Module Identifier HY36930  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Steven Thompson  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered 2004  
Next semester offered N/A  
Mutually Exclusive HA36930 , HY37830  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1 X 2,5OO WORD ESSAY, 1 X 4,000 WORD ESSAY  40%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Describe and assess political developments in twentieth-century Britain;

Identify and explain elements of change and continuity in British political affairs during the last century;

Evaluate the different factors that acted upon British governments and political parties during the twentieth century;

Discuss with increasing confidence historiographical arguments through written and oral means;

Analyse with further sophistication primary source material in a critical and intelligent manner.

Brief description

This module offers an introduction to the political history of Britain in the twentieth century. It surveys the main political developments that have shaped Britain in the last one hundred years and locates them in the wider context of Britain?s social economic and international history. The module will examine the organisation and operation of political power in modern Britain; the influence of pressure from below and from outside Britain on governments and political parties; and the consequences of political decisions and actions on the lives of ordinary British people. At all times, questions of change and continuity will be placed in the foreground and students will be encouraged to question the factors underlying political change in modern society.


The module will introduce the students to some of the most important political developments in the recent history of Britain and explore some of the factors that have shaped Britain in the last one hundred years.


1. Introduction
2. The Victorian Inheritance
3. The Rise of the Labour Party
4. Liberal Reforms of the Edwardian period
5. The First world War
6. Female Suffrage
7. The Interwar Economic Depression
8. Fascism during the 1930s
9. The Second World War
10. The Creation of the Welfare State
11. Britain and its Empire
12. Conservative Domination, 1951-64
13. Celtic Nationalism
14. Northern Ireland
15. Into Europe: Britain and European Union
16. The End of Political Consensus?: Britain in the 1970s
17. Thatcher and the Rise of the New Right
18. A United Kingdom?: Devolution at the End of the Century

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
D. Childs (1997) Britain since 1945: A Political History
Peter Clarke (1996) Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-1990
B. Coxall and L. Robins (1998) British Politics since the War
Sean Glynn and Alan Booth (1996) Modern Britain
P. Johnson (ed.) (1994) Twentieth Century Britain: Economic, Social and Cultural Change
Stephen J. Lee (1996) Aspects of British Political History, 1914-1995
W.R. Louis (ed.) (1999) The Oxford History of the British Empire
K. O. Morgan (1992) The People?s Peace: British History 1945-1990
K. O. Morgan (1981) Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880-1980
Malcolm Pearce (2002) British Political History, 1867-2001: Democracy and Decline
M. Pugh (1999) State and Society: A Social and Political History of Britain 1870-1997
N. Tiratsoo (1997) From Blitz to Blair: A New History of Britain since 1939


This module is at CQFW Level 6