HI5057 - People Power before Democracy: The United Kingdom, 1790-1914

What will I learn on this module?

How did ordinary people make their voices heard before democracy? In this module you will learn how to answer this question through examining the UK’s ‘long’ nineteenth century (roughly 1790-1914). This was a period in which few men and no women could vote and political institutions were dominated by an aristocratic elite. Yet, this era was characterised by ‘people power’. Mighty movements such as anti-slavery and women’s suffrage mobilised massive numbers of people to make powerful demands for political change. The module explores this topic, firstly through studies of specific movements, such as Chartism and popular radicalism, before providing a broader thematic focus on different types of political practices and activities that were used by ordinary people, such as petitions or meetings and demonstrations. During the course of the module you will learn about the links between these movements and practices and important historical processes such as the development of democracy in the modern UK. During the module you will engage with a variety of historical debates, such as why was there no revolution in the UK?; and with a wide selection of primary sources, including newspapers, official records, and visual images.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is organised into two parts. In the first half ,the focus is on specific movements, such as women’s suffrage; in the second half, we switch to looking more comparatively across specific movements to considering practices and activities – such as petitions, or meetings and demonstrations, that enabled political participation and representation before democracy.

You will learn by attending lectures and seminars. The lectures will provide historical context and an introduction to historiography related to the specific seminar topics. Seminars will provide a more detailed, in-depth immersion in a specific thematic topic. You will be expected to prepare for the weekly seminars by undertaking the set reading (available via the electronic reading list), and will build on your independent reading by presenting your ideas and arguments in seminar discussions with your peers. Additionally, some weeks you will be tasked with independently finding a primary source relevant to a specific topic using the Library’s suite of databases. Each week's class will involve both small group work and large group discussion, built around focused questions on themes and topics, as well as studying carefully selected primary sources. You will receive formative feedback throughout the learning process and summative assessment will match your learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through the module tutor, engagement with your peers and through your programme leader. Your module tutor will offer tutorials, both for the preparation of your assignments and for feedback. In addition, you will also be able to see the module tutor (for instance in the publicised feedback and consultation hours) and to raise questions via email. Your peers will provide you with a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Feedback will be ongoing throughout seminar activities and through assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of how people participated in politics in the pre-democratic long nineteenth century, and the diverse ranges of historical evidence to recover such activity.
2. Demonstrate contextualised understanding of specific social movements in the period and broader processes of political continuity and change, as well as their historiographies.
3. Demonstrate an ability to analyse and communicate understanding about political behaviours and practices comparatively across a range of different contexts, campaigns, and social movements.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Display a variety of transferable skills (including summarising and analysis of secondary literature, analysis and interpretation of primary sources, application of relevant concepts, and communication of ideas orally and in writing)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate independent critical thinking about the past, while being aware of the influence of present on our perceptions.

How will I be assessed?

Please give details of all formative and summative assessment process indicating which MLOs will be addressed and how feedback will be provided.

1 x 1,000 word source analysis (20%)
1 x 1,500 word source analysis (30%)
1 x x 2,500-word essay (50%) (MLOs 1-5)

The source analyses – linked to specific social movements – will enable students to demonstrate a contextualised understanding of a primary source and link them to wider themes on the course. The essays will be set to encourage students to think more thematically on themes that cut across the different topics.

You will have the opportunity to present your work in the seminars and will receive formative feedback from your lecturer in classroom discussions, debates, and tutorial sessions. Formative assessment through your lecturer will be written and verbal, and you will also receive feedback through engagement with your peers. Feedback on your first summative assessment will allow you to improve on later ones

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

How did ordinary people make their voices heard before democracy? In this module you will learn how to answer this question through examining the UK’s ‘long’ nineteenth century (roughly the 1790s through to 1914). This was a period in which few men and no women could vote and political institutions were dominated by an aristocratic elite. Yet, this era was characterised by ‘people power’. Mighty movements such as anti-slavery and women’s suffrage mobilised massive numbers of people to make powerful demands for political change. The module explores this topic, firstly through studies of specific movements, such as Chartism, before providing a broader thematic focus on different types of political practices and activities that were used by ordinary people, such as petitions. During the module you will engage with a variety of historical debates and with a wide selection of primary sources, including newspapers, official records, and visual images.

Course info

UCAS Code T720

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

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