When Britain first, at Heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
"Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves;
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves."

The nations not so blest as thee,
Must in their turn to tyrants fall,
Whilst thou shall flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.
"Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves;
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves."

óJames Thomson (1700-1748)

GREAT BRITAIN, at the height of her power, controlled a quarter of the world's population, a fifth of its dry surface, and enjoyed unchallenged mastery over its oceans. This course surveys the remarkable history of the British Isles from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the end of the Napoleonic War in 1815. The shaping and reshaping of this unique nation state during the "long eighteenth century" will be examined with regard to the history of the European continent, the Atlantic world, and Britain's expanding empire. At various times we will attempt to understand how politics, diplomacy, warfare, commerce, science, industry, technology, art, literature, music, and migration all interacted to help shape Modern Britain.

This course is designed to engage us at two levels. It is primarily an empirical history of Britain from the late seventeenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Yet in the process, it forces us to examine what it means to be "British," a "nation," and a "people." How did the English, Scots, Welsh, and Anglo-Irish come to view themselves as "British?" How did the political, social, technological and economic revolutions of the period combine to transform this European backwater into the world's most powerful nation? We will keep these and other questions in mind as we examine the historical development of Britain during its "Age of Revolution."

Readings for this course will combine historical scholarship with literature, documents, and music from the period. Students are encouraged to view all of these sources as historical texts and to consider broader questions about the nature of culture, gender, religion, technology, monarchy, and national identity. Through the critical study of history, we encounter ourselves, and the world in which we live, in new and interesting ways.

This is an introductory course for which there are no prerequisites. Students from all disciplines are welcome.

David Campion
Pamplin Associate Professor of History
Miller 409 | MSC 41

Lewis & Clark College
0615 SW Palatine Hill Road
Portland, Oregon 97219 USA

Tel: 503.768.7435
Fax: 503.768.7418
Email: campion@lclark.edu

Class Hours:
MWF 8:00-9:00
Miller 104

Office Hours:
MW 11:30-1:30
(or by appointment)
Miller 409

Course Requirements

Schedule of Classes

Assignment Guidelines

Map Exercise

18th-Century Britain in Film

British and Irish Online Resources

Prof. Campion's Other Courses

Top (left to right):
William Hogarth, South Sea Scheme, c.1721 © Tate Gallery
John Wilson Carmichael, The Brayford Pool and Lincoln Cathedral © Usher Gallery, Lincoln
The Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; The Crown Jewels © Royal Collections
William John Huggins, Indiamen in the China Seas © National Maritime Museum
William Hogarth, Bedlam Lunatic Asylum (from A Rake's Progress), 1735

Bottom (left to right):
Allan Ramsay, George III, 1762 © National Portrait Gallery
Thomas Malton, St. Mary's Church and Somerset House in the Strand, 1796 © Victoria & Albert Museum
Royal Coat of Arms "Dieu et mon Droit"
Robert Home, Lord Cornwallis receives sons of Tipu Sultan as hostages, c.1793 © National Army Museum
Lemuel Francis Abbott, Rear Admiral Viscount Horatio Nelson, 1799 © National Maritime Museum

Created by campion@lclark.edu | Updated February 2016