The spring and summer of 1981 saw one of the most widespread and intense periods of 'widespread urban disturbance' in England in the 20th century. During the week of 6-13th July 1981 patterns of the disturbance diffusion emerge suggesting that major 'riots' in inner city areas of mixed ethnicity created numerous further incidents in other ethnically homogeneous districts, sometimes considerably distant from the original 'flash-point'. Ball investigates two examples two examples of Bristol-based unrest which shook the South-West.
During World War II, American armed forces were stationed at Bristol and throughout the South-West. A considerable number of these soldiers were African American. During this period, the Jim Crow Laws were still being enforced in the southern states of America, and a strict policy of racial segregation was observed within the American military. The experience of African American soldiers was very different in the South-West of England to what it had been in the United States. This article offers a brief insight into contemporary race-relations and the differences between the policies of each nation regarding civil rights and military participation.