George K Behlmer
Political, social, and cultural development; the agrarian, industrial, and French revolutions; the rise of parliamentary democracy; the Victorian age; political thought from utilitarianism to Fabianism; Irish home rule.
This course will examine how nineteenth-century Britain, then the most powerful nation on earth, wielded its "superpower" status. What was life like--for the poor as well as for the rich--in the world's first industrial society? How did Britain acquire a vast empire on which the sun literally never set? Why did relations between Britain and Ireland grow so bitter during the nineteenth century? And were the "Victorians" as bashful about sexual matters as we've been told? These are among the key questions that will be addressed in HSTEU 474.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Formal lectures mixed with discussion of the assigned reading. Relevant films will also be used.
This course does not assume that students will have any background in British history, although some exposure to modern European history would prove useful. There will be three graded assignments: two, 5-page papers (on specified topics)and an in-class final examination. The assigned reading will include novels (e.g., Dickens's Hard Times and Haggard's King Solomon's Mines) as well as political and social texts.
Class assignments and grading
Class assignments and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus.