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HIST312 - BRITAIN'S CENTURY OF REV
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COLLEGE HALL 318
England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland experienced revolutions in the first half of the seventeenth century that abolished monarchy and hereditary aristocracy, and carried out the first judicial execution of a monarch in European history. England was re-constructed as a republic, then with Scotland became the United Commonwealth of Great Britain, then declined into a military dictatorship, and finally invited the king back. In 1688, however, the Glorious Revolution deposed that king and declared Britain a strictly constitutional monarchy. This course will explore what motivated ordinarily obedient British subjects to take up arms against their rulers. The works of Milton and Marvell, Cromwell, Hobbes and Locke, and many lesser-known writers of diaries, autobiographies, sermons, statutes, and letters will illuminate the issues. The focus will be on how law, politics and religion interacted in the onset of war and defining of settlement, but with an eye to the larger social and cultural setting in which revolutions happened: this is also an era of both witchcraze and scientific revolution, puritanism and the slave trade, the near-destruction of London by fire and plague and its re-birth as the capital of a commercial empire.
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