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

Undergraduate Course: British Politics in an Age of Revolutions, 1783-1832 (HIST10417)

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
SummaryThe period from the end of the American Revolution to the 'Great Reform Act' has long been of interest to historians of the British world. This course encourages students to immerse themselves in detailed study of the political life of this important period and the changes (intellectual, social and cultural as well as political) that it witnessed. It is based on the intensive study of a variety of primary source materials (including contemporary pamphlets, newspapers, parliamentary debates, satirical prints and manuscripts) as well as critical engagement with the historiography of the period.
Course description The period between the American Revolution and the 'Great Reform Act' is a critical period in the history of the British world. It provides the locus for a number of influential interpretations of political, social and cultural change: the birth of modern political ideologies, parties and the modern state; the industrial revolution and the making of class; the emergence of separate spheres; the forging of Britishness; and the establishment of Britain as a global power through victory in the second hundred years' war with France and the creation of a 'second empire'. With an emphasis on political change across this period the course will demand engagement with an extensive and challenging historiography and the intensive analysis of a varied body of primary source material.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
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 and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, 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
J. Barrell, The Spirit of Despotism: Invasions of Privacy in the 1790s (2006).
G. Claeys, The French Revolution Debate in Britain: The Origins of Modern Politics (2007).
A. Clark, Scandal: The Sexual Politics of the British Constitution (2004).
J. W. Derry, Politics in the Age of Fox, Pitt and Liverpool: Continuity and Transformation (1990).
H. T. Dickinson (ed.), A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain (2002).
M. Duffy, The Younger Pitt (2000).
C. Emsley, British Society and the French Wars, 1793-1815 (1979).
J. Innes, Inferior Politics: Social Problems and Social Policies in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2009).
P. J. Marshall (ed.), The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume 2, The Eighteenth Century (1998).
L. G. Mitchell, Charles James Fox (1992).
M. Philp (ed.), The French Revolution and British Popular Politics (1991).
D. Wahrman, Imagining the Middle Class: The Political Representation of Class in Britain, c. 1780-1840 (1995).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gordon Pentland
Tel: (0131 6)50 8354
Course secretaryMiss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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