Module Identifier WH11220  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Owen G Roberts  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Paul B O'Leary, Dr Steven Thompson  
Mutually Exclusive HC11220  
Course delivery Lecture   2 X 1 HOUR LECTURE PER WEEK  
  Seminars / Tutorials   1 x fortnightly seminar  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours 1 X 2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION  70%
Semester Assessment 1 X 2,500 WORD ESSAY  30%

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Understand and critically assess a corpus of historical knowledge concerning the political and social history of modern Wales.

Understand the main factors which influenced Welsh society in the period under study, including internal forces and external factors such as the British context and global change.

Read and evaluate different types of historical sources, focusing on secondary literature.

Express understanding with increasing fluency and maturity, and discuss relevant matters within an academic context.

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

Brief description

Beginning by tracing the economic and social changes of the second half of the nineteenth century, the module will give students the opportunity to study an exciting period with far-reaching economic, social and political ramifications. The module will study the successive hegemony of the Liberal and Labour parties over Welsh politics, together with the role of popular movements such as radical Nonconformity, the movement for women's suffrage, trade unionism, and nationalist groups. There will also be an opportunity to study how the British context and global factors have influenced politics and society in Wales


This module aims to give a succinct introduction to Welsh political and social history between 1850 and 1997. The module will also give students opportunities to discuss issues of continuity and change, ideology and identity, and should provide a strong foundation for the study of Welsh history in years two and three.


1. Introduction / course organisation
2. Boom time.
Economic and social change in 19th century Wales
3. A Tolerant Nation?
Urbanisation, Migration and Crime
4. Them and Us.
The press, religion and politics up to 1868
5. Land of `glorified grocers'.
Landlords, the Tithe War and Cymru Fydd. Politics and identity in the late 19th century.
6. The Petty Antics of the Bell-Ringing Boisterous Band.
Feminism and women's suffrage
7. The Great Unrest.
Trade Unions and the Rise of Labour
8. A Blast from the Past?
The Great Revival of 1904-5.
9. Wales at War.
From Boer War to Great War, 1900-1918
10. Aftermath.
1919, social tension, and the General Strike.
11. The Locust Years.
Wales and the Great Depression
12. As Dead as the Druids?
Plaid Cymru, Penyberth, and Nationalism between the wars
13. A One-Party State?
Labour's domination of Welsh politics
14. The Death of King Coal.
Nationalisation, diversification and Thatcherism: the Welsh economy since 1945
15. Out of the Shadows.
Women in Wales after 1945
16. Remember Tryweryn.
Water and nationalist politics.
17. By Revolutionary Means.
The fate of the Welsh language, protest and direct action
18. A Process Not an Event.
Devolution between 1964 and 1997

Module Skills

Problem solving Note problems, note factors which could influence possible solutions; develop independent mindset towards problem-solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of possible solutions.  
Research skills Understand a range of research techniques; design and execute research; produce appropriate academic report.  
Communication Read within different contexts and for different purposes; listen effectively; write effectively for different purposes and audiences  
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of learning techniques, personal needs and preferences, and obstacles to learning; design and execute realistic learning strategies.  
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamic; contribute to group target-setting and to planning group activities; take an active role in group activities; practice skills of discussion and persuasion.  
Information Technology Make use of a number of common word-processing software packages; control information storage systems; use internet effectively and appropriately  
Personal Development and Career planning Develop an awareness of personal skills, attributes and attitudes; plan and prepare for future career.  
Subject Specific Skills Develop a firm foundation of knowledge of main themes in the historiography of modern Wales.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Beddoe, Deirdre. (2000.) Out of the shadows :a history of women in twentieth-century Wales /Deirdre Beddoe. University of Wales Press 0708315917
Cragoe, Matthew (2004) Culture, Politics and National Identity in Wales, 1832-1886 Oxford University Press 0198207549
Davies, John (1990.) Hanes Cymru /John Davies. Allen Lane The Penguin Press 0713990112
Evans, D. Gareth (1989 (various p) A history of Wales, 1815-1906/D.Gareth Evans University of Wales Press 0708310281
Evans, D. Gareth (2000.) A history of Wales, 1906-2000 /D. Gareth Evans. University of Wales Press 0708315534
Francis, Hywel (March 1998) The Fed:A History of South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century University of Wales Press 0708314228TRADEPAPER
Hopkins, Deian (Sept. 2000) The Labour Party in Wales, 1900-2000 University of Wales Press 0708315860TRADECLOTH
Jones, R. Merfyn (Nov. 1999) Cymru 2000:Hanes Cymru Yn Yr Ugeinfed Ganrif Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru 0708316077TRADEPAPER
Morgan, Kenneth O. (1995) Modern Wales: Politics, Places and People University of Wales Press 0708313175
Morgan, Kenneth O. (1981) Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880-1980 University of Wales Press 0198217366
Osmond, John (ed.) (1985) The National Question Again:Welsh political identity in the 1980's Llandysul : Gomer 086383132X
Phillips, Dylan (1998) Trwy Ddulliau Chwyldro? hanes Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, 1962-1992 Llandysul : Gwasg Gomer 1859025943
Williams, Chris. (1998.) Capitalism, community and conflict :the South Wales coalfield, 1898-1947 /Chris Williams. University of Wales Press 0708314732
Williams, Gwyn A. (1985 (various p) When was Wales? :a history of the Welsh /Gwyn A. Williams. Penguin 0140136436


This module is at CQFW Level 4