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

Undergraduate Course: Empire of emancipation: the British Empire in the 'age of reform', 1828-1848 (HIST10435)

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
SummaryThis course considers the British empire, and its relationship to the imperial metropole, during the so-called 'age of reform' (1828-1848). Special attention is paid to the advocates of humanitarian relief and progressive institutional reform, and to the language of 'emancipation' and 'moral reform', in both the settler colonies and a range of 'dependant' colonies. Students will have an opportunity to study a succession of major imperial reforms, from the abolition of slavery throughout the empire to the establishment of 'responsible government' in the Canadian colonies.
Course description This course explores the imperial dimensions of Great Britain's 'age of reform'. The two decades between the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Act (1829) and the collapse of Chartism were a crucible for the modernization of British institutions. Progressive legislation reformed municipal government, the state churches, the provision of poor relief and even Parliament itself. Yet, the spirit of reform did not terminate at the metropolitan borders. Rather, it permeated the entire empire and made lasting changes to the way in which the empire operated. During these decades, West Indian and South African colonies were profoundly impacted by the abolition of slavery; the South Asian territories under East India Company sovereignty became subject to a raft of Anglicizing legislative reforms; and the settler colonies of Upper Canada, New South Wales and New Zealand negotiated new constitutional settlements. By considering each of these reforms, among others, this course interrogates the relationship of the British metropole to its imperial periphery. There will also be a strong focus on the language of 'emancipation', the drive for 'moral reform' and the influence of evangelical culture at home and abroad.
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, PTs are asked to contact History Honours Admissions Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 348 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
2 x 1,000 word Historiographical Essay (15% each)
2 x 4,000 word Research Essay (35% each)
200 word Weekly Short Profiles/Biographies (unassessed)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their work and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the course organizer during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an understanding of reform movements across the British empire between 1828 and 1848;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to read, analyze and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilize a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilizing 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. Belich, Replenishing the earth: the settler revolution and the rise of the Anglo-world (Oxford, 2011)
I. Bradley, The call to seriousness: the evangelical impact on the Victorians (London, 1976)
C. Hall, N. Draper, K. McClelland, Emancipation and the remaking of the British imperial world (Manchester, 2014)
C. Hall, Macaulay and son: architects of imperial Britain (London, 2012)
R. Huzzey, Freedom burning: anti-slavery and empire in Victorian Britain (Ithaca, 2012)
J. Innes and A. Burns (eds.), Rethinking the age of reform, 1780-1850 (Cambridge, 2003)
B. T. Jones, Republicanism and responsible government: the shaping of democracy in Australia and Canada (Montreal, 2014)
Z. Laidlaw, Colonial connections, 1815-45: patronage, the information revolution and colonial government (Manchester, 2012)
A. Lambert, White creole culture, politics and identity during the age of abolition (Cambridge, 2005)
A. Lester and F. Dussart, Colonization and the origins of humanitarian governance: protecting aborigines across the nineteenth-century British empire (Cambridge, 2014)
P. Moon, A savage country (London, 2012)
E. Stokes, The English utilitarians in India (Oxford, 1959)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Benjamin Weinstein
Tel: (0131 6)50 3762
Course secretaryMiss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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