Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The British Isles and the 'English' Revolution
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 50 minute sessions
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 50 minute sessions
Seminars / Tutorials Individual 10-minute 'feedback tutorial' per written assignment submitted


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   (1 x 3 hour exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  25%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  25%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   1 x 3 hour supplementary (resit) examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

a) Demonstrate familiarity with a substantial body of historical knowledge in the field of the political history of the British Isles 1603-88
b) Engage in source criticism, discussion and understanding of contemporary political concepts, and their relationship to religious and social experience
c) Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of historical techniques relevant to the interpretation of political behaviour in 17th-century society
d) Gather and sift appropriate items of historical evidence
e) Read, analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts, in particular the large and varied body of printed books and pamphlets collected by the bookseller George Thomason during the period 1640-60
f) Explore the relationships between history and other disciplines, particularly political science, literary criticism
g) Develop the ability to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of particular historical arguments and where necessary challenge them.
h) Develop oral (not assessed) and written skills which will have been improved through seminar discussions and essays
i) Work both independently and collaboratively, and to participate in group discussions (not assessed).

Brief description

This option module provides a broad coverage of the complex, exciting and lastingly influential events which dominated the history of the British Isles in the central decades of the 17th century. The approach adopted is that followed by the most recent accounts of the subject, which in recent years have laid much emphasis on placing the English Civil War, or the 'English Revolution', in its wider 'British' context. The module will explore therefore the relationships not only between Westminster and the English or Welsh county communities, but also between religious and political communities in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England during the 17th century as a whole.


1. The reign of Charles I down to 1640
2. Political crisis in Scotland, Ireland and England 1637-42
3. The collapse of royal authority and the outbreak of civil war
4. The geography of civil war allegiance and the sequence of military events 1642-46
5. The political and religious implications of a successful Parliamentary victory
6. The rise of political and religious radicalism in England and Wales 1647-
7. The situation in Ireland; from the 1641 rebellion to the Confederation of Kilkenny
8. Scotland and support for the King 1646-48
9. The 'Second Civil War' and resistance to Parliament
10. Pride's Purge, the Trial and Execution of the King
11. Inventing a Republic: the creation of government without monarchy by the Rump 1649-53
12. England's re-conquest of Ireland and Scotland 1649-51
13. Propagating the Gospel in Wales in its British context
14. Republican Britain on the European stage
15. The collapse of the Rump and the Barebones experiment
16. The Protectorate constitution
17. Oliver Cromwell
18. The British Isles United?
19. Restoration and beyond

1. The Petition of Right 1628
2. Charles' Scottish Coronation (1633).
3. The Bishops' Wars and the Collapse of Charles's Authority 1638-1642
4. The Course and Outcome of the First Civil War in England and Wales 1642-1646
5. The civil war's radical outcome
6. The Trial and Execution of the King
7. The real Revolution? Diggers (the 'True Levellers'), Ranters, and the early Quakers
8. English (re-)Conquest in Ireland and Scotland
9. Oliver Cromwell and the Protectorate
10. The collapse of the regime after Oliver's death

Reading List

Recommended Text
M. Bennett (1997) The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland 1638-1651 Primo search S.G. Ellis, & S. Barber (eds.) (1995) Conquest and Union : Fashioning a British State 1485-1725 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6