The Weekly Stripe – 20.03.20
As well as causing great suffering, catastrophic events often create room for positive social change. From Jackson Pollock's artwork to women's suffrage, this week's links explore some of history's finest silver linings.
Missing the pub? According to Prof Robert Tombs, we have The Black Death to thank for the birth of the British drinking establishment, not to mention the end of feudalism.
In the wake of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt’s Federal Arts Program funded a generation of working-class artists, including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Lee Krasner, playing a crucial role in the emergence of Abstract Expressionism.
In 1918, women stepped in to fill huge labour shortages in the US caused by the Spanish influenza; two years later, they gained the right to vote. Read about how a devastating pandemic helped to advance women’s rights.
Out of the ashes of the Great Fire of London came the modern insurance industry.
Looking ahead, Paolo Gaudiano suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic may lead to greater inclusion in the workforce, levelling the playing field for people with disabilities and those living in rural areas.