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

Undergraduate Course: Revolutionary Britain, 1626 - 1691 (HIST10483)

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
SummaryStudents in this special subject will learn about constitutional crises, wars, and social change (or the lack thereof) in England, Ireland, and Scotland during the middle of the seventeenth century. We will consider the Three Kingdoms in European, Atlantic, and global contexts.
Course description This course proceeds chronologically from the disputes about funding the Stuart Crown in the 1620s through to the Revolution of 1688. We will concentrate especially on the 1640s and 1650s, when people in England, Scotland, and Ireland fought a series of gory wars, Parliament executed the king, and the Interregnum regimes attempted to carry out a godly reformation. We will then trace the fallout of these events through the Restoration, with its series of crises around religious toleration, colonial expansion, and international wars. Our core questions will be: what was revolutionary about this era, why did revolution occur, and with what results? Students will learn to think historically with different perspectives, considering the view from, for instance, Belfast, Ireland and Port Royal, Jamaica as well as Edinburgh and Westminster. They will sample the techniques of the case study, the comparison, the analysis of large sets of text through quantification, and the deep contextualization and close reading of language. Our approach to revolution will draw not only on political history, but also social, economic, military, and legal history.

Students will spend each session analysing and proposing their own interpretations of the primary source evidence. These sources vary from constitutional documents, state correspondence, and political pamphlets, to records from court cases, local church meetings, and trading corporations.
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.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
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) 2,000-word primary source analysis (15%)
Two 4,000-word essays (35% each)
2,000-word literature review (15%)
Feedback Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate command of the key events and debates in early Stuart, revolutionary, and Restoration Britain;
  2. Read, analyse and reflect critically upon early modern historical scholarship pertaining to constitutional crises, social change, and wars in the British Isles;
  3. Understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material from the seventeenth-century British Isles;
  4. Develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind, initiative, and intellectual integrity and maturity.
Reading List
David R. Como, Radical Parliamentarians and the English Civil War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Barbara Donagan, War in England 1642-1649 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Clare Jackson, Devil-Land: England under Siege, 1588-1688 (London: Allen Lane, 2021).

Michael O'Siochru, God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (London: Faber and Faber, 2008).

Jason Peacey, Print and Public Politics in the English Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Carla Gardina Pestana, The English Conquest of Jamaica: Oliver Cromwell's Bid for Empire (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2017).

Laura A. M. Stewart, Rethinking the Scottish Revolution: Covenanted Scotland 1637-1651, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

John Walter, Covenanting Citizens: The Protestation Oath and Popular Political Culture in the English Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills *A questioning disposition and the ability to formulate and pursue clearly defined questions and enquiries

*Analytical ability, and the capacity to consider and solve problems, including complex problems to which there is no single solution

*Structure, coherence, clarity, and fluency of oral and written expression, marshalling relevant evidence

*The ability to read and analyse texts and other primary sources, both critically and empathetically, while addressing questions of genre, content, perspective, and purpose
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sonia Tycko
Tel: (0131 6)50 4402
Course secretaryMiss Katherine Perry
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