Sunday, July 2, 2017

History Carnival 167

Welcome to the 167th instalment of the History Carnival, a monthly showcase of some of the best recent blogging on historical topics.

Once again we have a number of fantastic posts covering a wide range of topics.

Can child labour ever be morally justifiable? Attitudes to child labour and the development of the Foundling Hospital in 18th Century England are explored in this fascinating post by Alice Dolan.

Some 250 years later, welfare provisions in the UK have improved with the National Health Service. George Campbell Gosling provides a very interesting account of the development of retail outlets as a form of fundraising within NHS hospitals.

Continuing with the theme of social welfare, David Schorr examines Pope Francis' recent encyclical on the environment, LaudatoSi'. Mr Schorr draws parallels with the late medieval English Church and the development of the doctrine of equity as a tool to ensure that a moral duty became a legal obligation. The post raises interesting questions about the extent to which religion could be used to impose similar legalistic obligations to ensure better protection for the environment.

Moving on from the environment to air travel, Hels has a very interesting post on the history of the Australian national carrier, Quantas and its origins as a mail and passenger service in 1920 within the Australian territory of Queensland.

We stay in the Southern Hemisphere for Dr Jonathan Fennell's exploration of social class in the New Zealand Army during the Second World War. Dr Fennell examines the question of why the military in New Zealand were more inclined to vote for the Labour Party. This is the first of a series of posts by Dr Fennell addressing this theme.

People often forget that the Second World War was not merely a contest between Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan against the USSR, Britain and America. Arguably the Second World War began in China with the full-scale Japanese invasion of China in 1937. Peter Harmsen examines Chiang Kai-shek and his attempts to bring Soviet Russia into the war against Japan both before and after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

Dr Matthew Ford proves a very helpful summary of the debate in the British Army and British Government following the Second World War and the introduction of automatic rifles as the primary infantry weapon. The debate was particularly significant because it led to the adoption of the 7.62mm Self-Loading Rifle which remained in service with the British Army until the mid-1980s.

Hans Metzner has produced a well-researched account of the activities of Sonderkommando Kulmhof in establishing the Chełmno extermination camp. The post provides a number of documents and other resources critical to understanding the activities of the Sonderkommando.

Finally, Katie Fox has explored the UK National Archive and found a fascinating record of a petition to free a convicted sheep rustler who had been sentenced to transportation from the UK. The post includes the drawings prepared by the defendant's friends to prove that he could not have committed the crime.

Thank you to all of this month's contributors for their efforts. All of the blog posts were interesting and well researched. Please continue to check History Carnival for details of August's edition of the History Carnival.