Aims/Description: This module examines three inter-related issues in order to assess the impact of fascism in Britain between the wars. Making full use of one of the best archives for this purpose in the country held here in the Special Collection of the University Library, first we examine the political organization, the ideas and the culture of 'native' British fascism from its inception in 1923 to the Second World War. Second, we move on to explore active and ideological resistance to British fascist and racist organisations by a loose coalition of Communists, Socialists, Liberals and even Conservatives, as well as the resistance mounted by those religious and ethnic groups most affected by fascist racial provocation and violence. Third, we will consider how contemporary interpretations of fascism, and formal and more informal relations with the European dictatorships, contributed to the National Government's policy of appeasement on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to the greater definition of what was quintessentially 'British' about Britain's war aims with the outbreak of World War Two. We will approach these topics by analysing primary source material, including political pamphlets and propaganda, newspapers, public records, memoirs, oral testimonies, visual material, film and recordings, and novels.

Restrictions on availability: Students must have taken 40 credits from HST202 - HST2999

Teaching Methods: Seminars, Tutorials, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam, Project/ portfolio

Information on the department responsible for this unit (History):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

URLs used in these pages are subject to year-on-year change. For this reason we recommend that you do not bookmark these pages or set them as favourites.

Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK