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HI3404 Revolutionary Britain 1678-1715

Revolutionary Britain

Module Organiser: Prof. Robert Armstrong
Duration: All year
Contact hours: 3 hours per week
Weighting: 20 ECTS
Assessment: 60% Examination, 40% Essay

In the decades covered by this module Britain was in the grip of a ‘rage of party’, of politics experienced as never before, as the conflicts of Whig and Tory made themselves felt in cultural as well as political life, on the stage, in verse, and on the streets. ‘Revolution’ is not a term usually associated with Britain, but the so-called ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688-9 fixed constitutional norms and entrenched notions of ’liberty’ which would shape British life for centuries to come. To England it brought some resolution to intense religious disputes and a significant degree of religious toleration.  To Ireland, it brought a bitter and devastating war, resulting in a strengthened Irish parliament and a battery of ‘penal laws’.  In Scotland, it intensified debates on national identity and aspirations which preceded the controversial Treaty of Union of 1707. In all three kingdoms it ushered in renewed tendencies to turn politics into conspiracy with the rise of the Jacobite movement. This module will give particular attention to the wider cultural setting of politics and to such contentious questions as how to deal with religious diversity, with popular participation or with the increasing preoccupation with commercial concerns.  Sources will extend from the popular press to the writings of authors as diverse and distinctive as John Milton, Andrew Marvell and John Locke, Daniel Defoe or Jonathan Swift.


Last updated 11 April 2017 History (Email).