Renmore History Society

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Forthcoming Talks

The Great Famine in Ireland
In terms of deaths per head of population there has never been a famine in all of recorded history as destructive as the Great Famine in Ireland. That this famine occurred at a time when Britain was enjoying unparalleled economic strength and wealth still shocks us today. This talk will explain the causes and progress of the famine, its economic and social effects, and try to explain the reasons for the inadequacy of the response. It will also look at how we represent and respond to famine today, and ask if in 200 years time our response will be seen as equally inadequate.

Mutual development from Napoleon to World War One

All infantry tactics essentially consists of maneuvering so as bring greater firepower to bear on the enemy then he on you. The tactics adopted at any given historical point are based primarily on the capabilities and limitations of the main infantry weapons of the day. However, when this is not the case, disaster ensues. This talk considers the growing gap that began to emerge between tactics, and what weapons were capable of, a gap that was left unaddressed and which led directly to the senseless slaughter of the Great War.

The Franco-Prussian War

The War that made Europe

In many ways Europe’s forgotten war, though one that had profound consequences. It led directly to the creation of the state of Germany, left France marginalized and seething for revenge, and set in train a series of events that culminated in the Great War 40 years later. This talk looks at the political background to the war, focusing in particular at the personality and career of Bismarck. It then considers the progress and aftermath of the war, and poses in passing the question; what if the new German state had listened to Bismarck, would the Great War have happened?

Hitler’s Rise to Power

Hitler’s rise from a down and out on the streets of Vienna to absolute ruler of Germany is one that everyone knows of, but few actually know about. How was it possible? How could a sophisticated, cosmopolitan country like Germany allow itself to come under the rule of such a man? This is not as simple a process as often assumed, but one that contains lessons for us all. ‘Never again’ was the universal vow after 1945, but if we don’t understand how it happened the first time, how can we prevent it a second?

HItler's rise to power

Professor Fransjohan Pretorius.
Thurs 06th Oct 2011

Fransjohan Pretorius is professor of history at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He is regarded as one of the leading experts on the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. He is the author of six books and editor and co-editor of two others on the subject. Both his Master’s dissertation and doctoral thesis have been published in Afrikaans as well as in English.

The professor is on a speaking tour of Ireland, and has very kindly agreed to deliver a lecture to our society. His talk looks at the foreign volunteers who fought with the Boers against the British, where volunteers from Ireland played a major role.