Populo - Volume 1, Issue 2

Volume 1, Issue 2

Summer 2023

This journal is published by students and staff from the Department of Politics, Philosophy and International Relations at Swansea University.

Please visit our website where you can find an online version of all Populo editions: https://myuni.swansea.ac.uk/faculties/fhss/socsci/populo/

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form or binging or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on subsequent publisher.

© Swansea University


Chief Editor

Megan Salter Politics and International Relations


Caitlin Brookes Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Isabella Cave Politics and International Relations

Cai Ellerton Politics and International Relations

Sophia Thomas Media and Communications


Volume 1, Issue 2

Table of Contents

Chief Editor’s Introduction ................................................................................................. 5

Analyse the Reasons why the Policies of Lyndon B. Johnson Created such Division within America during the Era from 1963-1968. - AM-251 – Anna Kuhlinger ............................................................................................... 6

Has the UN been a Successful International Organization after the end of the Cold War? - PO-118 – Matthew Stevens ........................................................................................... 16

Swansea and the Slave Trade: A Deep and Complex Relationship. - HI-M62 – Cally Barlow…………………………………………………………………… .............................. 24

How do Differing Levels of Trust in Political Institutions Affect the Nature of Political Participation? - PO-3320 – Group Report - Alfie Gatenby, Anastasia Hagerty, Ben Hitchings, Isaac Taylor, Joe Gape, Kevin Anyaka, Tara Gardener, Zuzanna Miernik…………………………………………….. 42

A Critical Review of Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism’ and Amitav Acharya’s ‘Race and Racism in the Founding of the Modern World Order’. - PO-253 – Lucy Lewis ...................................................................................................... 86

“This being premised to find wherein personal Identity consists, we must consider what Person stands for…which I think, is a thinking intelligent Being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider it self as itself, the same thinking thing in different times and places…” – Locke, 2000, p268. - HUP-243 – Imogen Williams………………………………………………………………………………………… 94

Was there more continuity than change in the Anglo-Norman world between c. 1066 and c. 1225? - HIH-287 – Abigail Miller .............................................................................................. 102

End Note ...................................................................................................................... 111


Chief Editor’s Introduction

Dear readers,

Welcome to the Summer Issue of Populo! After the success of our Spring Issue, we are pleased to showcase even more excellent work produced by Swansea University students within this issue. After expanding the journal’s reach to now also include American Studies and History, alongside Politics, Philosophy and International Relations as standard, we have been able to further disseminate diverse and high-quality pieces from across a variety of different modules. Dissimilarly to the previous issue, this time we have decided to include a featured piece . This was an element of previous Populo editions and we felt it would be great to reignite the tradition. Our featured piece within this issue is a final year group report centred around how differing levels of trust in political institutions affects the nature of political participation. The current editorial team, who worked alongside myself, consists of four committed students: Caitlin Brookes, Isabella Cave, Cai Ellerton and Sophia Thomas. We had wonderful support from Dr Zeynep Kilicoglu Kirca. On behalf of all the editors, I would like to thank and congratulate the students whose work is featured within this issue. As this is the final issue of the journal for the 2022-23 academic year, we would also like to thank those who have supported the journal in its return.

We are incredibly proud of what the journal has managed to achieve this year and hope that all of our readers have enjoyed what we have produced.

Megan Salter, Chief Editor.


Analyse the Reasons why the Policies of Lyndon B. Johnson Created such Division within America during the Era from 1963-1968.

- AM-251 – Anna Kuhlinger

The 1960s were an era of enormous change: From the civil rights

movement, personified by Martin Luther King, to the growing prosperity as a

result of economic legislation, and America’s increased involvement in the civil

war in Vietnam, many central aspects of American life would change. These

changes affected different members of American society in various ways over

the following years, leading to undeniable divisions in the long term. The

question remains, however, whether these divisions are to be attributed to

Lyndon B. Johnson since he politically shaped most of the 60s via his presidency

from 1963-68. This essay will therefore focus on the extent of the impact that

President Lyndon B. Johnson’s policies had on the divisions in American society.

For the analysis, the three areas of interest are his civil rights legislation and the

effect it had on racial tensions in the 1960s, the impact of the various bills that

made up what Johnson termed the ‘Great Society’, and his decision to fully

escalate the American involvement in the Vietnam War. For each of the three

elements, the repercussions of his policies and their impact on American society

will be analysed, coming to the conclusion that the controversies of his

presidency served as foreshadowing of the contentions later to come, namely

the fear of big government, the ongoing racial struggles, and the pervasive

criticism of militaristic American foreign policy.

Although the civil rights movement had been there long before, many of

its desired goals were seemingly reached during Johnson’s presidency, for

example the passing of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act


(1965). Still, this progress towards the equality of all citizens did not manage to

unite American society and rather led to further ruptures. But what exactly

caused these divides? Mark Lytle takes the position that it was Johnson himself

who further expedited the growing divides in America through his maintained

efforts to find a compromise, even in areas where there was no perceptible

middle ground (Lytle, 2006, p. 149). Civil rights are in their essence either-or

decisions since the two opposing sides were either profoundly for or against a

reform, so that a compromise would only serve to anger both of them (Lytle,

2006, p. 149). Because it was impossible to please both the people wishing for a

radical reform and the ones wanting to retain the status quo, societal divisions

over any decision were inevitable. Johnson’s will to compromise and to please

everyone proved disadvantageous after the Civil Rights Act had passed: civil right

activists criticised missing provisions on voting rights (Lytle, 2006, p. 152) and

shortly after the signing of the bill, riots and demonstrations arose across

America (Woods, 2007, p. 12). This, in turn, further divided the civil rights

organisations on the question whether the peaceful route was effective enough

and the whole country on the question if the protests were justified (Lytle, 2006,

p. 152).

The Los Angeles Watts riots with its violent outbursts “showed millions of

white viewers a different image of black people” and pushed white activists out

of the movement, as well as irreparably damaging the public perception of the

movement (Waldman, 2008, p. 39). Even though Johnson later addressed their

concerns over suffrage by introducing the 1965 Voting Rights Act (Courtwright,

2010, p. 58), the damage had already been done. The subject became more

divisive, which made finding a societal consensus exceedingly difficult. The

division seemed to lie among racial lines, with POC activists becoming more and

more radical, leading to a decline in support by a majority of the white


population. It also divided the multi-ethnic American population on a broader

level. Joseph Califano, a political advisor to the president, recalled in his memoir

how “Johnson’s efforts on behalf of blacks drew complaints from Mexican-

Americans that the administration was neglecting their needs” (Califano, 1991,

p. 135). The legislation mainly aimed at improving the situation of African

Americans failed to recognise the needs of other groups, making the policies

even more controversial.

The civil rights legislation thus divided American society in a number of

ways. Firstly, Johnson’s desire to compromise led to problems by dividing the

public into people who thought it went too far and those who perceived it as not

going far enough. Secondly, the following riots led to a decrease in support for

his policies and of the democratic voter base. Finally, it divided the civil rights

movement itself on the question of its future direction. Essentially, the American

public was not ready for the radical reform Johnson wanted to enact.

These civil rights policies were one part of the greater legislative complex

that President Johnson termed the ‘Great Society’. In his words, a great society

is one that “rests on abundance and liberty for all” and which “demands an end

to poverty and racial injustice” (qtd. in Levy, 1998, p. 106). And he did indeed try

to turn this vision into reality by providing opportunities to previously

disadvantaged people, like the elderly, people of colour, and the poor (Mileur,

2005, p. 436). It encompassed Medicare, “educational assistance”, a “higher

minimum wage”, “housing”, “poverty grants”, “legal protection for the blacks”

and many more – essentially something for everyone (Kearns, 1976, p. 216). His

‘Great Society’ therefore had the potential to unite by closing the gaps between

different groups along the lines of wealth and race, but it did not achieve what

it set out for. In this way, it resembles his civil rights legislation, which only

managed to unite in the beginning, but divided the country further in the


following years. The same should remain true for his plans of societal progress

through governmental support.

The reforms included in the ‘Great Society’ had the same problems as his

civil rights legislation – for the one side, it was too much, and for the other it was

not nearly enough. For the Republicans and America’s right-wing politicians in

general, these extensive programs represented their arch nemesis, big

government. They used this concept to play with people’s fears about the

government controlling too many aspects of their lives in order to gain votes in

the upcoming election. George Wallace, for example, blamed people’s

discontent on Johnson’s legislation: “There’s a backlash against big government

in this country” (qtd. in Nelson, 2014, p. 134). The New Left criticised it because

for them, the Vietnam War and America’s racist system were intertwined (Grace,

2016, p. 80), making it impossible to commend Johnson’s civil rights legislation

while the war in Vietnam continued. Leaders of the civil rights movement

critiqued America’s involvement as well, including Martin Luther King, who

positioned himself as dissenter, citing the “very obvious and almost facile

connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have

been waging in America” (qtd. in Bloom & Breines, 2011, p. 206).

The great financial burden of the Vietnam War also played a role in the

inadequate performance of the new progressive legislation because it left the

new programmes underfunded (Brown-Collier, 1998, p. 265). And even the

economic improvements could not gloss over the civil unrest of the times and

the discontent with the reforms. A contemporary study on the economic impact

by Kermit Gordon drew the conclusion that “we are a nation which sees itself as

wracked and divided” (qtd. in Brown-Collier, 1998, p. 264). Even though the

study finds successes in many of the policies when measured in unemployment

numbers or the general growth of the economy, it still acknowledges the


divisions that came out of it (Brown-Collier, 1998, p. 264). For example, many

predominantly white, middle-class Americans “resented programs aimed to

benefit the poor in general and nonwhites in particular” (Miller, 1999, p. 133).

Even though American society saw drastic economic improvements during

Johnson’s presidency, the prevailing gaps never quite closed. Additionally, new

divides between the people who supported and rejected his legislation arose.

While right-wing politicians used the fear of big government to gain new voters,

civil rights activists felt it to be impossible to commend Johnson for the progress

he made. His Vietnam policies and the underwhelming performance of the new

programs made it difficult to create a great, united society, when large parts of

it were still suffering from poverty or discrimination. It did not give Americans

confidence in their president, instead dividing them on the question of who

should try to fix their problems.

One of Johnson’s most controversial policies, though, was the expansion

of the involvement in the Vietnam War, a conflict which was passed down to him

by his predecessor John F. Kennedy (Logevall, 2004, p. 102). Mark Lytle has even

gone so far as to call Vietnam “truly Lyndon Johnson’s war” (Lytle, 2006, p. 176).

Several other presidents had already expanded the commitment to South

Vietnam, but it was Johnson who ‘Americanised’ the war by sending in ground

troops (Logevall, 2004, pp. 100–101). He himself saw this as his duty: “Since

1945 every American President has offered support to the people of South Viet-

Nam. […] And I intend to keep that promise” (qtd. in Bloom & Breines, 2011,

p. 177). He framed it as not a decision he made, but one that he was compelled

to make because of America’s prior commitment to South Vietnam. Therefore,

he perceived the responsibility for it to be lying squarely with the presidents who

made these promises.


After America’s full involvement in what was formerly Vietnam’s civil war,

American society showed early signs of a division along generational lines. The

dissent with Johnson’s policies first manifested in the younger generation, which

slowly turned political as the war started to affect them personally, while,

according to Lytle, the greater number of people in America in the 1960s

retained an unquestioning patriotism (Lytle, 2006, p. 174). For example, college

students that had before been exempt from the draft for the time of their studies

could be drafted if their test results and grades were below a certain threshold,

leading to insecurities among the student population (Grace, 2016, p. 77). The

dividing line was therefore more between generations than between political

parties – the main opposition came from younger people.

It is always difficult to determine a general attitude in hindsight, which is

why many scholars express different opinions on whether the majority of

Americans supported the war in the beginning. Frederik Logevall, for example,

sees the majority more in the group of people calling for negotiations and who

did not want to escalate the conflict in early 1965 (Logevall, 2004, p. 102).

Randall Woods, conversely, takes the stance that most American people “saw no

moral alternative” to a war “to preserve a non-Communist entity in South

Vietnam” and only objected to “how that war was being conducted” (Woods,

2007, p. 8). The blurred lines between support and criticism of the war and these

different perceptions of where the majority of people stood on this issue makes

it clear how there was no obvious majority on either side – and how divided the

people really were concerning the war. Lytle comments that the inability to come

to a satisfying conclusion for both sides did “much damage to the cold war

consensus” in the long term (Lytle, 2006, p. 178).

This divide would only fully show after 1968 since politicians still perceived

the public support for the war to be rather high. In fact, all presidential


candidates in the 1968 election publicly supported the continuation of the war.

Richard Nixon, for example, advocated “for the use of air and naval power” in

1965 to support South Vietnam; and Hubert Humphrey, the democratic

candidate and Johnson’s vice president, made a U-turn after his initial opposition

to the bombing (Nelson, 2014, p. 49). George Wallace, the independent

candidate, did criticise the big economic burden the war had proven to be for

America, but not the war itself (Bloom & Breines, 2011, p. 315). This shows that

at the time, endorsing the continuation of the war still proved a fruitful strategy

to gain votes.

To measure the extent to which Johnson’s policies aggravated the

divisions regarding the Vietnam War is majorly complicated by several aspects.

The USA had already made prior commitments, which makes the escalation of

the conflict not only his responsibility, but part of a longstanding development

he is not uniquely responsible for. This does not negate the influence his

escalation and Americanisation of the war had on his country’s society. A

generational divide emerged, with students protesting the war while their

parent’s generation was still supportive of it. As time went on, the support for it

declined, especially after the disastrous Tet Offensive (McQuaid, 1989, p. 15).

This would only get more aggravated during Nixon’s time in office.

The American public witnessed a great deal of changes during Johnson’s

presidency, with all of the three issues discussed above contributing to a more

divided society. The extent of these divisions, though, is to be weighted

differently for each aspect. As for the racial tensions, Johnson did what he could

to appease the protesters wishing for a more equal society, while at the same

time trying to not upset more conservative voters. Over the course of this

venture, he learned that appeasement policies rarely go right, with his policies

dividing society among racial lines and additionally dividing the civil rights


movement, which spawned more radical activists following his legislative

attempts at bridging the gaps – further sparking societal divide over the

legitimacy of the protests. The involvement in Vietnam’s civil war again divided

the country among generational lines, with young students leading protests

against the war, and a great number of the general population being supportive

in the beginning. Over the course of the war, this would shift, with more and

more people deeming the war unwinnable – dividing society over the question

of the war’s continuation. While the Great Society might have seemed to have

divisive effects, it was in fact the republican and in general right-wing politicians

like Wallace who used these policies as a scapegoat for problems it was not

responsible for: their campaign against big government is what most divided

people on Johnson’s legislation, not his policies themselves. The president was

therefore not responsible for the latter divides, but some of his policies did have

a negative effect on America’s societal cohesion – with racial conflicts escalating

and an approach to foreign policy that would split America more and more as

the war went on after his presidency was long over.



Bloom, A., & Breines, W. (2011). “Takin’ It to the Streets”: A Sixties Reader (3 rd ed.). Oxford University Press. Brown-Collier, E. K. (1998). Johnson’s Great Society: Its Legacy in the 1990s. Review of Social Economy , 56 (3), 259 – 276. https://doi.org/10.1080/00346769800000027 Califano, J. A. (1991). The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years . Simon & Schuster. Courtwright, D. T. (2010). No Right Turn: Conservative Politics in a Liberal America . Harvard University Press. https://www.degruyter.com/isbn/9780674058446 https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674058446 Grace, T. M. (2016). Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties . Culture, Politics, and the Cold War . University of Massachusetts Press. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=n lebk&db=nlabk&AN=1425193 Kearns, D. (1976). Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1. publ). Deutsch. Levy, P. B. (Ed.). (1998). America in the Sixties - Right, Left, and Center: A Documentary History (1. publ). Praeger. Logevall, F. (2004). Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam. Presidential Studies Quarterly , 34 (1), 100 – 112. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27552566 Lytle, M. H. (2006). America’s Uncivil Wars: The Sixties Era from Elvis to the Fall of Richard Nixon . Oxford University Press. McQuaid, K. (1989). The Anxious Years: America in the Vietnam-Watergate Era . Basic Books. Mileur, J. M. (2005). The Great Society and the Demise of New Deal Liberalism. In J. M. Mileur (Ed.), The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism. University of Massachusetts Press. Miller, D. T. (1999). On Our Own: Americans in the Sixties . Heath. Nelson, M. (2014). Resilient America: Electing Nixon in 1968, Channelling Dissent and Dividing Government . American presidential elections . University Press of Kansas. Waldman, T. (2008). Not Much Left: The Fate of Liberalism in America (1 st ed.). University of California Press.


https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/kxp/detail.action?docID=198256 2 https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520932869 Woods, R. B. (2007). The Politics of Idealism: Lyndon Johnson, Civil Rights, and Vietnam. Diplomatic History , 31 (1), 1 – 18. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7709.2007.00599.x


Has the UN been a Successful International Organization after the end of the Cold War?

- PO-118 – Matthew Stevens

The United Nations was formed in the aftermath of the Second

World War with the explicit intent of preventing another global-scale conflict.

The course of the Cold War saw significant political restraint on the UN’s ability

to fulfil its objectives, as action could only be taken with support from both the

USA and USSR – this was a rare occurrence. The end of the Cold War allowed a resurgence in both the number of UN peacekeeping actions undertaken 1 and levels of support for the UN, 2 and has even been described as a renaissance for the organization. 3 However, debate has surfaced over whether the Un has actually been successful during this period. Peacekeeping missions, human rights enforcement, international cooperation and development 4 – these have

all come under scrutiny. This essay will argue that the UN has experienced mixed

success as an international organization in the post-Cold War world.

One way that the UN experienced mixed success was through many of its

significant peacekeeping operations. The collapse of the USSR in 1991, and its

replacement on the Permanent Security Council by the Russian Federation, led to a significant increase in the number of sanctioned peacekeeping missions. 5

These have been deployed in an array of locations for distinct reasons, and many

have fulfilled their objectives. For example, UN missions have acted as a strong

1 Chris Barrett, Should the UN Security Council Be Reformed? (York: University of York Press, 1996), p. 8 2 Barrett, p. 16 3 Joachim Muller, Reforming the United Nations: The Challenge of Working Together (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2010), p. 8. 4 Carsten Staur and Steven Harris, Shared Responsibility: The United Nations in the Age of Globalization (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2013), p. 137 5 Paul Kennedy, The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations (New York: Random House, 2006), p. 91


catalyst for the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. 6 As expected, this contributed to greater rights and freedoms for the

populations of these states, and, particularly in Eastern Europe, allowed massive

economic recovery which might not have been possible without the

international organizations contributions to ensuring pace and stability.

Peacekeeping missions have also seen some success in ending post-Cold War conflicts, as was the case in Cote d’Ivore and Cambodia. 7 It is important to

acknowledge that Cambodia is not any more democratic or free due to UN

intervention, but peace has been restored in the region and the quality of life has improved significantly as a result of UN action. 8 Thus, it is hard to dispute

that the UN has had some success in the post-Cold War world, primarily through

encouraging peace, stability, and democracy in the wake of the fall of


These successes must be contrasted against some significant failures that

UN peacekeeping missions have experienced. A narrow view was often taken by

the UN that that military peacekeeping forces will solve issues without need for focus on underlying or root causes of conflict or suffering. 9 This is one reason

that the UN failed in Cambodia and Namibia, where stability was restored but

democracy quickly failed and economic recovery was ignored in favour of stable

authoritarianism. Had the UN focused on a wider array of issues rather than only restoring peace, this may have been avoided. 10 The same concepts can be applied to what are often considered the UN’s greatest failures 11 : genocides in

6 Kennedy, p. 93 7 David J. Whittaker, United Nations in Action (London: UCL Press, 1995), p. 215 8 Whittaker, p. 225 9 Phyllis Bennis, Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN (New York: Olive Branch Press, 2000), p. 83 10 Kennedy, p. 94; Bennis, p. 119 11 Efram R. Isely, United Nations Peacekeeping in the 21st Century (New York: Nova Science, 2010), p. 6


Rwanda and Bosnia & Herzegovina. 12 The United Nations had been aware of

human rights violations in Bosnia, such as the massacres which occurred in

Srebrenica, but did not act. As a result, widespread human rights violations and

murders occurred without UN action, and those within the organization who

consciously prevented UN involvement received promotion rather than punishment. 13 A comparable situation occurred in Rwanda, where over eight

hundred thousand individuals were murdered before humanitarian intervention

stopped it. It is said that in this situation the UN was overly cautious and too restricted by member states to intervene, 14 and as a result genocide was allowed

to be perpetuated without international action. It is of course impossible to say

whether action would have prevented or reduced the conflicts damage, but inaction guaranteed that it could occur, 15 and for that the UN cannot be seen as enormously successful. Even the Gulf War, often considered one of the UNs greatest successes in the post-Cold War era, 16 cannot be seen as an absolute

success for the organization, as the UN Charter offered an array of opportunities

to prevent conflict. These were not taken - military action was almost immediate,

which has caused massive long-term negative impacts on the region’s economy

and human rights record. Its domination by the US military also ensured they

could take much of the praise for its successes, while allowing the UN to take criticism on a collective level. 17 It is hard to deny that the UN’s failures and

criticisms regarding military and humanitarian intervention overshadow its

numerous successes in scope.

12 Kennedy, p. 95 13 Adam LeBor, “Complicity with Evil,” The United Nations in the Age of Modern Genocide (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), p. 124; LeBor, p. 255 14 Michael N. Barnett, Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002), p. 155; Barnett, p. 167 15 Barnett, p. 168 16 Barnett, p. 9 17 Whittaker, p. 99


Another area of mixed success that the UN has experienced since the end

of the Cold War is the pioneering of human rights. The significant increase in

membership since 1990 has led to a proportionate increase in Non-Aligned

states who could collectively exert more control within the UN General Assembly. 18 One way this has proven its value is in the push from non-aligned

states to expanded and enforce human rights globally. One example of this push

is the formation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in

1993, an office which allows the UN to have greater control how it can fund fights

against slavery, poverty, persecution, racism, and numerous other breaches of

human rights which have grown in prominence since the end of the Cold War.

While this has not resulted in complete success in guaranteeing human rights to all, it can still be viewed as a positive step and a partial success. 19 LGBTQ+ rights

have also been championed with some success by the UN since the end of the

Cold War. Despite numerous UN member states opposing greater rights for LGBTQ+ peoples, often due to claimed religious or conservative social views, 20 the organization has successfully passed resolutions which have contributed to improved rights for LGBTQ+ individuals across the world. 21 Again, while success

in this area has not been absolute, it has demonstrated that the UN does have

some power over its member states and has had success in improving rights for

individuals in multiple ways. Finally, the improvement of rights has been seen

through the UN’s specialised agencies. The World Health Organization has

significantly increased its fight against the spread of disease in the previous thirty years, notably achieving a fifty percent decrease in AID-related deaths 22 , as well

18 Kennedy, p. 192 19 Kennedy, p. 204

20 Staur and Harris, p. 141 21 Staur and Harris, p. 143 22 Population Council, ‘ A United Nations Update on the Global AIDS Epidemic ,’ Population and Development Review , 44.1 (2018), 189-191 (p. 189)


as decrease in transmission of diseases such as Malaria and Tuberculosis, and

successful tackling of post-Cold War epidemics such as the Ebola and Zika crises.

Organizations such as UNICEF have successfully provided greater levels of global

education, especially for women, and UNESCO have helped preserve and

promote cultures of minority groups. It is clear that these agencies have

contributed significantly to the improvement of the rights and liberties of the

global community, although again it must be stressed that goals have not always

been reached and the promotion of human rights can only be seen as a mixed

success rather than a total success.

Even here, incomplete successes are overshadowed by significant failures.

The significant increase in member states which helped push some human rights

actually hindered others. A substantial number of UN member states who have

joined since the end of the cold war continue to have poor human rights records,

often lacking free and fair elections or equality on the basis of race, religion,

gender, or political views. Opposition to some Human Rights ideals such as freedom from torture and false imprisonment, 23 opposition to attempted rights such as a Right to food and water, and opposition to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty 24 have all come from these states, acting as a barrier for greater support for human rights globally. 25 This means that, despite the

successes previously discussed, the UN has been significantly hindered in its

efforts to promote human rights and equality on the global stage, and so cannot

be considered truly successful.

It is important to consider why such a broad range of failures and

successes were possible. Two key issues present themselves – the structure of

the permanent security council and the rise in globalisation. As was previously

23 Staur and Harris, p. 148 24 Whittaker, p. 113 25 LeBor, p. 25


mentioned, the end of the Cold War led to the replacement of the USSR with the

Russian Federation on the UN Permanent Security Council. While the Russian

Federation has been more agreeable than its predecessor, allowing for more

action to be taken, it has also caused an increase in informality among Security

Council members which reduces the deliberative nature of the UN, cutting out

large numbers of states in global decision-making and allowing potentially misguided actions to be taken. 26 Given that Russia is significantly smaller

regarding landmass, population, and economy when compared to its

predecessor, it has also contributed to a power imbalance which favours the

West in global decision-making. The US and its allies have much more power

over the UN since the end of the Cold War, allowing it to sometimes be used as

a tool of US foreign policy which has led to catastrophic actions being taken – the global community has suffered, but the US has benefitted. 27 The second

factor, globalisation, has reduced the power of the state and encouraged fear of

losing sovereignty. Conservative governments in the west, bolstered by what

they considered a victory in the ideological battle against communism, have

fought to retain their sovereignty and power on the global stage. They have

viewed the UN and other supranational organizations with suspicion, which has

contributed to a reduction in their contributions to the UN – both economically and militarily. 28 Subsequently, these states have used aid and troop contributions

as a tool to control the UN, hindering its ability to act in the name of common

good. Thus, the actions taken by its member states, and particularly its most

powerful members who hold veto power on the Security Council, have

significantly hindered the UN’s ability to act in some situations and has

contributed to its failures. While this cannot be considered a factor in all failures

26 Barrett, p. 9 27 Barrett, p. 11 28 Kennedy, p. 131


– the Rwandan Genocide has been attributed to failure within the Secretariat as well as the Security Council 29 – it certainly acts as evidence that the UN as an

organization cannot be solely blamed for many of its failures.

The United Nations has witnessed a period of mixed success since the end

of the cold war. The collapse of the USSR allowed an increased level of action

from the organization, although this has allowed a greater number of both

successes and failures. Recent approaches to judging the UN have centred on its success in peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention. 30 This is a fair

assessment, as its actions have encouraged democracy and peace worldwide.

However, its overwhelming failures in the face of genocide and war have to be

considered. The work of the UN and its specialised agencies to promote human

rights and global equality have also turned up a range of successes, but there

remains much work to be done, and many member states still have abysmal

human rights records. This controversial record can easily be attributed to the

structure of the UN which persisted even after the fall of communism –

conservative western states have a disproportionate level of power in the

organization, allowing greater action to be taken but often only when it benefits

those states. It would be unfair to call the UN a failure in the post-Cold War

world. However, it would be inappropriate to call it a successful organization,

with its mixed record on human rights and peacekeeping. It seems clear then

that the UN can be called a partially successful organization after the end of the

Cold War.

29 LeBor, pp. 172-173 30 Bennis, p. 76



Barnett, Michael N., Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002). Barrett, Chris, Should the UN Security Council Be Reformed? (York: University of York Press, 1996). Bennis, Phyllis, Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN (New York: Olive Branch Press, 2000). Bourantonis, Dimitris, The History and Politics of UN Security Council Reform (London: Routledge, 2005). Diehl, Paul F., Peace Operation Success: A Comparative Analysis (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2013). Doyle, Michael W., Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011). Isely, Efram R., United Nations Peacekeeping in the 21 st Century (New York: Nova Science, 2010). Kennedy, Paul, The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations (New York: Random House, 2006). LeBor, Adam, “Complicity with Evil,” The United Nations in the Age of Modern Genocide (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006). Mingst, Karen A., The United Nations in the Post-Cold War Era , 2 nd edn (Boulder: Westview Press, 2000). Muller, Joachim, Reforming the United Nations: The Challenge of Working Together (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2010). Office of Public Information, The Blue Helmets: A Review of United Nations Peacekeeping , 3 rd en (New York: United Nations, 1996). Population Council, ‘A United Nations Update on the Global AIDS Epidemic,’ Population and Development Review , 44.1 (2018), 189-191. Staur, Carsten and Steven Harris, Shared Responsibility: The United Nations in the Age of Globalization (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2013). Whittaker, David J., United Nations in Action (London: UCL Press, 1995).


Swansea and the Slave Trade: A Deep and Complex Relationship.

- HI-M62 – Cally Barlow

In the first half of the eighteenth century, Swansea District established

itself as a significant European smelting centre, which later transcended to international importance after 1750. 31 Between the 1770s and 1840s, Swansea’s industrial centre continually manufactured approximately one-third of the world’s smelted copper. 32 The discovery of copper ore reserves in Cornwall in the

1680s and the development of a new smelting method that was reliant on coal

meant that substantial volumes of copper could be produced domestically, thus

enabling Swansea’s smelters to compete with the smelting centres of central Europe and Scandinavia that utilised wood and charcoal. 33 The decline in Cornish

supplies and the alteration of tariff restrictions in the 1820s broadened the

export market beyond the Bristol Channel and the Irish Sea and enabled foreign ores to be imported from countries such as Cuba, Chile, and Spain. 34 With these

developments, Swansea became “Copperopolis,” the centre of a global mining

and processing network that mobilised labour, technology, and capital across

31 Louise Miskell and Chris Evans, Swansea Copper: A Global History (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2020), p. 1; Stephen Hughes, Copperopolis: Landscapes of the Early Industrial Period in Swansea (London: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales, 2000), p. vii. 32 Christopher J. Schmitz, World Non-ferrous Metal Production and Prices, 1700-1976 (London: Frank Cass, 1979) cited in Miskell and Evans, p. 1. 33 Roger Burt, ‘The Transformation of the Non -Ferrous Metal Industries in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, The Economic History Review, 48.1 (1995), 23- 45 (p. 24) cited in Ceri Straw, ‘Swansea Copper and the Atlantic Slave Trade: A Bigger Picture?’ (unpublished MA thesis, Swansea University, 2009), p. 55; John Morton, ‘The Rise of the Modern Copper and Brass Industry in Britain, 1690 - 1750’ (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Birmingham, 1985), p. 148. 34 Chris Evans and Olivia Saunders, ‘A World of Copper: Globalizing the Industrial Revolution, 1830-70’, Journal of Global History, 10 (2015), 3-26 (pp. 3-4); Edmund Newell, ‘“Copperopolis”: The Rise and Fall of the Copper Industry in the Swansea District, 1826-1921’, Business History, 32.3 (1990), 75-97 (pp. 78-80) cited in Evans and Saunders, p. 9; Joanna Greenlaw, The Swansea Copper Barques and Cape Horners (Swansea: Joanna Greenlaw, 1999), p. 23.


multiple continents. 35 It is no coincidence, however, that the British slave trade and Swansea’s emergence as a prominent centre of copper smelting rose in tandem. 36 In fact, as this essay will posit, Swansea was intricately linked; Bristol

merchants involved in the slave trade established and invested in many Swansea

copperworks, which subsequently produced copper rods and manillas used to purchase slaves. 37 Other goods such as pans and stills were exported to plantations in the West Indies for sugar and rum production. 38 Swansea copper also indirectly facilitated the slave trade through contractual agreements with the East India Company and the Royal Navy. 39 Despite the abolition movement

rising in prominence and the numerous Acts introduced to abolish slavery, the

Cobre Company and the Royal Santiago Mining Company continued slaving

practices until the industry declined in the late nineteenth century, which was when Swansea’s involvement in the slave trade ultimately ended. 40 As this essay

will argue, these links suggest that Swansea’s relationship with the slave trade

was complex and contradicting.

Following the Restoration in the seventeenth century, the demand for

copper increased at an exponential rate due to the expansion of colonial

markets. As Nuala Zahedieh emphasised, Britain’s commodity trade increased by

approximately 90 per cent while the colonial sector grew by 360 per cent

35 Frédéric Le Play, Description des procédés métallurgiques employés dans le Pays de Galles pour la fabrication du cuivre (Paris: Carilian-Goeury et Von Dalmont, 1848), pp. 6-7 cited in Evans and Saunders, p. 4. 36 Chris Evans, Slave Wales: The Welsh and Atlantic Slavery, 1660-1850 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2010), p. 27. ProQuest Ebook Central; and Straw, pp. 8-14. 37 Chris Evans, ‘Was Wales opposed to the slave trade?’, The Western Mail, 4 October 2010. NexisUk <http://www.nexis.com> (p. 15). 38 Chris Evans, ‘El Cobre: Cuban Ore and the Globalization of Swansea Cop per, 1830- 70’, Welsh History Review, 27.1 (2014), 112-131 (p. 123); Evans and Saunders, p. 22; and Evans, Slave Wales, p. 31. 39 J. R. Harris, ‘Copper and Shipping in the Eighteenth Century’, Economic History Review, 19.3 (1966), 550-568; and Peter M. Solar and Klas Rönnbä ck, ‘Copper Sheathing and the British Slave Trade’, Economic History Review, 68.3 (2015), 806-829 cited in Miskell and Evans, p. 10; Gerald Gabb, The Rise and Fall of the Copper Industry (Swansea: West Glamorgan County Council Museum Education, 1987), p. 21; Straw, p. 45; Evans, Slave Wales, p. 31. 40 David Williamson, ‘How slavery made Wales’ industrialists wealthy at a time when the trade was officially abolished’, The Western Mail, 18 August 2010. NexisUk <http://www.nexis.com> (p. 18).


between the 1660s and early 1730s. 41 As the colonies relied on imports for their

manufactured goods, there was an opportunity to diversify production beyond

traditional woollen cloths to produce other commodities such as copper, which grew in demand due to the increase in sugar cultivation in the West Indies. 42

Indeed, the Caribbean sugar sector supplied new markets for copper goods that

were used to grow and process sugar cane. In a boiling house, slaves loaded

bagasse in furnaces on the lower level while the liquor was stirred and skimmed in copper pans on the upper level. 43 The sugar was then ladled into another

copper to be boiled and concentrated, which was repeated once more in a

smaller copper vessel. The syrup was then decanted into the smallest copper to be granulated and later settled in coolers made of copper. 44 Evidently, the boiling

process required substantial amounts of copper. In 1790, for instance, a

consignment of two clarifiers and four taches weighing 1.9 tons were shipped

from Swansea to Jamaica by John Freeman & Co., which suggests that an

“average” copper was approximately 7.9 hundredweight. This means that the

32,148 coppers in the British Islands in 1770 would have weighed 12,285 tons,

totalling an excess of 15,400 if an additional 20 per cent allowance is given for other equipment such as coolers. 45

Other facets of the Atlantic sugar complex required copper too. Although

the refining process also used copper goods such as sugar pans, more notable

was the demand for distilling equipment. In the West Indies, planters profited by distilling molasses, the by-product of the boiling process. 46 There was an even

41 Nuala Zahedieh, ‘Colonies, Copper, and the Market for Inventive Activity in England and Wales, 1680 - 1730’, Economic History Review, 66.3 (2013), 805-825 (pp. 807-9). 42 Ralph Davis, ‘English Foreign Trade, 1660 - 1700’, Economic History Review, 7.2 (1954), 150-166 (p. 154) cited in Zahedieh, p. 807; and Zahedieh, p. 809. 43 Miskell and Evans, p. 24. 44 Ibid.

45 Ibid., pp. 24-5. 46 Ibid., pp. 25-6.


greater demand by mainland merchants in British North America who accepted

molasses as payment for supplying the colonial islands with lumber and provisions and subsequently established rum distilleries for profit. 47 Accordingly,

most of the 140 distilleries in North America in 1770 were in New England, the

source of barrel starves and much of the animal protein needed for the Caribbean sugar sector and its slaves. 48 The considerable surge in demand for

stills and clarifiers during this period is apparent when examining statistics on

Jamaican production. In 1730, Jamaica had 400 working plantations producing

25,000 hogsheads of sugar for export, which grew to 68,000 hogsheads by 1768. 49 This growth in the sugar islands was the result of exploitation; the

excessive use of land, labour, and capital meant that commodities were exported

at an exponential rate while industrial supplies and provisions for slaves were imported, which Swansea copperworks contributed to significantly. 50 Copper was significant for another part of the transatlantic trade, as copper and brass goods were used for the acquisition of slaves. 51 After the

withdrawal of the Royal African Company’s monopoly of trade on the Guinea

Coast in 1698, Bristol merchants began making incursions into the Bight of Biafra, whose traders had particular demands for the international market. 52 It seems

that Welsh copper and brass makers paid attention to the shifting contours of

African demand from the outset. Robert Morris, who managed the Llangyfelach

copperworks in the 1720s, made explicit reference to the African trade when he

47 Ibid., p. 26. 48 Ibid. 49 Evans, Slave Wales , p. 32. 50 Ibid. 51 Miskell and Evans, p. 26.

52 Thomas Phillips, ‘A Journal of a Voyage from England to Africa, and so forward to Barbadoes, in the years 1693, and 1694’, in A Collection of Voyages and Travels, ed. by Awnsham Churchill and John Churchill, 6 vols (London: Churchill, 1732), VI, pp. 173-229 cited in Evans, Slave Wales, p. 27; and Madge Dresser, Bristol and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (n.d.), <https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/stories/bristol-transatlantic-slave- trade/> [accessed 27 October 2021].


stated that he was unsure whether it was an error that “the negroes like the bars

better for the print of the hammer” but that “they like them very well as they are now made.” 53 Indeed, portable copper goods that could be exported in large

quantities were valued as a form of exchange across the West African coast; in

1700, for example, 48 copper rods could afford a male while a female was valued at 36. 54 Small horseshoe-shaped bracelets called manillas were also used as a form of currency. 55 It is evident that some of the pioneering works in Swansea

were producing these goods, as a 1744 print of the White Rock works features a

‘Manilla House’ that was used to manufacture products specifically for the African market. 56 By the 1760s, White Rock had a department devoted to the manufacturing of manillas and short copper rods. 57 The balance sheets for the

Forest copperworks in 1768 indicates that it was also involved in producing

goods for the slave trade as there are two references to rods and manillas totalling £1,235 7s 8d in value. 58 Moreover, all of the production at the

Penclawdd works in the 1780s was exported to Africa to purchase slaves, which

was a minor contribution compared to the output of Bristol and Liverpool, but it was significant nonetheless. 59 As the large slave ports of Bristol and Liverpool flanked Wales, it is unlikely that any slaving expeditions left Swansea. 60 It could be argued, then, that Wales

did not directly participate in the slave trade in the sense that no ships were

53 Quoted in Straw, pp. 24-5. 54 Olfert Dapper, Naukeurige Beschrijvinge der Afrikaensche Gewesten (Amsterdam: Jacob van Meurs, 1668), p. 510 cited in Stanley B. Alpern, ‘What Africans Got for Their Slaves: A Master List of European Trade Goods’, History in Africa, 22 (1995), 5-43 (p. 14). 55 Alpern, p. 13. 56 G. Grant Francis, The Smelting of Copper in the Swansea District of South Wales from the time of Elizabeth to the Present Day (London: Henry Sotheran, 1881), p. 117. 57 Francis, p. 113 cited in R. O. Roberts, ‘Penclawdd Brass and Copper Works: A Link with the Slave Trade’, Gower, 14 (1961), 35-43 (p. 36). 58 Francis, p. 113. 59 Roberts, ‘Penclawdd Brass and Copper Works’, p. 36. 60 Evans, Slave Wales, p. 7.


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