Welcome to History 3152. This term we will survey the history of Britain starting in a moment of intense political crisis in the 17th century during which orthodoxies were challenged by new ideas about sovereignty, the role of "the people" in government, the power of the Church in society, and the power and legitimacy of the Nation. Through the course of the term we will follow the story of Britain as it becomes a powerful empire and seeks to export some of its new vision of civilization to the corners of the globe. Of course, building empire was never just about civilizing people (in fact, it was often the case that imperial subjects were forcefully held at a distance from the promise of British concepts of political and religious freedom, freedom of contract, and even popular sovreignty). We will continue the story through the violent processes of decolonization, world wars, and the emergence and subsequent dismalting (we can debate this point) of the Welfare State. Hopefully, we'll take the story right up to the present day.
Please feel free to contribute to any comment posted by me or any of your colleagues. Also, feel free to start conversations here; there's no need to stay on the topics that I find interesting.
I look forward to hearing from all of you this term!