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Unit information: The Age of Revolutions 1776-1848 in Global Perspective in 2021/22

Unit name The Age of Revolutions 1776-1848 in Global Perspective
Unit code HIST20128
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Sheldon
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The Age of Revolutions has long been a mainstay of historical thinking, usually centered on Europe, or on an Atlantic crucible from which modern politics, economy and society are seen to emerge. The enlightenment, the French Revolution and the British Industrial Revolution have until now occupied a privileged role in narratives of the making of the modern world. This course engages with revisionist scholarship and thinking which instead seeks to conceptualize the period as a series of interactions between all parts of the world. As well as studying the industrial revolution we now also examine the role of Africans in this process as well as links to China, India and other parts of the global economy. As well as studying the American and the French Revolutions we also recover the histories of the Haitian Revolution and the Irish Rebellion of 1798

This unit aims to:

  • familiarise students with the latest writing and revisionist debates on Global interconnections in the Age of Revolutions.
  • enable students to explore the issues surrounding the state of research in the field.
  • develop students' ability to work with primary sources.
  • develop students' abilities to integrate primary source material into a wider historical analysis.
  • develop students' ability to learn independently within a small-group context.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, successful students will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding and detailed knowledge of modern European revolutions.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to integrate both primary and secondary source material into a wider historical analysis and argument.  
  3. Demonstrate the ability confidently to select relevant evidence in order to illustrate historical arguments.  
  4. Demonstrate the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically and form an individual viewpoint, as appropriate to level I. 

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Details

1 x 3500-word Essay (50%) [ILOs 1-5]; 1 x Timed Assessment (50%) [ILOs 1-5]


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