Durham University

Department of History

Staff Profile

Mr Mark Bennett

Race, democracy and the American Civil War in the county of Yorkshire in the Department of History

(email at mark.bennett@durham.ac.uk)

About

After five years working in PwC's Risk Assurance practice, I returned to academia via a Masters by Research at the University of Warwick supervised by Dr Sarah Richardson. In it, I examined the effects of the American Civil War in the West Riding of Yorkshire: analysing the editorial stances of twenty local newspapers to better understand British attitudes towards the war; looking at the way the region's politics were affected by the conflict; and using a variety of non-traditional sources like drama, poetry and advertisements to explore the nature of the contemporary transatlantic community.

My current thesis expands on this earlier work, by attempting to reconcile the disruption portrayed in globally oriented history, where the continued growth of European hegemony in Africa and Asia destroyed traditional institutions and provoked conflict in response, with the consensus in British political history which either overlooks the period between Chartism and the death of Palmerston or treats it as one of equipoise. To re-evaluate these disparate narratives, my thesis examines the nature of mid-Victorian political culture as a cohesive whole via a regional study of the large, diverse and influential county of Yorkshire. It explores the way in which views of the world outside Britain interacted with and informed attitudes towards key concepts such as democracy, nationality, citizenship and race.

Research Interests

  • Local political organisation and ideology
  • Political culture in nineteenth-century Britain
  • Racism, imperialism and nationalism
  • The transatlantic Anglo-American community

Publications

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article