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This course explores social, cultural, political and economic developments in the history of Britain and its empire between 1780-1914. The course focuses mainly on events within the British Isles, but also investigates the expansion and operation of the British empire. A major concern of the course is the development of British identities, which is explored in the context of varying conceptions across the four nations of the British Isles as well as by Britons in the empire.
Lectures will be delivered in pairs each week, the first providing an overview of a broad theme across the period of the course (including such things as imperial expansion, religion, political parties, monarchy, social reform), and the second providing more focused explorations of specific topics relating to the broader themes (e.g. impacts of the French Revolution and wars, the campaign against the slave trade, the Great Famine in Ireland, women in public life, impacts of the Boer War). Students will thus be encouraged to explore imperial Britain both by considering the big picture and developments over time and the more specific detail of particular events.In tutorials, HIST254 students will explore the history of imperial Britain further through close analysis of primary materials relating to the issues raised during the lectures. Find out: • Why Edmund Burke considered ‘a perfect democracy is the most shameless thing in the world’.• Why policy-makers believed that ‘[e]very penny bestowed [in charitable relief for the poor] is a bounty on indolence’.• Why the civil servant and historian T.B. Macaulay believed ‘a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia’.• Why the feminist campaigner Josephine Butler objected to ‘anything like the regulation of vice’.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Any 15 points at 100 level in HIST or CLAS120, orany 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.
Please note that all lectures for this course are recorded via the Echo system and are available to view online within a day of the live performance. Flexibility is thus available in case of a timetable clash for lectures.
Domestic fee $799.00
International fee $3,600.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see