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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

The English Civil War 1642-1651

This course will examine the three wars that were fought in the kingdoms of Scotland, Ireland and England during the years 1642-1651.

The battle of Naseby
The battle of Naseby

These wars transformed England's political and cultural landscape. The first was fought from 1642-1646; the second, which began in 1648, resulted in the trial and execution of Charles I; and the third, 1649-1651, was an attempt by Charles's eldest son to regain the throne and resulted in a defeat by the Royalist forces at the battle of Worcester.

The course will look at the immediate and long-term causes of the Civil War and outline the involvement of each of the three kingdoms emphasising the religious and political roots of the conflict. In particular, it will examine how Royalist and Republican ideologies were defined and how these two opposing cultures were contested, not only on the battlefield, but in pamphlets, poetry, treatises and in the pulpit. In addition, it will also look at the nature of political authority and how it was represented through art and literature and the pivotal role that religion played in the long conflict.

Through examination of the social and cultural impact of the war, the course will consider its effects on national memory and political life. Using visual and written sources we will engage with this highly complex and controversial period of English history in order to analyse the deep divisions that were caused by the Civil War.


Date: Tuesday evenings, starting 29 January 2013
Time: 7 - 9 pm
Duration: 12 meetings


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