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22 - British History I: The History of the British Isles from Roman times to the Industrial Revolution

    Table of contents
    1. 1. topics



    1. Describe the circumstances in which Britannia became part of the Roman Empire. How did the Romans and Celts coexist? What were the lasting achievements and monuments of Roman rule? How did Roman rule end in Britannia?
    2. Anglo-Saxon England. How and where did the Anglo-Saxons settle, and what were the main characteristics and patterns of their social and cultural life; who were their principal rulers? What were the main junctures of Anglo-Saxon history from 450 to 1066? How was Christianity received in England?
    3. Anglo-Norman England. Describe the deep transformation that the introduction of Norman feudalism produced in the institutions of the English state and in the life of ordinary people. What are the main sources of Anglo-Norman history?
    4. High Medieval England. a) The Angevin Empire; b) Magna Carta; its background; history, nature and significance; c) The origins of the English Parliament. Simon de Monfort's Parliament, 1265 and the Model Parliament, 1295. Describe the absorption of Wales into the medieval English realm.
    5. The Growth of an English National Identity. a) The origins and course of the Hundred Years' War; b) The history and social consequences of the Black Death in the mid-14th century; c) The causes and course of the Peasant's Revolt. Describe the process whereby Scotland was gradually drawn into the sphere of English politics.
    6. Medieval English Culture. a) The origins, nature, and later evolution of the first colleges of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. What did the early curriculum contain? b) The achievements of early English philosophical thinking; the significance of John Wycliffe; c) The peculiarities of medieval English church architecture.
    7. The Tudor Monarchy I (1485-1558). Describe the radical transformation of the institutions of the state and of the life of ordinary people as a result of the Tudor policies. In particular, comment on a) the "Tudor Revolution in Government" attributed to Henry VII and Henry VIII, and outline the activities of Henry VIII's great administrators; b) the enclosures and the dissolution of the monasteries; c) the story of the English Reformation.
    8. The Tudor Monarchy II (1558-1603). Elizabethan England. a) the conflict with Spain, economic reform, religious settlement, continued centralisation of government; b) the Queen's favourites, c) flourishing arts and culture.
    9. The Road to Civil War and Revolution: economic, social and ideological background. The role of Scotland. Describe the history of the English Commonwealth and the causes of its eventual downfall.
    10. Restoration England and the "Glorious Revolution". How did the Stuarts fail the expectations of Parliament? Describe the course and character of the Williamite settlement, comment on the significance of the Bill of Rights in terms of the evolution of the British Constitution and the development of a new form of governance. What happened in Ireland in the aftermath of the settlement in England?
    11. The Rise of Great Britain and the Whig ascendancy. Describe the background and circumstances of the Act of Settlement. Why did a Protestant succession need to be secured at all costs? The significance of the establishment of the Bank of England. How was the Union of England and Scotland forged in 1707? Hanoverians as English monarchs; comment on the new culture and values of Georgian England. The Duke of Marlborough, the Court and the War of the Spanish Succession. Sir Robert Walpole and the office of "Prime Minister". The Jacobite risings of '15 and '45. The appearance of a nascent system of political parties. The loss of the American colonies: causes and consequences.
    12. The economic, social, geographical and political background of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolution in England and Scotland. The role of the Scottish economists. The causes and nature of the revolution in transport. Which industries led the way and why? Name inventors, inventions and applications. Where were certain industries concentrated? Social consequences, early demands for change and protests on the part of the entrepreneurial and the working classes.


    Select reading list

    • Churchill, Winston S. A History of the English-speaking Peoples, 4 vols, London: Cassell and Company, 1956. (Vols. 1, 2, and until [incl.] chapter XVII of vol. 3)
    • Curtis, Edmund. A History of Ireland, London: Methuen, 1936 (And later editions) (Relevant parts)
    • Feiling, Keith. A History of England. From the Coming of the English to 1918, London, Macmillan, 1950. (pp. 3-739)
    • Frank, Tibor and Magyarics, Tamás. Handouts for British History, Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, 1994. (Relevant parts)
    • Bagley, J.J. and Rowley, P.B. A Documentary History of England, Vol. 2, (1066-1540), Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966.
    • Davies, Norman. The Isles, A History, London: Macmillan, 1999. (Relevant parts)
    • Elton, Geoffrey R. England Under the Tudors, London: Methuen & Co Ltd, 1955.
    • Hobsbawm, E.J. Industry and Empire, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968. (Pp. 8-108 of the 1969 Penguin edition.)
    • Holt, J.C. Magna Carta, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
    • Joliffe, J.E.A. The Constitutional History of Medieval England, (Second edition), London: Adam and Charles Black, 1948.
    • Keir, Sir David Lindsay. The Constitutional History of Modern Britain, 1485-1951, (Fifth edition), London: Adam and Charles Black, 1955.
    • Lee, Christopher. This Sceptred Isle, vol. 1, 55 BC-1901. From the Roman Invasion to the Death of Queen Victoria, London: BBC Books, 1997. (pp. 1-469)
    • Maitland, F.W. The Constitutional History of England, Edited by H.A.L. Fisher, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1908. (And later editions)
    • Morgan, Kenneth O, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984. (Relevant parts)
    • Palmer, Alan and Veronica. The Chronology of British History, London: Century, 1992.
    • Plumb, J.H. et al eds. The English Heritage, St. Louis, Missouri: Forum Press, 1978. (Relevant parts)
    • Roberts, C and D. A History of England, 3rd edition, vol. 1: Prehistory to 1714, vol. 2: 1688 to the Present (relevant parts), Englewood Cliffs, New York: Prentice-Hall, 1998.
    • Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 2 vols, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981. (Reprint of the original edition: London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776)
    • Stenton, F.M. Anglo-Saxon England, (Second edition), Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1947.
    • Williams, E.N. A Documentary History of England, Vol. 2, (1559-1931) Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1965.
    • Williams, Glyn and Ramsden, John. Ruling Britannia. A Political History of Britain, 1688-1988, London: Longman, 1990. (Relevant parts)
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