History of Britain (bbnan12500)




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BBNAN12500 British History

Autumn 2012

Karáth Tamás PhD


History of Britain (BBNAN12500)

Lecturer: Karáth Tamás PhD (kartauzi@gmx.de)


General Content

British history – as a lecture course for non-history majors – is conceived to provide students with a helpful cultural background for their literary and civilization studies. The major focus of the course is a cultural history of the nations of the British Isles, which, however, will not lack socio-political aspects. The lecture will attempt to give an overview of the history of the British Isles from the beginning to the present day (in case of the Republic of Ireland only up to 1922) by highlighting some phenomena and problems which constitute the most essential turning points in political, social and cultural history of Britain.


Readings: see below under exam information


Course schedule:

Sep 12: Introduction: presentation of the course and of the requirements. The difficulties of facing history in present-day Britain, illustrated by contemporary witnesses

Basic concepts of time and space in British history

Sep 19: The Anglo-Saxon world in historical and literary sources: The testimony of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica

Sep 26: The “stories” of the Norman Conquest: Interpretations of the Conquest by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and the Bayeux Tapestry. Turning point and continuity after 1066

Oct 3: The Middle Ages: The birth of the English nation? Historical contexts of a nascent English identity. The first Anglo-Celtic encounters

Oct 10: The Tudor Century: The English Reformations

Oct 17: “Paradise Lost and Regained”: the Stuart century disrupted by the republican intermezzo, 1640-1660; Oliver Cromwell; the Glorious Revolution and the constitutional settlement

Oct 24: From the Union with Scotland to the Union with Ireland (1707-1801): the Georgian era, beginnings of the two-party system, roots of the English Conservatism and Liberalism. Early political reform movements at the beginning of the 19th century

Oct 31: Autumn break

Nov 7: Victorian Britain I: effects of the industrialization and urbanization on British society.

Nov 14: Victorian Britain II: the British Empire, the high noon of colonization

Nov 21: National revivalist movements in the Celtic fringe of the 19th century. The way to the devolution through the 20th century: The Northern Irish question; Welsh and Scottish nationalism and separatism

Nov 28: Post-Colonial Britain: The decline of an Empire: The loss of the colonies; 20th-century and present-day conflicts originating from the decolonization process

Dec 5: Post-WWII Britain (2): British society from the late 1940s to the 1990s

Dec 12: Britain at the new millennium: The reinvention of Britishness; Devolution


I wish you all the best for the semester and I hope to see you at the lectures.

Exam information


The lecture will be concluded by a written exam for which you will have to register in Neptun. The exam itself will consist of three parts: (1) Fifteen fact questions, (2) two essay questions related to one piece of secondary literature of your choice from the list below, and (3) two essay questions related to a historical source text of your choice from the list below. The final mark will be the average of all the three graded constituents. If you achieve 5 points or less in the fact questions or fail any two parts of the exam, you automatically fail the exam.


1. Fact questions

Below, there is a list of names and concepts any of which may occur in the written test. You are supposed to check all of them in David MacDowall’s An Illustrated History of Britain (Longman, 1989). In the written test, you do not have to expect open-ended questions, but gap-filling, as e.g.:

- The last monarch of the Tudor dynasty, .............................. died heirless, and the throne of England went to the Stuarts.

Or:

- The most influential Conservative politician of the second half of the 19th century was …………………………, several times alternating in power with Gladstone.


I. Romano-Celtic Britain and Anglo-Saxon England

Romano-Britons

Jutes

Saxons

Angles

Northumbria

Mercia

Wessex

Picts

Scots

Offa’s Dyke

Lindisfarne

Celtic Christianity

Synod of Whitby

Thegn

Burh

Danelaw

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle(s)

Ealdorman (earl)

Arthur (Aurelius Ambrosianus)

Pope Gregory the Great

Augustine of Canterbury

St. Patrick

Columba

Beda Venerabilis

King Offa

King Alfred the Great

Brian Boru

Kenneth I MacAlpin

Gruffudd ap Llywelyn

Aethelred the Unready

Cnut (Canute)

Edward the Confessor

Harold Godwinson



II. High and Late Middle Ages

Doomsday Book

Manorial agriculture

“The March” (Wales)

Aquitaine

Exchequer

Magna Charta

Cymru

Black Death

Poll tax (14th c.)

Order of the Garter

Auld Alliance

Perpendicular style

Lollards


William the Conqueror

Matilda

Stephen of Blois

Geoffrey Plantagenet

Anselm of Canterbury

Henry II

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Thomas à Becket

Richard I

John Lackland

Simon de Montfort

Llywelyn the Great

Llywelyn ap Gruffudd

John Balliol

William Wallace

Robert Bruce

Wat Tyler

The Black Prince

Owain Glyndŵr (Owen Glendower)

John Wyclif

Joan of Arc


III. Tudor England

Star Chamber

Utopia

Act of Supremacy

dissolution of the monasteries

Pilgrimage of Grace

Chantry

Book of Common Prayer

Marian “martyrs”

Thirty-nine Articles

Puritans

Enclosures

Monopoly

Poor laws

Henry VII

Henry VIII

Catherine of Aragon

Cardinal Wolsey

William Tyndale

Erasmus of Rotterdam

Thomas More

Thomas Cromwell

Anne Boleyn

Archbishop Cranmer

Edward VI

Mary Tudor

Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots)

John Knox

Sir Francis Drake

Elizabeth I

Sir Robert Cecil



IV. The Century of the Stuarts

Ship money

Petition of Right

Short Parliament

Long Parliament

New Model Army

Cavaliers

Roundheads

Independents

Levellers

Rump Parliament

Protectorate

Commonwealth (17th century)

Instrument of Government

Barebones Parliament

Drogheda Massacre

Tories

Whigs

Dissenters (Conventiclers)

Penal laws

Test Acts

Great Fire

Royal Society

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham

William Laud

James I

Charles I

Oliver Cromwell

General Monck

Charles II

Titus Oates

Earl of Danby

Lord Shaftesbury

James II

William of Orange

Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Isaac Newton

Thomas Hobbes

John Locke



V. 18th Century Britain

Jacobites

Bank of England

Cabinet

West Indies

“borough corporation”

“radicals”

“Orange lodges”

Parish workhouse

Highland Clearances

Nonconformists

Methodism

Corresponding Society

George I

Prince Charles Edward Stuart (“Bonny Prince Charlie”)

Sir Robert Walpole

William Pitt “the Elder”

George III

James Watt

John Wilkes

Edmund Burke

Tom Paine

Horatio Nelson

John Wesley

William Pitt, “the Younger”

Charles James Fox


VI. Victorian Britain

Middle class

Poor law of 1834

Rotten boroughs

Chartism

Metropolitan Police

Corn Laws

Liberal Party

Conservative Party

Great Exhibition

Splendid isolation

Reform Acts

Boer War

Salvation Army

Pre-Raphaelites

Arts and crafts movement

Lord Grey

Robert Peel

Queen Victoria

Lord Palmerston

Benjamin Disraeli

William Gladstone

David Livingstone

Charles Stewart Parnell

William Booth

Charles Darwin



VII. 20th-Century Britain

Laissez-faire

Home Rule

Parliament Act of 1911

Representation of the People Act

Labour Party

“Phoney war” (WWII)

Blitz on London

Beveridge report

Butler Education Act (1944)

welfare state

National Health Service (NHS)

Festival of Britain

Butskellism

“Angry young men”

“Plate glass” style

IRA

Sinn Fein

Stormont

EEC

European Single Market

Falklands War

Commonwealth (20th century)

Maastricht Treaty

David Lloyd George

Ramsey MacDonald

Emmeline Pankhurst

Michael Collins

Eamon de Valera

Stanley Baldwin

Neville Chamberlain

Winston Churchill

General Bernard Montgomery

John Maynard Keynes

Ernest Bevin

Clement Attlee

Harold MacMillan

Harold Wilson

Enoch Powell

Ian Paisley

Margaret Thatcher

John Major

Tony Blair

David Trimble


Assessment of the fact questions:

0-5 points – failure of the exam

6-7 points – 1

8-9 points – 2

10-11 points – 3

12-13 points – 4

14-15 points - 5


2. Two essay questions related to a piece of secondary literature

Choose one of the following pieces of secondary literature. You can expect two questions related to the work: one of them will inquire about an important fact concerning the period. E.g., if you choose John Guy’s The Tudors from the list below, the first question may simply ask you to explain the role of Thomas More in Henry VIII’s government. The second question will be more complex, and ask you to explain a problematic issue in the period. E.g., again, if you choose John Guy’s The Tudors, the second question may ask you to illustrate what made Elizabeth I a Renaissance ruler. The list is arranged in a chronological order as to its material, and not in alphabetical order of the authors:


Blair, John, The Anglo-Saxon Age: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000

Gillingham, John and Ralph A. Griffiths, Medieval Britain: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000

Guy, John, The Tudors: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Morrill, John, Stuart Britain: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000

Langford, Paul, Eighteenth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000

Harvie, Christopher and H. C. G. Matthew, Nineteenth-Century Britain. Oxford University Press, 2000

Morgan, Kenneth O., Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


3. Two essay questions related to a source from the list below

Choose one of the following source texts. The source cannot come from the same period as that analyzed by the piece of secondary literature of your choice. Prepare the text according to the given aspects:

  • Situate the author of the source in his/her historical context

  • Which contemporaneous problems/phenomena does the text reflect on?

  • Which are the main arguments of the text?

  • What is the significance of the text in the given historical/cultural context?

  • What can we know about the contemporaneous reception of the text?

You can expect two questions related to your source: one of a more factual type. E.g., if you choose Bede, the question may ask you to clarify (on the basis of the assigned passages) what sources Bede might have known when writing his Historia Ecclesiastica. The second question will be more analytical, and more closely related to the text. E.g., in the case of Bede, you may be asked to point out the overall purpose of his work in the passage on the conversion of the Northumbrians.

The sources are listed chronologically with the indication of the age they were written in. Even if a Hungarian translation is given as an option, the discussion of the text in the essays has to be in English.


i. anglo-saxon england

  • Beda Venerabilis, Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum. (The Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People) Excerpts: Book I, Chap. 22-33; Book II, Chap. 9-14; Book III, Chap. 25; Book IV, Chap. 27-30.


ii. the middle ages

  • Magna Charta


iii. tudor england

  • Thomas More’s Utopia


iv. the stuart century

  • Samuel Pepys’ Diary: The year of 1660


v. 18th-century britain

  • Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France. Cf.: E. Burke, Töprengések a francia forradalomról. (Ford.: Kontler László) Budapest: Atlantisz, 1990.


vi. victorian britain

  • Victorian Issues in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. II.


vii. 20th century

  • Winston Churchill, Excerpts from The Second World War. Vol. II, Book 2, Chap. 15-17 and 21; Vol. VI, Book 2. Cf.: Winston S. Churchill, A második világháború I-II. (Ford. Betlen János, 1989) Budapest: Európa, 1995.



Good luck for the exam.




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