Undergraduate Course: From Oligarchy to Democracy: the Politics of Reform in Great Britain and Ireland, 1828-1928 (HIST10395)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course charts the arc of political and constitutional change between Catholic emancipation and the full enfranchisement of women a century later. During this period, parliamentary and other reforms were very often initiated by the political establishment itself with the intention of shoring up old systems rather than of bringing new ones into existence. This mentality, which has been described as 'reforming to conserve', will be a key focus of this course.
This course charts the arc of political and constitutional change between Catholic emancipation and the full enfranchisement of women a century later. Although Britain's route to participatory democracy was comparatively smooth and peaceful (indeed, Britain was unique among its European peers in being untouched by revolution during this century), progressive reform was never inevitable. This course consequently emphasizes the contingent nature of this process. British democracy was never pre-ordained, despite the claims of Victorian liberals who described successive reforms as evidence of inevitable 'progress'. Nor was the Westminster Parliament in the vanguard of democracy during this period. In 1914 Britain was governed by one of the least representative parliaments in the developed world. This course consequently emphasizes the staying power of the ancien regime in the face of reform. During this period, parliamentary and other reforms were very often initiated by the political establishment itself with the intention of shoring up old systems rather than of bringing new ones into existence. This mentality, which has been described as 'reforming to conserve', will be a key focus of this course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
1500 word source analysis (20%)
3500 word essay (80%)
||Students will receive extensive written feedback on their essays, and will have ample opportunity to discuss that feedback with the course organiser during their designated office hours, or by appointment at a different time. Students will receive regular, informal feedback on their contributions to class, including oral presentations.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which religion, culture and social change informed political discourse and ideology during the 'long 19th century'.
- Appreciate the platforms and ideologies promoted by competing political factions and parties during the long 19th century, and understand of how these platforms and ideologies evolved over time.
- Demonstrate the ability to present an argument in a clear, logical and persuasive manner, in both written and oral form, using appropriate evidence and referencing;
- Demonstrate a degree of research initiative commensurate with this level of study, including the ability to identify research questions and select relevant primary and secondary material (using the course bibliography as a starting point).
- Demonstrate an ability to engage in reasoned, respectful debate with others and amend views as necessary in the light of evidence and argument.
|R. Stewart, Party & Politics, 1830-1852 (1989)|
A. Hawkins, British Party Politics, 1852-1886 (1998)
M. Pugh, the Making of Modern British Politics, 1867-1939 (1991)
J. Gerrard, Democratization in Britain (2002)
S. Lang, Parliamentary Reform, 1785-1928 (2000)
R. McWilliam, Popular Politics in 19th Century England (1998)
J. Parry, the Rise and Fall of Liberal Government in Victorian Britain (1993)
M. Bentley, Politics Without Democracy, 1815-1914 (1984)
E.J. Evans, the Forging of the Modern State, 1783-1867 (1983)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||oligarchy to democracy
|Course organiser||Dr Benjamin Weinstein
Tel: (0131 6)50 3762
|Course secretary||Miss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582