Revolutions

Revolutions

From the expeditions of Captain Cook to the famous battles of the Napoleonic Wars, enjoy our large range of documentaries, interviews with historians such as David Olusoga and podcasts on this fascinating period in history. The period between the 18th and mid-19th Century saw a complete transformation of Western Culture. The Age of Revolution saw long-established monarchies, religious institutions, social systems and hierarchies challenged from below and a philosophical search for human improvement. Ideas of equality, liberty and religious tolerance traversed Europe, creating social upheaval, revolution and change. It was also a period of intense domestic and global conflict. Born out of increased globalisation was a brutal, transatlantic slave trade and the rise of imperialism.

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Revolutions
  • 1833: The Year Britain Abolished Slavery

    1 season

    On 28 August 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act was given royal assent in Britain. This legislation terminated an institution that, for generations, had been the source of an incredibly lucrative trade and commerce.

    It was not only planters who benefitted from the significant West Indian branch of ...

  • Saint Helena

    They needed a prison for the most dangerous man in the World. Napoleon had seized supreme power in France. He’d marched his armies from Portugal to Moscow. But now he was a prisoner. His captors needed a prison from which escape was unthinkable. Their answer lay in the South Atlantic. A scrap of ...

  • Life and Death in Nelson's Navy

    200 years ago, Britain's Royal Navy was the most technologically advanced and supremely efficient force in the history of naval warfare.

    But what was it like to live and work on board these ships? What did the men eat? How did the ships sail? What were the weapons they used?

    In this documentar...

  • Powerhouse: Industrial Revolution in the North

    1 season

  • Stourhead: The Grand Tour

    Kicking off our new series, Great British Houses, we join Alice Loxton and Dan Snow on a journey through one of the gems of the National Trust’s collection, the magnificent Stourhead.

    In this documentary, Alice and Dan set off on a whirlwind tour of the social and cultural movements which influe...

  • Waterloo Uncovered: The Bones of the Battlefield

    A major breaking story on History Hit.

    Incredibly rare bones of men and horses have been discovered in July 2022 at the Waterloo Battlefield - and History Hit has been there to record the excavations as they unfold.

    The veterans support charity 'Waterloo Uncovered' returned to the Waterloo bat...

  • Ottoman Empire with Kate Fleet

    The region stretching from eastern Europe and sweeping right across into Arabia and the north coast of Africa, was home to one of the most extraordinary empires in history: the Ottoman Empire. Along its routes flowed ideas, goods, disease and death. In existence for 600 years, it also saw the swe...

  • The Battle for North America

    On 13 September 1759, on the Plains of Abraham near the city of Quebec, an outnumbered British army fought a battle that would change the history of the world: the Battle of Quebec. For the past three years, Britain and France were locked in a bitter struggle for dominance in the Seven Years War:...

  • Total Victory: The Battle of Trafalgar

    Victory was total. An enemy fleet obliterated. The course of a great war determined. A hero struck down and a legend born. In October 1805 the British Royal Navy defeated the combined battle fleets of the French and Spanish empires 20 miles northwest of a promontory of rock and sand in southern S...

  • Edinburgh New Town: From Squalor to Splendour

    Alice Loxton uncovers the thrilling transformation of Edinburgh, a city which was once the most overcrowded, dangerous and pungent cities in the whole of Europe, where tottering medieval tenement blocks were surrounded by a bubbling cesspit of raw sewage. With the city bursting at its seams - and...

  • The Military Maps of George III

    Though perhaps better-remembered today for his late-reign madness and the slight issue of losing the Thirteen Colonies, King George III was also one of the world's greatest collectors of military maps. Preserved in excellent condition within Windsor Castle, these highly-detailed maps cover a rang...

  • Parliament's Greatest Speeches

    The Palace of Westminster is one of the world's most famous buildings: 'the mother of parliaments'. Since the days of Simon de Montfort parliaments having been meeting at this location in the heart of London. Though plagued by controversy and destruction over its long history the site's significa...

  • Lucy Worsley on The Death of Jane Austen

    Famous the world over for her wit, social observation and insight into the lives of early 19th century women, Jane Austen remains one of the Britain’s most respected and beloved novelists. She famously lived a ‘life without incident’, but in fact new research reveals a passionate woman who fought...

  • Austerlitz: Napoleon's Greatest Victory

    The night was freezing cold. The hard ground shrouded in mist. By dawn the soldiers were on the move. It was 2 December 1805 and just outside what is now Brno, 3 mighty armies were about to fight one of the greatest battles in history. By the time the sun set, the French Emperor Napoleon Bonapart...

  • Rise Of Napoleon

    He was the man who would define the start of the 19th century. He has more documented victories than any other battlefield commanders in history. From a relatively humble background, he rose to become master of Europe. This is the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Featuring historians Dr Michael Rowe, ...

  • Drake's Island: Plymouth's Island Fortress

    For generations, Drake's Island, situated just outside of Plymouth harbour, had been owned by the Ministry of Defence. Recently, however, this island bastion has gone into private ownership. In this documentary Bob King, the gatekeeper of Drake's Island, gives Dan an exclusive tour of this extrem...

  • Sir Joseph Banks: Pioneer of British Botany

    ‘Dictator of British Botany’. ‘Autocrat of the Philosophers’. Sir Joseph Banks has been called many things over the past few centuries. A towering figure in the development of British botany and British natural history during the 18th century, he voyaged across the World with famous navigators su...

  • Inside Blenheim Palace

    One of the grandest private houses in the world, the site of Blenheim Palace has been host to the murder of a royal mistress, the downfall of a quarrelling Duchess and the birth of Sir Winston Churchill. Dan Snow takes a tour of one of Britain's most famous attractions.

  • The Mystery of the Headless Man

    This story has everything: war, politics, betrayal, scandal, murder and at its heart a cracking forensic science mystery. This is the story of Simon Fraser, the 11th Lord Lovat of the Highland, also known as the Fox. In the late 1660s, Simon Fraser was born in a house on the banks of a burn in th...

  • Mutiny on the Bounty: To the Ends of the Earth and Back

    In early 1789, Captain Bligh in the South Pacific suffered a mutiny among his crew on HMS Bounty. Put to sea with a small group of loyal sailors in one of the ship's boats, what followed was one of the epic stories of maritime history. For more than 40 days, Bligh and his men sailed across open P...

  • An Indigenous History of Australia

    To date, there are over 500 different aboriginal 'nations' in Australia, all with distinctive cultures, beliefs, languages and unique histories. Since the arrival of Captain James Cook and the subsequent colonisation of the continent, many of these indigenous populations were, and continue to be ...

  • Captain Cook's Endeavour

    Captain James Cook is one of the greatest maritime navigators in history. Born in 1728 to a Scottish father and English mother, Cook grew up in Yorkshire and soon developed a great fascination with the sea and exploration. In 1746 Cook joined the merchant shipping industry when he moved to the ne...

  • Waterloo: Napoleon's Final Battle

    In Spring of 1815 the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte, one of history's most accomplished generals, escaped his jailers and returned to Paris in what is known as the 'Hundred Days'. After receiving the news, the powers of Europe formed the Seventh Coalition to remove Napoleon from the French throne and...

  • Inside Windsor Castle: The State Rooms

    Windsor Castle has a legendary connection to the British monarchy: the longest-serving royal palace in the whole of Europe. Ever since the days of William the Conqueror, the Castle has dominated this strategic point on the banks of the Thames, overlooking west London. Over the next 1,000 years ki...