About this course
Britain in 1837 was a country rising to undisputed dominance of industry, intellectual life, global markets, and the Atlantic world. During the subsequent 63 years, it would become the greatest empire in history. This course will study Britain ‘inside and outside’ the Imperial experience, looking at rival arguments about what fuelled the industrial revolution; why Britain did not experience a violent political revolution and why Chartism failed but Parliamentary reform succeeded.
Using contemporary newspapers, advertisements, documents and other primary texts, we shall also look at the London poor, the Victorian mode of social reform, and the growth of Victorian consumerism and media outlets, considering how the interaction of all these forces contributed to the collective panic about crime, from Spring-Heeled Jack through the garrotters to Jack the Ripper. The course asks important questions about the Victorian imperial influence, using case studies of Ireland, India and the scramble for Africa to consider the roles of power, race and cross-cultural interactions throughout the period.
Our study trip visits the city of Bristol, a thriving port in the period, built on the dubious foundations of the tobacco and slave trades, now home to the SS Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner.
Related Study Trips
Check with your home institution for specific information on fulfillment of major / course requirements.