HST694: Revolutionary England, 1640-1660: Politics, Culture & Society
15 credits (semester 2)
Dr. Tom Leng
This module will introduce students to the study of English politics and society between 1640 and 1660. Students will use primary and secondary sources in seminars to analyse both contemporary writings and historiographical debates on the causes and significance of the civil war, defined broadly to include not just formal political debate but also popular movements (including witch hunts, clubman associations and forms of economic and social protest) and other forms of intellectual creativity (astrology and natural science for example). The aim is to understand both the conflict, and the social and cultural values through which it was experienced and resolutions were sought.
This module aims to give students a solid grounding in the pertinent primary sources and historiographical debates concerning the political, social and cultural history of revolutionary England. Students will undertake a structured programme of reading, presentation and discussion. They will be expected to understand a range of contemporary perspectives and to grasp the ambiguities and complexity of contemporary responses to the political crisis and the war to which it gave rise. In doing so, students will come to a better understanding of the cultural and social history of early modern England more generally. Where appropriate the course draws on sources and methods from political thought, practical politics and social and cultural history. This will enable students to engage critically with a divergent range of historiographies, and to apply insights and models across methodological boundaries.
The module will be taught in five, two-hour classes. Each class will focus on a particular theme for discussion in relation to important primary sources and the broader historical literature. Classes will enable students to research and present their ideas, share knowledge, debate controversial issues and listen and respond to the views of others in a structured environment. Students will, in addition, have individual tutorial contact with the module leader in order to discuss their written work for this module.
Students will prepare a short paper (not more than 3,000 words) which demonstrates an ability to handle primary evidence and which relates this to the key themes of historical debate for the early modern period.
|Intended Learning Outcomes|
By the end of the module, a candidate will be able to demonstrate:
- A more detailed understanding of recent developments in the study of England between 1640 and 1651.
- A knowledge of selected bodies of evidence relevant to the study of these issues, and of the problems of their interpretation.
- An ability to engage critically and independently in current historiographical debates on these issues.
- A capacity for informed and critical comparative analysis.
- An ability to evaluate critically approaches to these issues that use a range of different methodological approaches.
- An ability to examine the interaction of a range of political, cultural and social factors in an informed and integrated way.
- An ability to elaborate and defend an intellectual position and to present scholarly arguments and historiographical debates both orally and in writing.