HISTORY 123: ENGLAND TO 1688

FALL SEMESTER, 2016

 

NOTE: THIS IS A 3 CREDIT COURSE: YOU CAN TAKE IT WITH OR WITHOUT HONORS

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11-12:15, 1111 Mosse Humanities.

email: jsommerv@wisc.edu

This course deals with more than sixteen hundred years of British history, from the coming of the Romans to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. It focuses on the major events and most momentous social changes which shaped the development of the English people. The objectives of the course are (i) to investigate how a small island off the coast of Continental Europe came to be a world power which exercised an incalculable influence on history and culture around the globe; (ii) to foster an understanding of societies very different from our own; and (iii) to enhance critical and analytical thinking, and communication skills.

The first part of the course examines the impact of the successive invasions of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. Topics covered include the evolution of the English church and state during the Middle Ages, the nature of feudalism, the troubled reign of King John, and the effects of the Black Death and other plagues on English life in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

The second part of the course starts with the Wars of the Roses and deals with the last phase of the Middle Ages and the beginnings of modern England. Topics discussed will include the dissolution of the monasteries and the destruction of the church's independence, reforms in government under the Tudors, the steep growth of population, and resulting economic stresses. Particular attention will be given to the reign of Elizabeth I, and to the origins of the English Civil War in the 1640s. The course ends with an analysis of the significance of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

 

Weekly readings

Lecture outlines

 

Instructor: Johann Sommerville
Email: jsommerv@wisc.edu
Office: 4127 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 4001
Office Hours: Tuesdays at 2:30 to 3:45, and by appointment.

Required texts:

bullet C. Warren Hollister, The Making of England 55 B.C. to 1399.
bullet Lacey Baldwin Smith, This Realm of England: 1399 to 1688.

In addition, some documents will be assigned each week to read in preparation for the weekly discussion session. For approximate details, click Course schedule (your TA will give you precise details in each week's discussion.)

 

Required tasks:

This is a 3 credit course; you can take it with or without Honors.

Non-Honors students will:
bulletattend lectures;
bullet take two mid-term exams in class (10/13 and 11/15) and a final exam (2:45PM on Tuesday 12/20; place to be announced.)
bulletexplore the lecture outlines by clicking here.

Honors students will have the same tasks, and in addition will write a term paper. The term paper (due in class by 12/15) should be in 10-12 point font, double-spaced, and about 5-6 pages in length; in addition to the 5-6 pages of text, the paper should also include a bibliography, and references to things you have read, giving your sources, and it should show familiarity with at least two books or articles in addition to the course reading. See The Writing Center site on how to cite references in your paper.
You can either arrange a topic with me, or write on one of the following topics:
(i) To what extent were King John's problems of his own making, and to what extent did he inherit them from his predecessors?
(ii) What were the most serious problems which faced Elizabeth I, and how successful was she in overcoming them?

If you cannot complete the Honors paper by 12/15, make sure to drop the Honors credit in good time! To do this please visit your MyUW site and follow the links to update your current course information.

You are responsible for keeping up with the readings. Click on Course schedule to link to details of each week's reading.

How much are the exams (etc.) worth?

3 credit non-honors students: each midterm 25%; final 50%
3 credit honors students: term paper 30%; each mid-term 17.5%; final 35%

 

 

Quick Reference

1. Introduction: England, the English, and their history

2. Roman and Anglo-Saxon England

3. The end of Anglo-Saxon England  and the Normans

4. Henry II and his sons

5. Henry III, Edward I, and  Edward II

 

EXAM: IN CLASS, OCT. 13.

 

6. Edward III to Henry IV

7. Wars of the Roses

8. Yorkists to Tudors

9. Henry VIII and the Reformation

10. Mid-Tudor England and Elizabeth I

EXAM: IN CLASS NOV. 15.

11. James I

THANKSGIVING RECESS: NOV. 24-27.

12. Charles I and the Civil War

13. Civil War, Interregnum, Restoration, and Glorious Revolution

HONORS PAPERS DUE: DEC. 15

FINAL EXAM: 2:45PM ON TUESDAY 12/20; PLACE TO BE ANNOUNCED.

 

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