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HIS3204 : The English Revolution, 1640-1660 (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Rachel Hammersley
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The English Revolution (1640-1660) is one of the most important events in British history. The period between 1640 and 1660 witnessed a bitter civil war which set the two components of the government (King and Parliament) against each other; the first public execution of an English king in history; and the first and only English republic. This period has also generated a huge amount of historical debate. This module will focus on the period 1640-1660 and, in spite of the title, will examine events not only in England, but also in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. There will also be some attempt to set the English Revolution in a European context and to view it within the broader framework of British history. Since this is a Special Subject, the focus throughout will be on examining primary documents and texts and using them to reconstruct and interpret this period in British history.

The aims of this module are:
•To enable students to study the period of the English Revolution (1640-1660) in depth and to engage with both primary sources from the period and the major historiographical debates concerning it.
•To give students the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of this short period of English history.
•To introduce students to historical research and to guide them in the analysis of primary documents and texts.
•Thereby to enable students to develop their own interpretation of the period.
•To provide an opportunity of investigating in some depth selected problems, including the appraisal of selected source material and the critical examination of current historiography.
•To provide an opportunity to acquire a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature associated with it and to develop the capacity for independent study.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is a guide only. Actual subjects may differ from those listed.
Seminar 1 – Background and Causes
Seminar 2 – The Descent into Civil War
Seminar 3 – The New Model Army and the Civil Wars
Seminar 4 – Regicide and Republic
Seminar 5 – Oliver Cromwell and the Protectorate
Seminar 6 – Restoration
Seminar 7 – Religion and Revolution
Seminar 8 – Radicalism and Revolution
Seminar 9 – The Political Thought of the English Revolution
Seminar 10 - English Republicanism
Seminar 11 - Revision session

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching113:0033:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery13:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminars encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral communication, problem solving skills and adaptability.
Surgery time provides the opportunity for students to have individual discussions with the module leader regarding their assessment for the module. This means that individual problems can be picked up on and dealt with.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1801A75N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M25Essay/doc.commentary of 1,500 to 2,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) due mid semester
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Exams test acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided and to write clearly and concisely.

Documentary commentary exercises and examinations test knowledge and understanding of the texts set for the module. The ability to compare and contrast related source texts on a common subject. The ability to expound and criticize a textual extract lucidly, succinctly and with relevance in a relatively brief space, and, in an exam, under pressure of time.

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. Submitted work tests knowledge outcomes and develops skills in research, reading and writing'.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.
All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists