Institute of the Americas
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Archive of Events

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Seminar: Haunted by Empire: William Seward and Narratives of American Imperialism

Start: Dec 4, 2014 5:30:00 PM
End: Dec 4, 2014 7:30:00 PM

Dr David Sim (UCL-History) -William Seward, the US Secretary of State 1861-1869, is best remembered today for his leading role in the purchase of Alaska from Russia, a transaction much criticized at the time as a waste of public money for a frozen territory but today regarded as one of the most astute real estate deals in American history. Seward's significance extended far beyond that land purchase, however. In a political career spanning the 1840s through the 1860s, he was arguably the central figure in the development of America's nineteenth century empire in both its territorial and commercial manifestations.

Seminar: The Battle of London: Trudeau, Thatcher and the Fight for Canada’s Constitution, 1980-82

Start: Dec 8, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Dec 8, 2014 7:30:00 PM

[broken image] Dr Frédéric Bastien (Dawson College, Montreal) - After the narrow defeat of the Quebec referendum in 1980, Pierre Elliott Trudeau turned his sights on repatriating the Constitution in an effort to make Canada fully independent from Britain. This involved converting the British North America Act of 1867 into a Canadian Constitution and transferring sovereignty from London to Ottawa. But René Lévesque, the Premier of Quebec, thought that the prerogatives of the province would be threatened if the Constitution was repatriated and he mounted a charm offensive to influence key British MPs against the change. Canada's native leaders also entered the fray, concerned that the rights of the indigenous peoples of Canada would be threatened. Meanwhile, the British Labour Party saw an opportunity to embarrass Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. As a result, the maverick Trudeau and the uncompromising Thatcher entered into an unlikely marriage of convenience in order to repatriate the Canadian Constitution.

Seminar: Michelle Bachelet’s presidencies: gender, politics and institutional change in Chile

Start: Dec 10, 2014 5:30:00 PM
End: Dec 10, 2014 7:30:00 PM

Georgina Waylen (Manchester) - Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s first female president, was elected in 2006 with an explicit gender agenda, promising to appoint new faces (including women) and implement some positive gender change. After a period heading UN Women, she was subsequently reelected for a second term in 2013 with a decisive majority.
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