Module HTW-2133:
Global Wales

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Huw Pryce

Overall aims and purpose

In our age of globalization the connections between Europe and the rest of the world are hot topics among historians. This module explores those connections by focusing on the country where you are studying: Wales. By setting Welsh history in an international context, the module offers a distinctive case study of global interactions, mainly from the eighteenth century onwards . It focuses on two related themes: the impact of the world on Wales, and the impact of the Welsh on other parts of the world. You will look at how the Welsh imagined their place in the world, including the myth of the discovery of America by the medieval prince Madog and his alleged descendants, Welsh-speaking 'Indians', as well as at how Wales was influenced by international movements, ideas and economic ties, not least in the nineteenth century when industrial Wales was central to the making of a global economy. The module also explores Welsh migration and diaspora to other countries. Thousands of Welsh people made new lives overseas, notably in the United States, Patagonia and Australia. The Welsh were involved in the expansion of the British Empire and, as missionaries, sought to transform indigenous cultures in the Khasi hills of north-east India and in Madagascar. One important aim of the module, then, is to examine why the Welsh settled overseas, how they interacted with their host societies, and how far they maintained a distinctive identity as well as connections with Wales.

The module aims to acquaint students with the main aspects of Wales's connections with the wider world; to introduce rival interpretations of topics covered and equip students to judge between them; to encourage students to synthesize their understanding of the topic as a whole; and to let them take special interest in particular aspects. On acount of its broad chronological and geographical range the module gives students an unusual opportunity to attain all the following outcomes given in the degree specifications for the Single Honours History and Joint Honours Welsh History programmes: a range of historical knowledge which: a) is more geographically diverse than a single country; b) covers at least two of the conventionally recognized periods of western history (medieval, early-modern, modern); c) includes consideration of continuity and change over extended periods of time; d) includes detailed acquaintance with particular aspects of the past.

Course content

This is an indicative list of the topics the module will cover. The pre-modern background: 1. Pilgrims, soldiers and the exotic other: encountering the world in medieval Wales. The pre-modern background: 2. Wales and the world in the Renaissance and age of discovery. From colony to independence: the Welsh and north America c.1600-1790. Wales and the French Revolution. Wales and Atlantic slavery. From Copperopolis to King Coal: industrial revolution and the global economy. Welsh diasporas: migration and settlement in the Americas and Australia. The Welsh and the British Empire. Welsh missionaries in India and Madagascar: agents of imperialism? From Little Moscow to Madrid: Wales, the international Left and the Spanish Civil War. The world comes to Wales: immigrant communities and cultures. American Wales: modern popular culture. Playing on a world stage: Welsh sport in international perspective. Cardiff: global city.

Assessment Criteria


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. Overall, the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently superior to top upper-second work. Standards of presentation will also be high.


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.


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.

C- to C+

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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a more detailed knowledge of particular aspects of the topic.

  2. Judge between competing historical interpretations of the subject, including current historiographical positions.

  3. Explain the significance of particular individuals for understanding the global connections of Wales

  4. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the global connections of Wales especially from the eighteenth century onwards.

  5. Present clear, evidence-based historical arguments on aspects of the subject

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

A blog explaining the significance of one individual in understanding the global connections of Wales.


1 × 2,500 word degree essay testing an understanding of a major theme within the field covered


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Preparation for seminars, the degree essay and blog, and writing the assessments.


1 seminar a week over 9 weeks


2 lectures a week over 8 weeks


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • 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

  • problem solving to develop solutions to understand the past
  • understanding the complexity of change over time; in specific contexts and chronologies
  • being sensitive to the differences, or the "otherness" of the past, and the difficulty to using it as a guide to present or future action
  • being sensitive to the role of perceptions of the past in contemporary cultures
  • producing logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
  • planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
  • marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
  • making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
  • making critical and effective use of information retrieval skills using paper-based and electronic resources
  • critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions
  • engaging with relevant aspects of current agendas such as global perspectives, public engagement, employability, enterprise, and creativity


Resource implications for students


Reading list

Conrad, Sebastian, What is Global History? (Princeton, 2016). Belich, James et al. (eds), The Prospect of Global History (Oxford, 2016). Carr, A. D., ‘Inside the Tent Looking Out: The Medieval Welsh World-View’, in R. R. Davies and Geraint H. Jenkins (eds), From Medieval to Modern Wales (Cardiff, 2004), 30–44. Evans, Chris, Slave Wales: The Welsh and Atlantic Slavery, 1660-1850 (Cardiff, 2010). Evans, Chris, ‘A World of Copper: Introducing Swansea, Globalization and the Industrial Revolution’, Welsh History Review, 27: 1 (2014), 85–91. Löffler, Marion, Welsh responses to the French revolution: press and public discourse, 1789-1802 (Cardiff, 2012). Frame, Paul, Liberty's Apostle: Richard Price, his Life and Times (Cardiff, 2015). Williams, Gwyn A., The Search for Beulah Land: The Welsh and the Atlantic Revolution (London, 1980). Evans, Neil, ‘Immigrants and minorities in Wales, 1840-1990: a comparative perspective’, Llafur, 5:4 (1991) 5-26. Mellor, Jodie and Gilliat-Ray, Sophie, ‘The early history of migration and settlement of Yemenis in Cardiff, 1939–1970: religion and ethnicity as social capital’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38:1 (2015) 176–91. Francis, Hywel, Miners against fascism, Wales and the Spanish civil war (London, 1984). Parsons, W., ‘Becoming a diaspora: the Welsh experience from Beulah Land to Cyber-Cymru’, in Anne J. Kershen (ed.), Language, Labour and Migration (Aldershot, 2000), 92–117. Jones, Bill, Wales in America: Scranton and the Welsh 1860–1920 (Cardiff, 1993). Jones, Aled and Jones, Bill, Welsh Reflections: Y Drych & America 1850–2001 (Llandysul, 2001). Williams, Glyn, The desert and the dream : a study of Welsh colonization in Chubut, 1865-1915 (Cardiff, 1975). Williams, Glyn, The Welsh in Patagonia: the state and the ethnic community (Cardiff, 1991). Tyler, Robert Llewellyn, The Welsh in an Australian gold town: Ballarat, Victoria, 1850-1900 (Cardiff, 2010). Bowen, H. V. (ed.), Wales and the British Overseas Empire: Interactions and Influences, 1650–1830 (Manchester, 2011). Jones, Aled and Jones, Bill, ‘The Welsh world and the British Empire, c.1851-1939: an exploration’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 31:2 (2003) 57-81. Franklin, Michael J., Orientalist Jones: Sir William Jones, Poet, Lawyer, and Linguist, 1746-1794 (Oxford, 2011). Jones, Aled, ‘Gardens of Eden: Welsh Missionaries in British India’, in R. R. Davies and Geraint H. Jenkins (eds), From Medieval to Modern Wales (Cardiff, 2004), 264–80. May, Andrew J., Welsh Missionaries and British Imperialism: The Empire of Clouds in North-East India (Manchester, 2012). Campbell,Gwyn, David Griffiths and the Missionary 'History of Madagascar' (Leiden, 2012). Hughes, Heather, ‘How the Welsh became white in South Africa: immigration, identity and economic transformation, from the 1860s to the 1930s’, Tran. Hon. Soc. Cymmrodorion, ns, 7 (2001 for 2000), 112-27.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: