The political narrative of seventeenth-century England is eventful: one Stuart monarch, Charles I, was tried and executed by his own subjects in 1649 following two civil wars; another, James II, was ousted and replaced in the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688-9. In the middle of the century England came under republican government and experienced the rise to power of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector. In this module we will ask who ruled England in the seventeenth century, why two revolutions occurred, and how different politics was by the end of the century compared to the situation when James I came to the throne in 1603. We will cover the narrative of the century while looking in detail at themes such as: personal monarchy and the culture of the court; parliaments, elections, and representation; popular politics, petitioning, and crowd action; the culture of news, in manuscript and print; plays, libels, and satirical pamphlets; portraiture, royal and republican; republican culture and the Cromwellian court; the birth of political parties; theories of monarchy and resistance. We will look at a wide range of sources, written and visual, and students may also come on a field trip to London which could include visits to the Banqueting House and National Portrait Gallery. Students will be encouraged to make use of online resources such as Early English Books Online and Early Stuart Libels.

Term(s) offered: Spring term module; 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Credit: 3.0
General Education: III B 2