Module Code ME1006

Module Title

Scotland and the English Empire (1070 – 1500)

Module Description

From the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of England to the close of the Fifteenth Century, the history of the island of Britain centred on the development of two monarchies: the English crown and its dominions and the kingdom of Scotland.  This module has at its core the relationship between the two realms and comparisons of the different but related societies they contained.  The English and Scottish realms are examined as specific examples of northern European kingdoms in the high and later Middle Ages.  Attention is paid to their internal development and to issues of national identity but weight is also given to the full range of contacts between the princes and peoples of Britain and the wider world, in particular via the Church and through extensive ties with France and the Low Countries.


List of Lecture Titles In both lectures and tutorials, the course follows a broadly chronological framework whilst focussing on a number of key debates and topics for discussion.  The impact of the Norman Conquest on the realms of Britain, the ideals and practice of kingship in the twelfth century and the motives and effects of the search for new forms of spiritual life provide the focal points in the opening weeks.  Attention is then turned to growing ideas of national identity and political liberty in the thirteenth century, bringing in texts like Magna Carta and the Declaration of Arbroath as expressions of rights with long historical lives.  In the later Middle Ages, the key issues include the effects of the Hundred Years War, the impact of the Black Death on society and economy in the different lands of Britain, on the church and its critics in the post-plague era and on the nature and roots of internal conflict in the English and Scottish realms in the fifteenth century.  These focal points provide for a clear sense of both broad themes which explain the long-term historical development of politics, society and economy in Britain and give access to specific debates over individual events which contributed in crucial ways to the larger picture.  The aim is to introduce and prepare for further analysis of the lands of Britain as a region of Mediaeval Europe.
List of Tutorial Topics
Resource Lists