Spring 2018 - HIST 314 D100

British and Irish Society since the Mid 18th Century (4)

Class Number: 3302

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 9:30 AM – 1:20 PM
    RCB 6136, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Aaron Windel
    1 778 782-9605
    Office: AQ # 6239
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history.



A study of British and Irish society, culture and politics from the accession of George III to the present. Students who have taken HIST 316 cannot take 314 for additional credit.


This course surveys the history of Britain and Ireland since the eighteenth century with special attention to how society was transformed by revolutions in agriculture, industry, and media and by war and empire. In Ireland, these historical transformations were shaped by the conditions of British colonial occupation.  The course begins in the 1750s with discussion of the Seven Years War, the rise of party politics in London and Dublin, and the Penal Law era in Ireland. From there the course traces British and Irish history through the industrial Victorian age at the height of the power and influence of the British Empire [including the tragedy of the Great Famine in Ireland]. The course goes on to explore the twentieth century and the impact of the Anglo-Irish War and “The Great War” [World War I, 1914-1918] on British and Irish society. We will discuss the Blitz of London, read diaries and letters from children evacuated from English cities, and explore other topics related to the experience of the Second World War [1939-1945]. The years of continued economic austerity after WWII produced a rare political consensus on social questions in Britain, and we will explore how the National Health Service and other aspects of the “Welfare State” grew out of this postwar context and what these changes meant for British people. We will compare these political and social questions for Britain to the Republic of Ireland's post-war history of independent nation-building.  In the later weeks the course gives special focus to events around “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland still under British rule. The course concludes with discussions of recent issues in British and Irish politics and society, including post-imperial immigration, the Northern Ireland question [as well as Scottish devolution/independence and the European Union], de-industrialization, the rise of a “surveillance society,” and Brexit.


  • Final Exam [take-home] 30%
  • Book Analysis [Scally, The End of Hidden Ireland] 20%
  • Essay on Set Topic 25%
  • Attendance, in-class participation, and weekly short discussion posts. {Attendance: 5%; participation: 10%; discussion posts: 10%} 25%



Thomas Heyck, The Peoples of the British Isles [1688 to the Present, vols. 2 & 3 -- these are printed together in the edition available at the SFU bookstore]

Robert Scally, The End of Hidden Ireland: Rebellion, Famine, and Immigration (Oxford UP, 1996)

Other Readings posted to CANVAS

Registrar Notes:

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