Politics Related Websites

Politics in the United States: An encyclopedia of American politics between 1840 and 1980. The website includes entries on political parties (10), pressure groups (26) and biographies of leading political figures: 1840-1900 (106), 1900-45 (56) and 1945-1980 (46). The text within each entry is linked to other relevant pages in the encyclopedia. In this way it is possible to research individual people and events in great detail. The sources are also hyper-linked so the student is able to find out about the writer, artist, newspaper and organization that produced the material.

Presidential Elections 1860-1884: This website has been compiled and prepared as a public service by HarpWeek. It features cartoons from Harper's Weekly, especially by Thomas Nast, and from Vanity Fair, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, Puck, and the Library of Congress Collection of American Political Prints: 1766-1876. The website covers the seven presidential elections of 1860-1884. In addition to explanations of each cartoon, the site contains biographies, explanations of the issues, campaign overviews, and other relevant information.

American Politics: This site is aimed at those students studying American Politics at an Advanced level (17 to 18 year olds) and most sections have been updated to include the 2000 election result and issues that have arisen in the current government of George Bush. Topics included are: Federalism; the President; Congress; the role of the Supreme Court; elections in America; voting patterns in elections; political parties at a state and local level; pressure groups in America and public attitude towards politics in America. There is also a section for links to relevant and useful sites on American political issues.

Politics in Britain: 1750-1950: An encyclopedia of politics in Britain between 1750 and 1950. The website includes sections on Parliamentary Reform: 1750-1832, Political Parties & Election Results: 1832-1951, Parliamentary Legislation: 1715-1948. The website also contains biographies of Members of Parliament: 1750-1820 (34); 1820-1880 (47); 1880-1920 (80) and 1920-1950 (79).

Political Cartoons: The Political Cartoon Society is a non-profit making organisation for those interested in History and Politics through the medium of cartoons. The website, which is open to both members and non-members, exists to promote the political cartoon by way of amusing, informing and educating. Facilities include a Home Page with information on the Society; an Exhibition and Events Page to advertise forthcoming exhibitions of original cartoon art based on political and historical themes; a Research Library for students and researchers, a Cartoon Gallery of original cartoon art by leading cartoonists both past and present, a Cartoon History page with a growing selection of essays for cartoon enthusiasts and students of history and politics; a Bulletin Board to voice opinions; and a Cartoon Book page for the sale of cartoon books both new and used.

Political Sciences Resources: Richard Kimber of Keele University has produced a magnificent website for all teachers and students of Politics. He has successfully achieved his ambition of offering a gateway to the most significant resources relevant to political science on the Internet. Kimber has organized his material in several different ways. Area Studies gives access to information on individual countries. You can also find information by looking at the topics section such as constitutions, elections or political parties.

British Politics: This site is designed for those studying British politics to an Advanced level. Topics studied in depth include the British electoral system; proportional representation; pressure groups in the UK, the concept and various forms of democracy; political parties; devolution (theory of) and Wales and Scotland; citizenship; politics and rights; party systems; referendums; the reform of the House of Lords; arguments for and against the Euro; constitutional reform.

Marketplace of Political Ideas: Pamela Talene Hale, librarian at the University of Houston, has created this useful directory website for people interested in politics in the US. Political resources have been organized under the following headings: Democratic Party, Republican Party, Libertarian Party, On the Left, On the Right, On the Fringes. There are also sections on Political Theory, International Politics and Political Science Research.

Thomas Paine: The Thomas Paine National Historical Association's website commemorates the life of the man they call "America's greatest revolutionary and journalist". He was also Britain's greatest revolutionary but his ideas were so dangerous he was forced to flee for his life. Although his support for universal suffrage, a free press, child benefit, retirement pensions, etc. don't seem so revolutionary now, his work still has relevance to anyone interested in politics. The website includes an archive of Thomas Paine's work including Common Sense, The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason.

The Marx/Engels Archive: This website provides a comprehensive collection of the writings of Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels. The material available is constantly expanding and eventually it will contain everything the two men published. It also includes material from writers influenced by Marx and Engels. The website is produced by a group of volunteers from Colorado's Progressive Sociology Network and is completely free to use. The authors tell us that "the real profit will hopefully manifest in the form of individual enlightenment through easy access to these classic works".

George Monbiot is the author of Captive State, and the investigative travel books Poisoned Arrows, Amazon Watershed and No Man's Land. He also writes a weekly column for the Guardian newspaper. In 1995 Nelson Mandela presented him with a United Nations Global 500 Award for outstanding environmental achievement. A large collection of his thought-provoking articles can be found on his website and would make good starting points for lessons on political and environmental issues.

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: David Krieger, the founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, argues that cultures need heroes and provide a "concept of the ideal for educating new generations". This website contains biographies of Krieger's heroes including Jane Addams, Ralph Bunch, Helen Caldicott, Cesar Chavez, XIVth Dalai Lama, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Dag Hammarskjold, Cordell Hull, Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Linus Pauling, Jeannette Rankin and Albert Schweitzer.

A Critical Decision: This educational organization provides research and thought-provoking insight on many divisive and emotional issues within society and the effects of politics upon the environment and biodiversity (our life-support system). The organization also provides a nature gallery (with many stunning photographs) for visitors to enjoy.

Noam Chomsky Archive: This website contains articles, interviews, essays, and other materials related to American dissident Noam Chomsky. As a member of various popular movements, and a long-time professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chomsky writes and speaks frequently on a variety of social and political issues.

American Experience: Jimmy Carter: This website by PBS has been created to support the recently produced documentary about his life and provides a good introduction to this global humanitarian and peace maker. There is a transcript of the documentary, a timeline, photo gallery and an essay on President Carter's many contributions to humankind in the twenty years since he left the presidency.

Inter-Parliamentary Union is the international organization of parliaments of sovereign states. Established in 1889 the IPU is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy. The IPU supports the efforts of the United Nations, whose objectives it shares, and works in close cooperation with it. The IPU website has a very good section on women in parliaments including a world chronology of women's suffrage and an archive of statistical data on women in National Parliaments.

DemocracyNet is an interactive website that allows people interested in US politics to search for candidates currently running for political office. Enter your zip code to find out who's running for offices on your ballot and where the candidates stand on issues you care about. The site is sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV), a national organization with chapters in every state.

Our Documents is a online repository of important primary documents for studying American politics. Cosponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration, the USA Freedom Corps, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, this site currently contains the Lee Resolution (1776), Declaration of Independence (1776), Articles of Confederation (1777), Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), Original Design of the Great Seal of the United States (1782), Treaty of Paris (1783), Virginia Plan (1787), Northwest Ordinance (1787), Constitution of the United States (1787), President George Washington's First Inaugural Speech (1789), Federal Judiciary Act (1789), Bill of Rights (1791), President George Washington's Farewell Address (1796), Alien and Sedition Acts (1798), Louisiana Purchase Treaty (1803) and Treaty of Ghent (1814).

World Social Forum is an open meeting place where groups and movements engaged in building a planetary society centred on the human person, come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. The WSF intends to debate alternative means to building a globalization in solidarity, which respects universal human rights and those of all men and women of all nations and the environment, and is grounded in democratic international systems and institutions at the service of social justice, equality and the sovereignty of peoples.

Political Graveyard is a web site about U.S. political history and cemeteries. It is the Internet's most comprehensive source for American political biography, listing 107,137 politicians, living and dead. The coverage of the site includes certain federal officials, state office holders and candidates in all 50 states, state and national political party officials, federal and state judges, and mayors (including candidates at election for mayor) of qualifying cities. The listings are incomplete as the development of the database is a continually ongoing project.

History of Liberty: Throughout history, liberty has inspired acts of great courage. Samuel Adams risked his life to promote the cause of the American Revolution, while Charles James Fox courageously defended American Independence in the British Parliament. Lafayette led soldiers into battle, endured brutal prisons and faced the most powerful rulers in Europe. Daniel O'Connell championed the cause of Irish liberty for four tumultuous decades. The astonishing Swede Raoul Wallenberg saved almost 100,000 Jews from Nazi death camps. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. defied death threats as he campaigned against segregationist laws, renewing the "higher law" doctrine that laws just be judged by moral standards. This excellent website, created by Jim Powell, hopes to enrich the visitor's understanding of ideas, personalities and events in the history of liberty.

CND: A British nuclear-powered Trident submarine is out on patrol ready, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to fire sixteen nuclear-armed missiles. Each submarine carries 48 independently-targeted nuclear warheads. Each warhead has seven times the explosive power of the first atomic bomb. The atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 civilians. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) campaigns non-violently to rid the world of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and has a large collection of factsheets on its website that can be used in the classroom.

CEWC-Cymru: The Council for Education in World Citizenship-Cymru is an educational charity working with young people to promote understanding of the contemporary world. It provides support for local, national and global citizenship education in Wales. Among events organised by CEWC-Cymru are the Wales Schools’ Debating Championships, Model United Nations meetings, European Youth Parliaments, residential conferences and human rights workshops. It also provides curriculum materials and training in Welsh schools and colleges. The recent major addition has been Citizenship Today, a teacher support pack for teaching citizenship from Key Stages 1 to 4. While based on the Welsh Personal and Social Education Framework, it contains lesson plans which would be relevant to all parts of the UK.

Citizen 21: The education unit at Charter 88, has produced a range of educational materials to encourage and develop understanding of the political institutions in the United Kingdom and how they work. Background reading, questions for self directed study, workshop materials and any additional resources are posted on this website and will be regularly updated. It is aimed at people who work in schools, with youth, in the community and the adult education sector. The core topics are: bill of rights; voting; parliament; freedom of information; decentralization (including devolution); citizenship; and democracy.

Explore Parliament: This website, produced by the Parliamentary Education Unit. Junior Parliament is designed to introduce primary pupils to some of the history, traditions and structure of Parliament. Explore Parliament, for secondary pupils, seeks to encourage understanding of and participation in the political process. Interactive games such as Quest, a quiz for primary pupils, and Act of Parliament, an online debating chamber for 14-16 year olds, seek to encourage pupils to find out more about Parliament.

European Unity: David Howell (Lord Howell of Guildford) is a former Secretary of State for Energy and for Transport in the UK Government and an economist and journalist. This website contains Lord Howell's most recent newspaper and magazine articles, summaries of recent speeches and lectures and a selection of seminar material. This includes an interesting speech in the House of Lords: Differing Paths to European Unity - New Possibilities for Europe in the Network Age.

Economic and Monetary Union: In the debate on the euro very little attention is paid to differences in the levels of income and unemployment across the regions of Europe, and whether a single currency is likely to narrow or exacerbate these differences. This is an important issue because existing regional inequalities already pose a threat to the cohesion of the European Union. There is a very real possibility that the single currency, without an effective regional policy, will worsen these disparities. This special report by the Guardian newspaper provides links to fifteen articles on the subject of Monetary Union.

Explore Parliament: This site is hosted by the Parliamentary Education Unit and has two main sections. Junior Parliament is designed to introduce primary pupils to some of the history, traditions and structure of Parliament. Explore Parliament, for secondary pupils, seeks to encourage understanding of and participation in the political process. Interactive games such as Quest, a quiz for primary pupils, and Act of Parliament, an online debating chamber for 14-16 year olds, seek to encourage pupils to find out more about Parliament. There is a wealth of information about every aspect of Parliament in the central dataweb. The Teachers Lobby contains guidance on using this site across the whole curriculum.

Governments Online: Comprehensive database of governmental institutions on the World Wide Web: parliaments, ministries, offices, law courts, embassies, city councils, public broadcasting corporations, central banks, multi-governmental institutions etc. Includes also political parties. Online since June 1995. Contains more than 17000 entries from more than 220 countries and territories as of May 2002. The country listings note when entries were last updated and there is also a section highlighting material that has been added to the site in the last thirty days. This site can be accessed in English and German.

UN Security Council: In the second-half of the nineteenth century liberals in Britain were united in believing that you could not have a true democratic system unless elections were by secret ballot. It was argued that if employers and landlords knew how people voted they could punish them if they did not support their preferred candidates. Or more importantly, those in power could pay their workers and tenants to vote for their candidates. This problem was solved in 1872 when William Gladstone's government brought in the Ballot Act which guaranteed a secret system of voting. Today liberals appear to be united in arguing that a military invasion of Iraq should only take place if it has the support of the UN security council. This article in the Guardian newspaper explains how the vote of the security council will be no more democratic or less corrupt than elections held in Britain in the early part of the nineteenth century.

Pioneers of European Unity: It has been argued that the inevitable war against Iraq will not only be about oil but America's increasing influence over a Europe which has become a dangerous rival in political and economic matters. In this interpretation of recent events, a divided Europe is just as important as the control of Iraq's oil supplies. This website looks at those political figures who genuinely believed that the best way of maintaining world peace was by creating a united Europe.

Active Citizenship: To mark the introduction of Citizenship in the National Curriculum, the DfES in association with Barclays is running a competition to celebrate 'Active Citizenship'. Are your students involved in the life of your school, neighbourhood or local community? Tell the DfES about it and your school could win prizes to enhance your understanding of active participation. The first prize is a trip to Brussels, the historic city that is home to the European Parliament. The prize winner can take three friends and/or relatives.

Switzerland and the EU: As part of the Spring Europe project Roger Scupham has created an Internet discussion forum on the relationship between Switzerland and the EU. Scupham raises several questions including: How would membership affect the cherished Swiss principle of neutrality? How would the economy, culture and global position of Switzerland change if Switzerland were 'in Europe'? It was only a year ago that Switzerland finally voted to join the United Nations, but are they ready for the next step?

History of the Labour Party: The Labour Party was established in 1900 - originally as the Labour Representation Committee - to fight for representation for the Labour movement – trade unions and socialist societies – in Parliament. Its first leader was Keir Hardie, one of the earliest Labour MPs. Labour was in government for three short periods of the 20th century and its achievements revolutionized the lives of the British people. This brief history of this organization, with an introduction by Tony Blair, is available from the official Labour Party website.

History of the Conservative Party: The origins of the Conservative Party can be traced to the 'Tory' faction which emerged in the later seventeenth century. This 'Tory Party' established a secure hold on government between 1783 and 1830, first under the Younger Pitt and then Lord Liverpool. However, after Liverpool's retirement in 1827 the unity of the party was destroyed when the Duke of Wellington and Robert Peel, were forced, largely as a result of events in Ireland, to concede full political emancipation to Roman Catholics. The Tory collapse opened the way for a return of the Whigs in the 1830s, and a series of measures including the Great Reform Act of 1832 changed the political scene. This history of the Conservative Party has been written by Stuart Ball, Reader, Department of History, University of Leicester.

History of the Liberal Democrat Party: Whilst the history of the Liberal Democrats as a formal political party stretches back 150 years to the formation of the Liberal Party in 1859, Liberal political thought goes back at least a further 200 years. Liberal Political thought in England grew out of the ferment of the English Civil War and the reaction that set in with The Restoration in 1660. However, whilst the philosopher John Locke started the long line of British liberal thinkers, there was no organisation that could reasonably be regarded as a political party, liberal or otherwise at this time. The Eighteenth Century saw the establishment of relatively formal parliamentary groupings, the whigs and the vtroires, but the very limited franchise meant that they did not have to be engaged a great deal with the wider population. The history of Liberalism has been produced by the Liberal Democrat History Group.

New American Century Project is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle; and that too few political leaders today are making the case for global leadership. The New American Century intends, through issue briefs, research papers, advocacy journalism, conferences, and seminars, to explain what American world leadership entails. It will also strive to rally support for a vigorous and principled policy of American international involvement and to stimulate useful public debate on foreign and defense policy and America's role in the world.

Iraq Crisis: Robert Byrd, the 83 year old senator for West Virginia, is unlikely to be a member of the New American Century Project. In a speech made in the US Senate on 12th February he argued that the war will represent a turning point in US foreign policy. "This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of pre-emption - the idea that the United States or any other nation can attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be in the future - is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self-defence. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN charter. And it is being tested at a time of worldwide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon be on our - or some other nation's - hit list."

Historians and the Iraq Crisis: Politicians on both sides of the argument over Iraq have been busy rummaging through the history books. The pro-war camp constantly warn against repeating the mistakes of appeasement. The antis claim we are heading for another Suez. But which is the more plausible parallel? This is what 12 leading historians think about this issue: Ian Kershaw, Paul Kennedy, Andrew Roberts, Simon Schama, Linda Colley, Eric Hobsbawm, Richard Evans, Michael Burleigh, Norman Davies, Avi Shlaim, Mark Mazower and Richard Overy.

Amnesty International is a worldwide campaigning movement that works to promote internationally recognized human rights. Amnesty International's vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. Its mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of our work to promote all human rights. The Amnesty International website includes recent information on human rights in Iraq, Russia, Turkey, Spain, Honduras, Sudan and Venezuela.

George Bush and Winston Churchill: People often look back in history for help when they are trying to make sense of current problems. In recent weeks politicians have been comparing the situation in Iraq with other events in history. Important figures in the unfolding drama have been compared to past political leaders. Saddam Hussein has been described as a new Adolf Hitler and George Bush has been portrayed as acting like Winston Churchill. In this activity students given the chance to compare George Bush with political leaders from the past.

Win Without War: The Iraq War is already being fought out on the Internet. Win Without War is a coalition of 32 national organizations that have joined together to advocate alternatives to war in Iraq. This coalition offers a mainstream, patriotic voice for engaging opinion makers, activating concerned citizens, and communicating to policymakers and the media. On 26th February it held a Virtual March on Washington and as a result politicians in the United States received over a million emails, phone calls and faxes about the proposed war.

Citizens Against Celebrity Pundits: A large number of people involved in the entertainment industry have over the last few weeks been arguing against a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. This website has been launched for for those American citizens who support President Bush and disapprove of celebrities speaking out against the proposed war. It includes links to pro-war articles and an online petition against celebrities who they believe are "abusing their status" in opposing the war.

Tony Blair and Winston Churchill: People often look back in history for help when they are trying to make sense of current problems. In recent weeks politicians have been comparing the situation in Iraq with other events in history. Important figures in the unfolding drama have been compared to past political leaders. Saddam Hussein has been described as a new Adolf Hitler and Tony Blair has been portrayed as acting like Winston Churchill. In this activity students given the chance to compare Tony Blair with political leaders from the past.

Mother Jones: "If you were to spin the globe and look for real estate critical to building an American empire, your first stop would have to be the Persian Gulf. The desert sands of this region hold two of every three barrels of oil in the world - Iraq's reserves alone are equal, by some estimates, to those of Russia, the United States, China, and Mexico combined. For the past 30 years, the Gulf has been in the crosshairs of an influential group of Washington foreign-policy strategists, who believe that in order to ensure its global dominance, the United States must seize control of the region and its oil." This is the opening passage of an article by Robert Dreyfuss for the online journal, Mother Jones. He goes on to argue: "Iraq, in this view, is a strategic prize of unparalleled importance. Unlike the oil beneath Alaska's frozen tundra, locked away in the steppes of central Asia, or buried under stormy seas, Iraq's crude is readily accessible and, at less than $1.50 a barrel, some of the cheapest in the world to produce.

When Democracy Failed: February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag) building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States, and was barely reported in the media. But the Germans remembered well that fateful day seventy years ago - February 27, 1933. They commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that mobilized citizens all across the world. This article by Thom Hartmann for Common Dreams reflects on the comparisons between the events of 1933 and 2003.

Sojourners: Founded in 1971 Sojourners (Christians for Justice and Peace) is a Christian ministry whose mission is to proclaim and practice the biblical call to integrate spiritual renewal and social justice. The organization holds strong views on the proposed bombing of Iraq and on its website provides a six point action plan on how to solve the conflict. "It is the eleventh hour, and the world is poised on the edge of war. Church leaders have consistently warned of the unpredictable and potentially disastrous consequences of war: massive civilian casualties, a precedent for preemptive war, further destabilization of the Middle East, and the fueling of more terrorism. Yet the failure to effectively disarm Saddam Hussein and his brutal regime could also have potentially catastrophic consequences. The potential nexus between weapons of mass destruction and terrorism is the leading security issue in the world today. This is the moral dilemma: a decision between the terrible nature of that threat and the terrible nature of war as a solution."

Life of Thomas Jefferson: The foreign policy of Thomas Jefferson was based upon the broad principles of his inaugural maxim: "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Jefferson argued that America would not only refuse to rule over other nations, it would avoid meddling in their affairs altogether. He added that if America wanted to export its brand of liberty, it should do it not through force but by the simple power of its own example. This online book by B. L. Rayner, originally published in 1834, provides an interesting insight into how current American foreign policy has changed since Jefferson's time in office.

Outcome of the Iraq War: In this interesting article George Monbiot argues that there are three possible results of the war with Iraq. (1) There is a popular uprising and Saddam Hussein is overthrown by his generals. The coalition troops are then welcomed into Baghdad by the people of the city. (2) The coalition troops kill Saddam Hussein and destroys the bulk of the army, but has to govern Iraq as a hostile occupying force. (3) The coalition forces fail to kill Saddam Hussein or win a decisive victory in Iraq. If this happens George Monbiot suggests that Saddam Hussein will "slip into the civilian population, occasionally throwing off his disguise and appearing among his troops, to keep the flame of liberation burning."

Election Results: A collection of election results. It includes details of the UK General Elections (1935-2001), USA Presidential Elections (1992-2000), European Elections (1994-1999), Welsh Assembly (1999) Scottish Parliament (1999) and London Elections (2000). The website is also planning to include election results from Israel, Canada and Australia in the near future.

Common Dreams NewsCenter: Common Dreams is a national non-profit citizens' organization working to bring Americans together to promote progressive visions for America's future. Founded in 1997, it is committed to being on the cutting-edge of using the Internet as a political organizing tool. Its NewsCenter is an eclectic mix of politics, issues and breaking news with an emphasis on progressive perspectives that are increasingly hard to find in the corporate-dominated media.

Political Ideas and Concepts: This website provides a clear explanation of key political ideas including anarchism, capitalism, colonialism, communism, conservatism, democracy, fascism, feminism, individualism, liberalism, marxism, nationalism, pluralism, social democracy, socialism, zionism. Key political concepts such as anarchy, authority, equality, globalisation, liberty, power, state power and totalitarian are also defined.

International Affairs Resources: This section of the WWW Virtual Library system presents over 2600 annotated links in a wide range of international affairs, international studies, and international relations topics. Most of the sites are in English and are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, high-quality information and analysis online. Each site is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in the details of its contents.

British Occupation of Iraq: In 1920 the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate to control Iraq. Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for War, estimated that around 25,000 British and 80,000 Indian troops would be needed to control the country. However, he argued that if Britain relied on air power, you could cut these numbers to 4,000 (British) and 10,000 (Indian). The government was convinced by this argument and it was decided to send the recently formed Royal Air Force to Iraq. An uprising of more than 100,000 armed tribesmen took place in 1920. Over the next few months the RAF dropped 97 tons of bombs killing 9,000 Iraqis. This failed to end the resistance and Arab and Kurdish uprisings continued to pose a threat to British rule. Churchill suggested that chemical weapons should be used "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment." He added "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes to spread a lively terror". This information appears in Jonathan Glancey's recent article on the history of of Britain's involvement in Iraq.

Searchlight: The aim of Searchlight is to combat racism, neo-nazism, fascism and all forms of prejudice. Searchlight has existed for more than 30 years. In summer 1962, in response to a resurgence of open and violent neo-nazi activities, a group of people from a wide variety of political and religious backgrounds met in London to set up the Searchlight Association. Searchlight has appeared as a monthly magazine since 1975. Simon Wiesenthal, the greatest of the post-war nazi-hunters, described Searchlight as the best English language publication of its kind anywhere in the world. The Searchlight archive includes a large collection of articles from past editions of the magazine.

Gulag Online Exhibition: The system of forced labour camps was established in the first years of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union. It became essential part of the Soviet repressive system. The Communist takeovers in the Eastern and Central Europe during the World War II led to mass arrests of non-Communist politicians and people identified as class-enemies. Many of them were sentenced to forced labor camps. In 1952 the International League for the Rights of Man was able to document the existence of more than 400 forced labour camps in Central and Eastern Europe.

Watergate Revisited: Richard J. McGowan, was the chief investigator and chief-of-staff of Senator Lowell P. Weicker, an important figure in the Senate Watergate Committee. In this article from the Barnes Review, McGowan argues that the "Nixon Administration flagrantly and systematically violated constitutional rights, subverted the electoral process through illegal fund-raising and campaign sabotage, abused the federal bureaucratic machinery and willfully obstructed justice."

Prime Ministers in History: There have been 51 British Prime Ministers since 1721. These figures include some of the most influential and interesting figures in British history. At this 10 Downing Street website you will find a biography and interesting facts about each Prime Minister from Robert Walpole to Tony Blair. More interesting and bizarre facts about past Prime Ministers can be found at the Prime Ministerial record breakers section.

Red Tape, White Lies: Notes & Queries began in 1989 as a weekly column in the Guardian, and rapidly acquired a cult following. Now, thanks to the Internet, it is reaching a worldwide electronic audience. The questions and answers are organised into different categories. This section deals with politics and includes questions such as "How old is the current use of the words terrorist and terrorism?" and "Why do national unemployment statistics differ from OECD statistics? Who is counted in UK statistics and who is not (and why not)?"

Political History: A collection of articles on political history. Subjects covered include the English Revolution, General Strike (1926), Paris Commune, Russian Revolution, Berlin Wall, Falklands War, Six-Day War, Spanish Civil War, Suez Crisis, Vietnam War, Chartists and Diggers.

Informed Dissent: The journal, Mother Jones, has launched a new email newsletter, Informed Dissent. Every month Mother Jones sends out a carefully culled batch of suggestions for getting more deeply involved in the issues raised by its magazine. The first issue reports on how 120 million pesticide-laden rose blooms were sold last Valentine's Day in the US, propelling rampant rates of skin rashes, nausea, respiratory problems and birth defects among Ecuador's flower labour force. There is also an article about Thailand's pioneering "Green Label Program," promoting environmentally conscious products and sustainable consumer goods.

HPOL: History and Politics Out Loud (HPOL) is a searchable multimedia database documenting and delivering authoritative audio relevant to American history and politics. The materials range from formal addresses delivered in public settings to private telephone conversations conducted from the innermost recesses of the White House. The aim of HPOL is to provide an accessible source of audio information to enliven instruction and scholarship in history and politics and to enable easy access for all persons to the rich audio archives of American history and politics.

Fun Politics: This site gives Primary School children an opportunity to explore the structures and institutions of the Irish political system. The nature and function of the 3 houses of the Oireachtas are discussed and explained, with particular emphasis on the Dáil and the Presidency. The party system and the main political parties are also covered extensively. The material is presented in an interesting and interactive format to maximise pupil interest and engagement.

International Occupation Watch: Cognizant of the current lack of information about Iraq and knowing that Iraq will receive increasingly less attention as media sources abandon the country for the newest “hot spot,” an international coalition of peace and justice groups is organizing the Baghdad-based International Occupation Watch Center. The Center will function under the auspices of United for Peace and Justice, a U.S. anti-war coalition with more than 600 member groups, with participation from a diversity of international groups including Focus on the Global South, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation, and members of the World Social Forum.

Foreign Policy: Founded in 1970 by Samuel Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel, Foreign Policy is the award-winning magazine of global politics, economics, and ideas. The mazine draws on the world’s leading journalists, thinkers, and professionals to analyze the most significant international trends and events of our times. The current online version includes Grading the President, Rogue State Department and From Victory to Success: Afterwar Policy in Iraq.

Justice Learning is an innovative, issue-based approach for engaging school students in informed political discourse. The web site uses audio from the Justice Talking radio show and articles from The New York Times to teach students about reasoned debate and the often-conflicting values in a democratic society. The website includes articles, editorials and oral debate from the America's finest journalists and advocates. All of the material is supported by age-appropriate summaries and additional links. In addition, for each covered issue, the site includes curricular material from The New York Times Learning Network for high school teachers and detailed information about how each of the institutions of democracy (the courts, the Congress, the presidency, the press and the schools) affect the issue.

Shapurji Saklatvala: In the 1922 General Election Shapurji Saklatvala was elected to represent North Battersea in the House of Commons. Considering that he was a member of the Communist Party and that he had been born in India, this was a remarkable victory. Saklatvala made headline news again when he was imprisoned for sedition during the General Strike. His crime was that he had made a speech asking the army not to fire on strikers. This online biography of Shapurji Saklatvala is by his daughter Sehri Saklatvala.

Adam Smith Institute: For over 25 years it has been a pioneer in the worldwide movement towards free markets, public-sector reform, and free trade. The Institute's main focus is on reforming governments and state enterprises in order to promote choice, competition, enterprise, and user-focus. It works through research, reports, conferences, advice, and media debate. It has now launched its own weblog in order to encourage debate on these issues.

BritainUSA: This site is maintained by British Information Services (BIS), the New York based Press and Public Affairs Office of the British Embassy in Washington DC, an overseas post of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London. BritainUSA aims to answer the questions most frequently asked in the United States about Britain and provide up-to-date government comment on current events. The website provides video/audio recordings of recent Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. There is also an online daily review of British Newspapers.

Children’s Rights Alliance for England: CRAE is an alliance of over 180 organisations committed to children’s human rights. It exists to improve the lives and status of all children in England through the fullest implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. CRAE monitors developments in children's rights; advocates for laws and policy to be fully compatible with the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and disseminates information to professionals and the public (including children and young people). Its website provides news relating to the rights of children.

Save the Children Education Unit: Save the Children was founded in 1919, as a response to conditions in Europe immediately following the First World War. Save the Children works to ensure that all children get access to good quality education by tackling poverty, helping communities run schools, training teachers, developing education policies and curricula, supporting flexible learning schemes, developing educational opportunities for very young children, and providing education for children caught up in emergencies. The Save the Children's Education Unit works across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to promote global child rights education and offers a range of free and priced materials and services to teachers and youth workers.

Aljazeera was originally launched in November 1996. With more than 30 bureaus and dozens of correspondents covering the four corners of the world Aljazeera has given millions of people a refreshing new perspective on global events. Free from the shackles of censorship and government control Aljazeera has offered its audiences in the Arab world much needed freedom of thought, independence, and room for debate. This Quatari-based news service website was taken down during the Iraq War. Its English language version has just been relaunched. As well as the latest news on the occupation of Iraq it provides information organized under the categories: Arab World, Economy, Culture, Global, Science & Technology and Special Reports.

Superpowers and Morality: George Monbiot argues that it is a myth that superpowers make moral decisions concerning foreign policy. Monbiot points out that: "As soon as one argument for the invasion and occupation of Iraq collapses, they switch to another. Over the past month, almost all the warriors - Bush, Blair and the belligerents in both the conservative and the liberal press - have fallen back on the last line of defence, the argument we know as the moral case for war. Monbiot adds: "A superpower does not have moral imperatives. It has strategic imperatives. Its purpose is not to sustain the lives of other people, but to sustain itself. Concern for the rights and feelings of others is an impediment to the pursuit of its objectives. It can make the moral case, but that doesn't mean that it is motivated by the moral case."

Republic: This is the website that broke the recent story on Prince Charles and Michael Fawcett . The Republic organization has grown steadily in size and profile since its formation in 1983, when talk of replacing Britain's monarchy with a democratically elected Head of State was a virtually taboo subject. Mature debate on this subject is now normal, and this to great extent thanks to the untiring efforts of Republic and its supporters in putting forward a reasoned and informed argument against the current system.

Ku Klux Klan: The first branch of the Ku Klux Klan was established in Pulaski, Tennessee, in May, 1866. A year later a general organization of local Klans was established in Nashville in April, 1867. Most of the leaders were former members of the Confederate Army and the first Grand Wizard was Nathan Forrest, an outstanding general during the American Civil War. This website looks at the history of the Ku Klux Klan from the period when it helped restore white rule in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia to May 2002 when Bobby Cherry was convicted for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing.

Noam Chomsky Archive: This website contains articles, interviews, essays, and other materials related to American dissident Noam Chomsky. As a member of various popular movements, and a long-time professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chomsky writes and speaks frequently on a variety of social and political issues.

Beat Poverty: "When I'm hungry I can't follow what the teacher is saying. When I return home from school I go to sleep straight away because I'm too hungry to move around." Mohammed is just one of an estimated 600 million children whose families have to live on less than a dollar a day (approximately 66p). This tiny amount is all the family has to spend on food, water, shelter and everything else that they need. Living on less than a dollar a day is the international definition of absolute poverty. Every three seconds, poverty takes a child's life. It does not have to be this way. This Save the Children website provides information on how this situation could be improved.

Political Sciences Resources: Richard Kimber of Keele University has produced a magnificent website for all teachers and students of Politics. He has successfully achieved his ambition of offering a gateway to the most significant resources relevant to political science on the Internet. Kimber has organized his material in several different ways. Area Studies gives access to information on individual countries. You can also find information by looking at the topics section such as constitutions, elections or political parties.

John Stuart Mill: Born on May 20, 1806, John Stuart Mill was raised in London by his father, James Mill. Deliberately shielding his son from other boys his age, James dedicated himself to John's education. He believed that this rigid system of intellectual discipline would give young John a sizable upper hand over others his age. Mill was later to claim that "he grew up with an advantage of a quarter century over his contemporaries". Eric Hochberger's website features a biography, timeline of his works, including online versions, papers about his works, and links to sites about this 19th-century British philosopher.

Tom Paine: In 1791 published his most influential work, The Rights of Man. In the book Paine attacked hereditary government and argued for equal political rights. Paine suggested that all men over twenty-one in Britain should be given the vote and that this would result in a House of Commons willing to pass laws favourable to the majority. The book also recommended progressive taxation, family allowances, old age pensions, maternity grants and the abolition of the House of Lords. The British government was outraged by Paine's book and it was immediately banned. Paine was charged with seditious libel but he escaped to France before he could be arrested. This website provides a biography of Paine and some extracts from his work.

The Big Picture: This website provides an online experience for netizens interested in understanding why people in around the world can't seem to learn to value, respect, and love one another regardless of skin colour, religion, or ethnic group. The goal of the founders of this website is to discuss that monumental problem, and to enlighten and promote a more accurate depiction of the African and African American ethnic groups contribution to world history. If you are angered that President Bush went to Dr. Martin Luther King's grave, laid a wreath, pretended to have respect for this former civil rights campaigner, then the next day appointing a white supremacist judge, then this is the website for you.

Smorgon Society of Human Rights: Vladimir Kalinin is the man behind the Smorgon Society of Human Rights organization. This non-governmental, non for profit organisation which was founded in 1996, encourages the promotion and protection of human rights within 33 primary and secondary schools. The organization supports an international dimension and global perspective in education in all its forms. It runs seminars for teachers, social workers and youth leaders about human rights issues in co-operation with OSCE mission in Belarus.

Our World Our Say is an organization attempting to give people a voice when politicians circumvent them, particularly over world changing issues. Through reconnecting ordinary citizens with their elected representatives and giving them a voice, it aims to give people power over their own future and invigorate the democratic process. Through a combination of national, regional and local press adverts; direct marketing techniques; a dynamic and interactive website; an in-depth database of elected officials and their voting patterns on crucial issues; media testimonies by high-profile personalities; and the use of innovative devices such as virtual lobbies of Parliament and regular electronic mailings to MPs it hopes to galvanise as many people as possible to pursue simple and practical activities in order to reinvigorate democratic processes in Britain.

Weapons of Misperception: Kenneth Pollack was a military analyst at the CIA and later moved to the National Security Council. He became convinced that Iraq had WMD and in 2002 published the book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq. Many observers believe the book managed to convince a number of officials to join the call for war. Pollack has now changed his mind and recently published Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong. In this interesting interview in Atlantic Monthly, Pollack explains why he got it wrong. He also explains how George Bush "consistently engaged in creative omission, overstating the imminence of the Iraqi threat, even though it had evidence to the contrary".

Watergate: Some 25 years have passed since the bungled break-in at the Watergate hotel, a so-called "third-rate burglary," triggered a first-rate national crisis whose consequences still color the nation's politics. Like many other political scandals, Watergate grew to encompass far more than just the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. This CNN website provides a collection of articles on Watergate including an attempt to discover the identify of Deep Throat.

Electoral Reform: First-Past-the-Post is not the only voting system. In fact, different systems were used to elect MPs right up until 1950. In recent years we have seen different, often fairer, voting systems being used for elections to the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, London Assembly, European Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly. The Electoral Reform Society is a membership organisation which campaigns for improvements in democracy, particularly through the use of better voting systems. The website provides information on all the different voting systems used in the world today.

The Welfare State: An article by David Goodhart in the February edition of the Prospect Magazine has caused a great deal of controversy in Britain. The article looks at the future of the welfare state in Britain and other European countries. Goodhart argues that diversity, individualism and mobility characterises developed economies mean that more of our lives is spent among strangers. "We share public services and parts of our income in the welfare state, we share public spaces in towns and cities where we are squashed together on buses, trains and tubes, and we share in a democratic conversation - filtered by the media - about the collective choices we wish to make. All such acts of sharing are more smoothly and generously negotiated if we can take for granted a limited set of common values and assumptions. But as Britain becomes more diverse that common culture is being eroded."

Liberty: Seventy years ago today Liberty was launched in a letter to the Manchester Guardian. Clement Attlee, Harold Laski, H. G. Wells and others drew attention to the "general and alarming tendency to encroachment on the liberty of the citizen". The organization is currently campaigning against the government decision to detain people under new terrorism laws without charging them or putting them on trial. The organization is also involved in the defence of Katharine Gun, who used to work as a translator at GCHQ, the Government’s eavesdropping centre. In the weeks leading up to the Iraq War, at a time when the UN was still considering whether to pass a second resolution authorising war, she disclosed that the American National Security Agency had asked the British Government to help in the illegal surveillance of the six delegations holding the balance of power in the UN Security Council.

Nation States is a simulation game for people interested in politics. You create your own country, fashioned after your own ideals, and care for its people. When you begin you will be asked to choose a name for your nation, a motto, a national animal, and a currency. Then you answer a short questionnaire about your politics. This will determine what sort of nation you end up with: authoritarian or permissive, left-wing or right-wing, compassionate or psychotic. Once a day, you'll be faced with an issue, and need to make a decision as to what to do about it. This determines how your nation evolves.

Catalyst: Peter Hain, leader of the House of Commons, has just written a pamphlet that is freely available from this website. Hain argues that the Labour Party is over-centralised, undemocratic and closed to new ideas. He says that the policy-making structure "is losing credibility among members because they do not believe it influences major policy decisions" and urges the party leadership to address the issue urgently or "become divided and unable to renew itself in office." Hain adds that the party needs to imitate the Liberal Democrats by setting up groups to bring together party members, ministers and outside experts to look at specific issues.

Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature: The catalogue contains details of over 90,000 British 20th century cartoon drawings. Most of the records in the catalogue are based on original cartoon drawings held by the Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature at the University of Kent, though some of the more recent records were catalogued from daily newspapers. You can perform straightforward searches simply by typing search terms into search box. The matching records are returned in date order, in pages of up to 12 thumbnails. The preview images are links to the full catalogue records.

Your Party is an online political party where members set the policies. Its a party which starts with no bias about the best way forward in the future, but seeks to find common ground between citizens from all political persuasions. Your Party is not in opposition to any other party. It is a new platform for engagement, working in co-operation with any other organisation that wants to take part. Your Party wants to make full use of the Internet to create a new way for people to engage in the decision-making process – a way that allows full participation at every level on an issue-by-issue basis.

MoveOn: This new American organization is trying to bring ordinary people back into politics. The website claims: "With a system that today revolves around big money and big media, most citizens are left out. When it becomes clear that our "representatives" don't represent the public, the foundations of democracy are in peril. MoveOn is a catalyst for a new kind of grassroots involvement, supporting busy but concerned citizens in finding their political voice. Our nationwide network of more than 1,700,000 online activists is one of the most effective and responsive outlets for democratic participation available today."

CIA for Kids: The CIA has launched a website for children, guiding potential future spies through the world of covert operations under the guidance of a cartoon bear named Ginger. A large section of the site is dedicated to the war on drugs. It urges its visitors to shun illegal substances and instead to "get high on intelligence". It also claims that drug cultivation causes global warming. Potential recruits are warned that mandatory medical and polygraph tests for all CIA personnel will root out those who experiment with drugs.

Smart Mobs: Howard Rheingold is the author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Rheingold claims that the Smart Mob is a group of people who use the Internet and/or mobile communications to organize collective action. Rheingold argues: "I wrote the book to try to educate people because the people who make the laws listen to the people who pay them a lot of money to make them. They're not listening to the citizens. We're not powerless; the more we know, the more influence we will have. This website allows you to debate the ideas included in Smart Mobs.

Explore Saudi Arabia: This website, produced by the British Museum, enables students to learn about the people, places, wildlife, customs and culture of Saudia Arabia. Information is organized under headings such as Saudi Factfile, Today in Saudi, Learn About Arabia and Desert Adventure. Controversial issues like Saudi Arabia's appalling human rights record is not covered. This is not surprising when one considers that the website is being sponsored by Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal.

Saudi Arabia: In May 2003 the UN Committee against Torture examined Saudi Arabia's implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and urged Saudi Arabia to bring legislation and practice into line with the letter and spirit of the Convention. Amnesty has "called on Saudi Arabia to re-examine the imposition of judicial corporal punishments, provide redress for victims of torture and ill-treatment, and ensure punishment of the perpetrators. However, allegations of torture continued to be reported and no measure of redress was known to have been applied. Judicial corporal punishments, including bodily mutilation, were routinely imposed and carried out."

Memories of Communism: Only 14 years ago, in 1989, Romanian people reversed the communist power. During the discussion with her students, in 2000, Florina Serbu discovered that "the reality of the past is unknown by them, worse, they even can't think about it! Their parents, with their daily problems, forget the bad aspects of those times, and sometimes they have the tendency to remember only the good part of the communist era. I believe that it is our duty not to leave them to forget those times! Otherwise we risk to live them again!" Florina Serbu got her students to interview their relatives about daily life during communism. The material is in Romanian and English.

UK Electoral System: This Russel Tarr activity is based around the question: "What sort of electoral system should the UK have?" The students are taken through three systems: Constituency System, Proportional Representation and a hybrid system drawing upon both the constituency and the PR models. Each system is analyzed and the students are asked thought-provoking questions. There is also a worksheet that goes with this activity.

The Mendacity Index: Washington Monthly has just produced a Mendacity Index. A committee of noted journalists and pundits to pick the most serious fibs, deceptions, and untruths spoken by each of the four most recent presidents. It selected the top six for each commander-in-chief, then presented the list to a panel of judges with longtime experience in Washington. Panel members were instructed to rate each deception on a scale of 1 (least serious) to 5 (most serious). Then we averaged the scores for each deception and for each president. The overall rating is: George W. Bush (3.6), Ronald Reagan (3.3), George H. W. Bush (3.2) and Bill Clinton (3.1).

Democracy: In this article Martin Jacques argues that "democracy has become the universal calling card of the west, the mantra that is chanted at every country that falls short (when politically convenient, of course), the ubiquitous solution to the problems of countries that are not democratic". He adds "If it is mistaken to regard western democracy as a universal abstraction that is equally applicable across the world, it is also wrong to see it as frozen and unchanging. Indeed, there are grounds for believing that western democracy, as we have known it, is in decline. The symptoms have been well-rehearsed: the decline of parties, the fall in turnout, a growing disregard for politicians, the displacement of politics from the centre-stage of society. These trends have been observable more or less everywhere for at least 15 years."

War on Terrorism: "In March 2003, Americans thrilled to televised scenes of U.S. forces moving into Iraq. Well-spoken soldiers, modern equipment, and embedded reporters suggested a sense of purpose, competence, and courage that resonated across the country. But today, 14 months later, the mission is in shambles, scarred by rising Iraqi popular discontent, continued attacks against US forces, infiltration of foreign fighters, mounting civil strife, and no credible sense of direction." These are the views of General Wesley Clark, one of the America’s most distinguished retired military officers. During his thirty-three years of service in the United States Army, he held numerous staff and command positions, served in Vietnam, and rose to the rank of 4-star general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander.

Michael Moore: One of the most controversial and provocative films of the year, Fahrenheit 9/11 is Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore's searing examination of the Bush administration's actions in the wake of the tragic events of 9/11. He looks at how - and why - Bush and his inner circle avoided pursuing the Saudi connection to 9/11, despite the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis and Saudi money had funded Al Qaeda. It is in this atmosphere of confusion, suspicion and dread that the Bush Administration makes its headlong rush towards war in Iraq. Fahrenheit 9/11 takes us inside that war to tell the stories we haven't heard, illustrating the awful human cost to US soldiers and their families. To find out more visit Michael Moore's website. It includes a discussion of the facts included in Fahrenheit 9/11.