The 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 3334
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
How did Britain become one of the largest and most powerful empires in history? How did ideas born in the English Civil War inspire the American Revolution? This course focuses on the crucial period when Britain was consolidated as a political entity and began to export its ideas around the world. We look at the evolution of political and military power in England, including the rule of Cromwell and the emergence of the powerful new position of prime minister in the early Georgian period, as well as the philosophical underpinnings of the modern conception of nationhood, such as Adam Smith's ideas about financial management. We end by examining Britain's role in the age of revolution--the battle with America over independence, radical and conservative reactions to the French Revolution, and the long struggle that ended in the defeat of Napoleon.