Front matter and Introduction - Sydney Studies in Society and Culture, Volume 5 (1989)


  • S.N. Mukherjee
  • J.O. Ward


The Sydney Association for Studies in Society and Culture was lucky to have Christopher Hill, one of its Honorary Advisers, to address the Association's Annual General Meeting in March 1987. Hill's topic was, "The Place of the Seventeenth-Cenrury Revolution in English History". He ended his talk with the following provocative remarks, "so my argument (for you to think about and no doubt disagree with), is that England was the country of the first political revolution; this led to England becoming the country of the first induslrial revolution, and this in turn led to her becoming the first world empire. The processes are, I think, indissolubly connected". There was, of course, much discussion: some disagreed very strongly with the 'Hill Thesis' and the talk got us all thinking about the nature of the debate on revolutions among historians. In October 1987 the Association decided to hold a workshop on this subject We had, at this workshop, scholars from all over Australia, representing various disciplines, Anthropology, History, Politics, Economics, English, French Studies, Asian Studies, Linguistics and Philosophy. The theme of the workshop was "Revolution as History" -a study of the interaction between Historians and Revolutions", how the idea of the revolution developed through ages, how historians deal with revolutions and why debates on revolutions generate such heaL The workshop was not particularly interested in the causes or effects of revolutions. We had however, many conlributions from Asia, some of which could not, unfonunately, be presented in this book.