833, the British Parliament passed an Act prohibiting slavery in British colonies. This Act came into force on Friday 1.8.1834, which was treated as a day of celebration by the people of Britain. As in France in 1794, the common people of the slave-owning country identified with the freedom of the slaves. This is how the novel John Halifax, Gentleman (D.M. Craik, 1856) described the celebrations:

      "what a soft, gray, summer morning it was, and how it broke out into brightness; how everywhere bells were ringing, club fraternities walking with bands and banners, school-children having feasts and work-people holidays."

    Slave owners and compensation (examples): see Dr Thomas Turner and Robert Gordon

    Franz Bopp's Comparative Grammar was published in Berlin in six part in 1833, 1835, 1842, 1847, 1849 and 1852. The full title being Vergleichende Grammatik des Sanskrit, Zend, Griechischen, Lateinischen, Litauischen, Gotischen und Deutschen (Comparative Grammar of Sanskrit, Zend, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Gothic and German). It is the comparative study of languages that is thought of as the origin of scientific as distinct from literary philology and linguistics.

    Statistical Societies formed

    Members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, meeting at Cambridge in the summer of 1833, formed a statistical section. - See history on website of the Royal Statistical Society). The Belgian mathematician Quetelet was invited and presented a paper on the relationship between the statistics of crime and age in France and Belgium to a small private meeting which included Thomas Malthus and Charles Babbage. Crime statistics were figures that European states had only recently begun to generate. State generated numbers opened a bright new window through which society could be looked at scientifically. Babbage proposed a statistical section of the British Association (section F) and this was agreed on the condition that it was non-political.

     Manchester Statistical Society was established before the end of 1833.

    what about the workers? 1834

    The Statistical Society of London, which had been projected at
    Cambridge, was established in the spring of 1834, and

    "since that time the pursuit of this science has extended very rapidly". Journal of the Statistical Society of London, Vol.1, no.1 May 1838 p.4

    The decision to found was made at a meeting at Babbage's house on 21.2.1834 and the society held its first meeting within two weeks, setting down its aims as 'the collection and classification of all facts illustrative of the present condition and prospects of society, especially as it exists in the British Dominions'. The Council was elected at a meeting on 3.5.1834. (web brief history).

    1834 POOR LAW

    1834 Poor Law Amendment Act. By this Act a Poor Law Commission was created to regulate the poor law centrally. Under its influence local authorities were encourage to build workhouses and to refuse poor people any welfare payments unless they left their home and lived in the workhouse. The Act was hated by the working class who called workhouses the English "Bastilles". To erect some workhouses the government had to provide an army guard. Malthusianism was blamed for the New Poor Law. So evil were its motives thought to be that many thought they would be poisoned in the workhouse to control population.

    See Social Science History, chapter five:
    Social Science and the 1834 Poor Law
    The Theories that Smith, Bentham, Malthus and Owen made

    England's Poor Law Commissioners and the Trade in Pauper Lunacy 1834-1847
    Mental Health, for the effect of the Act on the growth of asylums.

    what about the workers? 1835

    The first volume of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America published in French. The second volume was published in 1840. John Stuart Mill wrote a review in The Edinburgh Review, vol 72, 1840. Tocqueville's Recollections were written in 1850/1851. His The Ancien Regime and the French Revolution was published in 1856. He died in 1859

    Quetelet published his conception of the qualities of an average person as the central values of measurements grouped in "curve of possibility" - which we now call a "normal curve".
    This bell shaped picture drawn by Quetelet illustrates a distribution according to laws of probability. Quetelet showed that the distribution of naturally occurring features, such as the heights of adult men, approximated to the same shape. So, there would be very few very short men (left), large numbers of medium height men (around the central axis) and very few very tall men. Hidden in this picture was the possibility of measuring normality and abnormality (deviance) "scientifically". This external link illustrates the relation between the normal curve and probability.

    Farr in "Mortality of lunatics" has the idea of a natural death rate as something distinct from the (statistically) normal death rate - without using these words

    what about the workers? 1836

    James Mill died

    1836 The post of Registrar General (births, deaths and marriages) for England and Wales created by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act. Registration began in 1837. The Registrar General was responsible the census in England and Wales from 1841,

    what about the workers? 1837

    1837 to 1839 Thomas Carlyle's two volume The French Revolution established him amongst the chief writers of the day.

    1.7.1837 Registration of births, deaths and marriages in England and Wales required by law. - External link to General Register Office

    Poor Law Commission decide to extend the law to the north. Opposition spread faster than the Commissioners. An Anti-Poor law campaign and a campaign to control factory working hours merged with the campaign for the Charter. The Charter called for a vote for every adult male. Chartists believed that if the working class could gain control of Parliament they would gain control of the welfare system and of the economy. Tied to the Charter was a plan to bring it about. A large demonstration would present a monster petition to Parliament asking that all men should have a vote. They would wait outside Parliament and when the petition was rejected they would declare themselves a National Convention -a kind of People's Parliament which would take over from the official Parliament - To enforce their will they would call a sacred month or national strike of the working classes. The use of the word "Convention" was seen as deliberate reference to the French Revolution. The idea of the "sacred month" was common amongst the Owenites.

    Aborigines' Protection Society (London) founded in the aftermath of British emancipation of slaves. The Ethnological Society of London was founded in 1843

    19.7.1837: Listen to the news on the day the Great Western Steamship was launched at Bristol. I left on its first voyage for America in 1838. There is also a feature on the lunacy commission described in the news bulletin.

    what about the workers? 1838

    Charles Lyell The Elements of Geology - An Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface by Reference to Causes now in Operation

    In October 1838, Charles Darwin read Malthus on Population. This eventually led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

    the train from
London September 1838 The London to Birmingham Railway opened. The first main line in the world.

    Objective statistics In an 1820 paper to the Royal Society, Benjamin Gompertz criticised life assurance societies for selecting mortality tables that they hoped would be favourable to them, rather than seeking objectivity. In 1838 he was a member of a committee formed by seventeen assurance offices to pool information in the search for reliable statistics.

    what about the workers? 1839
    In volume four of Cours de Philosophie Positive, Auguste Comte coined the word Sociologie. In 1843, this entered English as Sociology.

    The speed of the train may annihilate distance: The first volume of The Quarterly Review (January-March) for 1839 started with an article in which the author suggested the current speed of possibly 30 miles per hour might increase to sixty or even a hundred.

    "It will be evident that the first effect of this increasing series is the gradual annihilation, approaching almost to the final extinction, of that space and of those distances which have hitherto been supposed unalterably to separate the various nations of the globe; and that in proportion as this shall be effected, the centralisation, whether for weal or woe, of the human family, must be accomplished. For instance, supposing that railroads, even at our present simmering rate of travelling, were to be suddenly established all over England, the whole population of the country would, speaking metaphorically, at once advance en masse, and place their chairs nearer to the fireside of their metropolis by two-thirds of the time which now separates them from it; they would also sit nearer to one another by two-thirds of the time which now respectively alienates them. If the rate were to be again sufficiently accelerated, this process would be repeated ; our harbours, our dock-yards, our towns, the whole of our rural population, would again not only draw nearer to each other by twothirds, but all would proportionally approach the national hearth. As distances were thus annihilated, the surface of our country would, as it were, shrivel in size until it became not much bigger than one immense city, and yet by a sort of miracle every man's field would be found not only where it always was, but as large as ever it was!"

    7.5.1839 First presentation of the Charter to Parliament.

    what about the workers? Hungry Forties
    The Hungry Forties; life under the Bread Tax was the title chosen by Jane Unwin, in 1904, for a collection of documents from the 1840s. The term caught on as the British labour movement of the early twentieth century recounted to itself the struggles of its predecessors, and British communists studied the Communist Manifesto and tried to relate it to the decade that gave birth to it.

    The "hungry forties", when a large part of the Irish peasantry starved to death and the condition of the English workers was also miserable, had a strong effect on the ideas about society of people of many different political persuasions.

    But the date 1840 is artificial, the period really begins in the 1830s. The 1830s and 1840s were a period of rapid industrial development, social distress and the emergence of open class conflict. A period when Britain came nearer to revolution than at any other time in recent history.

    It was also a period when people were thinking about how society is structured and how society changes. There was a great deal of political and theoretical discussion, not only about class, but also about how we should think about men, women and children and their position in society.

    what about the workers? 1840

    12.6.1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention opened in London. Its decision not to recognise women delegates (from America) sparked the women's rights movement. America

    December 1840 An article by Lord Ashley in the Tory Quarterly Review, discussed the employment of children in factories, and argued that society and the family in Britain were being destroyed by the industrial revolution. The way to restore a healthy society was for the rich to concern themselves with the welfare of the poor.

    Brief note on Ashley
    Ashley's writings
    Ashley in the 1830s and 1840s
    Ashley as a Lunacy Commissioner

    what about the workers? 1841

    Hugh Miller The Old Red Sandstone

    Sunday 6.6.1841/Monday 7.6.1841: Fifth British Census
    This recorded names for the first time. People over 15 years old had their age recorded to the lowest term of five. The place a person was born in was partially recorded: Y for born in the same county, N for not. S for Scotland, I for Irelend. For the first time, householders could complete their own forms if they were able to. (Census layout - external)
    Population of England and Wales: 15,914,000; Scotland: 2,620,000

    Suicide statistics Emile Durkheim's table of "Stability of suicide in the principal European countries (absolute figures)" has time series starting in 1841 for France, Prussia, Saxony and Denmark, in 1844 Bavaria, and in 1857 for England

    what about the workers? 1842 No gloomier year

    Poems by Alfred Tennyson published. One that was soon popular (Locksley Hall), celebrates science and the march of mind and industry as the spirit of the age in Europe and contrasts it with the savagery of dusky races. (The words are Tennyson's, not mine).
      "Here about the beach I wander'd, nourishing a youth sublime
      With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of Time;

      When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see;
      Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be -

      In the steamship, in the railway, in the thoughts that shake mankind.

    Tennyson dreams of having children with a "savage woman" so that they are supple-sinewed, leaping brooks rather than poring over books, but recoils. "I the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of time - Let the people spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay."

    Compare with Barry Cornwall

    The poet recognises mind in women as well as men: "Women is the lesser man, and all thy passions, match'd with mine are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine". In 1847 Tennyson published a poem in which a royal princess founds a women's university. She falls from the chastity of thought when she falls in love, but the dominant image is that European men and women are both to be engaged in the adventures of science and thought.

    But the march of mind and the march of hunger are in competition. In the immediate present "all things here are out of joint, science moves, but slowly slowly, creeping on from point to point: Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion, creeping nigher". (Quotations all from Locksley Hall)

    May 1842 Second presentation of the Charter to Parliament.

    Lord Ashley introduced a bill intended to ban women and children from working in coal mines.

    10.8.1842 Coal Mines Act became law.

    Summer 1842 Plug riots. English workers, striking for the Charter, roamed the Midlands and North of England setting light to rich men's houses and pulling out the plugs of factory boilers. Parliament thought that the revolution was upon them.

    what about the workers? 1843

    Blackwood's Magazine volume 53, p.397 "These are to constitute a new science, to be called Social Ethics, or Sociology" - First use recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary.

    February 1843

    Ethnological Society of London founded by members of the Aborigines' Protection Society. To be "a centre and depository for the collection and systematisation of all observations made on human races". Divided over racialist issues from early days, it split into an Ethnological Society and an Anthropological Society in 1863. Merging in 1870, it became The Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in 1871. (Royal from 1907). Now The Royal Anthropological Institute (Link goes directly to its website)

    Spring 1843 A System of Logic, by John Stuart Mill, published. Mill defended deductive theory against induction, and induction against deduction, arguing that science needs both. He suggested how psychology (the study of mind) could become a science of experiment and observation, and discussed the foundations of a science of society (sociology). The argumant of the book is outlined under John Stuart Mill defends deductive theory in Social Science History, chapter one:
    John Stuart Mill and his problems with Francis Bacon

    Autumn 1843 Bennet Lawes and Joseph Henry Gilbert established the Broadbalk experiment on Lawes' Rothamsted Estate in Berkshire. This was the first of the long- term "classic experiments", and it still exists today. A winter-wheat crop was first sown in the autumn of 1843. A control strip has received no fertiliser or manure since 1843. Other strips have received farmyard manure or inorganic fertiliser. Lawes was the pioneer of artificial fertilisers having established the manufacture of superphosphate at his factory in Deptford, England in 1842.

    what about the workers? 1844

    The Claims of Labour. An Essay on the Duties of the Employers to the Employed, published anonymously, argues for a new order of society based on benevolence of employers towards the employed.

    Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (external link - archive)

    what about the workers? 1845

    John Stuart Mill's review of The Claims of Labour in the Edinburgh Review argues that a new moral order based on benevolence would undermine the independence and self- determination of working class people

    Summer 1845 Engels: The Condition of the Working Class in England

    October 1845 Beginning of the Great Famine in Ireland. Potato blight destroyed three-quarters of the crop.

    what about the workers? 1846

    26.6.1846 Repeal of the Corn Law

    In Dickens' 1838 satire on the Poor Law, Oliver Twist caused a sensation by asking for more food. In 1846 it seemed the satire had come true. It was revealed that in Andover Workhouse the residents were so hungry that they fought over rotten bones. The scandal of Andover led to the replacement of the Poor Law Commissioners, in 1847, by a Poor Law Board responsible directly to Parliament and, under new management, the poor law became the centre of a remarkably extensive pauper welfare state. Poor law hospitals laid the foundations for the National Health Service - and many are still in use.

    12.8.1846 Term "folklore" suggested for the culture and traditions of ordinary people

    Winter 1846/1847: John Stuart Mill laid aside work on the Principles of Political Economy to campaign for land reform in Ireland.

    what about the workers? 1847

    July 1847 Poem Song of the Famine in Dublin University Magazine

    1847-1852 (Three volumes): Studien über die innern Zustände, das Volksleben und insbesondere die ländlichen Einrichtungen Russlands by Baron August von Haxthausen (1792-1866) published in Hanover. Described by Frederick Starr (1968) as "the first attempt to bring the Russian commune into the sphere of European social thought". - See Engels footnote

    1848: John Stuart Mill's Principles of Political Economy published with a chapter drafted by Harriet Taylor on the self- determination of the labouring classes - and women

    1848: Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton

    February 1848 The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels published in German, in London

    Saint-Simon had argued that history is moved between different stages by the rise of new classes. Marx and Engels argued that all history is class conflict. The 1848 manifesto was a redraft by Marx of an 1847 draft by Engels called the Principles of Communism,

    See also   1806   1822   1828   1829   1835   1843   1845
    1859 On Liberty
    1861 Representative Government
    1869 Subjection of Women
    1880 Freud and J.S. Mill
    Mill and Taylor on the future of the labouring classes
    Mill and Taylor on Freedom as Self Development
    Mill and Taylor weblinks
    See also
    1845: Engels on England
    1846: German Ideology
    1859: Marx explains how his political economic theories developed.
    1884 Engels' Origin

    The Communist Manifesto
    Principles of Communism
    Marx and Engels: scientific socialism
    Marx and Engels weblinks

    what about the workers? 1848 REVOLUTIONS
    1848 was a year of revolutions in Europe. In
    France the monarchy collapsed and the Second Republic was established. In the German Confederation there were many revolts for constitutional government and a national parliament.

    24.2.1848 Louis Philippe driven out of Paris and the French Republic proclaimed.

    25.2.1848 Armed workers occupied the French Assembly demanding the right to work.

    4.3.1848 Marx arrested by the police (in Brussels) and escorted to the French frontier. Continued to Paris

    13.3.1848 People of Vienna broke the power of Prince Metternich. He fled the country.

    18.3.1848 People of Berlin took arms. King surrendered to them after 18 hours.

    10.4.1848 Chartists gathered on Kennington Common to prepare for a march to Parliament. The marchers were fewer than expected and the presentation of the third, and final, petition ended peacefully.

    April 1848 to May/June 1849: Marx and Engels worked for the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in Cologne

    May or June 1848. First copies of The Communist Manifesto circulating in Germany.

    what about the workers? 1849

    August 1849 Marx settled in London as a political refugee.

    November 1949 Engels arrived in London. From 1849 Engels worked in his father's business in Manchester and supported Marx financially. Between December 1849 and November 1850, a series of articles, by Marx, in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung analysed political events in France from 1848 to 1850 in terms of class struggles.

    A Ladies College opened in Bedford Square,
    close to the British Museum and London University


    Germany 1850 Geschichte der sozialen Bewegung in Frankreich von 1789 bis auf unsre Tage (History of the social movement in France from 1789 to the present) by Lorenz von Stein published in Leipzig in three volumes.

    December 1850 Napoleon 3rd (President) dissolved the French Assembly and restored universal male suffrage. His total power was then approved by plebiscite. See Neumann's dictatorship types


    Lord Ashley became the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury
    Natural Sciences and Moral Sciences Triposes established at Cambridge University. The moral sciences included politics, philosophy and economics.

    Sunday 30.3.1851/Monday 31.3.1851: Sixth British Census
    From 1851 the exact ages and birthplaces were given, together with marital status and relationship to the householder. The number of blind, deaf and dumb was noted. (Census layout - external) In 1851 there was also a special census of church congregations and accommodation.
    Population of England and Wales: 17,928,000; Scotland: 2,889,000

    30.5.1851: Meeting to establish the Central Co-operative Agency, 76 Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square. Founder Edward Vansittart Neale and Thomas Hughes one of the contributors

    21.4.1851 Marriage of John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor
    July 1851 Harriet Taylor's article The Enfranchisement of Women in The Westminster Review America

    1853 Karl Knies's Political Economy from the Historical Point of View published in German and Harriet Martineau's English translation of Auguste Comte , published.

    Geoff Bunn's A Chronology of Psychology in Britain 1853-1987 begins with J.D. Morrell's (1816-1891) Elements of Psychology as "the first book published in England to be called psychology. (Hearnshaw, 1964: 21)". The first part of the chronology builds up to the founding of The Psychological Society in 1901. - offline rtf - offline pdf

    1854 to 1856 Crimean War

    27.3.1854 and 28.3.1854 France and Britain declare war on Russia

    1854 Einleitung zur Geschichte der Mark-, Hof-, Dorf-, und Stadtverfassung und der offentlichen Gewalt was the first of a series of books on the early institutions of the Germans by Georg Ludwig von Maurer (1790 - 1872) - Source Wikipedia - See Engels footnote


    Herbert Spencer's Social Statics and the first edition of his Principles of Psychology published


    Sigmund Freud (author of Interpretation of Dreams) born

    1857 National Association for the Promotion of Social Science founded. This held annual Congresses to discuss issues of social reform and published its proceedings. Isa Craig, a working Scottish poet from Scotland was the secretary until her marriage in 1866. Henry (Lord) Brougham and Ashley Cooper, the Earl of Shaftesbury, were frequent leaders of the Congresses. Robert Owen contributed five papers to the first Congress and spoke at the second. In 1866, with Shaftesbury presiding, its topics included the best means of preventing infanticide, education of various groups of working class children and control of their work, public health and housing. The last congress was held in Birmingham in 1884. The Association dissolved itself in 1886

    1857 First edition of History of Civilisation in England by Henry Thomas Buckle (1821-1862), in which he argued that the regularity of social statistics demonstrates that human behaviour is as predictable as natural phenomena and determined rather than free.

    5.9.1857 Auguste Comte died

    15.4.1858 Emile Durkheim born in Épinal in Lorraine, north-east France. His older sister (born 1848) had a son, Marcel Mauss, born 1872, who became Durkheim's colleague.

    3.11.1858 Death of Harriet Taylor - buried in Avignon
    17.11.1858 Death of Robert Owen

    1859 John Stuart Mill's On Liberty published   (extracts) what about the lunatics?

    1859 Karl Marx's A contribution to the critique of political economy written. It was intended as the first volume of his work on Economics. (extracts)

    See 1611 - 1809 - 1831 - 1844 - 1838
    November 1859 Charles Darwin's Origin of Species published. The theory that species develop from another through a long process of evolution became credible when Darwin showed how it could happen. He argued that there was a natural selection of naturally occurring variations through the survival of those best adapted to their circumstances. Social theorists drew different conclusions for society from Darwin's biological ideas. Marx and Engels welcomed the theory because it had a material base and provided a developmental theory for the natural world to match theirs for society. Herbert Spencer, who had developed evolutionary theory independently of Darwin, saw competition as the mechanism through which the fittest members of society are selected. The theory that the fittest should be selected through struggle is known as "Social Darwinism". It has been used by Spencer and his followers to support an unregulated market. Benjamin Kidd, however, argued that the struggle is between societies, and that the strength of a society depends largely on the collective support its members give one another. Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf argued human history is a struggle for survival between biological races of human beings. By the early 20th century, social darwinist theories had become a common "scientific" analysis of society. The joint shocks of the second world war and the revelation of attempted race extermination were followed by a reconstruction of European culture that marginalised such theories. See 1871 - 1872 - 1894 - 1903 - 1913 - 1925 - 1930 - 1933 - 1939 -


    Herbert Spencer's First Principles published in six parts, between 1860 and 1862. It was about "those highest generalisations now being disclosed by science which are severally true not of one class of phenomena but of all classes of phenomena; and which are thus the keys to all classes of phenomena". Published as one volume in 1862, there were revised editions in 1867, 1875, 1880, 1884, 1900.

    The Anglo-French [Cobden-Chevalier] commercial treaty of 1860 stimulated a series of commercial treaties "binding Europe into the nearest it got to a common market before the late twentieth century" (external link). Durkheim speaks of a "commercial revolution" caused by these treaties.


    John Stuart Mill's Considerations on Representative Government published

    Das Mutterrecht: eine Untersuchung über die Gynaikokratie der alten Welt nach ihrer religiösen und rechtlichen Natur by Johann Jakob Bachofen (1815 - 1887) of Switzerland. Later translaated into English as "Mother Right: An Investigation of the Religious and Juridical Character of Matriarchy in the Ancient World"

    Sunday 7.4.1861/Monday 8.4.1861: Seventh British Census (Census layout - external)
    Population of England and Wales: 20,066,000; Scotland: 3,062,000

    April-June 1861 Max Müller gave nine lectures on "the science of language" at Royal Institution. - In these he referred to Aryans as a "race" - A fuller text than that delivered was published in 1862. (Available on Google Books). - See 1870 - 1888


    Robert FitzRoy's first public weather forecast appeared on page 10 of The Times. (source). Daily forecasts were discontinued in May 1866. Storm warnings resumed in 1867, public forecasts in 1879. (source)



    24.2.1863 James Hunt "Introductory Address on the Study of Anthropology", delivered before the newly formed Anthropological Society of London. One of the first actions of the Society (at the end of 1863) was to publish a translation (from German into English) of Theodore Waitz's Anthropologie der Naturvölker [Anthropolgy of natural or primitive people] of 1858 as Introduction to Anthropology - Available from Google Books

    James Hunt: On the Negro's Place in Nature Anthropological Society Available from Google Books

    21.4.1864 Max Weber born

    Herbert Spencer's Principles of Biology published. The sections on plant morphology and physiology in the 1899 revised edition were overseen by Arthur Tansley.

    First International Workingmen's Association established by French and English Labour leaders in London (dissolved 1876). Marx drew up its Inaugural Address - a much more moderate document than the Communist Manifesto

    8.2.1865 and 8.3.1865 Gregor Mendel's Experiments in Plant Hybridisation read at meetings of the Brünn Natural History Society. They were published, in German, in the proceedings of the society in 1866, but received little attention until 1900. They were translated into English in 1902. See Genetics.

    1865 John Stuart Mill's Auguste Comte and Positivism published

    from 1865 to 1868 John Stuart Mill was Liberal Member of Parliament for Westminster.

    1866 Prussia's "Seven Weeks War" with Austria and other German states cut old German ties. In 1867, the North German Federation was formed.

    In 1867, John Stuart Mill made a speech in Parliament on: "The Admission of Women to the Electoral Franchise".

    1867:  1.2.1867 J.S.Mill gave his Inaugural Address as Rector of St. Andrews University, Scotland, in which he reviewed the whole scope of education, discussing the value of what we now call the Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Science and Social Science. He spoke in favour of psychology as a discipline and drew attention to the role of Scottish thinkers in this area.

    March 1867 George Cruikshank published his "The British Beehive" cartoon.

    Marx completed the manuscript of Das Kapital on 27.3.1867. At 2am in the morning of 16.8.1867 he wrote to Engels the he had "just finished correcting the last sheet (49th) of the book" and thanked Engels for enabling him to complete the "immense labour" of the book. In the third week of September 1867: Volume I of Das Kapital was published in a print run of 1,000 in Hamburg. It was not translated into English until 1887


    The first edition of Alexander von Oettingen's work on moral statistics and social ethics

    1869: John Stuart Mill's The Subjection of Women published. (Written in 1861)

    In 1869 the "Eisenach Party" (SAP) [South German Party] was founded by Marx's German followers.

    1870-1871 Franco-Prussian war. The leaders of the Eisenach Party were imprisoned for opposing the war.

    German Unification On 18.1.1871 a German Empire was proclaimed at Versailles with the Prussian king, Wilhelm 1st as Emperor, and Bismarck as Imperial Chancellor. Most German speaking countries of Europe were united in one modern state.

    From 1871 to after 1878 was the period of Kulturkampf - "Conflict of Beliefs" - between Bismarck and the Catholic Church. Prussian Falk Laws of May 1873 completely subordinated the church to state regimentation. From 1878 to 1887, negotiations between Germany and a new pope restored most Catholic rights.

    1871 Paris Commune (Short lived proletarian republic)

    19.2.1870 Max Müller's Lectures on the Science of Religion began at the Royal Institution.

    1871 Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man published

    Edward Burnet Tylor's Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art, and Custom

    8.6.1871 Edward Burnet Tylor, author of "various memoirs on savages and their customs" was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on the proposal of (amongst others) Charles Darwin - Francis Galton - Charles Lyell

    Sunday 2.4.1871/Monday 3.4.1871: Eighth British Census
    From 1871 the census for England and Wales was taken separately from that for Scotland, but on the same date.
    Population of England and Wales: 22,712,000; Scotland: 3,360,000

    The 1871 to 1911 censuses asked if the person was blind, deaf or dumb, "imbecile or idiot" or "lunatic". (See 1870 Act). (Census layout - external)


    Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals published. Darwin's study of body language provided a starting point for symbolic interaction sociology. Whist Darwin focused on the expression of emotions, George Herbert Mead interpreted body language as a system of communication (the conversation of gestures) that preceded and allowed the development of symbols and conscious reflection.   (weblink to illustrated copy)

    10.5.1872 Marcel Mauss born. See 1925

    November 1872 Giuseppe Villella died in an Ittalian prison, Cesare Lombroso performed an autopsy on his body and discovered an abonormality in his skull. He wrote later:

    crime and
timeline biological
    "The sight of that fossette suddenly appeared to me like a broad plain beneath an infinite horizon, the nature of the criminal was illuminated, he must have reproduced in our day the traits of primitive man going back as far as the carnivores." source

    1873 John Stuart Mill died in Avignon and buried with Harriet. His Autobiography was published after his death.

    5.9.1873 Times page 6. "At the Congress of Bologna a cotery of Marxists had tried to impede all progress, but in vain." First example of "marxists" in Oxford English Dictionary. The earlist example of "marxism" is in 1883.

    Herbert Spencer's The Study of Sociology America


    Mary Paley passed the Cambridge University "Moral Science Tripos" with distinction. She took over, from Alfred Marshall, the lectures to women students on economics, and was then asked to write a textbook on economics. In 1876 she became engaged to marry Alfred Marshall and they worked on the book together. It was published as The Economics of Industry by Alfred and Mary Paley Marshall in 1879. It was from this book that Alfred Marshall eventually developed his Principles of Economics (External source: Valerie Muir 1995)

    John Stuart Mill's Autobiography

    The Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland published the first edition of its Notes and Queries on Anthropology for the Use of Travellers and Residents of Uncivilised Lands in 1874. Edward Burnet Tylor contributed the largest number of sections (18).

    1875 German social democrats (ADAV and SAP) merged on the basis of The Gotha Programme. This was more Lassallean than Marxist. Marx sent a private criticism and said that he would have to dissociate himself, but he did not - because the press perceived the Gotha Programme as "communist". The party became the SDP in 1890. From 1878 to 1890 the Anti-socialist law prohibited socialist societies, assemblies and pamphlets. But the party was still able to take part in Reichstag elections - where it increased its representation in the (powerless) German national parliament.

    The ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published between 1875 and 1889 (finished writing 1888?) in 24 volumes. "It embodied as no other publication of the day the transformation of scholarship wrought by scientific discovery and new critical methods" (Encyclopedia Britannica website). The article on "Evolution in Biology" was written by Thomas Huxley and the article on Anthropology by Edward Burnet Tylor. The editor was Thomas Spencer Baynes (born 24.3.1823, died 31.5.1887), assisted from late 1881 by William Robertson Smith, who had lost his professorship as a result of his articles on the Bible. Robertson Smith had the major responsibility for the concluding twelve volumes of the Encyclopedia (Beginning with "L"?).


    First edition of Volume One of Herbert Spencer's
    The Principles of Sociology

    "Founding [Paris], by Jules Guesde, of the first sociology journal - L'Egalite" (external link) - See Wikipedia Jules Guesde

    1876 Cesare Lombroso's L'uomo delinquente studiato in rapporto alla antropologia, alla medecina legale, ed alle discipline carcerarie published in Milan. crime and
timeline biological

    1877: Georg Cantor (1845-1918) became Professor of Mathematics at Halle. He laid the foundations of modern set theory, leading to the heady possibility that all rational human thought can be rationally understood by human thought - A possibility that Bertrand Russell, to his own annoyance, proved unproven. (external link).   In his autobiography, Russell reproduces a letter to him from Cantor saying "dear Colleague... I am a Baconian...and am quite an adversary of Old Kant..."   See discussion of relevance to positivism

    5th, 12th and 19th April 1877 Francis Galton 's three part article "Typical Laws of Hereditary" in Nature (External link to pdf) In this (12.4.1877 page 513, column 2) he says the produce of peas of the same class "deviated normally on either side of their own mean weight". This is an early example of the use of normal as in "normal curve" (See Quetelet above and Math Word at York).


    Morgan's Ancient Society published


    1878 Jardin Zoologique d'Aclimatation, (opened 1860 in the northern part of the Bois de Boulogne) converted to "l'Acclimatation Anthropologique", a zoo that exhibited humans. Albert Geoffroy Saint- Hilaire (1835-19019), the zoo's director from 1865 to 1893, first organised two ethnological spectacles, one of Nubians and the other of Inuit(Esquimaux). By 1878, a million (non-exhibited) people had visited. Between 1877 and 1912 (when this human zoo closed), approximately thirty ethnological exhibitions were presented at the Jardin zoologique d'acclimatation


    It was about 1878 that William Stanley Jevons statistically related economic cycles to sunspot activity.

    1.5.1878 - 10.11.1878 Exposition Universelle held in Paris to celebrate the recovery of France after the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. The temporary (glass) building on the left was the main exhibition in the Champs de Mars, where the Eifel Tower now stands. On the other (north) side of the river Seine is Palais du Trocadéro, where meetings of international organizations could be held during the fair). One popular feature was a human zoo, called a "negro village", composed of 400 "indigenous people".

    The Muséum ethnographique des missions scientifiques (Ethnographic Museum of Scientific Expeditions) (The Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro) was established in a wing of Palais du Trocadéro in 1878. It became the Musée de l'Homme in 1937.

    1879 In Leipzig, Wilhelm Wundt set up the world's first laboratory of experimental psychology.

    Enrico Morselli's work on suicide was published in Italy in 1879. It was translated into English in 1881 as Suicide. An Essay On Comparative Moral Statistics

    Albert Einstein born


    The young Freud translated works by John Stuart Mill into German. In later comments, Freud argued that there are fundamental differences between men and women that Mill had not recognised. This contrast between Mill and Freud is reflected in late 20th century feminist thought in the contrast between those feminists who (like Wollstonecraft and Mill) perceive mind as genderless, and those who believe the male and female minds are different.

    1880: Emile Zola in his essay Le Roman Experimental explains how he applies the experimental method of science to his naturalistic novels. [External links to 1890 text and the Zola pages - See Park (1925) and urban life

    1880 First edition of Henri François Marion's De la Solidarite Morale. See Durkheim 1893

    March 1880-April 1880 UK General Election

    Sunday 3.4.1881/Monday 4.4.1881: Ninth British Census
    This is available online - (Census layout - external)
    Population of England and Wales: 25,974,000; Scotland: 3,736,000

    29.10.1880 Joseph Swan's development of the incandescent lamp reported in Engineering, which quoted him saying "Electric lighting by incandescence is just as simple as arc lighting is difficult, all that is required is a material which is not a very good conductor of electricity, highly infusible and which can be formed into a wire or lamina, and is neither combustible in air, or if combustible, does not undergo changes in a vacuum".


    Society for Psychical Research founded in London for the scientific investigation of psychic phenomena. These included much more than what we might regard as spritual and ghostly phenomena, and the work included theoretical development as well as attempted empirical tests. Frederic Myers, for example, developed the concept of the subliminal self.


    1883 Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften (Introduction to the Social Sciences) by Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911)

    "The practice of regarding" [the "human sciences"] "as a unity distinct from the natural sciences is rooted in the depth and totality of human selfconsciousness... man finds within his self-consciousness a sovereignty of the will, a responsibility for actions, a capacity for subjecting everything to thought and for resisting, from within the stronghold of his personal freedom, any and every encroachment"
    See dictionary Verstehen, to understand.

    1883 How the Poor Live by George R. Sims - with 60 illustrations by Frederick Barnard (who illustrated Dickens) Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly - External link to text

    14.3.1883 Karl Marx died. At his death, a virtually unknown author in the English speaking world.

    16.10.1883 Pamphlet The Bitter Cry of Outcast London: an inquiry into the condition of the abject poor (Congregational Union) given much publicity by The Pall Mall Gazette External link to editorial and condensed version

    1883-1891 Nietzsche's Also sprach Zarathustra


    Engels: The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State developed by Engels from notes by Marx. The Origin provides an overview of their historical materialism as they left it. Working on the theories of Morgan, they incorporate "Reproduction" into the material base, alongside "Production"

    See also
    1848 Communist Manifesto

    Extracts from Engel's Origin
    Summary of Historical Materialism
    Chart of Engels' overview of history
    Marx and Engels: scientific socialism
    Marx and Engels web links

    At the final meeting of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, Edward Vansittart Neale, a cooperator, read a paper "What is the social condition of the working classes in 1884 as compared with 1857, when the first meeting of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science was held in Birmingham; and in what way can the working classes best utilise their savings?"



    "Gottlieb Daimler's invention in 1885 of the internal- combustion motor using petroleum spirit was the first step towards the production of the modern self-propelled road vehicle, the next step being the recognition in 1887 of the advantages of Daimler's system by M. Levassor and his application of that system to the propulsion of a carriage. In the nine years that immediately followed French manufacturers spent large sums of money in experimenting with and developing the motor-car" (1911 Encyclopedia)

    Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury died.

    24.11.1885-18.12.1885 UK General Election

    1885-1886 Durkheim in Germany studying German social research and ethical speculation

    October 1885 to February 1886 Freud in France studying nervous diseases under Charcot, who had developed hypnosis as a treatment for hysteria. His experiences were an important stage in moving from mapping the human brain and nervous system to mapping the human mind. France

    Charcot and Blanche Wittmann
    Asylum despair


    11.5.1886 Queen Victoria opened the International Exhibition of Navigation, Commerce and Industry in Liverpool (source). In a special feature on 15.5.1886, the Illustrated London News wrote:

    "Liverpool, thanks to modern science and commercial enterprise, to the spirit and intelligence of the townsmen, and to the administration of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, has become a wonder of the world. It is the New York of Europe, a world-city rather than merely British provincial." (See Reviews in History)

    1.7.1886-27.7.1886 UK General Election

    1887: Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft by Ferdinand Tönnies -
    See dictionary

    In 1887 a lectureship of social science was created for Durkheim at the University of Bordeaux.

    Karl Marx's Capital (1867). Translated by Samuel Moore & E. Aveling, published by F. Engels, London 1887. Engels edited the translation and wrote a preface. The same year: F. Engels. The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844, translated by F. K. Wischnewetzky, was published in New York and reprinted in London. Engels added an appendix on "The Working Class Movement in America". Samuel Moore's translation of The Communist Manifesto was published early in 1888.

    1888: Max Müller's Biographies of words and the home of the Aryas

    Charles Booth's Life and Labour of the People of London was published in 17 volumes between 1889 and 1902. Charles Booth (1840-1916), a statistician, spent eighteen years preparing this survey. Amongst those who helped him was his cousin, Beatrice Potter Webb.
    - External link to Charles Booth Online Archive -

    1889 William Robertson Smith's Lectures on the Religion of the Semites applied anthropological theory to the analysis of the Old Testament. His analysis of sacrifice was an important component of the anthropologies of both Dukrhheim and Freud. James Frazer, in 1900, made an anthropological analysis of the crucifixion of Christ.


    Ivan Pavolv (1849-1936) appointed professor at St Petersburg Military- Medical Academy, Russia, where he established a laboratory observing the digestion of live animals through a hole in the stomach. He won the Nobel Prize for physiology in 1904.

    1890 Les lois de l'imitation by Jean-Gabriel De Tarde (1843- 1904). Translated into English in 1903 The Laws of Imitation.

    Alfred Marshall's Principles of Economics. An introductory volume published. His Economics of Industry (a different book than that published with Mary Paley Marshall in 1879) was published in 1892. Marshall was "Professor of Political Economy" at Cambridge University until 1908. Marshall was one of the four major theorists on whom Talcott Parsons based his The Structure of Social Action

    1890 Henry Morton Stanley's In Darkest Africa: or the quest, rescue and retreat of Emin, Governor of Equatoria, in six volumes, published.

    William Booth's Darkest England and the Way Out was published in 1890. William Booth (1829-1912) was the founder of the Salvation Army, an evangelistic Christian organisation with ideas about the redemption of society. He should not be confused with Charles Booth.

    "For years past the Press has been filled with echoes of the 'Bitter Cry of Outcast London', with pictures of 'Horrible Glasgow', and the like. We have had several volumes describing 'How the Poor Live', and I may therefore assume that all my readers are more or less cognizant of the main outlines of 'Darkest England' (Chapter 5 On the Verge of the Abyss) "

    It was William (not Charles) Booth who wrote of the "submerged tenth". This was his heading for chapter two. However, he used Charles Booth's statistics to support his calculation.

    It is unusual for followers of Karl Marx to speculate about what life will be like after a communist revolution. This, however, is what William Morris did in his 1890 dream novel News from Nowhere summary and discussion

    James George Frazer's The Golden Bough. A Study of Magic and Religion appeared in twelve volumes between 1890 and 1915. The second edition in 1900 analysed the crucifixion of Christ. He published an abridgement in 1922 - Without the most controversial material.

    Edwin Chadwick died

    1891 Our Baby - first edition

    The right of a husband to use force against his wife was first denied by the English courts in 1891.

    Sunday 5.6.1891/Monday 6.6.1891: Tenth British Census (Census layout - external)
    Asked about the number of rooms and their occupants in all tenements with fewer than five rooms. Distinguished between employers, employees and the self-employed.
    Population of England and Wales: 29,003,000; Scotland: 4,026,000. In England and Wales, 35% were under 15 and 4% per cent 65 or over.

    1891 Weber's doctoral thesis: A Contribution to the History of Medieval Business Organizations
    See also
    1894/1895 Economics Professor at Freiburg
    1896 Professor at Heidelberg
    1897 Father's death
    1904/1905 The Protestant Ethic...
    1910-1914 Economy and Society
    Lecture notes on Weber
    Brief note on Weber
    Extracts from Weber
    Weber web links
    Social Science History

    1891 Edvard Alexander Westermarck's The Origins of Human Marriage published. See 1903 - 1907

    1892 Durkheim's latin thesis on Montesquieu.


    July 1893 First meeting of The Institut International de Sociologie (International Sociological Institute), created by René Worms, held in the building of the Society of Anthropology in Paris. "From more than fifty members and more than twenty associates, approximately twenty were present and nine sent papers. The participating group comprised between 50 and 150 people". (Schuerkens, F.U. 1996). External link to its website (archive) - new website
    Annales de l'Institut International de Sociologie/ Annals of the International Institute of Sociology first published in 1895 after the first world congress,

    In Division of Labour in Society (1893), Durkheim tried to show that societies are real and that the reality of societies lies in something that he calls solidarity. (Click here for Extracts). He also said punishing crime is a way a society defines the way it thinks, reinforcing its solidarity
    See also
    1885 Durkheim in Germany
    1895 Sociological Method
    1897 Suicide
    1901 Lectures on Rousseau
    1912 ... Religious Life
    Lecture notes on Durkheim
    Brief note on Durkheim
    Extracts from Durkheim
    Durkheim web links
    Social Science History
    Parsons and Giddens

    1893 Thomas Huxley's lecture on evolution and ethics (an external link)

    1893 La donna delinquente la prostituta e la donna normale by Cesare Lombroso and Guglielmo Ferrero published Torino. Published in English as The Female Offender in 1895. crime and
timeline biological

    In Germany, Weber became Professor of Economics at Freiburg University in place of Karl Knies.

    In America George Herbert Mead became a lecturer at Chicago University where, before his death in 1931, he developed theories that showed how social interaction by means of symbols could have developed from the conversation of gestures of animals. From 1894 to 1904, John Dewey also lectured at Chicago, where he developed his version of pragmatism.

    Benjamin Kidd's Social Evolution (See Darwin) This book contained the idea that "irrational" religion is needed by societies to hold them together. Societies require the subordination of individual self interest to the collective welfare, and the motivation for this is provided by religion.

    Engels died.

    Weber's inaugural address at Freiburg, The National State and Economic Policy, - a confession of belief in imperialist realpolitik and the House of Hohenzollern.

    In Rules of Sociological Method, Durkheim argued that if we want to be sociologists we should "treat social facts as things". (Extracts) He also argued that crime is necessary and normal for society.

    Fabians found The London School of Economics and Political Science, which held its first classes in October 1895. It became a major centre for the social sciences in England. By employing staff of diverse political persuasions, it has been as often the centre for conservative as for radical thought. See 1896 - 1903 - 1904 - 1935 - 1951

    Weber became Professor at the University of Heidelberg
    Lev Semenovich Vygotsky born

    Durkheim's journal L'Année Sociologique first appeared in 1896 - but the first "volume" was published in 1898. At this time, Chicago and Bordeaux were two of the main centres generating "sociology". See Andrea Nagy. The new London School of Economics became another centre. America

    Durkheim's Suicide seeks to show that society is so real that it controls acts as (apparently) individual as suicide.

    Weber's father's death was followed by Weber's mental breakdown.

    Ferdinand Tönnies' Der Nietzsche-Kultus. Eine Kritik. Leipzig. An extremely successful book on Nietzsche that influenced Weber.


    First volume of L'Année Sociologique. It continued until 1913. Then the war stopped it. A short lived revival began in 1923-1924. It was published as Annales Sociologique between 1934 and 1942. The first of a third series of L'Année Sociologique appeared in 1949, and has continued since.


    October 1899 Wiesbaden meeting of European and American Academies planned an international association with sections for natural science and "literary science": meaning the scientific study of language, history, philosophy, antiquities, and other subjects not considered "natural sciences". The Royal Society represented Britain for the natural sciences. The British Academy was formed to represent the others. The International Association of Academies first met in Paris in 1900, without British representation of the non-natural sciences. The Association did not survive the first world war, but was replaced by the International Research Council and the International Association of Academies after the war (main source)



    Some new words in the 1900 Dictionary: -   - x-rays - Victorian - valence and valency - ultra-red - ultra-violet - tuberculine - tuberculosis - telepathy - symbiosis - spirillum - sepsis - saccharin (sweetener made from coal-tar "no nutritive value, but apparently harmless" - rubella - referendum - psychometry - prognosis - poundal - pornography - phylum - photogravure - paludal (marsh) fever - oceanography - occultism - neuropathology - neuromuscular - neurasthenia - micro-organism - metazoa - metabolism - menopause - matriarchy - massage - margarine - magazine-rifle - machine- gun - Listerism (antiseptic surgery) - lanoline - laisser-faire - karma - impressionist - hypnosis - glossic (phonetic spelling) - germicide - felicific - eurhythmy - eugenic - eugenics - endoplasm - endoplast - ectoplasm - demography - coulomb - cordite - colonial - colonize - cephalic index (scull measurement "according to which...races.. are called brachycephalic or dolichocephalic) - cardiograph - burette - brontosaurus - boom (economic) - bacteriology - ampere - aluminium - alienism -

    Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams
    books - extracts
    1880 Freud and John Stuart Mill
    1885 Freud and Charcot
    1913 Totem and Taboo
    1938 Outlining Psychoanalysis
    Freud and society
    Mental Health History Timeline
    Extracts from Interpretation of Dreams
    beautiful baby
    Freud weblinks

    September/October 1900 UK General Election

    Sunday 31.3.1901/Monday 1.4.1901: Eleventh British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 32,612,000; Scotland: 4,479,000

    1901 to 1902 Durkheim's last Sociology lectures at Bordeaux were on the history of sociology. All that survives of them is his article on Rousseau's Social Contract. This argued that Rousseau bridges the gap between state of nature theory and sociology

    Enrico Ferri's The Positive School of Criminology

    24.10.1901: The Psychological Society founded at University College London. It was renamed the British Psychological Society in 1906. America
    The ten founder members were: Robert Armstrong-Jones (1859-1943) - William Ralph Boyce Gibson (1869-1935) - Sophie Bryant (1850-1922) - Frank Hales (1878-1952) -
    William McDougall - Frederick Mott - W.H.R. Rivers - Alexander Shand (1858-1936) - W.G. Smith - and James Sully.


    Durkheim took over the Science of Education at the Sorbonne.

    La science et l'hypothèse (Science and Hypothesis) by Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) published in Paris.

    William Bateson (1861-1926) Mendel's Principles of Heredity. A defence ... With a translation of Mendel's original papers on hybridisation Cambridge University Press. (external link to English translation of Mendel)

    8.8.1902 Royal Charter granted to incorporate the "British Academy for the Promotion of Historical, Philosophical, and Philological Studies" - now known as the "British Academy" with the present day objects of the "promotion of the humanities and social sciences". - website - See Royal Society - 1899 - Union Académique Internationale and Academy of Social Sciences


    1903 to 1907, Edvard Alexander Westermarck, first Lecturer in Sociology at London School of Economics. From 1906 to 1918, he was also Professor of Practical Philosophy, University of Helsinki, and from 1907 to 1930, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics (with Hobhouse).

    May 1903 George Griffith Sidelights on Convict Life

    May 1903 Durkheim and Fauconnet, Révue Philosophique,

    "Sociology exists; it has a history displaying its nature; there is, therefore, no place for efforts to imagine what it is. We can observe it. Though no good purpose is served in disputing in abstracto what the science ought to be, there is on the contrary a real interest in becoming acquainted with the course of its development, in giving an account of the various elements whence it resulted, and of the parts they occupy respectively in the whole structure."

    20.11.1903 Sociological Society formed at the London School of Economics. The original society had an international membership. America
    The society sought to bring together, for debate, all with a scientific approach to society and social issues. Major issues in its early years included selective breeeding, town planning and welfare. Based at the London School of Economics until 1920. See David Evans (1986) and Baudry Rocquin (2006)
    See Francis Galton at the Sociological Society.

    Sociological Papers by F. Galton, E. Westermarck, P. Geddes, E. Durkheim, H.H. Mann and V.V. Branford published by Macmillan (London) for the Sociological Society. (Volume one 1905). There were three volumes covering (I think) sessions October to June 1904-1905, 1905-1906 and 1906- 1907. It then became The Sociological Review It was the "Journal of the Sociological Society" from 1908 to 1930; of the "Institute of Sociology" from 1931 to 1952. From 1953 to 1961 issued by the University College of North Staffordshire; From 1962 to the present by University of Keele.

    1904 In his Nobel Prize address, Pavlov introduced the idea of the conditioned reflex. (extracts). 20th Century Words records the term in English use from 1906. Pavlov's works appeared in English in 1926

    18.7.1904 Patrick Geddes read his first paper on Civics: as Applied Sociology to the Sociological Society. His second paper Civics: as Concrete and Applied Sociology was read on 25.1.1905. The meetings were chaired by Charles Booth and theoretical criticisms received in writing included one from W.I. Thomas of Chicago.

    1904/1905 Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, first published in German. This book by Weber became number 4 in the century's top 10. Economy and Society was number one.

    Leonard Trelawney Hobhouse lectured at the London School of Economics from 1904? to 1929. With his colleague, Westermarck, Hobhouse became one of the first two Professors of Sociology in a British University in 1907. Ronald Fletcher says of him that, with the exception of Talcott Parsons:

    "Hobhouse was probably the last scholar to accomplish an entire 'system' of sociology with success"

    Many of his works, such as Mind in Evolution (1901), Morals in Evolution (1906), and Development and Purpose (1913) were about the evolution of societies.

    Morris Ginsberg became his research assistant in 1912. In 1915, Hobhouse, Gerald Clair Wheeler and Ginsberg produced a comprehansive analysis of anthopological reports that correlated the development of material culture and social institutions.


    Eugenics: its definition, scope and aims by Francis Galton.

    In a letter, William Bateson suggested a need for a word that combined the idea of studying biological heredity and biological variation. The word he suggested was genetics, and this was used in the title of a conference he chaired in 1906.

    1905 Identification chromosomal differences between male and female insects: males having XY and females XX sex chromosomes.


    January/February 1906: UK General Election. Lloyd George Prime minister to 1922

    1906 Combe lectureship in General and Experimental Psychology and the George Combe laboratory established at Edinburgh University with funding from the Combe Trust. W.G. Smith, the first lecturer, was a student of Wundt. His succesor, James Drever senior, became the first Professor of Psychology in Scotland in 1931. He was succeded by his son, James Drever, junior, who wrote the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology (1952). - external history

    1906 International Conference on Genetics, Royal Horticultural Society, London. The first with this title. Previous conferences had been on "Breeding and Hybridisation". (external link)


    1907 Charles Edward Walker "It has been held that every hereditary character is represented by a chromosome" - The Essentials of Cytology: an introduction to the study of living matter, page 99.

    17.12.1907 Inauguration of the Martin White professorships of sociology University of London LSE. " Westermarck and L. T. Hobhouse became the first two professors of sociology at the LSE, Hobhouse spoke on "The roots of modern sociology", and Westermarck on "Sociology as a university study." See 1913.

    1908 The 1908 Old Age Pensions Act was brought in after a long campaign to remove older people from the punitive effects of the Victorian Poor Law. It provided people over 70 with a pension of 5/- a week.

    Sociological Review started 1908. Journal of the Sociological Society replacing Sociological Papers? An early article was by Wilfred Trotter on the herd instinct

    "At one time the infant British sociology movement seemed about to be taken over entirely by eugenists, who even after 1908 were regular contributors to the Sociological Review". (G. R. Searle, 1976 page 11)

    1908 First editions of William McDougall's An Introduction to Social Psychology (October 1908) and Edward Alsworth Ross's Social Psychology: An outline and sourcebook. The phrase had been coined in French: psychologie sociale (1875), German: soziale Psychologie (1879), Italian: psicologia sociale (1880) and English (1880). McDougall's explanation of the concept (page 18) is

    "Social psychology has to show how, given the native propensities and capacities of the human mind, all the complex mental life of societies is shaped by them and in turn reacts upon the course of their development and operation in the individual."

    January 1908 to May 1908 Freud analysed a four/five year old child ("Little Hans") through correspondence with his father and one meeting (on 30.3.1908). "Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy" published in 1909.

    1909: French banker Albert Kahn (1860-1940) decided to establish a record of the world in film and colour photographs: Recording, especially, ways of life thought to be disappearing. The "Archives of the Planet" were photographed in fifty countries, between 1909 and 1931.

    1909 Babikir Badri establishes education for women in Sudan


    January/February 1910: UK General Election

    28.10.1910 Ferdinand de Saussure's "Brief survey of the history of linguistics" begins his 1910-1911 lecture course which was published in 1916.

    December 1910: UK General Election

    1910-1914 Weber's Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Economy and Society) written. It included Structures of Power, Class, Status, Party and Bureaucracy. (See extracts and Weber's toolbox). This book by Weber became number 1 in the century's top 10

    123 maths Principia Mathematica by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell published in two volumes by Cambridge University Press in 1910 and 1913.
    This attempts to demonstrate that mathematics is a development of logic: A way of grouping the world into sets and showing what will be included in, and what excluded from particular sets and how the sets relate to one another. It was an element in what Russell called the "dethronement of mathemetics" from its special status as a source of knowlege in reason rather than empirical observation. Mathematics, Russell wrote

    "is not a-priori knowledge".

    "It is, in fact, merely verbal knowledge. 3 means 2 + 1 and 4 means 3 + 1. Hence it follows (though the proof is long) that 4 means the same as 2 + 2" (Russell, B. 1961 p.p 785-786)


    "I have proposed" [1909] "the terms 'gene' and 'genotype'... to be used in the science of genetics. The 'gene' is nothing but a very applicable little word, easily combined with others, and hence it may be useful as an expression for the 'unit-factors', 'elements' or 'allelomorphs' in the gametes, demonstrated by modern Mendelian researches." (W. Johannsen)

    Sunday 2.4.1911/Monday 3.4.1911: Twelfth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 36,136,000; Scotland: 4,751,000

    5.8.1911 "Galton Chair of Eugenics. Professor Karl Pearson, F.R.S., has been appointed to be the first occupant of the Chair of Eugenics established in connexion with the legacy bequeathed for that purpose by the late Sir Francis Galton." (British Medical Journal. 5.8.1911 p.317)

    1911 First ten volumes of "The Home University Library of Modern Knowledge" published under the editorship of Gilbert Murray. A further set of ten volumes were published in the year, and a further set of ten planned.

    1912 In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Durkheim argues that human beings have always had a knowledge of the fundamental reality of their societies. This knowledge, however, was not, previously, scientific, but religious. (See extracts and the dance of life)

    1912: Alfred Wegener's theory of Continental Drift
    External Link

    18.12.1912 Charles Dawson told a meeting of the Geological Society about the discovery of fragments of a skull with features of man and monkey in Piltdown in Sussex. A 1934 Encyclopedia says "in the Piltdown discovery we have a definite human head accompanied by an equally definite simian jaw. However the relic is considered human. It is named Homo Dawsonii. November 1953, The Times published the evidence that the skull was a forgery.

    1912 Morris Ginsberg graduated in Philosophy and Sociology at London Schoool of Economics. He became Hobhouse's research assistant,

    1913 Mental Deficiency Act and The Board of Control

    University of London. Monographs on sociology. Edited by Professor L. T. Hobhouse and Professor E. A. Westermarck.
    1. Heinrich Oppenheimer The rationale of punishment. (1913)
    2. Bronislaw Malinowski The family among the Australian aborigines: A sociological study (1913)
    3. L. T. Hobhouse, G. C. Wheeler, and M. Ginsberg. The material culture and social institutions of the simpler peoples: an essay in correlation (1915)
    Gerald Clair William Camden Wheeler (1872-1943)
    4. Yükao Liang and Menghe Tao Village and Town Life in China (1915)

    1913-1914 Freud's Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics applies his psychoanalytic theories to anthropology and the prehistory of human beings.
    Extracts from Totem and Taboo
    Civil and savage - 1906-1919 family images

    Social Grades: British measurement of the hierarchy of social class began about 1913. Registrar General's Social Class (RGSC) scheme of 1913 was substantially modified in 1921, (Rose, SRU 9, 1995

    FIRST WORLD WAR. 4 August, Britain declared war on Germany on 4.8.1814, on Austria-Hungary 12.8.1914.
    BBC History Summary - archive
    Current BBC

    August 1914: First world War started
    (The Great War for Civilisation)

    Human voices are first broadcast across the Atlantic ocean, between Arlington, Virginia and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

    31.5.1915 First bombs from Zeppelin airships dropped on London. See Charlotte Mew (below) and Essex

    Charlotte Mew: May and June 1915

    1916 Vilfredo Pareto's Trattato di Sociologia generale published in two volumes, Florence. These were translated into French in 1917 and 1919. Parsons used the French edition. An English translation, The Mind and Society, was not published until 1935. Like Weber and Parsons, Pareto was an economist attempting to create a social model of human action that included more than the rational ("utilitarian", as Parsons called it) search for economic goods.

    1916 Ferdinand de Saussure's (1857-1913) Cours de linguistique générale (Course in General Linguistics) published after his death. - External link to extract - offline - Wikipedia

    August 1916 - Forgotten grief On a visit to the East End, Queen Mary viewed a street memorial. Memorials listing names of those away fighting and those killed, decorated with flowers and photographs, were created in streets and villages - It was from this life of the people that the stone war memorials that survive sprang. Charlotte Mew's poem The Cenotaph was written before the stone - It is a memory of the forgotten grief of flowers and photographs.

    15.11.1917 Durkheim died

    7.11.1917 "October Revolution" (old style calendar) of the Russian "Bolsheviks" under Lenin. Baliktsioglou Christos writes: The Russian Revolution started. This has a wide scientific interest as it was guided by the theories of Karl Marx. Moreover, it is related to the development of the labour movements and revolutions around the world.
    It's the same the whole world over,
    Isn't it a blooming shame?
    It's the rich what gets the pleasure,
    It's the poor what gets the blame.

    Chorus of anonymous song that British soldiers sang in the trenches about the seduction and suicide of a girl who was poor, but honest.


    At Brest-Litovsk, Leon Trotsky, commander of the Soviet Red Army, negotiated peace with Germany, withdrawing Russia from the war. In the course of negotiations, on 14.1.1918, German General Hoffmann complained that the soviet government was supported by force. Trotsky replied that "in a society based on classes every government rests on force. The only difference was that General Hoffmann applied repression to protect big property-owners, whereas we did it in defense of the workers". (From Trotsky's acoount - External Link). Later in 1918, Max Weber quoted Trotsky in a very long lecture given at Munich University. (Published 1919 as Politics as a Vocation). This contained Weber's definition of the modern state

    Albert Einstein's Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (in German) translated into English 1920

    Summer 1918 Oswald Spengler's Der Untergang des Abendlandes [The fall of the western countries] published. Revised 1922. Volume two published 1923. Later translated into English as The Decline of the West. Spengler argued that civilisations rise and fall in cycles.

    23.10.1918 Germany accepted Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" to end the war. Allies apart from USA not involved.

    "In the middle of all of this, Wilson proposed another idea to Britain and France, namely that a structure should be put in place to re-establish international cooperation in science. His proposal was for an International Research Council which would be organised round International Unions for each of the various scientific subjects. These International Unions would operate through National Committees in the countries of the eleven Allied Powers, with these National Committees each supported by its National Academy of Science and National Research Council. The International Unions would have the power to invite neutral countries to join, but not those countries against whom the Allied Powers had fought." source

    11.11.1918 Armistice signed. Firing stopped on all fronts.

    14.12.1918: UK General Election

    The Kaiser abdicated on 9.11.1918 (external documents) - a republic was proclaimed - In mid December the Berlin Conference of Workers' and Soldiers Councils decided in favour of parliamentary rather than soviet government. A National Assembly was elected on 19.1.1919 (The "Weimer Republic") with the SPD (Social democratic marxists) in control. There was an armed uprising of more radical marxists against the new state. Two leaders of the radical marxists were arrested by the army and killed. German marxists split into "socialists" and "communists" (the KPD - supported by Russia).


    Punch 1919:
    "Jazz, the Fox-Trot and the Bunny-hug"
    (dances) - Jazz as popular music see Adorno 1936


    21.2.1919 Assasination of Kurt Eisner, socialist leader of Bavaria - Beacuse he was a jew. See Hitler's commentary

    15.10.1919: Preface to The ABC of Communism by N. Buharin and E. Preobrazhensky describes it is "an elementary textbook of communist knowledge" to be "followed in the party schools" and "used for independent study by every worker or peasant who desires to acquaint himself with the party program."

    18.10.1919 Statute of the Union Académique Internationale, based in Brussels, defined its aims as "to encourage cooperation in the advancement of studies through collaborative research and publications in those branches of learning promoted by the Academies and institutions represented in the IUA - philology, archeology, history, the moral, political and social sciences." (website)

    1919 Constitutive Assembly of the International Research Council in Brussels, set up to to oversee cooperation within the scientific community of the Allied nations who had won the war. Preparations were made to set up the International Mathematical Union, also restricted to the victors. See above. In 1931 it was replaced by the International Council of Scientific Unions which had no restrictions on membership.

    In 1919 the Partito Nazionale Fascisto was formed in Italy. The fascisti controlled Italy from 1922 to 1943. They opposed liberalism and communism, symbolising their social order by the ancient Roman fasces - the bundle of sticks that bound together cannot be snapped. The fascists donated to social theory the concepts of fascism and corporatism and totalitarian. Unlike National Socialism (also described as fascist), Italian fascism was not virulently anti-semitic or racist.


    The rise of logical positivism Logical positivists sought to divide the world of ideas into the meaningful (science) and the meaningless (metaphysics). They held that "a statement has a meaning if and only if the fact that it is true makes a verifiable difference" (M. Schlick 1932). Only two types of knowledge were accepted: logic (which had to include mathematics) and empirical knowledge. (external link)   See distinction between logical positivism and Comte's positivism and note on Russell's logical analysis and Karl Popper on falsification


    Lenin to the eighth congress: "Communism equals the power of the Soviets plus electrification of the whole country" (Compare Morris on force)

    H.G. Wells' The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind published. George Bernard Shaw suggested (1932) that this and "the host of imitations and supplements that its huge success has called into existence" was the modern alternative to Genesis as an explanation of who we are and where we come from. See also 1929

    April 1920 Le Play House, 65 Belgrave Road, Westminster, opened as a home for the Sociological Society, which had been based at the London School of Economics. (external link)

    June 1920 Weber died of pneumonia [aged 56]

    Between world wars: Psychoanalytic glimmers

    Sunday 19.6.1921/Monday 20.6.1921: Thirteenth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 37,932,000; Scotland: 4,882,000

    Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In 1923 Karl Korsch published (in German) Marxism and Philosophy and Lucaks History and Class Consciousness [Links are to]

    1922 La Mentalite Primitive by Lucien Levy-Bruhl (1857-1939). Translated into English (London and New York) by Lilian A. Clare in 1923 [See Park, R.E. 1925/7 and 1925]

    1922 Bronislaw Malinowski published Argonauts of the Western Pacific in which he reported on his participant observation in the Trobriand Islands.

    Alexander Morris Carr-Saunders (1886-1966), an active member of the Eugenics Education Society, London, published The Population Problem. A Study in Human Evolution.

    "The population problem, as he saw it, was the evolution of primitive people with low mental and physical qualities and high reproduction rates... The book was an instant success" (Peder Anker, 2001, page 93)
    Carr-Saunders later paublished Report on Juvenile Employment in Liverpool (1924); Population (1924); Eugenics (1926); A survey of the social structure of England and Wales (1927); Professions: Their Organisation and Place in Society (1928); Standing-Room Only: A Study in Population (BBC Talk) (1930); A Century of Pauperism (1934). He contributed to We Europeans: a survey of 'racial' problems by Julian Huxley and A.C. Haddon (1935) Eugenics in the light of population trends (The Galton lecture to the Eugenics Society 16.2.1935) and similar works. On 20.5.1942 he gave the 12th L.T. Hobhouse memorial lecture, in the Mill Lane lecture rooms Cambridge, on The biological basis of human nature. [See mental health history words: deficient] (external link).

    19.4.1922 Ronald A. Fisher "On the Mathematical Foundations of Theoretical Statistics"

    15.11.1922: UK General Election: Lloyd George's coalition defeated. Conservative Government to 1924


    origins of the Frankfurt school and critical theory

    1923 Carl Grünberg founded the marxist-oriented Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung) at the University of Frankfurt in Germany. Max Horkheimer led it from 1930. It was retrospectively referred to as the Frankfurt School aftre the Institute returned to Frankfurt in 1950


    8.1.1923 First outside broadcast. On 18.1.1923 The Postmaster-General granted the British Broadcasting Company a licence to broadcast.

    6.12.1923: UK General Election

    1924 Vladimir Lenin died.

    29.10.1924: UK General Election. Minority Labour Government under Ramsay MacDonald - Replaced later the same year by a Conservative Government under Stanley Baldwin (until 1929)

    Talcott Parsons studied as a post-graduate at London School of Economics from 1924 to 1925. Lecturers at the time included Harold Laski, R.H. Tawney, Morris Ginsberg, L.T. Hobhouse and Bronislaw Malinowski. This was followed by a year at the University of Heidelberg, in Germany, where he studied for a doctorate in The Concept of Capitalism in recent German Literature and read, amongst others, the works of Marx, Sombart and Weber. America

    First volume of Adolf Hitler's
    Mein Kampf argued human history is a struggle for survival between biological races of human beings. Hitler's social theories drew on mainstream sociology, as can be seen by comparing them with the range of theories covered by Pitirim Sorokin. The forged Protocols apart, most elements of Hitler's theory can be found in the mainstream sociological theories reviewed by Sorokin.

    See Darwin - 21.2.1919 - Alfred Rosenberg - 1933 - 1936 - 1939 - 1942 - 24.7.1967 - External links to Wikipedia articles on: Adolf Hitler and Mein_Kampf   other weblinks

    Modern methods of urban transportation and communication- the electric railway, the automobile, the telephone, and the radio - have silently and rapidly changed in recent years the social and industrial organisation of the modern city. (Park, R.E. 1925/1 page 23) America

    Lucien Levy-Bruhl, Paul Rivet (1876-1958) and Marcel Mauss (1872-1950) created the Institut d'Ethnologie Institute of Ethnology at the Sorbonne, dedicated to the memory of Durkheim. Rivet and Mauss were the secretary-generals.

    1925 Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst purchased Dartington Hall (14th century) and estate, near Totnes in Devon, England, and founded the Dartington Hall Trust.


    Pavlov, Conditioned Reflexes: An investigation of the physiological activity of the cerebral cortex Translated from Russian into English and edited by G. V. Anrep, published by Oxford University Press

    4.5.1926 The British general strike began. Newspapers (apart from one the Government ran) disappeared, but the BBC broadcast five news bulletins daily. "It is not easy to estimate what would have been the effect of the strike if there had been no such thing as wireless communication". (Radio Times)

    15.10.1926 Birth of Michel Foucault. See 1934 - 1935 - 1940 - 1961 - 1968 - 1971 - 1975 - 25.6.1984

    Creation of the UK General Electricity Board, followed by the construction of the National Grid for Electricity, enabling industry to move off the coalfields. ( external link: Paul Lyons on cooperation in the electricity industry   See Morris on force)


    Ronald Laing born

    1.1.1927 British Broadcasting Corporation established
    1923, 1937, 1953, 1993.

    December 1927 Institute of Sociology formed by the amalgamation of the Sociological Trust, the Sociological Society and the LePlay House.

    Charles Sutherland Elton (1900-1991) Animal Ecology. Elton was a student of Carr-Saunders and Julian Huxley and a friend of Arthur Tansley

    Sir Alexander Morris Carr-Saunders and David Caradog Jones A survey of the social structure of England & Wales as illustrated by statistics

    Contemporary Sociological Theories by Pitirim Sorokin published in USA. Sorokin, a Russian, taught in the sociology department of Minnesota, USA. He followed the German theorists, George Simmel (1858-1918) and Ferdinand Tönnies (1885-1936) in arguing that sociology should be about the forms of social interaction. He also claimed that it was only valuable as a science in as far as it produced empirical results. His book helped to set the tone for USA Sociology. He established the sociology department at Harvard University in 1931 and was succeeded by Talcott Parsons as head of the department in 1942. Robert King Merton (see crimtim) was one of his students. America

    1928 Ludwig Von Bertalanffy: Kritische Theorie der Formbildung, Borntraeger. Translated into English and adapted by translated and adapted by J. H. Woodger as Modern Theories of Development: An Introduction to Theoretical Biology, Oxford University Press, New York: Harper, 1933
    "We must view the germ as a whole, as a unitary system, which accomplishes the developmental processes on the basis of the conditions which are present in it and depend on the organisation of its material parts."
    Review by H.S. Burr in Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
    December 1933

    1929 Our Baby - 180,000 copies - on idiocy
    "Nature is on the side of obedience -
    It is proved that a definite stimulus produces a definite response"

    The Science of Life. A summary of contemporary knowledge about life and its possibilities by H. G. Wells, Julian Huxley and G. P. Wells published in three volumes by Amalgamated Press, 1929-1930.

    Jean Piaget (9.8.1896-1980): 1929 The Child's Conception of the World. 1932 The Moral Judgement of the Child. 1951 Dream and Imitation in Childhood. 1952 The Origins of Intelligence in Children. 1968 Structuralism

    30.5.1929: UK General Election. Minority Labour Government under Ramsay MacDonald. National Government under Ramsay MacDonald from 1931.

    21.6.1929 Death of Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse. Morris Ginsberg was appointed to succeed him in the Martin White chair of sociology.

    24.10.1929 - Wall Street Crash

    Publication in Vienna and London of Sigmund Freud's Das Unbehagen in der Kultur - Civilization and its Discontents. German edition actually published end of 1929 - although dated 1930. French translation, Malaise dans la civilisation published 1934.

    1930 Talcott Parsons' translation into English of Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

    Alfred Rosenberg's The Myth of the 20th Century provided a possible theoretical structure for the racialist doctrines of the Nazi (Nationalsozialist) party. To replace Christianity, Rosenberg suggested a story of a Nordic race that, through the German state, would subdue inferior races. According to this story, the aristocracy of France, at the time of the French revolution, was nordic. The revolution was an uprising of inferiors who spread the doctrines of liberalism (freedom, equality and universal community). Liberalism developed into marxism, that produced the Russian revolution. The destiny of Germany was to combat the ideas of the French revolution, and to undo their effect. See Nazi theory. See also Nazi-Christian dialogue

    July 1930 Max Horkheimer became Director of the Institut für Sozialforschung in Frankfurt. In his inaugural address (1931) he redefined Marx's "historical materialism" as a critique rather than a science and argued for the reintegration of philosophy with social science. (Swingewood, A. 2000, p. 131)


    February 1931 "A National Plan for Britain" by Max Nicholson published in The Week-End Review. This stimulated the formation of the organisation Political and Economic Planning (PEP) later in the year, with Elmhirst money. Directors included Max Nicholson, Michael Young (1941-1945) and Raymond Goodman.

    "an independent non-party group, consisting of more than a hundred working members who are by vocation industrialists, officers of central and local government, doctors, university teachers, and so forth, and who give part of their spare time... in fact-finding and in suggesting principles and possible advances over a wide range of social and economic activities..." (1939)

    Sunday 26.4.1931 Death of George Herbert Mead in Chicago. After his death students published lectures and articles by him as Mind, Self and Society, from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviourist (1934) America
    Mead's theories enabled people to analyse our minds and personalities (our "self") as something we we actively create in symbolic interaction with others. Mead's theories were made popular by Goffman, and others, in the 1960s.

    Sunday 26.4.1931/Monday 27.4.1931: Fourteenth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 39,988,000; Scotland: 4,843,000
    There was no census in 1941. The next was in 1951

    July 1931 Association for the Scientific Treatment of Criminals. It was renamed the Institute for the Scientific Treatment of Delinquency in July 1932, and the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency in 1951. Became the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies in 1999. (website history) - See also Child Guidance

    11.7.1931 Fifth Assembly of the International Research Council and the First Assembly of the International Council of Scientific Unions held at Brussels.
    International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) formed.
    (website). "It represents the evolution and expansion of two earlier bodies known as the International Association of Academies (IAA; 1899-1914) and the International Research Council (IRC; 1919-1931)" (source). Became the International Council for Science (but still ICSU) in 1998.

    27.10.1931: UK General Election


    1932 Der Sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt : eine Einleitung in die verstehende Soziologie (The "sense-clung" structure of the social world: an introduction to "understanding" sociology) by Alfred Schütz (1899-1959) published in Vienna. Tranlated into English as The Phenomenology of the Social World in 1967.

    Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung (Journal for Social Research) published Frankfurt from 1932 to 1941

    Late 1932 Somewhere in Cambridge an atom split (an external link)

    December 1932 George Bernard Shaw's The Adventures of The Black Girl in Her Search for God, designed and engraved by John Farleigh, went through (at least) four reprints in the month of publication. (See Shaw on Pavlov)

    1933-1945 Hitler and the Nazi (Nationalsozialist - National Socialist) party in power in Germany. The two German marxist parties were made illegal and liberal theories were opposed. Social theorists who had built ideas of human progress on the triumph of reason and democracy were thrown into intellectual crisis by the popular support for the Nazi's. This led to the creation of new social theories, sometimes by synthesising the ideas of Marx and Freud. The Nazi persecution of German (and other) Jews led to many German intellectuals emigrating, and founding new academic traditions of social science in Britain, the United States, or elsewhere. See Nazi theory

    1933 Clarence Crane Brinton's English Political Thought in the Nineteenth Century (London: Ernest Benn, 1933) begins its chapter on Herbert Spencer (pp. 226-227)
    "Who now reads Spencer? It is difficult for us to realize how great a stir he made in the world. . . . He was the intimate confidant of a strange and rather unsatisfactory God, whom he called the principle of Evolution. His God has betrayed him. We have evolved beyond Spencer."


    Karl Popper's Logik der Forschung (The Logic of Scientific Discovery) published. (See review and external link) Popper accepted much of the programme of logical positivism, but argued that verification of general scientific statements, in the sense of proving them true by testing against experience, was not possible. Good and meaningful science would seek to draw out consequences from its theories which could prove them false. A meaningful or scientific theory is one constructed to make predictions about the empirical world which could prove it wrong. See 1956, 1994 and weblinks

    Lev Semenovich Vygotsky died

    1934 Publication of Sociology by Morris Ginsberg London: Home University Library of Modern Knowledge, Thornton Butterworth. 1934. 260 pages Price 2s. 6d. Chapters: 1) Scope and method of sociology (31 pages) - 2) Society, culture and civilisation (16 pages) - 3) Race and environment (44 pages) - 4) The psychological basis of social life (31 pages) - 5) The growth of societies (30 pages) - 6) Social classes and economic organisation (37 pages) - 7) Aspects of mental development (38 pages) - 8) Conclusion (13 pages). Bibliography divided into: General, Race and environment, Social psychology, Social organisation, Mental development.

    25.7.1934 Austrian Chancellor, Engelbert Dollfuss, assassinated by Austrian Nazis. Young Michel Foucault learnt a lesson.


    1935 Victor Gollancz started the Left Book Club and the first Penguin Books were published.

    June 1935 A meadow at Granchester: Alan Turing tried to envisage a machine that would decide the provability of any mathematical assertion presented to it. His paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem" (January 1937) laid the mathematical foundations for modern computers that can handle thought patterns much more complex than the arithmetic of Babbage's machines. A "computable number" is any number that can be defined by some rule. So pi () is a computable number even though it can never be calculated. Turing's imaginary machines linked the world of abstract symbols to the material world of metal and glass. Valves and then silicon chips would later sort out thought at speeds beyond the speed of thought. [See hardware and software, monster computers in the 1960s, cold war communications and world wide web]

    September 1935 The Institute of Sociology and the International Student Service held a series of conferences at King's College, London on the relations between the social sciences (The Social Sciences: Their Relations in Theory and in Teaching), A further series was held in 1936. Rocquin, B. 2006 p. 28)

    3.10 1935 Italy invaded the independent African state of Ethiopia The conquest was complete by May 1936   Foucault remembers  

    14.11.1935: UK General Election. National Government under Stanley Baldwin.

    "On the Concept of Function in Social Science" (external link to extract) by Radcliffe-Brown. published in American Anthropologist 37: pages 394- 402. It was reprinted in his 1952 collection of essays Structure and Function in Primitive Society See Functionalism. Also look at the entry for Malinowski on the LSE History site


    John Maynard Keynes: The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money

    1936 Theodor Adorno's article "Über Jazz" (On Jazz) published in Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung - In 1938 he wrote "To make oneself a jazz expert or hang over the radio all day, one must have much free time and little freedom".

    1936 Methodenlehre der Sozialwissenschaften by Felix Kaufmann (1895 - 1949) published in Vienna. (External link to review by Joseph Mayer) - Methodology of the Social Sciences published by Oxford University Press in London and New York in 1944.

    Sometime in 1936 an "Anglo-German Brotherhood" was formed by Baron von der Ropp at a meeting at Grünheide. (source). This was a (nationalist - völkische - racist) Christian organisation. It is not the same as the (secular political) Anglo-German Fellowship (1935 to 1939), but it may have affiliated to The Link in 1939

    6.1.1936 Heavy rain and flooding in England 20.1.1936 Death of George 5th announced by John Reith on the BBC outside normal radio news hours. February 1936 First British comic (Mickey Mouse Weekly) in full colour photogravure. 1.3.1936 Edward 8th broadcast his first message to the Empire. 8.3.1936 German troops reoccupied Rhineland. First week July The Radio Times "Television Number" was restricted to London: In range of the transmissions from Alexandra Palace which the 300 owners of private sets could receive. 18.7.1936 Start of Spanish Civil War.   Foucault remembers refugees   1.8.1936: Berlin Olympic Games opened by Hitler. Television pictures were available to the Berlin public in television parlours.   Nazi's and Christians   4.10.1936 Battle of Cable Street when Oswald Mosley (British Fascist) was prevented from marching through the East End. 5.10.1936 Start of Jarrow March. Unemployed led by Ellen Wilkinson MP walked 280 miles from Jarrow to London. It was reported sympathetically on Cinema Newsreels. 16.11.1936 Edward 8th advised Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, that he wished to marry Mrs Simpson after her second divorce. 30.11.1936 Crystal Palace burnt down. Baird had all his television equipment stored here. Friday 11.12.1936 Edward 8th's abdication broadcast from Windsor Castle. Accession of George 6th (who stuttered). Christmas 1936 No King's Christmas broadcast.

    Mass Observation started by Charles Madge (1912 - 17.1.1996) and Tom Harrison (1911- 1976) and Humphrey Jennings (19.8.1907 - 24.9. 1950) early in 1937 in Bolton, Lanashire, England. source. Preceding events included Tom Harrison's response to the abdication crisis of 1936 See biography on Bolton museums' site

    "Mass Observation intends to make use, besides the work of scientists, of the untrained observer, the man in the street. Ideally, it is the observation of everyone by everyone, including themselves... electricity, aeroplanes, radio - are so new that the process of adaptation to them is still going on. It is within the scope of the science of Mass Observation to watch the process taking place" ("Fact" pamphlet. 1937)

    weblink - Wikipedia

    - See 12.5.1937

    Talcott Parsons The Structure of Social Action. A study in social theory with special reference to a group of recent European writers [extracts]. Primarily an integration of the work of Marshall, Pareto, Durkheim and Weber to create a general theory (the action frame of reference) in which socially directed actions of individuals are integrated by the common value system of the society. The Structure of Social Action became number 9 in the century's top 10 America

    1937 Max Horkheimer's essay "Critical and traditional theory" introduced the term critical theory as opposed to traditional positivist science whose goal, he argued, is pure knowledge. Critical theory was committed to emancipation. (Swingewood, A. 2000, p. 131)

    12.5.1937 Coronation of George 6th televised. Seen on the 300 sets then existing around London. See 1927, 1953, 1993. First Mass Observation Day. See weblink. Later in the year Faber published May the Twelfth: Mass Observation Day Surveys

    25.5.1937 to 25.11.1937 The Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life) held in Paris. The Musée de l'Homme was founded on this occasion, in succession to the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro. (visit now). Its Director, Paul Rivet, was a prominent anti-fascist. (Victor Serge weblink)
    Two years before the second world war, the exhibition buildings of Nazi Germany (on the left) and the Soviet Union confront on another across the Pont d'Iéna (Jena Bridge). This picture was probably taken from the esplanade between the new Musée de l'Homme and Musée des Monuments Français. The war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Republics was delayed by the non-aggression pact of 23.8.1939.

    June 1937 In a textbook on the social sciences, Herbert Blumer coined the term symbolic interactionist for theories developed from Mead. [See Interaction]. Blumer divided social psychology theories into those based on the "doctrine of instincts", those emphasising stimulus and response, and symbolic interactionists. America


    The first of the 10,000 children to escape to England from Nazi Europe arrived in 1938. Known as the kindertransport refugees. How many more could have been saved? See BBC News in pictures - See holocaust.

    In June 1938 Sigmund Freud and his family fled their home in Vienna to escape the Nazis's. They settled in Hampstead, London, where Freud wrote a summary of his theory, An Outline of Psychoanalysis. He died in September 1939.

    Extracts from An Outline of Psychoanalysis
    Freud Museum (Hampstead) web link

    6.7.1938 The President of the The Royal Medico-Psychological Association spoke of a "vast increase of public interest in psychological matters" since 1914-1919 war, "accompanied by the decline in the observance of any form of religion". "The younger generation are no longer looking outwards for their salvation, but are driven deep into their inmost consciousness for a solution of their problems and, finding there what does not give them peace, fly to the psychologist." "Thirty years ago" a patient would promptly answer "Church, Chapel, or Roman Catholic, as the case might be" when asked aboyt his religion. "Now, if we wish to know whether an individual is sociable" we ask about "his reactions to the cinema, or his recreational pursuits".

    "The warm glow of faith has faded and mankind gropes in the darkness, seeking new gods on whom to lean. In some countries reason and science have gone with the wind, and men find myopic comfort in 'thinking with the bloood' or in putting a blind trust in megalomanic leaders."

    9/10.11.1938 Kristallnacht (Night of Crystal) - Night of broken glass in Germany. "I thought of myself as a German girl until they broke our windows because we were Jews" (a friend who later lost all her family to the extermination camps).


    Norbert Elias' two-volume Über den Prozess der Zivilisation first published. Its republication in 1969 was accompanied by an English translation: The Civilising Process (See Wikipedia). The Civilising Process became number 7 in the century's top 10
    A Sage "Master in Modern Social Thought"


    23.8.1939 non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union left the way clear for Germany to invade Poland, and delayed the planned Nazi assault on the Soviet Union.

    1939-1945 Second World War

    Friday 1.9.1939 Germany invaded Poland   -   A panic exit from London   -   Saturday 2.9.1939 Conscription of UK men between 18 and 41   -   Sunday 3.9.1939 Britain declared war on Germany

    Soon after the outbreak of war, an unexpurgated and illustrated edition of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (in English) was published in London in 18 sixpenny weekly parts by Hutchinson and Hurst and Blackett. Publication continued into 1940. Royalties went to the British Red Cross. The cover said that it was "The blue-print of German imperialism" and "The most widely discussed book of the modern world".

    December 1939 First edition of the Panguin Special compiled by Walter Theimer: An ABC of International Affairs - The Penguin Political Dictionary

    10.5.1940 - 22.6.1940: Germany invaded France "Much more than the activities of family life, it was these events concerning the world which are the substance of our memory... Our private life was really threatened" (Michel Foucault)

    1940s The asylum inheritance


    April 1940 UK Wartime Social Survey established by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, to investigate questions of sociological importance. Absorbed into the Ministry of Information's Home Intelligence Division in Spring 1941. In 1946 it became the Social Survey Division of the Central Office of Information.

    26.5.1940 to 4.6.1940 Evacuation from Dunkirk.

    16.10.1940 Warsaw Ghetto established.


    Sunday 22.6.1941 Germany attacked the USSR, bringing the USSR into the war on the allies side - and making the British Communist Party patriotic.

    Sunday 7.12.1941 Pearl Harbour. Japan and the USA enter the war.

    Behemoth. The Structure and Practice of National Socialism by Franz Neumann, attempted a rational analysis of Nazi (Nationalsozialist) ideas and its social system. Neumann wrote from a position sympathetic to both liberalism and marxism. His friend, Herbert Marcuse, in Reason and Revolution. Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory (1941) argued the case for a critical social theory founded on reason, concluding with a chapter on "National Socialism versus Hegel". In The Fear of Freedom, Erich Fromm attempted a critical integration of Marx, Freud and Durkheim to explain National Socialism. America

    A survey carried out in 1942 found that the three most popular activities for British children were (in this order) 1) playing outdoors - 2) going to the cinema - 3) Listening to the radio programme Children's Hour. At this time, it is said, most British families went to the cinema at least once a week.


    23.3.1943 The Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking in the UK House of Lords said

    "Hitler near the beginning of the war declared that this war must lead to the extermination of either the Jewish or the German people, and it should not be the Germans. He is now putting that threat into effect... Not a single Jew is left in the great Ghetto of Warsaw where, before the mass murders began there were 430,000... There is still in this country, however, a rigid refusal to grant visas...If this rule could be relaxed, some hundreds, and possibly a few thousands, might be enabled to escape from this holocaust." (Hansard)

    See 1938 - 1939 - genocide - Auschwitz 1945 - Adorno 1966 - Celan meets Heidegger 1967 - Janina Bauman 1986 - Zygmunt Bauman 1989 - 27.1.1996 - remembrance day

    April 1943 An electronic counting machine used by British to decode German messages, It read paper tape electronically (registering light through holes) at an enormous rate, but the tape tended to catch alight. In December 1943 "Colossus" the first electro-mechanical computer was installed. It used 1,500 valves to compute.

    1943 Jean Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness. An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology (English translation 1958) set out philosophical grounds for human responsibility, confronting claims the our actions are determined by our unconscious, by history or by our race. Sartre, and his colleague, Simone de Beauvoir, developed existentialist thought in a way that would provide new directions for both social theory and mental health theory in the 1960s. Prior to Sartre, existentialism (in Nietzsche and Heidegger) was a philosophy associated with National Socialism rather than against it.

    See Ginny Goudy's article existential criminal


    25.8.1944 Free French recapture Paris.

    Friedrich Hayek, in The Road to Serfdom, argued that the totalitarianism experienced in Nazi Germany was the end result of economic planning not the final stage of capitalism. The book provided a focus for a revival in free-market thinking that led (eventually) to Thatcherism.

    Roger Scruton born

    Adorno T.W. and Horkheimer, M. 1944 Dialektik der Aufklärung: Philosophische Fragmente (Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosphical Fragments) - Kant in 1784 argued that enlightenment liberates us from authority - but, in reality, the outcome of history was that reason had collapsed under National Socialism -

    "With the extension of the bourgeois commodity economy, the dark horizon of myth is illumined by the sun of calculating reason, beneath whose cold rays the seed of the new barbarism grows to fruition"
    "By 'genocide' we mean the destruction of a nation or ethnic group" - Polish-Jewish lawyer, Raphael Lemkin


    10.2.1945 Ernst A. Cassirer " Structuralism in modern linguistics" lecture delivered in New York, a few days before his death (Oxford English Dictionary lists) - External link to Google Books

    Saturday 27.1.1945 freeing of Auschwitz - by Russian troops. One and a half million people died in this extermination camp. 12.2.1945 Dresden bombed. Between 25,000 and 50,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed. In remembrance, on Sunday 12.2.1995 children carried crosses with the names of bombed cities including Coventry, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Dresden. Thursday 19.4.1945 Richard Dimbleby's (5 minute) report on entering Belsen broadcast by the BBC. The British public began to believe what had happened in the holocaust. (See zero hour 1945). January 27th became remembrance day in Germany on 27.1.1996 and the world on 27.1.2006

    8.5.1945 Allied victory in Europe.
    5.7.1945 United Kingdom election. Result announced 26.7.1945 Labour Party in power: - manifestos link (archive) - Wikipedia on Labour Party
    6.8.1945 Atomic bomb first used against Japan. Hiroshima laid waste. 9.8.1945 Nagasaki destroyed by the second atomic bomb.
    15.8.1945 End of second world war.



    24.10.1945 The United Nations founded
    See 10.12.1948

    George Orwell's Animal Farm in 1945 was followed in 1949 by a book called Nineteen Eighty Four. Animal Farm pictured the defeat of communist ideals of equality and cooperation. "All animals are equal - But some are more equal than others". Nineteen Eighty Four pictured a future society of total surveillance where the official language is newspeak, devised to meet the propaganda needs of Ingsoc (English Socialism). "Do you know the newspeak word goodthinkful?"


    UNESCO: Its Purpose and its Philosophy by Julian Huxley published by the "Preparatory Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation" - external download - offline - "An evolutionary approach provides the link between natural science and human history" - "Our first task must be to clarify the notion of desirable and undesirable directions of evolution"

    First edition of Mary R. Beard's Woman as Force in History. A Study in Traditions and Realities published in USA. Completed in the Summer of 1945, it showed the recognition by communists, democrats and fascists that the support of women was needed for their cause and argued that women always had been a force in history, but one which social theorists had denied. (See Hidden from History)

    First edition of Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy

    3.5.1946 Speech by Winston Churchill in Fulton, Missouri, USA: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent". The war-time alliance between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States of America was breaking down. The battle of cultures and long-distance arms (wars in other people's countries) from the late 1940s to the mid 1980s was called the "Cold War"

    La Société Psychoanalytique de Paris resumed activity after the war. By the 1950s it was falling out with one of its leading members: Jean Jacques Lacan


    New word: D.R. Hartree wrote about the hardware of the USA computer ENIAC. In 1960, The Times spoke of "both punched card" (the means used to feed information into a computer) and "computer 'hardware'" continuing to develop rapidly. Software was used for the programs used by a computer from 1960, thus completing the distinction between hardware (the machine) and software (the program). In 2000, Zygmunt Bauman applied the terms to types of society.


    22.6.1948 Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury with 492 passengers from Jamaica. Symbolically treated as the start of post-war immigration to Britain from the West Indies.

    July 1948 UK National Health Service

    10.12.1948 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. - Link to United Nations website - Also see 2006 Convention


    Simone De Beauvoir's The Second Sex published in French. Translated into English in 1953. An existentialist, De Beauvoir believed that human beings are essentially self-determining and free. Her book explores why women are treated (and treat themselves) as "the other", as objects of male attention rather than self-determining beings.

    Robert King Merton's Social Theory and Social Structure. Towards the codification of theory and research published in United States. A revised and enlarged edition with the shorter title Social Theory and Social Structure was published in 1957, and appears to be the best known. Merton argued for middle range theories. Social Theory and Social Structure became number 3 in the century's top 10 crime and

    January February 1949 Talcott Parsons gave the University Lectures in Sociology at the University of London. They formed a rough outline for his book The Social System America

    1949 Les Structures élémentaires de la parenté by Claude Lévi Strauss. [English 1969 The Elementary Structures of Kinship.

    The inspiration for the book is L'Essai sur le Don.. by .. Marcel Mauss... - ..."the ground for .. later work" [on mythology and totemism], "and the respect he gained from fellow professionals comes largely from his ... work on kinship... this book is his masterpiece." (Anthony D Buckley's review)

    1949 British Journal of Sociology established by staff at London School of Economics after a failed effort to take over the Sociological Review.

    September 1949 International Sociological Association organised at a meeting in Norway in which twenty two countries participated. This called the First World Congress of Sociology in Zurich for September 1950.

    See World Congress of Sociology 1950 - 1953 - 1956 - 1998 top ten - Platt, J. 1998


    Thomas Humphrey Marshall Citizenship and Social Class and other essays, published as a collection by Cambridge University Press.

    March 1950 Meeting at the home of James Van Allen, in Washington DC, that led to the International Geophysical Year in 1957/1958. This period was selected to coincide with a time of maximum solar activity when the most benefit could be expected by international cooperation in geo-physical observations.

    1950 Institut für Sozialforschung returned to Frankfurt in Germany from its exile in the USA.

    29.3.1950 Term Mccarthyism coined in a USA cartoon

    20.7.1950 UNESCO Statement by Experts on Race Problems - UNESCO archive - text at Honest Thinking

    4.9.1950 to 9.9.1950 First World Congress of Sociology held in Zurich, Switzerland. General theme: Sociological Research in its bearing on International Relations."


    UNESCO 1951 Statement on Race

    Talcott Parsons' The Social System attempted to provided a model for sociology that views society as more than the sum of its individual members, whilst remaining consistent with American ideas of the importance of the individual crime and
timeline sick role
    See 1902   1920   1924   1928   1930   1931   1937   1942   1973   Brief note on Parsons
    Extracts from Parsons

    Stuart Hall came to England with his mother in 1951. He studied at Oxford University. "Marxist models were far too mechanical and reductive. (We did not yet have access to Lukacs, Benjamin, Gramsci or Adorno)." "There was no 'black politics' in Britain; post-war migration had only just begun." (Hall 2010)

    January 1951 First edition of The British Road to Socialism adopted by the Communist Party of Great Britain replaces the previous For Soviet Britain - "The path forward for the British people will be to establish a People's Government on the basis of a Parliament truly representative of the people".

    Sunday 8.4.1951/Monday 9.4.1951: Fifteenth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 43,815,000; Scotland: 5,102,000
    The previous census was in 1931

    May 1951 Letter in The Times announcing the formation of the British Sociological Association (external link to website).
    "Social and legislative changes in recent years have made much sharper the need for study and research in sociological fields. In particular, the extension of planning since the war demands an understanding both of the sociological basis of planning and of its impact on society."

    The BSA was based at London School of Economics until 1992, when it moved to Durham.

    Morris Ginsberg was chair from 1951 to 1955 (then President). Raymond Goodman was Secretary from 1951 to 1953

    It soon replaced the Sociological Society, which decided to close in 1955. (external link).

    25.10.1951 United Kingdom General Election. Conservatives returned to power on a one nation platform that incorporated many Labour values. (manifestos link) (archive)


    Structure and Function in Primitive Society, the collected essays of Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955) published. This title and Talcott Parson's argument (1951) that theory must be in structural-functional terms (for the present) are amongst the origins of the concept that there is a school of sociology called structural functionalism

    Carlos Paton Blacker resigned as general secretary of the Eugenics Society, acknowledging Eugenics. Galton and after (1952) that efforts to revive the scientific credibility of eugenics, after its association with the race hygiene policies of the Nazis, had failed. (Richard Soloway, Dictionary of National Biography)

    1953 The Institute of Community Studies established in Bethnal Green, London, by Michael Young, Peter Willmott, Peter Townsend and Peter Marris. (See dictionary community). "Our main research focus in the Institute's early years was the smallest institution of all, the family in its nuclear and extended versions." (Peter Willmott 1995). Reports 1957 - 1958 - 1960 - 1961 - 1962 - and later

    2.6.1953 Coronation of Elizabeth 2nd televised. The number of television licences doubled from 1.5 to 3 million in the run- up to the Coronation.
    See 1927, 1937, 1993.

    24.8.1953 to 31.8.1953 Second World Congress of Sociology held in the University of Liège, in Belgium.

    Autumn 1953 Jacques Lacan began seminars in Paris. His interpretation of Freud attracted participants from outside psychoanalysis.


    April 1954 "The Complementary Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid" by F. H. C. Crick and J. D. Watson published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society - Wikipedia article on DNA - See genetics. - See 1968

    Albert Einstein died

    March 1955 Term "New Left" recorded (Oxford English Dictionary) - Later associated with left wing critics of (or within) the Communist Party. (See Reasoner)

    Karl Popper's article, Science: Conjectures and Refutations, argues that the origin of science is in imagination, and suggests falsification as the destructive empirical test of theories

    New Scientist magazine launched. A popular magazine for science and technology. New Society followed in 1962. New Scientist still thrives, New Society has withered away.

    USA: Robert Dahl's A Preface to Democratic Theory published.

    1956 C. A. Tonsor in Clearing House 30. v. 289, "I realize that in the face of the permissive tendencies of the age, there is not much respect for rules."

    25.2.1956 Nikita Khrushchev's secret speech at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in which he criticised Joseph Stalin. In June 1956 Le Monde published a French translation of the speech.

    End of July 1956 First issue of the Reasoner, an anti- Stalinist communist journal, produced by John Saville and Edward P. Thompson. Issue one of the New Reasoner was published in Summer 1957. (external link). The first issue of Universities and Left Review had been published in Spring 1957 by Raphael Samuel, Gabriel Pearson, Charles Taylor and Stuart Hall. The two journals worked together and merged in 1960 as New Left Review (edited by Stuart Hall).

    22.8.1956 to 29.8.1956 Third World Congress of Sociology held in Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen, in the Netherlands. General theme: Problems of social change in the 20th century."

    "The Soviet Union, and the other countries of the Soviet bloc, ... for the first time sent delegations... Their representatives were not sociologists in the strict sense of he word, but they showed themselves very willing to take part in the proceedings" ( Maus, H. 1956/1962 p.165)

    26.10.1956 Red Army troops invade Hungary.

    29.10.1956 Israel invades the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal.

    31.10.1956 The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.


    United Kingdom Consumer's Association (publisher's of "Which?") founded by Michael Young

    Family and Kinship in East London by Michael Young and Peter Willmott published (Institute of Community Studies Report 1). It became a Penguin paperback in 1962. Revisited in 2006 - The family life of old people : an inquiry in East London by Peter Townsend (Report 2). See 2006

    Antonio Gramsci's Selected Works in Three Volumes published in Russian in Moscow 1957-1959 The Modern Prince, and Other Writings by Antonio Gramsci, translated with a biographical introduction by Louis Marks, published in London by Lawrence & Wishart. Carl Marzani's The Open Marxism of Antonio Gramsci published in New York. Oeuvres choisies (selected writings) were published in Paris by Editions Sociales in 1959. Gramsci's writings were used to argue that class conflict which Marx and Engels placed at the core of history was as much a struggle for the creation of new ideas as anything else.

    May 1957 Percy Report favours community care

    July 1957 to December 1958: The International Geophysical Year

    Friday 4.10.1957 First Sputnik (Russian satellite) sent into space. The second was sent on 3.11.1957 with a dog on board. The first disintegrated on 4.1.1958. I was thirteen years old and, although I had books that discussed how rockets might be sent into space, I had thought that going into space would prove impossible. See 1961 and 2000.

    Friday 11.10.1957 Jodrell Bank radio telescope in operation.


    Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908 - 2009) - Anthropologie structurale ("Structural Anthropology") - See Structuralism

    Widows and their Families, etc. by Peter Marris. (Institute of Community Studies Report 3).

    17.2.1958 Inaugural public meeting of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament at Central Hall, Westminster, attended by five thousand people. The first Aldermaston March was at Easter 1958. Stuart Hall: "... a new kind of political mobilisation- beyond... the big party battalions - which reflected certain emergent social forces and aspirations characteristic of their time ... one of the first of this type of 'social movement' to appear in post-war politics... like the civil-rights movement at the time, and feminist and sexual questions, ecological and environmental issues, community politics, welfare rights and anti-racist struggles in the 1970s and 1980s- have proved difficult to construct within the organizational agendas of the traditional left." (Hall 2010)

    25.8.1958 Racial disturbance in Nottingham when West Indians defended themselves against what they thought were threats from white Teddy Boys. This was followed by attacks by white youths on black people in Notting Hill, London.

    Stuart Hall: "the New Left Club in London became deeply involved in 1958 with the race riots in Notting Hill and with the anti-racist struggles of the period around North Kensington... Rachel Powell, an active club member, unearthed the scandal of 'Rachmanism' and white landlord exploitation in Notting Hill." (Hall 2010)

    1959 Charles Wright Mills The Sociological Imagination. This became number 2 in the century's top 10 America

    1959 First edition of Outline of Human Genetics by L.S. Penrose, Galton Laboratory, University College, London. Heinemann, London. Second edition (with new chapter) 1963.

    "People want to know whether their children are going to be clever or stupid, handsome or ugly, tall or short, healthy or unhealthy, and so on. Traits like these" [as a general rule] "do not segregate in families" [unlike] "relatively simple traits like colour blindness" (page 5)

    8.12.1959 United Kingdom General Election. Increased Conservative majority - manifestos link (archive) - Wikipedia

    1.12.1959 Antarctic Treaty opened for signature. It came into force on 23.6.1961. The treaty preserves the continent for scientific research and prohibits any kind of military use.

    1960s Marshal McLuhan popularised the idea that developments in modern media are creating a global village. 1960 "Television gives this quality of simultaneity to events in the global village". See 1915 - 1962 - 1993

    Books by Erving Goffman, published in the 1960s, showed how the symbolic interaction theories of George Herbert Mead can be used to analyse everyday life. They included The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life 1959, which became number 10 in the century's top 10 - Asylums 1961 - Encounters 1961 - Behaviour in Public Places 1963 - Stigma 1963 and Interaction Ritual 1967. America

    In France, Michel Foucault's Histoire de la Folie (1961) began an excavation of history that was awake to the traditions of philosophy, literature, social science and the creative imagination. Nobody was quite sure what to do with it. - External link: Warren Montag on "Althusser's Reading of Folie et dé raison"

    Family and Class in a London suburb by Peter Willmott and Michael Young. (Institute of Community Studies Report 4).

    Monster computers (electronic counting machines) were developed during the 1960s. By the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, machines the size of a London bus were processing statistics for social scientists. By the late 1970s the capacity of these monsters was being reduced into microchips. See Desktop

    Wednesday 2.11.1960 The Evening News: "Jury Says Yes To The Novel Banned For 32 Years". Lady Chatterley's Lover launched the permissive society.

    Ronald St. Blaize-Molony (2004) argues that "the Swinging Sixties" "properly dates from 1966" (to 1976). "The intellectual chassis carrying that motor of dissent and revolution was the product of then Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, aided and abetted by the then Director General of the BBC - Sir Hugh Carleton Green."

    Hugh Carleton Greene was Director-General of the BBC (British Braodcasting Corporation) from 1960 to 1969,

    about 1961 The British Society of Criminology founded. website

    Wednesday 12.4.1961 Major Yuri Gagarin made first flight into space and back. My Russian pen-friend sent me a postcard of him. Yuri Gagarin's reception by Kruschev at Moscow airport was the first event to be filmed by British television. (Panorama).

    Sunday 23.4.1961/Monday 24.4.1961: Sixteenth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 46,196,000; Scotland: 5,184,000

    Family and social change in an African city. A study of rehousing in Lagos by Peter Marris. (Institute of Community Studies Report 5).


    New Society, a popular UK magazine about social science, launched by Paul Barker. It thrived in the 1960s and 1970s, and withered away in the 1980s.

    1962 Jürgen Habermas: The structural transformation of the public sphere - External links: quotations - Douglas Kellner on - Marshall Soules on - Wikipedia - The Gothic Novel

    Education and the Working Class. Some general themes raised by a study of 88 working-class children in a northern industrial city by Brian Jackson. (Institute of Community Studies Report 6) - Living with Mental Illness. A study in East London, etc by Enid Mills' (Report 7).

    Between 1962 and 1970, George Brosan and Eric Robinson engineered the rapid expansion of the social sciences at Enfield College of Technology, a small north London college founded in 1901 by the English inventor of the electric light bulb. The idea of "People's Universities" was publicised by Eric Robinson in The New Polytechnics, a Penguin paperback in 1968. At about the same time, the whole side of the main building at Enfield was converted to a room in which technicians maintained a large computer at exactly the right temperature. This computer was shared with local industry. By the 1970s, social scientists outnumbered engineers and Middlesex Polytechnic (now Middlesex University) had an international reputation as a centre for the social sciences and, in particular, criminology.

    11.7.1962 First live television between the United States and Europe via the Telstar satellite.


    Pierre Bourdieu began his education research in France. See books

    Towards a Quaker View of Sex


    12.8.1964 to 18.8.1964 UNESCO Expert meeting on the biological aspects of race held in Moscow.18.8.1964 "Proposals on the biological aspects of race" signed in Moscow (external link)

    Times They Are A-Changing: 15.10.1964 Peter, Paul and Mary's version in the charts for two weeks. 11.3.1965 Ian Campbell Folk Group version in the charts for five weeks. 25.3.1965 Bob Dylan's version in the charts for eleven weeks.

    15.10.1964 United Kingdom General Election. Labour Victory. Harold Wilson Prime Minister. Transforming Britain in "the white hot heat of technology" - manifestos link (archive) - Wikipedia on Labour Party

    1964 Richard Hoggart founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University. [See Norma Schulman's intellectual history]. Stuart Hall became Director in 1968.

    1965 In France, theoreticians of the Communist Party, including Louis Althusser, thought hard about how to read Marx. Lire Le Capital was translated into English as Reading Capital by Ben Brewster in 1970 and was intensely studied in the mid-1970s.

    January 1965: Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences founded. (Journal website)

    23.12.1965 to 30.11.1967 Roy Jenkins UK Home Secretary.

    1966 Two books by Peter Berger (the first written with Thomas Luckmann) used symbolic interactionist theory to make a sociology that felt human because it was centred on the construction of meanings by ordinary human beings, as distinct from social scientists. The first was called The Social Construction of Reality, the other Invitation to Sociology. A Humanistic Perspective. Berger and Luckmann's approach is called phenomenological sociology. The Social Construction of Reality became number 5 in the century's top 10

    Purity and Danger - An analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo by Mary Douglas

    7.4.1966 BBC "Frost report" comedy sketch on the British class system.
    I look down on them because I am upper class.

    I look up to him because he is upper class but I look down on him because he is lower class. I am middle class.

    I know my place.

    I get a feeling of superiority over them.

    I get a feeling of inferiority to him but a feeling of superiority over him.

    I get a pain in the back of my neck

    August 1966: Howard Becker's presidential address to the Society for the Study of Social Problems: "Whose Side are We On?" argued that objective neutrality is not possible in sociology:

    "We must always look at the matter from someone's point of view. The scientist who proposes to understand society must, as Mead long ago pointed out, get into the situation enough to have a perspective on it"

    The paper was widely circulated in the 1970s. Becker spoke of a "hierarchy of credibility" favouring the perspectives of those with the highest social rank. Instead, new social scientists in the 1970s often chose to look at the world through the eyes of the deviant or lower ranks. (See Criminology for Criminals). It took less than thirty years for the criminals to become the police. Since the 1990s, or earlier, Becker's ideas have been taught as "research ethics".

    Summer 1966 Frankfurt: Prologue of Negative Dialectics signed by Theodor Adorno. In part three the book contains a section "After Auschwitz"

    Juliet Mitchell's Women: the Longest Revolution (article) published in the November/December 1966 edition of New Left Review

    1966 Scholarship and the history of the behavioural sciences by Robert Young (History Today) reviewed the then histories of psychology.


    January 1967 UK Social Science Research Council to make a grant of £33,000 to Essex Univesity to establish a SSRC Survey Data Bank. A two year feasability study led to an Inventory of Surveys being published in March 1967. Copies were available for purchase from the, Social and Economic Archive Cente, PEP, 12 Upper Belgrave Street, London, SW1. (Source: article by John Madge)

    January 1967 First issue of Sociology, the journal of the British Sociological Association.

    1967 In the spring, some Americans declared it would be a summer of love in San Francisco, spreading throughout the world. America

    13.3.1967 LSE

    In Britain paperback poetry books came out with psychedelic covers: "Love, Love, Love" (Corgi). In June 1967, television nearly went global (the communist countries pulled out) with a two hour programme simultaneously broadcast to 24 countries in which the Beatles unveiled a new song largely consisting of the words "All You Need is Love"

    15.7.1967 to 30.7.1967 Roundhouse Congress (London) on the Dialectics of Liberation. Followed in 1968 by the Anti-University. Stokely Carmichael's talk on "Black Power" at the Congress included the distinction between "individual racism" and "institutional racism".

    24.7.1967 The poet Paul Celan met Martin Heidegger visiting him at Todtnauberg on 25.7.1967 External links The Boston Review - Another link gives the year as 1966. We do not know what the Holocaust survivor discussed with the philosopher who supported Hitler, but John Banville imagines it in a play (Todtnauberg) that also features Hannah Arendt, Gerhart Baumann, Karl Jaspers, Theodor Adorno, Edmund Husserl and Herbert Marcuse

    Gregory Stone and Harvey Faberman published an article suggesting that Durkheim was moving towards the perspective of symbolic interaction

    Desmond Morris The Naked Ape. A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal

    Harold Garfinkel: Studies in Ethnomethodology
    A Sage "Master in Modern Social Thought"

    1968 "la naissance du lecteur doit être au coût de la mort de l'auteur"
    (the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author)
    Roland Barthes: (1915- 1980)
    A Sage "Master in Modern Social Thought"

    new word 1968: "Desk-top computers for use in homes... may be made possible for by an invention described today" (Daily Telegraph). This may refer to the development of medium scale integrated circuits leading to microchips. Personal desktop computers, cheap enough to use at home, did not arrive until the 1980s, and were not widely used until the 1990s.

    1968 SPSS "Statistical Package for the Social Sciences" developed by Norman Nie, Tex Hull and Dale Bent at Stanford University. This was used on mainframe (very large) computer systems kept in large air conditioned rooms, such as the one at Enfield College of Technology. Throughout the 1970s most researchers in Britain used variations of the Hollerith Punch Card system to input data. (Uprichard, Burrows and Byrne 2008). SPSS Statistics is now owned by IBM, who rent it to "business, government, research and academic" organisations for use on desktop computers.

    James D. Watson (1928- ) published The Double Helix in 1968 - A very personal and controversial account of the discovery of the structure of DNA. - (Penguin teacher's notes - offline). It became a popular best seller.

    1968 Listener "This dreadful dilemma of the puritan in a permissive society"

    February 1968: Anti-University started in London. It had collapsed by 1969 but an anti-psychiatry group continued to meet in a member's flat

    10.3.1968 Sunday Times p.52: " Structuralism is a technique for analysing any kind of symbolic system. Its break with the past consists in refusing to take note of the appropriateness of symbols for the things they symbolise." (Oxford English Dictionary) - See 1958

    4.4.1968 Martin Luther King assassinated. America

    May 1968: Paris student rising

    Sunday 11.8.1968: Last day of steam on British Rail

    Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia

    1968 Richard Hoggart moved to a post at UNESCO and Stuart Hall became Director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (Until 1979) - Wikipedia. Norma Schulman speaks of a "turn toward Marxism, roughly coinciding" with the change from Hogart to Hall as Director. "Classical marxist theory was incorporated - progressively modified" by "key concepts (like ideology and hegemony) from neo-Marxists thinkers like Althusser and Gramsci". The "Race and Politics Group" started in autumn 1978.


    The Université de Vincennes à Saint-Denis was founded in 1969 as a direct response to events of May 1968. [See Wikipedia]. Michel Foucault was appointed as head of its philosophy department in December. He suggested the appointment of Gilles Deleuze.

    24.1.1969 LSE

    Spring: Sheila Rowbotham's Women's Liberation and the New Politics (Mayday Manifesto pamphlet 4, 2/6) contained the germ of her Hidden from History. 300 Years of Woman's Oppression and the Fight Against It (1973) in its emphasis on "breaking the silence". Hidden from History recognises the previous work of historians such as Mary Beard, but attempts a class conscious analysis of women's history. The publication of Hidden from History was important for the development of women's history studies, much of which took place outside the universities in Workers Educational Association and similar groups.

    1.9.1969: The first "Interface Message Processor" was installed at the University of California, Los Angeles "about" this day. By the end of the year four defense research sites were connected to "ARPANet" (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) and the first email message had been sent from Los Angeles to Stanford. This was all part of the Cold War: the USA Military wanted a bomb-proof communication system. Out of it was born the internet


    1970 Germaine Greer "The permissive society has done much to neutraise sexual drives by containing them"

    new terms: word processor and word processing used by the ITEL Corporation in the USA. The Computer History Museum classifies the ITEL Word Processor - Operating manual under "Typewriter, electric" - See Minicomputer 1975. In December 1980, New Scientist explained that word processors were "computerised typewriters displaying typed words on screens". Some were "stand-alone" machines. Others, like Wordplex, were groups of machines that shared a central control unit. See word processing in 1992

    May 1970 UK(?) General Register Office and Government Social Survey Department merged in The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS), The director of OPCS was also Registrar-General for England and Wales.

    Thursday 18.6.1970 United Kingdom election. Unexpected Conservative Victory under Edward Heath. - manifestos link (archive)


    Ronald Fletcher published two volumes of The Making of Sociology, his history of sociological theory. He saw a unity in sociology as a science, in contrast to the dominant spirit of the times which set theory against theory as irreconcilable opposites.

    Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex argued America

    "that the natural reproductive difference between the sexes led directly to the first division of labour based on sex, which is at the origins of all further division into economic and cultural classes and is possibly even at the root of all caste (discrimination based on sex and other biologically determined characteristics such as race, age, etc)" (Firestone, S. 1970 p. 9)

    Firestone's chart of Engels' overview of history is used to provide a model for her own theory of biological materialism. Her book includes an analogous chart showing the development of "sex" (caste), "class" (production - division of labour) and "culture" according to Engels and her theory.

    1971 Daily Telegraph "perhaps it is time... for Parliament to have another look at the whole subject of abortion, family planning and perhaps permissiveness in general"

    Sunday 25.4.1971/Monday 26.4.1971: Seventeenth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 49,152,000; Scotland: 5,236,000

    The 1971 UK Census was amongst the first data sets to be made available on magnetic data tapes. Thes had to be mounted on large tape readers. [I think theimplication is that the data couldbe fed into a computer] (Uprichard, Burrows and Byrne 2008)

    1971 Mental Health Statistics

    12.1.1971 Angry Brigade bombs went off outside the house of Robert Carr, UK Secretary of State for Employment. Robert Carr spoke of an "uncomfortable streak of violence" running throughout the world.

    November 1971 Dutch television transmitted a dialogue between Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault, moderated by Phons Elders. It was one in a series of encounters organised by the International Philosophers Project.

    October 1971 to May 1972 Murders and bombings by Red Army Faction (Baader Meinhof) in West Germany.


    1972 Archie Cochrane (1909 - 1988) a British epidemiologist, wrote "Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services" - Start of Cochrane Hierarchy of Evidence. (source) See Pete Fleischmann

    Alvin Gouldner's The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology published in Britain. Some sociology courses adopted it as their main text. Students were expected to evaluate the criticism without any experience of the subject criticised. America

    Elaine Morgan (born 1920) The Descent of Woman
    [External link - David Attenborough's radio programmes on the theory]

    1972 Anti-Oedipus by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. It is the first volume of Capitalism and Schizophrenia, the second volume of which is A Thousand Plateaus (1980).

    new word: environmentalism

    29.6.1972 UK Secretary of State for Social Services, Keith Joseph, gave a speech at a conference organised by the Pre-school Playgroups Association in which he argued that families transmit disadvantage in a "cycle of deprivation", despite the egalitarian influence of the welfare state.

    17.8.1972: mugging

    26.8.1972 to 11,9.1972. Second Berlin Olympics (See first) On 5.9.1972 nine Israeli athletes were taken hostage, and later killed, by Palestinian gunmen.


    The New Criminology by Ian Taylor, Paul Walton and Jock Young, set out a specifically social theory of deviance, developed after an analysis of criminology since the 18th century. Particular attention was paid to the theories of Robert King Merton and Friedrich Engels.

    1973: Daniel Bell's first edition (see 1999) of The Coming of Post- Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting. Other works by Daniel Bell include The End of Ideology in 1960 and The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism in 1975 America
    See also postmodern (1979) and post Fordism (1988)

    Women's studies Begining mostly in adult education (outside formal curiculums) with titles like "Families, Society and Women's Lives". "A feature of the first courses we taught, about six years ago, was that material was... scarce... Today" [1979) "... Books, pamphlets and aricle have proliferated" ( Bristol Women's Studies Group 1979/1984 pages 6-7)

    Peace studies

    In 1973, a "Peace Studies" department was established at Bradford University, with the support of Quakers.

    The library of David Hoggett (1929-1975), became the core of the "Commonweal Collection" at Bradford University, after his death.


    Juliet Mitchell's Psychoanalysis and Feminism. A Radical Reassessment of Freudian Psychoanalysis [See brief description]

    Approaches to Sociology. An introduction to major trends in British sociology edited by John Rex.

    28.2.1974 United Kingdom General Election. Labour returned to power - manifestos link (archive) - Wikipedia on Labour Party

    10.10.1974: New Society "The Coming Corporatism" by R. E. Pahl and Jack Winkler.

    21.11,1974 Birmingham (England) pub bombings, killing 21 people and injuring 182.


    Minicomputer for hobbyists


    Computable Numbers 1935

    monster computers 1960s

    Desktop 1968

    Chips with everything 1978

    The Altair 8800 Minicomputer designed by Ed Roberts and sold in large numbers to people practising electronics as a hobby. At first, switches entered code and lights lit as it was played. All one could do with the machine was make programs to make the lights blink. During the year, Bill Gates wrote the first programming language for the machine (BASIC). This was loaded from paper tapes. Michael Shrayer bought and assembled one of these kits and wrote software to use on it. He created a programme that allowed him to use the computer, instead of a typewriter, to write documentation for his first program. This was the first word processor for home computers, and was sold as "Electric Pencil" from December 1976,

    1975 Paradigms and Fairy Tales by Julienne Ford used the idea that theories are like fairy tales ... (more)

    In France, Michel Foucault's Surveiller et Punir: Naisance de la Prison (1975) explored the joint genesis of institutions and social structure in the all seeing eye. This was translated in English in 1977 as Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison . See surveillance


    Spring 1976 Radical Statistics newsletter one. "The Radical Statistics Group, usually abbreviated to Radstats, was formed in 1975 as part of the radical science movement associated with the establishment of the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science (BSSRS)".

    Summer 1976 Start of the "Grunwick picket line" in which low paid workers, mostly women and mostly Asians, tried to assert a right to be trade union menbers. "These were the heady days of the Communist University of London where you could go on the Grunwick picket line at 6am then give a lecture on semiotics at 10 (what nostalgia!)" (Diana Rose email 19.8.2009) - See wikipedia


    A group of right wing (Conservative) social theorists published The Attack on Higher Education. Marxist and Radical Penetration, surveying and criticising the contribution of left wingers to social theory during the 1960s and 1970s. Academic social theory had become a heated political issue. The next decade was to see a move away from socially critical and collectivist theories towards conservative and free market theories.

    There was a revival in the ideas of Adam Smith. The Adam Smith Institute (weblink) was founded in the USA in 1977 and in the United Kingdom in 1981. The ideals identified in Smith's work were "the importance of free markets, fair competition, and limited government". It promoted the 'privatisation' of socially owned assets.

    1977 Terrorism and the Liberal State by Paul Wilkinson, published London. Examples of "terrorism" from activities of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation), IRA (Irish Republican Army), The Angry Brigade (UK), Baader Meinhof (West Germany) and some USSR State activities.

    27.5.1977 release of Sex Pistols single "God save the queen - She ain't no human being - And there's no future -In England's dreaming". Jubilee Bank Holiday Monday was on 6.6.1977


    The UK Social Research Association was founded in 1978 "by social researchers to advance the conduct, development and application of social research". (website)

    When Dave Davies proposed a course on microchips to Hackney Workers Educational Association, in 1978, I and other members did not know what they were. Micro Chips: Silicon Electronics and Society six fortnightly meetings with speakers in October, November and December. Part of the publicity read

    "Microchips, as the new generation of very small computers are called, have recently become a major talking point...What will the impact be on our jobs, the way we do them? Which industries are threatened by the most dramatic changes? What difference will it make to us as consumers? Already we have electronic watches, calculators and TV 'Games', and this is only the start."

    As a social science, Psychology usually argues that it is scientific because its theories are empirically testable. Its roots include John Stuart Mill's speculations that testing is possible and Wilhelm Wundt's laboratory.
    Small "personal" computers, based on the microchips, made it possible to computerise the teaching of experimental psychology. At Middlesex University the decision to do this was taken in 1978. They used South West Technical 6800 computers using 6502 (Intel) chips. They had a text editor, which meant you had to put in command lines.

    The first electronic spreadsheets appeared in 1978. Spreadsheets led to computers being adopted widely by business.

    1978 Genetically engineered human insulin (marketed 1982). In genetic engineering genes are moved from one kind of organism into the DNA of another.

    Autumn 1978 Race and Politics Group established at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies under Stuart Hall. After three years research, work from the group was published as The Empire Strikes Back in 1982


    Talcot Parsons died

    1979 Peter Townsend's massive Poverty in the United Kingdom. A Survey of Household Resources and Standards of Living published by Penguin.

    Jean-François Lyotard: La condition postmoderne : rapport sur le savoir Paris. Translated into English in 1984 as The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge
    A Sage "Master in Modern Social Thought"

    Pierre Bourdieu La distinction. Critique sociale du jugement, which was translated into English as Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste in 1984. [See dictionary Distinction] This became number 6 in the century's top 10. Power defines taste. "the working-class 'aesthetic' is a dominated 'aesthetic' which is constantly obliged to define itself in terms of the dominant aesthetics"

    1.2.1979 Imam Khomeini returned to Iran after the fall of the Shah. Iran became an islamic state under clerical rule

    re-structuring society:   chips   reaganomics   perestroika   global web

    3.5.1979 Conservatives won the General Election in the United Kingdom - (manifestos link) (archive) - Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister with an agenda to "role back the frontiers of the state". In 1968, the marxist historian Ralph Miliband had written

    "More than ever before men now live in the shadow of the state. What they want to achieve, individually or in groups, now mainly depends on the state's sanction and support."
    Traditional Conservatives had often been associated with this expansion of the state's influence. But, under Margaret Thatcher, "true Conservatism" was seen as the restriction of collectivism and the encouragement of private enterprise.

    October 1979 "Thatcherism: Breaking out of the Impasse" by Martin Jacques in Marxism Today. This and other articles up to January 1983 formed the core of The Politics of Thatcherism published in 1983.


    20th Century Words records the term Enterprise Culture from 1980 An enterprise culture is a free-market economy that encourages financial self-reliance, entrepreneurial activity and risk-taking. [See Enterprise Allowance]

    January 1980 Michael Haralambos signed the preface to the first edition of Sociology - Themes and Perspectives a textbook aimed at GCE Advanced level students, which he had begun to research in 1975. "At that time there were sociology books for undergraduates, but none specifcally targeted at school, sixth-form and furher education college students" (Simon Midgley Guardian Education 10.3.1998, p.13

    25.3.1980 Roland Barthes died aged 64. He was born 12.11.1915.

    Death of Erich Fromm (1900-1980) (external link)

    Sunday 5.4.1981/Monday 6.4.1981: Eighteenth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 49,634,000; Scotland: 5,180,000

    Saturday 11.4.1981 "Swamp 81" against black crime in Brixton began. Serious riot followed. Start of the "worst civil unrest seen on British streets this century." During the summer the rioting spread to Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. (Quote from 1998 BBC2 Windrush documentaries). - See Jock Young 2011

    13.11.1981 Conservative Government first announced its " Enterprise Allowance" scheme, which was piloted between January 1982 and July 1983 and fully introduced in 1983. Under the scheme, unemployed people could receive a guaranteed income of £40 a week, for a year, if they produced a basic business plan and funded the first £1000 out of their own funds.

    25.11.1981 Publication of the Scarman Report "into the serious disorder in Brixton on 10-12 April 1981" with recommendations. (Wikipedia)

    Jürgen Habermas' Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (The Theory of Communicative Action) This became number 8 in the century's top 10

    Modelled on Parsons' The Structure of Social Action. Habermas reviews the theories of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Mead, Parsons, Adorno and others and uses aspects of them to present his own theory of action. For Habermas the core of any action is communication and the central problem of contemporary societies is how to create conditions for communicative action. (Arthur W. Frank)

    See Wikipedia article on communicative rationality. Habermas argues that reason is in the quality of our discourse, not a method of finding absolute truth. In 1998, a web page for tolerance of diverse perspectives called itself Dear Habermas.

    Habermas seeks to show how "issues raised by critical theory in the 1930s can be made relevant today under different circumstances"

    Reflections on new social movements An article by Habermas on "New Social Movements", from The Theory of Communicative Action was published in Telos in the Autumn of 1981 and Claus Offe explained what is "new" about them in an interview in 1982


    Death of Erving Goffman (1922-1982) (external link)

    Early 1982 The Empire Strikes Back - Race and racism in 70s Britain A collection of essays by members of the Race and Politics Group at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies - Including Paul Gilroy (who signed the preface)

    2.4.1982 to 14.6.1982 Falklands war. (Wikipedia) Resurgence of British nationalism.

    About June 1982 First edition of The Salisbury Review, editor Roger Scruton, author of The Meaning of Conservatism

    4.7.1982 Death of Terrence Higgins, one of the first people to die of an AIDS related disease in the United Kingdom. - external link AIDS in UK

    November 1982 Article by Ray Honeyford, a Bradford school headmaster, on race and education in The Times Educational Supplement. See 1984 and 1987


    16.1.1983 Margaret Thatcher's television interview, in which she agrees (with Brian Walden) that "Victorian Values" of self-sufficiency, enterprise and non-reliance on state benefits made Britain great.

    9.6.1983 United Kingdom election. Post-Falklands Conservative Victory under Margaret Thatcher. - manifestos link (archive)

    January 1983 "The Heat in the Kitchen" by Lynne Segal and "Falklands Fallout" by Eric Hobsbawm in Marxism Today. Last of the articles that formed the core of The Politics of Thatcherism published in 1983.

    Political Science in Africa. A Critical Review A collection of seventeen articles, edited by Yolamu Baronga "..the inception of political science.. in Black African universities coincides with the attainment of independence"


    Leonard Fagin The Forsaken Families: The effects of unemployment on family life Penguin, 1984.

    January 1984 Ray Honeyford's "Education and Race - an alternative view" published in The Salisbury Review". The article was re-printed in the Yorkshire Post in March - Resulting, on 15.3.1984, in the formation of "Drummond Parents Action Committee" calling for Honeyford to be dismissed as a headmaster.

    12.3.1984 to 5.3.1985 National miner's strike in United Kingdom. (Wikipedia) - Some sociologists have suggested its defeat marks the victory of consumerism over producerism.

    25.6.1984 Death of Michel Foucault - Born 15.10.1926 (external link). Foucault is said to have died from an AIDS related disease.

    October 1984 Debate over "black sections" at UK Labour Party conference. See article by Trevor Phillips in September 1984 Marxism Today - See Stuart Hall 1988 about "the term 'black'" "as a way of referencing the common experience of racism in Britain".

    2.12.1984/3.12.1984 Bhopal disaster. See Wikipedia - See Pearce 1987

    The DNA profiling technique was first reported in 1984


    Glasnost: 11.3.1985: In a speech accepting the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev called for greater openness in public statements, including criticisms of government policy. He used the Russian word "Glasnost" (publicity). In 1986, perestroika (restructuring) was added to glasnost.

    Summer 1985 The Passion of Remembrance was made. (external link). It was completed in 1986. First television transmission may have been 31.10.1986 (8?)

    5.10.1985 Death of Cynthia Jarrett during a raid on her home in Thorpe Road, London N15, sparked the Broadwater Farm riots. See Jock Young 2011

    16.11.1985 My Beautiful Launderette first shown in London.


    1986 Ulrich Beck's Risikogesellschaft (Risk Society) published. "rapidly went into a second edition after the Chernobyl nuclear accident" ( Outhwaite 12.2009, p.1031.

    26.4.1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster - See Wikipedia

    27.10.1986 Big Bang: Deregulation of the London Stock Market

    1986 Winter in the Morning: A Young Girl's Life in the Warsaw Ghetto and Beyond, 1939-1945 by Janina Bauman published by Virago. It was also published in German. His wife's retelling of her childhood influenced Zygmunt Bauman's writing on the Holocaust (1989)

    Playing Away is dated 1986. It was reviewed in the New York Times on 13.3.1987 - external link


    January 1987 UK AIDS leaflet sent to every household in the country: Aids. Don't Die of Ignorance. Backed up by television advertising with the same "tombstone" theme.

    12.1.1987 Critical review of Handsworth Songs in The Guardian by Salman Rushdie. "Down at the Metro cinema, in Soho, there's a new documentary startuing a three-week run". The first televison transmission was 6.7.1987. (video)

    6.3.1987 Herald of Free Enterprise sank at Zeebruger. 193 passengers drowned. Instant and continuous coverage on UK television.

    11.6.1987 United Kingdom election. Third Conservative Victory under Margaret Thatcher. - manifestos link (archive). First three black Members of Parliament elected: Diane Abbott (Hackney North) was the first black woman MP.

    September 1987 Twenty two white parents in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, taught their children in a local pub rather than send them to Headfield, the local school, 80% of whose pupils were Asian. They claimed their grounds were cultural, not racist, and were supported by Ray Honeyford and the Bradford Muslim Parents Association, which wanted separate education for muslim children. Stuart Hall, in New Ethnicities (February 1988) said "cultural racism in its Dewsbury form - not only persists but positively flourishes under Thatcherism".

    19.10.1987: Black Monday: world stock market crashes began in New York

    31.10.1987: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Woman's Own:

    "There is no such thing as Society. There are individual men and women, and there are families"
    You would not expect a Durkheimian sociologist to agree with her (see society) - But some Weberian sociologists said she had correctly understood their position and should restore their funding. (Or words to that effect)

    13.9.1987 Sammy and Rosie Get Laid at the Toronto Film Festival. ( Wikipedia - Screenonline overview)


    Diana H. Coole's Women in Political Theory. From Ancient Misogyny to Contemporary Feminism. This, and other books at this time, re-explored and revitalised the history of social theory by looking at its concepts of gender.

    Dreaming Rivers - (external link)

    20th Century Words records the term Dependency Culture from 1988 (although I think it must be earlier). In a dependency culture people (especially the unemployed and poor) are said to rely on money or services from the state and to be robbed of by this of their motivation to provide for themselves or improve their situation. In America, black people were singled out. In 1992 The Economist wrote "During the boom years of the mid-1980s... conservative works chronicling the growth of a black dependency culture in America's ghettos multiplied". On 20.2.1988 there was a conference in Edinburgh on "Dependency : dependence, independence and interdependence in culture and society" In 1991, a collection of papers, Dependency to Enterprise, from a conference called "From the culture of dependency to the culture of enterprise" was published.

    February 1988 Day Conference at the (UK) Institute for Contemporary Arts that led to the publication of Black Film, British Cinema later (December) in the year. The conference focused on The Passion of Remembrance - Playing Away and Handsworth Songs. "The book looks at the relationship between cinema and black people, exploring recoding narratives of race and nation, black independent film, black film in Britain and America, new ethnicities as well as many other subjects" (Bookseller's advert). (See Stuart Hall).

    July 1988 to April 1989 Hackney Workers Educational Association explored the varieties of conservatism, liberalism, socialism and green politics in monthly classes and an Ideas about Politics magazine. See liberalism, utilitarianism and socialism and Morris, Marx and Ruskin,

    October 1988: British Communist Party journal Marxism Today issue on "New Times" discusses Post-Fordism


    Zygmunt Bauman Modernity and The Holocaust

    David Harvey's The Condition of Postmodernity - See 1973. Harvey writes about a move from from "Fordism" to "flexible accumulation".

    First edition of Frank Pearce's The Radical Durkheim "too little attention has been paid to developing" Durkheim's concepts "fruitfully". crime and
timeline crime

    28.10.1989 A debate in the University Library of Manchester on the proposition that "The concept of society is theoretically obsolete" The speakers were Marilyn Strathern (for), John Peel (against), Christina Toren (for) and Jonathan Spencer (against). A report was edited by Tim Ingold.

    9.11.1989 "This ninth of November is a historic day." East Germany "has announced that, starting immediately, its borders are open to everyone." [See Wikipedia]

    December 1989 My first home computer - bought for my use by Middlesex University.


    Peter Morea's Personality - An introduction to the theories of psychology took a human look at the theories of Freud, Skinner, Rogers, Fromm, Mead and Kelly.

    July to September 1991 Summer School for Soviet Sociologists held at the University of Kent.


    1991 Jan van Dijk's book De Netwerkmaatschappij (The Network Society). The term was later used by Manuel Castells

    1991 Sandra Harding Whose science? Whose knowledge? Thinking from women's lives (Ithaca: Cornell University Press) discusses "socially situated knowledge". Term "standpoint theory" is used to describe such a theory of knowledge. (See Wikipedia).

    Sunday 21.4.1991/Monday 22.4.1991: Nineteenth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 51,099,000; Scotland: 5,107,000

    6.8.1991 Tim Berners-Lee created the worlds first web-page. An early archive - Visit a replica of the page.

    25.12.1991 End of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) - The Soviet flag was lowered for the last time over the Kremlin. See Wikipedia


    9.4.1992 United Kingdom election. Unexpected Conservative Victory under John Major. Soapboxes and disappointed roses - manifestos link (archive)

    16.9.1992: Black Wednesday: Financial speculation forced the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

    October 1992: At the newly re-styled Middlesex University all the academic staff were given a personal computer and, at about the same time, they were told they had to do their own word processing work.

    End of 1992 UK Cochrane Centre established by the National Health Service Research and Development Programme. See Pete Fleischmann

    John Lea: Criminology and postmodernity

    9.2.1993 Television showed CCTV footage of two ten year old boys taking a toddler out of a shopping centre. The toddler was later found dead. But the eye could also be faked. A 1995 commercial video Caught in the Act used CCTV shots for entertainment. One of these, a sex scene in a lift, was staged by actors. Images were everywhere, but which were true?

    March 1993 The first number of Social Research Update: "Analysing Qualitative Data by Computer" by Nigel Fielding, Issue 4 (date uncertain) was "Exploring the Internet" by Nicky Ferguson. Issue 6 (1995?) was "Computer simulation of social processes" by Nigel Gilbert. Issue 20 (Spring 1998) "Finding information on the World Wide Web" by Stuart Peters, Issue 21 (Summer 1998) "Using e-mail as a research tool" by Neil Selwyn and Kate Robson.

    22.4.1993 Mosaic, the first popular browser for the world wide web, was free. An estimated 2 million people were using it after a year.
    See 1927, 1937. 1953.

    1994 At Western Washington University (West Coast, USA), Ed Stephan began creating his The Division of Territory in Society as a web document. His, rapidly famous, Timeline of Sociology (archive) "a listing of on-line biographies and books from 1600" was entered on the web in Winter 1996. His demography timeline, modelled on the Sociology Timeline but starting in 3,800BC, was first recoded by the web archive on 6.10.2003.

    Death of Karl Popper (1902-1994): (external link)

    1994: Anthony Giddens Beyond Left and Right, followed by The Third Way: the renewal of social democracy in 1998, The Third Way and its Critics in 2000 and The Global Third Way Debate Polity in 2001

    Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society founded in the USA: (website)

    November-December 1995 Wave of general strikes in France against proposed programme of welfare cutbacks and related issues. "The most disruptive social upheaval France has seen since the student protests of 1968" (Margaret Warner, PBS). The collective Raisons d'Agir (Reasons to Act), and associated publishing house Liber/Raisons d'Agir were established by Pierre Bourdieu at the end of 1995.

    1996 Manuel Castells' The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture volume one "The Rise of the Network Society" - (Volumes 2 and 3 were published in 1997)
    A Sage "Master in Modern Social Thought"

    About 1996, Howard Becker started Howie's Home Page on the world wide web, making his papers available to anyone who wants them, and sharing photographs of Everett Hughes, Alfred Lindesmith and Herbert Blumer.

    1.4.1996 UK Central Statistical Office and Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) and the statistics division of the Department of Employment merged in the Office for National Statistics. in which The director, from 2000, was known as the National Statistician.

    1997: Family Record Centre established at Myddelton Street, Islington
    2000: Statistics Commission and 'National Statistics' established
    2005: Announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of his intention to legislate for independence in statistics
    2007: Bill introduced in Lords and Royal Assent given [28.7.2007]
    2008: UK Statistics Authority established (Statistics Commission abolished)

    27.1.1996 First Tag des Gedenkens an die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus (The Day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism) in Germany German wikipedia) - See 27.1.1945 and 27.1.2006

    March 1996 Launch of Sociological Research Online

    July 1996: Albert Benschop started SocioSite. The internet gateway to world wide social science, based at the University of Amsterdam.

    The Fontana History of the Social Sciences by Roger Smith Review by Nick Crossley


    Towards a new global age : challenges and opportunities Policy report published Paris by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1997. See Globalisation - See 2009

    1997 Richesse du monde, pauvretés des nations by Daniel Cohen (1953-) published in Paris. Translated into English as The wealth of the world and the poverty of nations in 1998. A defence of globalisation against the charge that international trade between rich and poor nations undermines the welfare state in the rich countries.

    February 1997 Social Science History by Andrew Roberts first published

    1.5.1997 British General Election won by "new" Labour. Prime Minister Tony Blair. New Labour, replacing true Conservatism had a philosophy of freemarkets balanced, or humanised, by the state.

    "Kundera's Immortality : the interview society and the invention of the self" article by Paul Atkinson and David Silverman in Qualitative Inquiry volume 3, number 3, pages 304-325. David Silverman: "perhaps we all live in what might be called an interview society, in which interviews seem central to making sense of our lives"


    Blue Angel
logo of the Dear
Habermas website 2.1.1998: "Dear Habermas" website created. 5.12.1998: new website for Dear Habermas "A Journal of Postmodern Thought By Undergraduates for Undergraduates" at California State University. - an early explanation - today's site - Basic Concepts: Conceptual Links for Focusing Your Work

    26.7.1998 to 1.8.1998 Fourteenth World Congress of Sociology held in Montreal included announcement of the books of the 20th century - archive - most influential on the sociologists. The top authors were Weber, C.W. Mills, Merton, Berger and Luckmann, Bourdieu, Elias, Habermas, Parsons (not The Social System), and Goffman

    Sociocybernetics was formally recognised as a research committee (RC51) at the 1998 World Congress. This was one of the examples, given by John Urry, of a complexity turn in sociology as it incorporated the tools of the complexity sciences. Others included the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, founded in 1998, and Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences (also 1998) by David Byrne

    4.11.1998 (copyright 1999) Learning, Teaching and Researching on the Internet: A Practical Guide for Social Scientists by Stuart Stein, University of West of England, Bristol, published. 352 pages.

    See also Social Research Update and Andrew Roberts 1998


    1.1.1999 Eurozone: Euro the currency of eleven European nations. Notes and coins were introduced in 2002.

    Spring 1999: Anthony Giddens gave the the 1999 BBC Reith Lectures from different cities around the world, accompanied by an email collation of views from people around the world. This was called the Runaway World Debate. A major theme was globalisation. The lectures are online: globalisation - risk - tradition - family - democracy

    Giddens weblinks

    March 1999 to June 1999 Kosovo war. NATO attack on Serbia in defence of Kosovans. Described by some as the "first humanitarian war". Wikipedia. Majid KhosraviNik (2009) analysed the representation of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in British newspapers during this conflict and the British general election of 2005.

    6.3.1999 First home page created for Andrew Roberts' web site. Also date on Social Science History Timeline.

    15.8.1999: Review: "Why Daniel Bell Keeps Getting It Right" of a reissue of The Coming of Post- Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting (1973) with a new, 30,000-word foreword by the author

    24.9.1999 United Kingdom Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences incorporated. It became the Academy of Social Sciences on 5.7.2007. Wikipedia (2010) says its "ambition" is an "Academician of the Social Sciences" should have similar "prestige" to a fellowship of the Royal Society or the British Academy.

    are we counting correctly - or is the whole world a year or more out?

    Zygmunt Bauman wrote: "From heavy to light modernity. That part of history, now coming to its close, could be dubbed... the era of hardware, or heavy modernity... cumbersome machines... factory walls... ponderous rail engines... To conquer space was the supreme goal... .The seductive lightness of being The insubstantial, instantaneous time of the software world" (Bauman, Z. 2000 Liquid Modernity, pages 113/114 and 118)

    2000 Loïc Wacquant launched the international journal Ethnography for "the ethnographic study of social and cultural change. Bridging the chasm between sociology and anthropology" - Publisher's website.

    March 2000 Conclusions of the European Council held in Lisbon "affirm that Europe has indisputably moved into the Knowledge Age".   (Brussels, 30.10.2000 A Memorandum on Lifelong Learning (external pdf)

    March 2000 to September 2003, the free encyclopedia of the internet. Wikipedia (free and democratic) began as a complement to it on 15.1.2001

    12.5.2000 Official opening of Tate Modern: as much about recent social theory as modern art?

    June 2000 UK Framework for National Statistics operational.

    20.7.2000 Royal Assent to UK Terrorism Act 2000 (external link)

    Sunday 29.4.2001/Monday 30.4.2001: Twentieth British Census
    Population of England and Wales: 52,042,000; Scotland: 5,062,000

      11.9.2001 "9.11" Terrorist attack on symbolic buildings in the United States. See Wikipedia
    The attack on the twin towers triggered a change in the whole structure of international relations. America

    6.12.2001 Musée de l'Homme end? - first capture - (See 1937)

    January 2002: Death of Pierre Bourdieu

    3.2.2002 Martin Bright, in The Observer refers to the Angry Brigade as "Britain's only home-grown terrorist group".

    May 2002 First Bulletin of the (UK) "Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences"


    23.2.2003 Death of Robert Merton (1910-2003): (external link)

    September 2003 "We are the first generation that can look extreme poverty in the eye, and say this and mean it - we have the cash, we have the drugs, we have the science. Do we have the will to make poverty history?" Bono [Can anyone tell me who Bono is?]

    2003 Completion of the Human genome project


    The term "Web 2" became notable after the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004 - See Wikipedia

    Norway started the "The Holberg International Memorial Prize for outstanding scholarly work in the areas of arts and humanities, social sciences, law or theology" [website] - ("I call him wise, he who seeks wisdom, not the fool who thinks he has found it.") - In November 2004 the first prize was awarded to Julia Kristeva of Paris whose "explorations... on the intersection of language, culture and literature have inspired research across the humanities and the social sciences throughout the world" [statemant about her] - [photograph]


    11.3.2005 Royal Assent to UK Terrorism Act 2005

    12.4.2005 Terrorism, Crime and the collapse of Civil Liberties: John Lea's address to the Criminology Society at Middlesex University

    July 2005 UK Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired the G8 summit of the world's major economies at Gleneagles in Scotland. The two biggest issues discussed were climate change and Africa. 6.7.2005 London awarded the 2012 Olympics. 7.7.2005 A series of bomb attacks on London's transport network killed 52 people and injured 700. 13.7.2005 The Independent "The police's nightmare: home-grown terrorists" by Kim Sengupta [See Angry Brigade] -

    27.10.2005 "Two French youths of Malian and Tunisian descent were electrocuted as they fled the police in the Parisian suburb of Clichy-sous- Bois. Their deaths sparked nearly three weeks of rioting in 274 towns throughout the Paris region, France, and beyond" source. See Jock Young 2011


    Crime and Conflict Research Centre launched

    27.1.2006 First International Holocaust Remembrance Day. - (Wikipedia). - Deutsche Welle - See 27.1.1945 and 27.1.1996

    13.2.2006 Publication of The New East End: Kinship, Race and Conflict by The Young Foundation, re-visits 1957. The authors are Geoff Dench, Kate Gavron and Michael Young (who died in 2002). - Madeleine Bunting Guardiam Review

    30.3.2006 Royal Assent to UK Terrorism Act 2006

    21.6.2006 "Sociology After Durkheim" conference at the University of Surrey. The organisers say that much of sociology has been developed on Durkheim's principle of social objectivity. But, they say, post-structuralists, post modernists and feminists have criticised "received notions of the social and of objectivity". " Latour (2005) repudiates Durkheim's concept of the social as stable and distinctive, and argues for a return to an earlier usage and an emphasis on transient associations. Garfinkel (2002), however, has reworked Durkheim's aphorism as the foundation of ethnomethodology, while eschewing theory. Is there scope for new form of theory, for synthesis and re-evaluation of existing works, or must we accept that sociological theory has, reflexively, persuaded us to stop theorizing?" Copac notice a remaining link. Let us see if we can work out what they mean.

    18.7.2006 to 21.7.2006 First International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences held on the Island of Rhodes in Greece. By 2010, the fifth conference had reached Cambridge (England)


    March 2007 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) (an advisory body of the European Union) established in Vienna (Wikipedia)

    October 2007 Equality and Human Rights Commission in Britain etablished from combination of the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality, and the Disability Rights Commission. (external link)


    December 2008 Pope Benedict 16th criticised gender theory - BBC Report - Guardian - Wikipedia on gender studies - full text


    31.1.2009 British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, speaks of the "the first financial crisis of the global age". The past offered "no clear map ... to deal with it". However, "This is not like the 1930s. The world can come together" (BBC report)

    2009 Loïc Wacquant Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity

    5.5.2009 Launch of This is Survivor Research

    September 2009: Launch of BBC Lab UK. The results of the first experiemnt, a clinical trial of "brain testing games", were published in Nature Volume: 465, Pages7 75-778 on 10.6.2010 (online 20.4.2010). The study concluded that improvements in perfomance from practice did not tranfer to other acitivities.

    30.10.2009 Claude Lévi-Strauss died, aged one hundred years. He was born 28.11.1908.


    350th anniversary of the Royal Society - Personal perspectives in the life sciences for the Royal Society's 350th anniversary was published (free online) in December 2009. It includes
    "The social brain: allowing humans to boldly go where no other species has been" by Uta Frith and Chris Frith - video

    22.1.2010 Mending our "broken society" in UK Conservative Party's draft manifesto. external link - See Community disintegration theory

    19.3.2010 Erotic capital

    8.4.2010 United Kingdom Equality Act (2010) (external link) Major provisions came into force 1.10.2010.

    25.8.2010 History as research method: The Survivors History Group at the "Qualtiative Methods in Mental Health Research" conference at Nottingham.

    September 2010 Bauman Institute launched (external link). Researching Zygmunt Bauman's sociological work - consumerism and sustainability - globalisation, risk and uncertainty renewing politics and civil society.

    "UK social science research is a world leader": Statement from the (UK) Academy of Social Sciences in respect of the "Browne Review proposals" and the UK government Comprehensive Spending Review announcement of 20.10.2010.

    18.12.2010 Suicide start to "arab spring"


    26.1.2011 BBC's "Great British Class Survey" launched. See CRESC website

    26.1.2011 British Sociological Association workshop at Warwick included Doing Historical Sociology with Kristy Warren and Lucy Mayblin - a session with Gurminder K Bhambra and International Historical Sociology with George Lawson. another link

    March 2011 Laurie Taylor interviewed Stuart Hall

    27.3.2001 Twenty first British Census

    Monday 23.5.2011 Bankrupt Britain - An atlas of social change by Daniel Dorling and Bethan Thomas published. Mapping the effects of the recession on Britain geographically over the last three years: "in the wake of the 2007 banking crisis, 2008 economic crash and 2009 credit crunch". - Guardian review -

    1.9.2011 The Class Ceiling

    2073 In Mary Shelley's The Last Man, a Republic is peacefully established in Britain. Not long afterwards, the whole fabric of civilisation on this earth begins to decompose. Taken from an ancient text found abandoned in a cave, The Last Man ends in 2100, "the last year of the world." A devastating worldwide plague has annihilated all of humanity except for one man, who chronicles the world's demise.


    © Andrew Roberts 3.1999 -

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    Roberts, Andrew 3.1999/timeline - Society and Science History TimeLine

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    See ABC Referencing for general advice,
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