Making of the British Empire in 13 Acts
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Department: Social Sciences
Course Number: NHIS 3211
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Social Sciences
How did Britain become one of the largest and most powerful empires in history? And how did ideas born in the English Civil War inspire an American Revolution? This course examines the crucial period when Britain consolidated as a political entity and began to export its ideas around the world. We look both at political and military rule, such as the rule of Cromwell and the emergence of the powerful new role of the prime minister in the early Georgian period, and also the philosophical underpinnings of modern conceptions of nationhood, such as the ideas about financial management of Adam Smith. Finally, we end with Britain‘s roles in the age of revolution -- the battle with America, radical and conservative reactions to the French Revolution, and the defeat of Napoleon. Our political, religious, and cultural survey of British history offers an essential understanding of the forces which shaped modern Anglo-American political systems. The historical knowledge that you will gain from this course will be useful in many areas of study, including English literature, art and music history, religious history, economics, and political science. The period covered by this course is from the accession of James I in 1603 to the defeat of Napoleon in 1815.