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

Undergraduate Course: Disunited kingdoms: why do union states fail? (HIST10430)

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
SummaryWhy do states like the United Kingdom stay together or fall apart? This course looks at the history of the United Kingdom alongside that of other multi-national union states in 19th and early 20th century Europe. It provides an understanding of the purpose of such states, the reasons for their survival - and ultimately the explanations for when they fail and collapse. It illuminates the current condition of the UK, in the context of the referenda on Scottish independence and Brexit.
Course description Why do states like the United Kingdom stay together or fall apart? The UK (1801) was one of several multi-national 'united kingdoms' or unions formed in the early or mid 19th century - such as Sweden-Norway (1814-15), the Netherlands (1815) or Austria-Hungary (1867) evolving from the Austrian empire (1804). The course offers an understanding of why the multi-national union states formed at the same time as the UK were created, why they survived - and ultimately why they sometimes collapsed. It offers an illumination of the current condition of the UK in the context of the referenda on Scottish independence and Brexit.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: political violence, sectarian violence. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
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, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, 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) One historiographical essay in semester one (3,500 words) (25%)
One source-based essay in semester two (3,500 words) (35%)
One long essay (5000 words) (40%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of the functioning of union states, and the reasons for their survival
  2. read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant existing scholarship
  3. to understand, evaluate and utilise an array of relevant source material relating to Britain, Ireland and similar union states.
  4. develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form by formulating appropriate questions and utilising appropriate evidence
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative, intellectual integrity and maturity; and also an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Barton, H.Arnold, Sweden and visions of Norway: politics and culture, 1814-1905 (Carbondale, Ill., 2003)
Derry, T.K., A history of modern Norway, 1814-1972 (Oxford, 1972)
Jackson, Alvin, Home rule: an Irish history, 1800-2000, paperback edition (London, 2004)
Jackson, Alvin, The two unions: Ireland, Scotland and the survival of the United Kingdom, 1707-2007, paperback edition (Oxford, 2013)
Judson, Pieter, The Habsburg empire: a new history (Cambridge Mass., 2016)
Kendle, John, Federal Britain: a history (London, 1997)
Kossman, E.H., The low countries, 1770-1940 (1978)
Kouri, E., and Jens E Olesen (eds), The Cambridge history of Scandinavia: volume two, 1520-1870 (Cambridge, 2016)
Lindgren, Raymond, Norway-Sweden: union, disunion and Scandinavian integration (Princeton, 1959)
Mackillop, Andrew and Micheál Ó Siochrú (eds), Forging the state: European state formation and the Anglo-Scottish union of 1707 (Dundee, 2008)
Okey, Robin, The Habsburg Empire, c.1765-1918: from Enlightenment to eclipse (Basingstoke, 2001)
Wielenga, Friso (Lynne Richards trans), A history of the Netherlands, from the sixteenth century to the present day (London, 2015)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Alvin Jackson
Tel: (0131 6)51 3848
Course secretaryMiss Katherine Perry
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