Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE

College of Arts and Sciences
CAS Masthead


History 408C 001, England: 1867 to The Present

T R 8 AM - 12:30 PM; PH 3313

John A. Taylor, Professor of History, SIUE

Phone 650-2836; office PH 3216

office hours T 12:30-1:30 PM (no office hour May 23)


FINAL EXAM IN PH 3313 6/22/06 AT 10 AMTextbook: Gerard J. DeGroot, BlightyAdditional assigned books available for purchase in the bookstore:Peter Clarke, Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-1990Dennis Kavanagh, The Reordering of British PoliticsKathleen Paul, Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era

English and British history from the second reform bill of 1867 until the present will be the subject of this course. We will ask two questions. First, did Britain decline during this period? Second, why does regionalism threaten the unity of the United Kingdom at this time? The course will depend in part on printed materials, but you will be expected to have access to the Internet and to find other materials there, especially statistical materials relevant to the course and news about the current general election.

You may consult U.K. news at:

and quantitative data at

Also of interest is

Two tests will be given, a midterm exam and a final exam, and there will be an occasional pop quiz on assigned reading. Students will also divide into small groups during some class sessions, and the groups will prepare reports on readings, lectures, oral reports, and other materials related to the course. All written submissions must be in dark ink. Pencil submissions will not be acceptable. All students will make an oral presentation in class in addition to the exams and other assignments. The presentation must be on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. Graduate students will write a research paper, also on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor, and it must be written on a typewriter or computer. Again, no pencil submission will be accepted. The essay should be submitted twice, one in a first draft with copies of sources and notes and second in its finished form. Each student will also make one oral presentation in class, again on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. Possible subjects for essays and class reports are those marked in bold in the schedule of classes below. Class attendance, quiz scores, and class participation will also be taken into account. Your grade for the course will be based on an average of these major five items, and each of the five will have an equal weight. The worst grade can be dropped, except for the final exam grade, but no test or quiz or essay may be omitted. Students must take the exams as scheduled. The final exam is mandatory.

Students will adhere to conventional rules of academic procedure. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and all work submitted in the course must be original compositions with quotations properly noted. Attendance and class participation are very important, and excessive absence (more than four class sessions) will not be tolerated. Students are not to come to class late, nor are they to interrupt class by departure previous to the scheduled end of the day's session. Turn off all pagers and mobile phones during class.

The books assigned in this course are long, and many of them relate more to the end of the semester than to the beginning. You should begin on your reading of them at once, therefore, so that you can have them all read by the assigned dates.

Course Schedule by Week

Week I. Introduction to the course; Victorian Britain and the question of decline.

Reading: Maurice Cowling on the Second Reform Bill.

Week II. . Zenith of power--Great Exhibition, Empire, political reforms (1867, 1884, 1911), Industrialization and consumerism. Movie: Howard's End -- students should look for Victorian and Edwardian themes of separation of spheres, habits of the middle class (upper class emulation?), liberalism : Gender: separation of spheres.

Reading: handouts from Rubinstein and Wiener.

Week III MIDTERM EXAM JUNE 6. June 8: WWI. Possible subjects for essays or class report: chapter on the Somme in John Keegan's The Face of Battle (shows lunacy of generals and horrors of the war with new weapons, war poets); David Lloyd-George and total war; war poets (Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon)

Assigned reading for June 8: DeGroot's Blighty, a revisionist look at impact of WWI on British society.


Week IV. Interwar years: beginnings of the welfare state. General strike, depression, appeasement. WWII. Churchill and total war, myth of the blitz. Movie on the blitz -- Land of Hope and Glory. Look for liberalism, separation of spheres, middle class emulation, patriotism, attitudes toward monarchy.

Assigned reading: Clarke, Hope and Glory

Week V. Attlee and Labour. J.M. Keynes. Unemployment. Inflation. Monetarism. Postwar consensus -- welfare state. economic decline. decolonization. America's colony? winter of discontent. national or regional identity? 1960s pop culture-- Beatles, Rolling Stones, youth culture. Thatcher's Britain and Tony Blair

Assigned reading: Kavanagh, Reordering



Back to Faculty/Staff Directory

facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff googleplusoff tumblroff socialoff