Past event

Martin Wight Memorial Lecture

Britain, Written Constitutions and World History, 1780-2000

University of Sussex


Linda Colley, Professor of History, Princeton University


In the wake of the Revolutions, new style written constitutions became essential components and symbols of a modern state and nation. Britain fought against these Revolutions and notoriously retained its un-codified constitution throughout.

Despite this, Britain's impact on the writing of constitutions in other countries has been more extensive and more diverse than any other major power. This lecture will explore this apparent paradox; what it reveals about British, imperial and global history, and about the meanings of constitutions as political and cultural texts.