Code: UPHPKQ-30-3 Title: Crowds, Disorder and the Law in England, 1730-1820 Version: 6

Level: 3 UWE credit rating: 30 ECTS credit rating: 15

Module type: Standard

Owning Faculty: Social Sciences and Humanities Field: History

Valid from: September 2009 Discontinued from:

Contributes towards: Awards up to BA( Hons)

Faculty Committee approval: QSC, Chair’s Action Date: 16th July 2009

Approved for Delivery by:

(indicate name of affiliated institution if module will only be delivered by them)

Pre-requisites: None

Co-requisites: None

Entry requirements:

(if the module is offered as CPD or stand alone, indicate the entry requirements)

Excluded combinations: None

Learning outcomes:

• An understanding of the ways in which concepts of criminality, collective social protest, treason and political reform were perceived and acted upon by both plebeian and patrician interests in 18th century England (assessed through components A & B, 1 & 2).

• An understanding of important recent and current historiographical debates in the field, over the rhetorical and practical nature of the 'bloody code', the concepts of 'moral economy' and 're-form', the strategies and significance of 'mass platform' agitation, and the 'failure' of insurrectionary and revolutionary politics (assessed though components A & B, 1 & 2)

• An understanding of the difference between rhetorical and linguistic representations, and the idea of 'objective social reality', particularly when approaching, reading and evaluating contemporary primary sources (assessed though component B, 1 & 2)

• An understanding of concepts of individual and collective social identity in any historiographical appreciation of the subject; especially the relative importance and usefulness of such categories of historical explanation as class, gender or nation (assessed through components A & B, 1 & 2).

• An understanding of the methodological and analytical problems associated with writing and researching ‘history from below’ (assessed through components A & B, 1 & 2)

• The development of sophisticated analytical and critical research skills through document analyses and the regular and detailed study of primary source material (assessed through component B, 1 & 2)

Syllabus outline:

Students are first introduced to the institutional structure of the eighteenth century state, the workings and agencies of the criminal law, and the nature of political power. The course then considers the impact upon the stability of the Hanoverian state of an expanding public sphere, increased economic prosperity and social expectations, changing gender roles, growing demands for political reform and the rise of ideas about class and national consciousness. Fundamentally, the course addresses itself to the historiographical tradition of ‘history from below’. The interpretation of the period as an 'age of the crowd' is explored through the work of key historians, including J C D Clark, George Rude, E P Thompson, Peter King, Nick Rogers and Douglas Hay and the rescripting of traditional ‘loyalist’ or ‘radical’ political perspectives is addressed with reference to the work of James Epstein and John Belchem on what Epstein has termed the ‘constitutional idiom’. A recurrent theme therefore is the language (or idioms) of representation, particularly with regard to concepts of collective social identity and citizenship. Specifically, the course approaches these issues empirically through the experience of riot (widely interpreted to include loyalist, food, trades unionist and revolutionary contexts), the 'bloody' criminal code and its modes of punishment and correction, criminal and promiscuous 'low' culture (debating the concept of the criminal ‘gang’ and of the criminal anti-hero), the rise of the radical 'mass platform' and its insurrectionary alternatives via popular fidelity to (and attacks upon) the monarchy and the constitution. The chronology concludes with the apparent defeat of organised radicalism at Peterloo and Cato Street and its unexpected constitutional resurgence in the Queen Caroline affair.

Teaching and learning methods:

The module will be taught through a series of workshops. Each week's session will be introduced with a short talk from the course leader, setting out the key issues for debate, then students will lead a critical discussion of the week's topic, paying particularly close attention to a series of supplied primary texts. In addition, time will be allocated for discussing student dissertations and students will be required to make short presentations on their progress. The course is fully supported by a designated website.

Reading Strategy

Several secondary texts covering large areas of the module and recommended for frequent use as contextual readers throughout the course of the module have been identified as ‘key texts’. One copy of each of these will be placed on short loan in the library. Most workshops require students to read a selection of primary materials. These are available either in hard copy in the module handbook, online via UWEonline or electronically via ECCO. All workshops require students to undertake additional background reading from secondary scholarly sources. These are indicated in the handbook as ‘essential reading’ and ‘secondary reading’. Materials referred to as ‘essential’, usually journal articles or extracts from a book, are required reading for each workshop and will in all cases be available via UWEonline where licenses have been obtained, or via JSTOR. Materials referred to as ‘secondary’ are intended to be selected from independently by the student and lists will in all cases be sufficiently extensive to ensure adequate library stock for a special subject module catering for a maximum of 12 students.

Indicative Reading List:

The following list is offered to provide validation panels/accrediting bodies with an indication of the type and level of information students may be expected to consult. As such, its currency may wane during the life span of the module specification. However, as indicated above, CURRENT advice on readings will be available via other more frequently updated mechanisms.

Beattie, J. Crime and the Courts in England, 1660-1800 (Oxford, 1986)

Belchem, J. Industrialization and the Working Class (Aldershot, 1992)

Bohstedt, J. Riots and Community Politics in England and Wales, 1790-1810 (Harvard, 1988)

Emsley, C. Crime and Society in England, 1750-1900 (London, 1996)

Epstein, J. Radical Expression (Cambridge, 1995)

Gattrell, V, The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868 (Oxford, 1994)

Harrison, M. Crowds and History: Mass Phenomena in English Towns (Oxford, 1989)

Hay, D. Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth Century England

Linebaugh et al, P. , (London, 1975)

Linebaugh P., The London Hanged: Crime and Society in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1991)

McCalman, I. Radical Underworld: Prophets, Revolutionaries and Pornographers in London,

1795-1840 (Oxford, 1988)

Poole, S. The Politics of Regicide in England, 1760-1850: Troublesome Subjects (Manchester,2000)

Rogers,N. The Crowd in Georgian England (Oxford, 1999)

Rude, G. The Crowd in History (London 1964)

Sharpe, J. Crime in Early Modern England, 1550-1750 (London, 1984)

Thompson E. P. The Making of the English Working Class (London, 1963)

Thompson E. P. Customs in Common (London, 1991)

Tilley C. Popular Contention in Great Britain, 1758-1834 (Harvard, 1995)

Wells R. Insurrection: The British Experience, 1795-1803 (Gloucester, 1983)


Weighting between components A and B (standard modules only) A: 30% B: 70%


First Assessment Opportunity

Component A

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Exam (3 Hour) 30%

Component B

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Essay (supplied documents; 2000 words) 30%

2. Essay (researched documents; 3000 words) 40%

Second Assessment Opportunity (further attendance at taught classes is not required)

Component A

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Exam (3 Hour) 30%

Component B

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Essay (supplied documents; 2000) 30%

2. Essay (researched documents; 3000) 40%

SECOND (OR SUBSEQUENT) ATTEMPT: Attendance at taught classes is required.

Specification confirmed by …………………………………………………Date ……………………………

(Associate Dean/Programme Director)

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