Module HXW-1010:
Wales since 1789

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Mari Wiliam

Overall aims and purpose

On this module you will be exploring Wales's interaction with England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as broader European and American influences, from the eighteenth-century up to the present day. It satisfies the benchmarks for a History degree by cultivating an awareness of the development of differing values, systems and societies. It begins by examining how changes related to the French Revolution, industrialization and romanticism laid the foundations of modern Wales: from the growth of a 'national' political consciousness, to the proliferation of coal-mining communities and the 'invention' of cultural institutions such as the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Sex, crime and sins take centre-stage in modern Welsh history, and this module moves beyond traditional and common stereotypes of Welshness, arguing that the nineteenth-century image of a pious, religious, chapel-going populace is often misplaced. You will similarly look at how English v Welsh tensions have shaped a wide array of issues: from rural uprisings and Welsh language protests, to the two world wars, the skirmishes over devolution, as well as events on the rugby field. Political history will form a core part of this module, and you will study the Liberal, Labour and Conservative parties in Wales, along with the role of Plaid Cymru and a multitude of 'nationalists'. It includes case studies of individuals who straddled the Welsh and British political scenes, such as Lloyd George, Aneurin Bevan and Gwynfor Evans. By using unique collections in the Bangor University Archives, and materials such as oral history interviews, music, films and blogs, this module will expand your understanding of modern British history, and provide you with a thought-provoking understanding of Wales and its recent past. The module is suitable for anyone who would like to learn more about Welsh society, politics and culture, as well as for students interested in British and contemporary history.

Course content

  1. The French Revolution, Romanticism...and Druids: influences on Welsh political and cultural thought.
  2. Forging an industrial nation: copper, coal and quarries.
  3. Penrhyn Castle case study: sugar, slavery, slate and the National Trust.
  4. Liberal Wales: Politics, nationhood and home rule in the nineteenth-century.
  5. Rebecca Riots: rural protest and gender in the mid-nineteenth century.
  6. Scotch Cattle, the Merthyr Rising and Chartists: urban protest in the nineteenth-century
  7. Sins, sex and religion in nineteenth-century Wales
  8. Education and the 'Treachery' of the Blue Books, 1847.
  9. Crime and deviancy in nineteenth-century Wales.
  10. Invented Traditions?: Dame Wales, sheep and other stereotypes of modern Wales.
  11. The Welsh abroad: America, Patagonia and the British Empire.
  12. A tolerant nation?: In-migration, multiculturalism and the Welsh.
  13. From 'wizard' to 'goat'?: David Lloyd George.
  14. Wales and the two world wars.
  15. Labour Wales?: The political landscape in twentieth-century Wales.
  16. Aneurin Bevan, the world of south Wales and the NHS.
  17. Swinging Wales? Deindustrialization, popular culture and Americanisation in twentieth-century Wales.
  18. 'The Fate of the Language': Welsh language decline and bilingualism during the twentieth-century.
  19. 'Nats and nutters'?: nationalism and devolution in twentieth-century Wales.
  20. Wales on film
  21. A 'new' Wales? Welshness since 1999.
  22. Skills: sources in Welsh history.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

There are three grades for lower second-class performance:

C+ (58%)

Work will receive a C+ mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but remains partially superficial; covers the important aspects of the relevant field, but in some places lacks depth; advances a coherent and relevant argument; employs some evidence to back its points; and is presented reasonably well with only a few or no mistakes. It will also contain appropriate references and bibliography, which may, however, be slightly erratic and/or partially insufficient.

C (55%)

Work will receive a C mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but remains superficial; covers most of the important aspects of the relevant field, but lacks depth; advances a coherent and largely relevant argument; employs some limited evidence to back its points; and is presented reasonably well with only limited mistakes. It will also contain appropriate references and bibliography, which may, however, contain some mistakes or be slightly erratic and/or partially insufficient.

C- (52%)

Work will receive a C- mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but little knowledge of in-depth studies (for first-year work the student may not have read beyond a few standard works; at second or third year the student may not have read a good selection of journal articles and specialist monographs); covers most of the important aspects of the relevant field, but lacks depth or misses a significant area (for second- and third-year work this may mean that it fails to deploy the historical details found in specialist literature); advances a coherent, and sometimes relevant argument, but drifts away from tackling the task in hand (for example, by ordering the argument in an illogical way, becoming distracted by tangential material, or lapsing into narrative of only partial pertinence); usually employs evidence to back its points, but occasionally fails to do so or deploys an insufficient range; displays an awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways, but may fail to get to the heart of the central scholarly debate or fully understand a key point (in second- and third-year work this may extend to a failure to discuss important subtleties or ambiguities in the evidence, or to a lack of awareness of the current state of historical or archaeological debate); is reasonably well presented and contains appropriate references and bibliography, but makes some mistakes in presentation or appropriate use.

good

There are three grades for upper second-class performance:

B+ (68%)

Work will receive a B+ mark if it is consistently strong in: covering the necessary ground in depth and detail; advancing a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analysis and deployment of an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and consideration of possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.

B (65%)

Work will receive a B mark if it: is clear that it is based on solid reading; covers the necessary ground in depth and detail; advances a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analyses and deploys an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and considers possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.

B- (62%)

Work will receive a B- mark if it: is clearly based on solid reading; covers the necessary ground in some depth and detail; advances a properly-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analyses and deploys an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and considers possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.

excellent

There are four grades for first-class performance:

A* (95%)

At this level, first-class work earns its mark by showing genuine originality. It may advance a novel argument or deal with evidence which has not been considered before. Such originality of ideas or evidence is coupled with the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected of first-class work graded at A or A+. At this level, the work exhausts relevant secondary material, includes in dissertation work extensive and often unanticipated primary evidence, and betrays no factual or interpretative inaccuracy. It can also show a mastery of theory and deploy hypotheses subtly and imaginatively. In the case of essays and dissertations, work of this standard will be impeccable in presentation and will be publishable.

A+ (87%)

At this level, first-class work will also have its argument supported by an impressive wealth and relevance of detail, but will further deploy the evidence consistently accurately and give indications of deploying unexpected primary and secondary sources. It will habitually demonstrate a particularly acute and critical awareness of the historiography and/or archaeological debate, including conceptual approaches, and give a particularly impressive account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical or archaeological debate. It will show a particularly sophisticated approach to possible objections, moderating the line taken in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. It will be original work. The standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently first-class work. In essays and dissertations standards of presentation will be very high.

A (80%)

At this level, first-class work will have its argument supported by an impressive wealth and relevance of detail. It will usually also demonstrate an acute awareness of historiography and/or archaeological debate, and give an impressive account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical or archaeological debate. It may show a particularly subtle approach to possible objections, moderating the line taken 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. In essays and dissertations standards of presentation will be high.

A- (74%)

A first-class mark at this level is often earned simply by demonstrating one or more of the features of a good upper-second essay to a peculiar degree, for example presenting a particularly strong organization of argument, strong focus, wide range of reading, engagement with the historiography and/or archaeological debate, depth of understanding, an unobjectionable style, and strong presentation.

threshold

There are three grades for third-class performance:

D+ (48%)

Work is marked D+ if it: shows evidence of acceptable amounts of reading,but does not go much beyond what was referenced in lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers much of the necessary ground but fails to discuss one or a few vital aspects of a topic; deploys relevant material but partly fails to combine it into a coherent whole, or sustains a clear argument only for the greater part of the piece; deploys some evidence to support individual points, but sometimes fails to do so, or shows difficulty in weighing evidence, or chooses unreliable evidence; displays an awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but without devoting sustained discussion to this; is for the most part correctly presented but has sections where there are serious problems in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but occasionally misunderstands their appropriate use or makes mistakes in their presentation.

D (45%)

Work is marked D if it: shows evidence of an acceptable minimum of reading, based partly on lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers some of the necessary ground but fails to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; deploys some relevant material but partly fails to combine it into a coherent whole or sustains a clear argument for only some parts of the piece; deploys some evidence to support individual points but often fails to do so or shows difficulty weighing evidence or chooses unreliable, atypical or inappropriate evidence; shows some awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but the differences will not receive sustained discussion or analysis; is often correctly presented but has sections where there are serious difficulties in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but sometimes misunderstands their appropriate use or makes serious mistakes in their presentation.

D- (42%)

Work is marked D- if it: shows evidence of an acceptable minimum of reading, based largely on lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers parts of the necessary ground but fails to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; deploys some potentially relevant material but fails to bring it together into a coherent whole or sustains a clear argument for only parts of the piece; occasionally deploys evidence to back some individual points but often fails to do so or shows difficulty weighing evidence or chooses unreliable, atypical, or inappropriate evidence; may show some awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but the differences will not receive sustained discussion or analysis; is in part correctly presented but has sections where there are serious difficulties in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but sometimes misunderstands their appropriate use or makes serious mistakes in their presentation.

In addition, for work that fails to meet the standard for honours:

E+ (38%)

Reading: Work may show evidence of reading—but this is largely cursory Content: Work discusses a limited number of the basic aspects of a topic, but leaves many out; or shows largely a limited knowledge of those it discusses; or is short weight; or makes major mistakes about the pattern of events. Argument: Work is mostly badly organized; or has a largely unclear argument; or makes an argument which is quite irrelevant to the task in hand. Analysis: Work deploys only a limited amount of evidence and tends more to express opinion without much support from historical fact (or archaeological evidence); or misuses evidence; or indicates only a limited sense that evidence can be interpreted in different ways. Presentation: Work makes some serious mistakes in presentation or writing style or in coherence; or makes some serious errors in grammar, spelling, or paragraph construction (but see guidelines on dyslexia below). Scholarly apparatus: Work prone to misuse references and bibliography, or inconsistent in recognizing when these are essential.

Learning outcomes

  1. Differentiating between academic and public history, particularly by means of the blog entry.

  2. Constructing historical arguments by utilising a range of inter-disciplinary primary and secondary sources as evidence in assessed work (summative) and in seminar debates.

  3. Exhibit an awareness of different historical interpretations of modern and contemporary Welsh history.

  4. Communicate ideas clearly and lucidly in seminar discussions, written assessments and in the individual presentation.

  5. Demonstrate knowledge of some of the major events, concepts and problems relating to the history of Wales after 1789.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Exam 40
Blog entry 30
10 minute individual presentation with 2 minutes of questions 30

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Seminar

11 seminars will be held on this module, and each will be 1 hour long. They will involve you being in a small group of c. 10-12 students led by a staff member or a PhD researcher. A seminar is an opportunity to focus in-depth on specific topics, sources and assessments, and also to engage in debate with your peers. Seminars on Hope or Heartbreak will place particular attention on debating, and will help you prepare for all your assignments. You MUST prepare for seminars by completing all the required reading for the sessions. There will be a focus in seminars both on small group work and on whole group presentations, so preparation is essential. You will be set preparatory work for your seminars, and these tasks will be released on Blackboard a week beforehand.

11
Private study

Although the teaching methods utilised in this module will provide you with a strong foundation in the topic, it also requires you to be proactive in terms of reading extensively around subjects, preparing for classes, writing assignments and responding to feedback. Devoting time to independent learning demonstrates strong personal motivation, and is a skill which is much valued by employers.

167
Lecture

22 lectures will be held, and each will be an hour long. Some will be more interactive, workshop-style sessions. Attendance at all the lectures is essential as they form the backbone of this course. The lectures will provide you with knowledge and understanding of the key themes and issues related to Hope or Heartbreak. They will also provide an overview of the historiography and access to primary sources. As no lecture can be expected to cover every detail of a topic, their ultimate purpose is to act as a starting point for furthering your own private study. Any essay or exam answer which is based solely on lecture notes will be penalised.

22

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • 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
  • presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
  • preparing effective written communications for different readerships
  • making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation
  • 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

Resources

Resource implications for students

None unless they wish to buy a text book.

Reading list

Core and general texts J. Davies, A History of Wales (2007). R. Davies, Hope and Heartbreak: A Social History of Wales, 1776-1871 (2005). R. Davies, People, Places and Passions: A Social History of Wales and the Welsh, 1870-1945 (2015). D. G. Evans, A history of Wales, 1815-1906 (1996). N. Evans and H. Pryce (eds.), Writing a Small Nation's Past: Wales in comparative perspective 1850-1950 (2013). M. Johnes, Wales since 1939 (2012). G. E. Jones, Modern Wales: A Concise History (1995). K. O. Morgan, Rebirth of a Nation: A history of modern Wales (1982). G. A. Williams, When was Wales? (1985).

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: