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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Liberty and Scandal: Culture and Controversy in Britain and America, c.1689-1768 (HIST10446)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryIn Britain and its American colonies, c.1689-1769, "liberty" was both a rallying cry and as a political concept. Sources from the period document attacks on "liberty" associated with religious dissent, representational government, imperial trade, indigenous and racial slavery, freedom from arbitrary arrest, and liberty of the press. This course explores these scandals and their meaning, in addition to the ways these controversies have been understood over the past fifty years.
Course description The period covered by this course was animated by public scandals and literary controversies on both sides of the Atlantic, whose participants adopted a language of "British liberty" and "patriotism" to express their views. Over the past fifty years, historians have interpreted these events by drawing upon the same ideological vocabulary. But to what extent is "liberty" a useful concept for interpreting this period? What can these scandals reveal about the social and intellectual conditions of the period, and the ways historians made sense of them? This course brings together perspectives from political, intellectual and cultural history to explore these questions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 50 3780).
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework, command of cultural and social history of this period;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship in eighteenth-century studies;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source materials, including manuscripts, early-printed books, and visual illustrations;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Armitage, D., The Ideological Origins of the British Empire, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000).

Bailyn, B. ed., Pamphlets of the American Revolution, 1750-76, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1965).

Clark, A. Scandal: The Sexual Politics of the British Constitution, (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2004).

Hunt, T. Defining John Bull: Political Caricature and National Identity in Late Georgian Britain, (London: Routledge, 2003).

Kidd, C. "North Britishness and the Nature of Eighteenth-Century Patriotisms," Historical Journal, 39 (1996): 361-82.

Lepore, J. New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan, (New York: Knopf, 2005)

Pocock, J. P. A., "Machiavelli, James Harrington, and English Political Ideologies in the Eighteenth Century," William and Mary Quarterly, 22 (October 1965): 549-83.

Robbins, C. The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1959)

Skinner, Q., Liberty before Liberalism, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998)

Thomas, P. John Wilkes: A Friend to Liberty, (Oxford: Clarendon P, 1996)

Wilson, K. "Empire, Trade and Popular Politics in Mid-Hanoverian Britain: The Case of Admiral Vernon," Past and Present, 121 (November 1988): 74-109.

Woodfine, P. Britannia's Glories: The Walpole Ministry and the 1739 War with Spain, (Woodbridge, Boydell P, 1998).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Adam Budd
Tel: (0131 6)50 3834
Course secretaryMiss Lorna Berridge
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