The latest issue of BBC History Magazine is now on sale. In our new edition, Thomas E Sebrell II explains how the arrival of a formidable new weapon largely prevented British intervention in the American Civil War.
Elsewhere in the magazine, Phil Withington reveals how the current call for a Big Society echoes that created by Elizabeth I in the 16th century.
The April issue also features presenter Dan Snow who explores medieval London's stinkiest stinks in conjunction with his new BBC Two series, Filthy Cities, which starts in April. The feature comes complete with a scratch and sniff card so you can smell some medieval stinks for yourself.
Also in this issue, David Edgerton argues against the traditional image of Britain as a spirited underdog during the Second World War, while Chris Evans explores how African slaves here used in Cuban and Brazilian mines long after the Abolition Act of 1833.
Meanwhile, Lucy Worsley took time out from filming her new BBC Four series, If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home, to reveal how coiffures have reflected social changes over the past 800 years.
Other topics this month include an interview with Professor John Morrill on what lay at the heart of the War of Three Kingdoms across the kingdoms of Scotland, Ireland and England in the 17th century, and Dominic Sandbrook's big day in history – 28 October 1971, the date of the historic debate on whether Britain should join the European Community.
You can buy the magazine in all good newsagents. If you've read it and would like to comment on the articles, you can join the discussion on our forum or get in touch with us by post, telephone or email.