Restoration, Revolution and Reform: British Politics 1678 - 1763 - HI6078

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
5 30 (15) DR L James







Spanning the period from the Exclusion Crisis of the late 1670s until the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, this module will explore a crucial period in the history of Britain through an examination of politics, religion and diplomacy. Emerging from the upheaval of revolution in the 1640s and 1650s, the British monarchy had to adapt to new circumstances in the ensuing 100 years and one of the aims of the module will be to consider the changing nature of kingship and queenship in this age. Dynasticism remained important - after all, two unions were brought about during this period - with the Dutch (1689-1702) and the Hanoverian electorate (1714-1837). Necessarily, therefore, the European dimension will be central to the module, while the focus will be on Britain, not merely England. Parliament assumed an enhanced role in the politics of this period - with annual parliaments from 1689 and parliamentary union with Scotland in 1707 - and the module will pay close attention to the fortunes of ministers, the growth of parties and the increasingly active electorate in an age of frequent general elections. The module will also assess how extra-parliamentary opinion, the press and popular protest affected the political landscape. Religious conflict remained an issue, with continuing tension between the established church and 'dissenters', as well as between Catholic and Protestant (the attempt to exclude James, Duke of York from the succession signifying the continued interdependence of religion and politics). Finally, the module will examine the impact on Britain of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48) and the Seven Years' War (1756-63), and the growth of the British colonial empire.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

A 1 hour lecture and a 2 hour seminar per week.

Method of assessment

The module will be assessed by 100% coursework, as follows:

1 x 500 word abstract of a book chapter or scholarly article (where no abstract exists), worth 10% of the mark;
1 x 1,500 word book review, worth 15% of the mark;
1 x 2,000 word source commentary, worth 20% of the mark;
1 x 4,000 word essay, worth 40% of the mark;
1 x seminar presentation, worth 10% of the mark;
1 x seminar participation mark, worth 5% of the mark.

Indicative reading

Brewer, John, The Sinews of Power, War, Money and the English State, 1688-1783 (Abingdon, 2014)
Black, Jeremy, The Hanoverians: The History of a Dynasty (London, 2004)
Campbell Orr, Clarissa - Queenship in Britain 1660-1837: Royal patronage, court culture and dynastic politics (Manchester, 2002)
Claydon, Tony, Europe and the making of England,1660-1760 (Cambridge, 2007)
Gregg, Edward, Queen Anne (Yale, 2001)
Harris, Tim, Restoration: Charles II and his Kingdoms 1660-1685 (London, 2005)
Harris, Tim & Taylor, Stephen (eds), The Final Crisis of the Stuart Monarchy: The Revolutions of 1688-91 in their British, Atlantic and European contexts (Woodbridge, 2013)
Kishlansky, Mark, A Monarchy Transformed: Britain 1603-1714 (London, 1997)
Miller, John, James II: A study in kingship (London, 1991)
Rose, Craig, England in the 1690s. Revolution, Religion and War (London, 1999)
Simms, Brendan, Three Victories and a Defeat: the rise and fall of the first British Empire (London, 2007)
Szechi, Daniel, The Jacobites: Britain and Europe 1688-1788 (Manchester, 1994)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

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