Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
British Society and the French Revolution, 1789-1795: Initial Reactions (Part 1)
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word document analysis  25%
Semester Assessment Oral assessment  25%
Supplementary Assessment (Resit) 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment (Resit) Document analysis 1 - 1 x 1,500 words  25%
Supplementary Assessment (Resit) Document analysis 2 - 1 x 1,500 words  25%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the various British responses to the French Revolution in its early phases (to c.1795)
2. Demonstrate an understanding of different historical debates and interpretations evident in related texts on the ‘Revolution controversy’, ranging from contemporary sources to recent
scholarly works.
3. Read, analyze and assess a range of different types of historical evidence, including political theory and literary works.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of Britain’s response to the French revolution (to c.1795)


This module and its companion are designed to provide an in-depth study of British society in the age of the French Revolution. Students will have the opportunity to explore the period from a variety of perspectives (political, history of ideas, economic, cultural) as it seeks to present a rounded picture of Britain in the later eighteenth century, and the use of primary sources will be a central aspect of this.

Brief description

This module and HQ36520 involve an intensive study of society, culture and politics in Britain during the French Revolution, drawing particularly on contemporary documentation, publications and other source material, to assess the impact of the French Revolution on Britain and the British people. This module deals with the initial impact of the events in France, and the progress of the 'Revolution Controversy' in the period 1789-1795. It will chart the politicisation and polarisation of British society and politics, looking at the conflict between Burke and Paine, radical and loyalist societies and propaganda, the issue of women's rights and the rise and repression of the first real nationwide mass democracy movement.


1. Introduction
2. The Revolution Controversy: Burke, Paine and the Rights of Man
3. Mary Wollstonecraft and the Politics of Gender
4. William Godwin, Philosopher and Novelist
5. The Whig Party and the French Revolution
6. Radicals and Reformers: The Growth of a Movement 1791-95
7. The Rise of Provincial Radicalism 1789-95
8. The Challenge of Loyalism
9. Pitt's 'Terror' and the Treason Trials of 1794
10. The United Irishmen

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars and will also be formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills Students are expected to have become proficient in the understanding of the history of Britain in the 1790s, its historiography, and its political thought.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6