Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Introducion, 6 x 2 hour seminars and individual tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment TWO ASSESSED ESSAYS OF 3,500 WORDS.  100%
Supplementary Assessment NEW ESSAYS ON A DIFFERENT TOPIC 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Identify and critically analyse the primary historical sources relevant to the role of ideological debates in the politics of the 1790s.

Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant historiography, its evolution and the key problems currently addressed by historians in this field.

Discuss the interpretative problems and prospects associated with this topic.

Illustrate, analyse and evaluate both primary sources and the associated historiography in an extended written discussion.

Brief description

This seminar series has been designed to allow students to study in some depth the ideological debates that occurred in late eighteenth-century Britain. It focuses on the British intellectual dichotomy of the 1790s: between radical enlightenment thought and the rise of romanticism. Following the outbreak of the French Revolution, radical thinkers and movements emerged in all parts of the British Isles. In Wales, Iolo Morganwg's forgeries gave life to a new imagined nation. Scotland saw Robert Burns's more whimsical nationalism find favour at the same time as the emergence of working-class popular radicalism. In Ireland, the United Irish movement - formed on enlightened principles - allied with the sectarian Defenders and attempted to overthrow British rule in the 1798 Rebellion. English radicalism was divided by the brutal excesses of the French `Terror'; the enlightened thought of the likes of Thomas Paine, Joseph Priestley and Richard Price finding itself opposed to the romantic notions of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Southey. This interdisciplinary course will explore radical strains of political thought in the revolutionary period, both in a British context and that of its individual constituent nations, utilising a wide variety of source materials, including literary and visual evidence.


This module equips students to investigate a formative period in the intellectual history of the British Isles in depth, through the analysis of sources of different types in combination with an up-to-date appraisal of historical interpretations of the period


Introductory seminar.
1) Enlightenment and Romanticism
2) Jacobins and Radicals in the 1790s
3) Religious Radicalism
4) Iolo Morganwg and Welsh Romanticism
5) Robert Burns and Scottish Radicalism
6) The United Irishmen

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Seminar discussion and essay-writing. The latter is formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Seminar and tutorial discussion; tutors' feedback.
Information Technology Locating source materials and surveying the historiography on the subject uses of various search tools. Essay-writing and presentation.
Personal Development and Career planning Studying the module puts students in direct contact with librarians and archivists at the National Library and elsewhere in the course of researching the location of primary sources and the development of the historiography.
Problem solving Students will be expected to identify and respond to historical problems and carry out appropriate research before the seminars and before writing essays. This will be assessed through essay writing.
Research skills Locating and assessing primary source materials. Assessed through the essays.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different sources and with research skills in the history of science and technology.
Team work Seminar work.


This module is at CQFW Level 7