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HIST 115 English History 1603 to Present • 5 Cr.


Traces the history of the British Isles from the death of Elizabeth I to the present. Topics include the development of Parliament, constitution, and political parties, the industrial revolution, political reform, the growth and decay of British military power, and membership in the Common Market. May be used as social science or humanities credit, not both, at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Recognize through discussions and timed written exams the political importance of the Glorious Revolution and the distribution of power between parliament, king, and law courts.
  • Recognize through comparative discussions and timed written exams the foreign policy aims of Great Britain in the modern period.
  • Analyze the economic and social causes of the first industrial revolution.
  • Assess and compare the roles of important figures, such as Robert Walpole, William Pitt the Elder, Pitt the Younger, Abraham Darby, and Samuel Johnson, in British life and the western tradition.
  • Assess reform movements, such has the anti-slavery movement, the Oxford movement, the Wesleyans, the Fabian Society, ad their impact upon Britain and a wider world.
  • Demonstrate understanding through timed written exams or writing assignments of the development of a working class in British society.
  • Explain the increasing tensions created by English rule of Ireland.
  • Demonstrate in a written essay the ability to deal with primary and secondary sources by writing about an event, theme, or historical a problem in English history.
  • Identify and distinguish important historiographical traditions, such as the Manchester school, the “Whig” school of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Marxist historians, such as Hammonds, and their interpretations of economic and social history.
  • Explain the decline of Britain as a world power and the process of de-industrialization.

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