The British Empire: an introduction
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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What is the course about?
This is an accessible ‘beginners guide’ to the British Empire to help you to develop a general overview of its scale, social diversity and ideology in the 1800’s. Analysing five very diverse regions of the Empire, and using each location as a weekly case study, we will explore how military conquest, political diplomacy and trading power all underpinned colonial expansion. We will also consider local-level responses and protests – just how easy was it to absorb such socially and culturally diverse nations into the British Empire?
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Week 1: An overview of the British Empire in the 1800s
Week 2: Malaya
Week 3: The Opium Wars & Hong Kong
Week 4: ‘The Jewel in the Crown:’ India
Week 5: British West Africa
Week 6: Jamaica.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Evaluate both the concept and the scale of the British Empire and the ideology that underpinned its expansion with reference to politics, trade, and the concept of a ‘civilising mission’
• Explain the role of Malaya in the British Empire
• Evaluate how the Opium Wars influenced the establishment of Hong Kong as a British colony
• Assess the reasons why India was absorbed into the British Empire and the significance of the East India Company in this transition
• Assess the significance of West Africa for Britain in the 1800s
• Explain the significance of the transition of Jamaica from a slave colony and its impact on the lives of Jamaicans.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a general introductory course to the history of the British Empire and no prior knowledge of the topic is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught via interactive lectures with plenty of opportunities to ask questions. There is an optional weekly quiz that you can complete, for which you will receive feedback from the tutor.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notepad to class if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in British history.