History: Conflict in the 19th Century Essex Countryside
How were Essex farmworkers,perceived as potential revolutionaries in 1830, transformed into enfranchised citizens within two generations? Using contemporary source materials we attempt to construct a local context.
This course will chart the political transformation of Essex farmworkers in the 19th century against the background of national events. Using contemporary sources we will examine if political progress was matched by social and economic developments.
Who is the course for?
Anyone interested in local history.
What topics will this course cover
The course will cover the Swing riots in 1830, the protest movements and incendiarism of “the hungry forties”, High farming and mid century prosperity, the advent of the first national farmworkers union, the campaign for the franchise and participation in the first parish councils in 1894. All events will be presented against prevailing national economic and political developments.
What will it be like?
WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.
By the end of the course I should be able to:
1. Examine primary and secondary historical sources with a view to identifying events of local significance. 2. Analyse such sources in order to identify patterns which may be relevant to the outcomes of research. 3. Examine questions raised by apparent patterns or anomalies in source materials. 4. Discuss factual events within a local context and relate these to national developments
How will I know I'm making progress?
Verbal feedback on progress will be indicated during group, whole class and individual discussion on set tasks based on interpretation of documents, photographs and statistical tables. It will also be indicated during informal individual discussions before and after sessions and during tea intervals.
What else do I need to know, do or bring?
Notebook, pen, pencil and if available a smartphone.
Reading and information sources
This is a local topic so there is very little secondary material. As a preparation the best general guide is Gregg, Pauline A Social and Economic History of Britain 1760-1955 Harrap 1960 The following list would be best consulted once the course is under way to provide greater depth and alternative interpretations; ARCH JOSEPH FROM PLOUGHTAIL TO PARLIAMENT CRESSET LIBRARY 1986 ARMSTRONG ALAN FARM WORKERS A SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC HISTORY 1770-1980 BATSFORD 1988 BROWN A.F.G. MEAGRE HARVEST ERO 1990 EDWARDS GEORGE FROM CROW SCARING TO WESTMINSTER LARKS PRESS 2008 HOLLAND M (Ed) SWING UNMASKED FACHRS PUBLICATION 2005 HOPKINS HARRY THE LONG AFFRAY. THE POACHING WARS IN BRITAIN PAPERMAC 1985 HORN PAMELA LABOURING LIFE IN THE VICTORIAN COUNTRYSIDE GUERNSEY PRESS 1976 HOWKINS ALAN POOR LABOURING MEN ROUTLEDGE AND KEGAN PAUL 1985 HOWKINS ALAN RESHAPING RURAL ENGLAND A SOCIAL HISTORY 1850-1925 HARPER COLLINS 1991 HUSSEY S & SWASH L HORRID LIGHTS 19TH CENTURY INCENDIARISM IN ESSEX STUDIES IN ESSEX HISTORY 1994 MARLOW J THE TOLPUDDLE MARTYRS GRAFTON BOOKS 1985 NEWBY HOWARD COUNTRY LIFE A SOCIAL HISTORY OF RURAL ENGLAND CARDINAL 1987 PHILIP N VICTORIAN VILLAGE LIFE ALBION PRESS 1993
What could the course lead to?
One of the objectives of the course is to stimulate an interest in local history generally. With the skills that you will develop you should be able to acquire the confidence to pursue your own research interests at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.
Download full course outline
This course is not available for online enrolment.
Please call 01223 417320 to enquire about enrolling on this course.