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

Undergraduate Course: Improving the Nation. Change and Modernisation in Scotland, 1660-1730 (HIST10379)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the way Scotland was transformed in the period from the Stuart Restoration until the first quarter of the eighteenth century, in part as a result of its engagement with the wider world.
Course description This course examines the way Scotland was transformed in the period from the Stuart Restoration until the first quarter of the eighteenth century, not least as a result of its relations abroad. The self-conscious ways in which politicians, intellectuals and professionals expressed their concern with Scotland and its place in the world, both in relation to England, Europe and the emerging Atlantic empires, sets this period apart from the sixteenth and earlier seventeenth centuries, and arguably led to a pre-occupation with improvement. The course examines the interplay between challenges at home and the impact of the country's exchanges in people, goods and ideas, especially with the Continent. Amongst others, it looks at the language and intellectual underpinnings of such various projects of improvement as the quest for a Scottish colony, the reform of the universities, the development of the legal and medical professions and the Union debate.

The course aims to:
- develop an in-depth knowledge and an advanced, critical understanding of processes of modernisation and change in Scotland between c. 1660 and c. 1730;
- deepen students' knowledge and understanding of early modern Scottish history;
- develop students' skills and confidence in interpreting primary texts;
- develop students' analytical, critical and communication skills, in both written and verbal forms.

Topics and outline:
Historiography; Restoration Scotland; Economic ambitions; Revolution; Political change; Civic aspirations; The Universities; Darien; Union; Post-Union Scotland; Improvement & Enlightenment
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking From Covenanting Revolution to Jacobite Rebellion: Scottish Politics, 1638-1747 (SCHI10077)
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.
Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. a nuanced and critical understanding of the themes of change and modernization in Scottish history from 1660 to 1730.
  2. a detailed knowledge of key events and developments during that period
  3. independent research skills commensurate with this level of study, including the ability to identify and organize relevant information on the subject through extensive reading in the relevant literature (using the course bibliography as a starting point)
  4. the ability to interpret primary sources and to evaluate critically secondary literature on the subject
  5. the ability to use evidence effectively and argue cogently in writing and orally.
Reading List
Berry, Christopher J., The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 2013)

Emerson, R.L., 'Scottish Universities in the Eighteenth Century, 1690-1800', Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 167 (1977), 453-474

Idem., 'Sir Robert Sibbald, Kt., The Royal Society of Scotland and the Origins of the Scottish Enlightenment', Annals of Science, 45 (1988), 41-72.

Grafton, Anthony, 'A Sketch of a Lost Continent: The Republic of Letters', Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts, 1, no. 1 (May 1, 2009)

Harris, T., 'The People, the Law and the Constitution in Scotland and England: a Comparative Approach to the Glorious Revolution', Journal of British Studies, (1999)

Macinnes, Allan I., Union and Empire. The making of the United Kingdom in 1707 (Cambridge, 2007), Ch. 6 and 7

Mckillop, Andrew (ed.), The State of Early Modern and Modern Scottish Histories, The Scottish Historical Review, Vol. XCII, Supplement: No. 234 (April 2013)

Mijers, Esther 'The Netherlands, William Carstares and the Reform of Edinburgh University 1690-1715', History of Universities, XXV/2 (Oxford, 2011), 111-142

Ouston, Hugh,'Cultural Life from the Restoration to the Union', in: A. Hook ed., The History of Scottish Literature. II 1660-1800 (Aberdeen, 1987), 11-31

Phillipson, N.T. & Mitchison, Rosalind (eds), Scotland in the Age of Improvement: Essays in Scottish History in the Eighteenth Century

Raffe, Alasdair, 'Scotland Restored and Reshaped: Politics and Religion, c. 1660-1712', in T.M. Devine and Jenny Wormald (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Scottish History (Oxford: Oxford U.P., 2012)

Smout, T. C., Scottish Trade on the Eve of the Union 1660-1707 (Edinburgh, 1963)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student's effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.
Course organiserDr Rosi Carr
Tel: (0131 6)50 3758
Course secretaryMr Rob Hutchinson
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