Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Stuart England: War, Political Crisis and Social Change 1629-1714
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 5 x fortnightly seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 X 2,500 WORD ESSAY  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   1 X 2 HOUR CLOSED EXAM  70%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   70%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of a body of historical knowledge and sources relating to this period

Critically assess the major political, economic, social and cultural developments in England during this period

Express understanding, in written (assessed) and oral forms (unassessed), within an academic context.

Work independently and collaboratively, and take part in group discussions (not formally assessed).

Brief description

This period was one when war and political crisis created deep fissures in England and on occasions turned the established order upside down. The module will explore the causes, manifestations, and impact of this turbulence. It will also investigate economic growth, the contours of everyday social life, and the multifarious patterns of culture and thought that jockeyed to shape people's minds. The module is divided into four sections. The first examines the basic features of environment and society - population, climate and the seasons, family and sexual life, landscape, localism, and the economy. The second and third sections tackle politics and personality. Partly this is done through a series of case-studies of leaders and major events (the Civil War, the Interregnum, the Restoration, the 1688 Revolution, and the Rage of Party), partly through a study of broader political institutions and factors (the monarchy, parliament and the electorate, war, and the British polity). The final section focuses on the culture of the period; radical thought and movements, magic, witchcraft, literacy, religion, and popular cultures.


The Stuart period is one of the most hotly debated areas in British historiography and one where the innovations in types and approaches to history have been most keenly felt. This module shows how these developments have impacted on and enriched our view of Stuart England. The emphasis is upon offering a wide-ranging but integrated perspective on the period, and doing so through examining the interplay of structures and events, and continuity and change. It will also introduce students to the multi-faceted and problematic character of early modern history that has emerged in recent decades.


Introduction: structures and events, continuity and change
Environment and Society
2: Population
3: Climate and the Seasons
4: Family and Sex
5: Lowlands and Highlands
6: Locality and Nation
7: Economy
Politics: Personalities and Events
8: Cromwell and the Interregnum
9: Charles II and the Restoration Settlement
10: James II and the Glorious Revolution
11: Queen Anne and the Rage of Party
Politics: Structures
12: Monarchy
13: Parliament and the Electorate
14: England and the British Polity
15: Warfare
16. Radical Thought and Movements
17: Magic and Witchcraft
18: Literacy, Religion and Popular Cultures
1: Family and Community: Change or Continuity?
2: The English Civil War
3: Personality in Politics
4: The Putney Debates
5: The Witch Hunt 1645
1 x 15 minute essay return tutorial

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Improve their listening skills during the lectures, and consequently develop skills in note taking; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in the written work; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars.
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies; devise a personal action plan to include short and long-term goals and to develop personal awareness of how to improve on these.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD-Roms and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills, beliefs and qualities in relation to course in progression; plan and prepare for future course / career.
Problem solving Identify problems and factors which might influence potential solutions; develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; understand a range of research methods and plan and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars); exercise negotiation and persuasion skills; evaluate group activities and own contribution.


This module is at CQFW Level 4