Revolution and Counterrevolution: England 1640 - 1660

Ref: C3743232

The mid seventeenth century is one of the most tumultuous and exciting periods of English history. Rarely has so much changed so quickly. The growth of printing combined with economic turmoil and relgious conflict to fuel an explosion of new ideas as the country descended into a bloody civil war. Within a few years, ideas that had once been radical had become mainstream, the monarchy was overthrown and the king beheaded. With the world turned upside down, everything that had once been unquestioned was up for debate. Social, political and religious groups wrestled over competing ideas about power, religion, money, morality, gender and communication. Many political philosophies and religious movements that are still with us can trace their origins back to this time. In addition to learning about the events of this period, we will look at controversies over their interpretation and ask how we are inflluenced by them today.

Additional information about this course

If you are paying by cheque you should either post to John Williams –Oxford branch, address on Weamis Drop into Oxford office - The Venue@Cowley, 242B Barns Road, Oxford OX4 3RQ

Course aim

A chance to explore an exciting period of English history, full of rapid social changes and an explosion of new political and religious ideas, which still affect our society today.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • You are very welcome whether or not you have any knowledge of mid seventeenth century England.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Summarise the main events in English history between 1640 and 1660.
  • Discuss different views on the reasons for some of the main developments in this period - e.g. why Charles I lost power or why government without monarchy did not last long.
  • Explain connections between particular political and religious ideas that are common today and events in mid seventeenth century England.
  • Make an argument about how events in mid seventeenth century England should be remembered.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • There will be a range of teaching methods, including presentations from the tutor, discussions in small groups and looking at primary sources together.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • A pen and notebeook may be helpful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Revolution and Counterrevolution: England 1640 - 1660


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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