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Aims and Objectives - British Parliamentary and Electoral Politics, 1688-1832 (HI254)

This module is an option available to first and second-year students, part-time degree students at Honours level, and 2 + 2 students.

Context: This module builds on the knowledge of eighteenth century Europe acquired through the first-year core module, and complements other departmental options on British social, cultural, economic and political history. It also complements core courses provided for History and Politics and History and Sociology students. It provides a sound foundation for students going on to take third-year special subjects and advanced options in British history, as well as for the MA in Eighteenth Century Studies and the MA in British History.

Syllabus: This module will provide an introduction to British political culture in the long eighteenth century from the Glorious Revolution to the Great Reform Act. This period has long been the subject of fierce debate by historians who have put forward competing interpretations on the nature of government and representation; on the democratic impulse; and on the extent of popular participation in political life. In order to facilitate the study of this contested period the module will be organised around three main themes: 1) parliamentary politics from the Age of Revolution to the Age of Reform including the development of political thought and of party politics; 2) popular politics, radicalism and reform and 3) electoral politics and voting behaviour. The last will involve an examination of various case studies using computer-aided analysis. No previous IT experience is necessary.

Intended Learning Outcomes

a) the further development of study, writing and communication skills

b) a broad knowledge and understanding of eighteenth century British political culture

c) a greater awareness of the connections between political history, and other branches of historical study

d) the development of critical analytical skills through the assessment of historiographical approaches which are frequently at variance with each other

e) the opportunity, through writing a 4,500 word essay, to develop a greater facility with the skill of extended writing, an improved ability to evaluate critically a range of secondary and (where appropriate) primary sources, as well as an enhanced capacity for individual and self-motivated study

f) IT skills: especially use of the internet and historical databases