Britain, Written Constitutions and World History, 1780-2000

27 10 2011

I’m interested in the subject of a upcoming lecture by historian Linda Colley. “Britain, Written Constitutions and World History, 1780-2000”. The students in my history of globalisation class recently discussed David Armitage’s work on the Declaration of the Independence as an event in global history. Colley’s research on the global political influence of the British constitution would compliment Armitage’s work and could be used in my seminar next year. I hope that the University of Sussex, which is hosting the event, podcasts Colley’s talk.


Martin Wight Memorial Lecture
Wednesday 2 November 2011 18:00 to 19:00 GMT
University of Sussex
Linda Colley, Professor of History, Princeton University

In the wake of the Revolutions, new style written constitutions became essential components and symbols of a modern state and nation. Britain fought against these Revolutions and notoriously retained its un-codified constitution throughout.

Despite this, Britain’s impact on the writing of constitutions in other countries has been more extensive and more diverse than any other major power. This lecture will explore this apparent paradox; what it reveals about British, imperial and global history, and about the meanings of constitutions as political and cultural texts.

RSVP is essential. Book online at or email



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