What is the course about?
This course will explore the cultural, religious, and social dynamics of Cromwell’s personality, the Protectorate and the C17th Comonwealth. We will consider issues of social, religious and political change and continuity, and the role of the army in English society. We will also explore Cromwell’s relationship with European powers, and the drive for imperial expansion, which has until recently often been underplayed by historians.
What will we cover?
• Cromwell: militarism, personality, and power
• The ‘court of Oliver Cromwell’ - an interregnum?
• Law and order: the ‘standing army’ and English society
• Puritanism, religious tolerance and dissent
• Concepts of class and gender
• Culture and society
• Europe and diplomacy
• The Commonwealth and imperial expansion
• The impact of the Protectorate on Ireland and the Caribbean
• Cromwell, Charles II and Scotland
• The Protectorate and the failure of succession.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Evaluate the impact of the Protectorate on English society
• Critically assess the concept of the Protectorate as an interregnum
• Demonstrate understanding of the controversy surrounding Cromwell’s Irish campaigns
• Assess the role and status of the army during the Protectorate
• Evaluate issues of change and continuity in the case of religious tolerance
• Assess the extent of social stability in the period
• Explain the reasons for the failure of the succession.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is an introduction to the topic and no prior knowledge is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through classroom debates and discussions in a supportive environment. An optional reading list will be provided, together with extracts from contemporary and historiographical sources. You will also be provided with basic guidance on how to read period sources.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notebook if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HBH19 17th century England, Revolution and Restoration: the Stuart Restoration.