Nineteenth Century Britain: Progress, Poverty and Protest
To be confirmed
In Dickens’ words, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ - this online course explores Britain’s industrial revolution, the related problems of urbanisation and poverty, and the impact of protest movements and political reform in the nineteenth century. You will be surprised at how many of our modern institutions and ways of thinking have their roots in the Victorian period. Forget your preconceived ideas of the nineteenth century and discover how interesting, progressive and innovative this period in British history was!
This online course explores Britain’s industrial revolution, the related problems of urbanisation and poverty, and the impact of protest movements and political reform in the nineteenth century.
Delivery: Distance Learning (Online)
Deadline for registrations: Ideally five days prior to the start of the course.
NB: Late entrants will be able to work through and catch up on the material they have missed - or they can skip the missed weeks and concentrate on the material at the point where they join the course - but unfortunately we cannot offer fee reductions or course extensions for late entrants.
Week 1: Britain in 1750
Week 2: The ‘making of the English working class’
Week 3: Industrialisation
Week 4: A revolution in agriculture
Week 5: Urbanisation and demographic change
Week 6: Religious revival and decline
Week 7: The poor law and social reform
Week 8: Trade unionism and party politics
Week 9: Women, suffragism, and the extension of the franchise
Week 10: Britain and her empire in the late nineteenth century
Week 11: The growth of leisure and popular culture
Week 12: Technological development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
Learning / Teaching Methods
This course is delivered via the internet using an online system called ELE: the Exeter Learning Environment. Students will be given a username and password to log in to the course. A 'unit' of course material will be released every week for students to work through and class discussions on this material will take place in the online forum.
Class discussions are asynchronous - i.e. students do not need to be online at a 'set' time - they can leave and collect messages from the online discussion environment at a time suitable for them.
A chat room facility is also available. This is entirely optional, but students can arrange a mutually convenient time to communicate with each other 'instantly', by means of this facility, if they would like more immediate contact with others studying this subject.
Throughout the course, students will be given ideas and questions to respond to in the online discussion area; these are optional and there are no assignments in terms of essays or other marked work. Students who might like to undertake an assignment may be able to arrange this with the tutor on an individual basis.
As this course is non-credit-bearing there are no exams or assessments.
This course will help students to acquire knowledge of nineteenth century Britain in terms of:
- the profound changes that took place within British industry and agriculture and the impact of those changes on the working population;
- the changes that took place within British politics via social reform, and the rise of trade unionism and suffragism;
- The events surrounding the Boer War
There are no required texts for this course.
Some suggested reading
Black, J and Macraild, D (2003) Nineteenth-Century Britain, Palgrave. Paperback.
Hobsbawm, E (1999, 2nd rev. ed.) Industry and Empire, Penguin.