Tudor Conquest Ireland
The Tudor Conquest of Ireland, 1485 - 1607 2023-24
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 2
The long, spectacular, and tragic English conquest of Ireland is a story that's been chronically overlooked both within domestic English history and the history of English colonialism. Rather, England's war with Spain and its intervention in the revolting Netherlands take centre stage, despite the fact that the conquest of Ireland cost more in money and lives than both the Spanish and Dutch struggles. On this module, you will place Ireland back within the centre of the history of the Tudor state's expansion, a process that cannot be understood without recognising the transformative impact Ireland had on England, and vice versa.
You will investigate how, over 130 years, successive Tudor monarchs tried to do conquer Ireland, launching catastrophic wars that inflicted massacres and caused famine right across the country. You'll discover how English plantations led to the displacement of entire Irish kingdoms, paving the way for Anglo-Scottish colonists and the spread of Protestantism.
But you'll also study and appreciate the resilience of Irish culture, the complexity of its political system, and the way in which Irish rulers responded to and resisted English expansion. You will explore the impact the Irish wars had on English foreign policy and the role they played in shaping England's emerging colonial aspirations.
Below is a guide to possible weekly topics:
Week 1 – An Unfinished Conquest: Ireland and Medieval England Week 2 – Conquest Renewed: The New Tudor Dynasty Week 3 – Henry VIII and the Kingdom of Ireland Week 4 – Irish Gaeldom and the Old English Week 5 – The New English and the Plantation System Week 6 – The Munster Wars Week 7 – Colonial Atrocities and the Irish People Week 8 – The Nine Years War Week 9 - The Flight of the Earls: The End of Gaelic Ireland Week 10 – The English Fiscal-Military State Week 11 – Ireland in the Emerging English Empire
Excellent [70%> -A] Excellent students will show strong achievement across all the criteria of the learning outcomes 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. Analysis of documents will be sophisticated, with a full understanding of their context, combined with an ability to bring out the significance of particular passages, with real insights into their detailed content.
Good [60%> -B] Good students will demonstrate a solid level of achievement and depth of knowledge in all the criteria of the Threshold range, but 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. Analysis of documents will be competent, with a solid understanding of their context, combined with an ability to bring out the significance of particular passages.
Threshold [40%> -D] Students in this band 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. Analysis of documents will be adequate, with an understanding of their nature and some knowledge of their context, though abilities to discuss the significance of detailed content may be limited.
- Demonstrate and explain political, economic and cultural change of Irish kingdoms and society across the period 1485 to 1607
- Engage critically with a range of historical interpretations on early modern Anglo-Irish history
- The ability to analyse a large body of evidence and assemble strongly supportive and compelling arguments
- The ability to think critically, write creatively, and work independently
2,000 word essay on a depth topic
2,000 word essay on a breadth question