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Module HSH-3040:
Glorious Rev. in Eng. & Wales

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Tony Claydon

Overall aims and purpose

To introduce students to the debates around the causes and consequences of the revolution of 1688-9, and allow them to engage with these through close study and analysis of a range of contemporary documents.

Course content

Indicative contents: The C17th background to the revolution; the reign of James II; the events of 1688-9; the revolution’s constitutional and religious settlement; the nature of William and Mary’s monarchy; debates round the radicalism and modernity of the change of monarch, limitations on the prerogative, and the toleration act. The significance of 1688 in the overall development of England

Assessment Criteria


Threshold: Threshold students (D- and D) will have done only a minimum of reading, and their work will often be based partly on lecture notes and/or basic textbooks. They will demonstrate in their written assessments some knowledge of at least parts of the relevant field, and will make at least partially-successful attempts to frame an argument which engages with historical controversies, but they will fail to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; and/or deploy only some relevant material but partly fail to combine it into a coherent whole; and/or deploy some evidence to support individual points but often fail to do so and/or show difficulty weighing evidence (thereby relying on unsuitable or irrelevant evidence when making a point). Alternatively or additionally, the presentation of the work might also be poor, with bad grammar and/or punctuation, careless typos and spelling errors, and a lack of effective and correct referencing. Engagement with primary sources will be basic, and in gobbets answers, no attempt will be made to analyse passages beyond some broad explanation of context.


Excellent: Excellent students (A- and above) will show strong achievement across all the criteria combined with particularly impressive depths of knowledge and/or subtlety of analysis. In written work, they will support their arguments with a wealth of relevant detail/examples. They will also demonstrate an acute awareness of the relevant historiography and give an account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical debate. They may show a particularly subtle approach to possible objections, nuancing their argument in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. Primary sources will be used imaginatively or even innovatively, and gobbets answer will show a detailed analysis of the passage, and suggest potentially significant things about its wider significance.


Good: Good students (B- to B+) will demonstrate a solid level of achievement and depth of knowledge in all the criteria in the C- to C+ range, and will in addition exhibit constructive engagement with different types of historical writing and historiographical interpretation. Ideas will be communicated effectively and written work will include a good range of sources/reading and demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues and of the existing interpretations expressed in a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument. Students at the top end of this band will engage with and critique the ideas that they come across, and synthesise the various interpretations they find to reach their own considered conclusions. Written work will be correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate. Primary sources will be central to arguments, in gobbets answers a good context will be provided, and the particular passage will be used to make detailed points about the topic.

C- to C+

Above threshold: Students in this band (C- to C+) will demonstrate a satisfactory range of achievement or depth of knowledge of most parts of the module, and will make successful, if occasionally inconsistent, attempts to develop those skills appropriate to the study of History at undergraduate level. In the case of the written assessments, the answers will attempt to focus on the question, although might drift into narrative, and will show some evidence of solid reading and research. The argument might lose direction and might not be adequately clear at the bottom of this category. Written work will be presented reasonably well with only limited errors in grammar, punctuation, and referencing, and not to the extent that they obscure meaning. There will be some solid citing of primary sources, but largely as illustrations to arguments gleaned from secondary works, and in gobbets answers, a reasonable context will be provided, but there will be little deep understanding of the particular passage itself.

Learning outcomes

  1. Gain in depth knowledge of the events of 1688-9, and their possible causes and consequences, and write an essay on one aspect of this.

  2. Understand competing scholarly interpretations of 1688-9, and judge between them using evidence and logic.

  3. Present original historical arguments in both essay, and short comment, form.

  4. Be able to analyse contemporary documents closely.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Two hour seen exam: one question requiring short comment on extracts from primary documents (25% of total module mark), one an analysis of further areas of the topic (25% of total module mark)


One essay requiring an analysis of an area of the topic (50%)


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Lectures will outline some of the main controversies surrounding 1688-9


16 90 minute seminars (two a week when there is no lecture, one when there is a lecture) will allow students to discuss the issues around 1688-9. Ten of the 16 sessions will concentrate on analysis of original documents from the period.

Private study

Private study will involve preparation for classes, revision for exam, and preparation of course essay


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Articulacy in identifying underlying issues in a wide variety of debates.
  • Precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
  • Sensitivity in interpretation of religious and philosophical texts drawn from a variety of ages and/or traditions.
  • Clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
  • The ability to abstract and analyse arguments, and to identify flaws in them, such as false premises and invalid reasoning.
  • The ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, inventing or discovering examples to support or challenge a position, and distinguishing relevant and irrelevant considerations.
  • The ability to consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically presuppositions and methods within the disciplines of philosophy and religion.


Resource implications for students

None beyond the time spent in study

Reading list

●Craig Rose, England in the 1690s: revolution, religion and war (1999) ●Tim Harris, Revolution: the great crisis of the British monarchy, 1685-1720 (2006) ● ●The JISC Historic Text databases (available via the Bangor Library website) ●Patrick Dillon, The late revolution: 1688 and the creation of the modern world (2007) ●Wout Troost, William III: the stadholder king (2005) ●Tim Harris, Politics under later Stuarts: party conflict in a divided society (1993) ●Geoffrey Holmes ed., Britain after the Glorious Revolution (1979) ●Tony Claydon William III: profiles in power (2002) ●Kevin Sharpe, Rebranding Rule: the restoration and revolution monarchies (2013 ●Steven Pincus, 1688: the first modern revolution (2009 ●Tony Claydon, William III and the godly revolution (1996) ●Tim Harris and Stephen Taylor eds The final crisis of the Stuart monarchy (2013)

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: