The King and Country debate

17 smartly dressed men arranged formally outside the Oxford Union debate chamber door.

The King and Country debate On the evening of 9 February 1933, Oxford Union members assembled for their regular Thursday night debate to consider the motion That this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country. The fact the motion was carried, by 275 votes to 153, caused outrage amongst some members … Read more

Previous Oxford Union Anniversary Celebrations

Whilst the Oxford Union is celebrating its bicentenary year, it seems an appropriate moment to look back at how the Society has celebrated in the past. Jubilee anniversary (1873) The 50th anniversary of the Oxford Union Society was marked by a Jubilee banquet with speeches held in the Corn Exchange (located in the courtyard behind … Read more

Uniomachia: The Poem That Saved The Union

Written in 1833 as a humorous account of a conflict within the Oxford Union Society, the poem Uniomachia succeeded in healing divisions and securing the future of the Society. Background From the spring of 1832, the governing Committee of the Oxford Union was controlled by a succession of politically-Conservative members, including Edward Cardwell. In Michaelmas … Read more

A brief history of the Union Library

Oxford Union SOciety Library and Pre-Raphaelite murals viewed from the gallery at night

[M]ay it not be hoped that if the debates were ever to cease, the Union would still survive, attached to a library? Featuring beautiful work spaces, approximately 60,000 books, and a thriving Library Committee responsible for maintaining interesting and relevant collections, the Library acts as a key attraction to Union membership. The Old Library’s Pre-Raphaelite … Read more