5AAH2008 British Economic History, 1700-1939
Credit value: 30
Module convenor/tutor: Professor David McLean
Teaching pattern: 20 x 2-hour seminars (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list
Assessment: 1 x 3 hour examination (60%), 2 x 2,000 word essays (30%) &
1 x oral presentation (10%)
The changing nature of and fluctuations within economies do much to determine the structures of societies and their polities. Because the transformation of Britain’s economy after 1700 had repercussions both nationally and internationally, this course will touch upon global developments as well as the remarkable growth of the world’s first industrial nation. Within the span of a generation, industrial production superseded agriculture as the mainstay of British prosperity and much of the population came to inhabit large towns instead of the traditional rural village. The Industrial revolution, the success and decline of English farming, the altering character of the workplace, the origins of foreign competition, the dominance of London in international finance, the effects of the Great War and the inter-war slump are all studied. How the British economy adapted both to events in the world beyond and to shifts within Britain’s own population forms an essential theme throughout. There are many historical debates regarding Britain’s economic performance, both successes and failures, within the period 1700 to 1939 – an appreciation of all of which will be required.