Why did the British labour movement come to advocate state insurance at the turn of the 20th century? Maya Adereth examines transformations in worker benefit schemes through the lens of Friendly Societies.
Risk and Uncertainty
What is the difference between poverty and scarcity? Julia McClure explores how different communities and societies mitigated the risks of resource scarcity before capitalism created poverty.
How did enslaved women calculate risks when petitioning for their freedom in colonial Mexico? Amos Megged explores the complex life story of María de la Candelaria, arguing that enslaved women sought restitution of their rights, and petitioned for the status of their children to be similarly recognised.
What did seventeenth century communities do when one of their number reported experiencing suicidal thoughts? Imogen Knox discusses the ways in which early modern people sought to help and care for their family members and neighbours in times of uncertainty and crisis.
How did women escape domestic abuse in late medieval London? Charlotte Berry explores how women navigated the social and economic barriers to leaving a violent marriage to find a safe place to live in a medieval city.
How did young couples negotiate sexual activity and its reproductive consequences in Old Regime France? Julie Hardwick discusses the real and perceived risks and uncertainties of courtship, arguing that communities ultimately sought to protect and safeguard young women’s wellbeing and futures.
Newspaper advertisements for enslaved boys who escaped into early modern London reveal very little about the freedom seekers, and rather more about those who enslaved them. But what can we learn of Cuffee, who risked everything to escape in 1701?