This course provides an introduction to the history of the four nations on the British Isles: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, from 1485 to the present. The emphasis will be on political developments, the internal relations and the consequences of the creation and fall of the British Empire. Within this special attention will be paid to the relationship between King and Parliament in England from the War of the Roses to the Glorious Revolution, after which party-political developments in the various political entities will be followed through to the independence of southern Ireland, the devolution process under Prime-minister Blair, and the peace process in Northern Ireland. The internal relations between the four nations on the islands will be another area of inquiry, in particular the union between England and Scotland and the fraught relationship between England and Ireland. The creation and loss of an overseas empire and the role this played in the developments on the islands are traced, and attention will be paid to the industrial revolution and her social consequences: the rise of trade unions and the Labour Party, the extension of suffrage and the development of the welfare state.
The course aims to make students familiar with the history of the islands, and provide them with an interpretative framework for the political and social development both internally en between the various constitutive parts.
Mode of instruction
A written exam with short, open questions and some essay questions.
Jeremy Black, A history of the British Isles (Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Palgrave 1997)
E-mail: Dr. J. (Joost) Augusteijn