The Early Stuarts and the Interregnum: Monarchs and Rebellion

Ref: C3741159

With the first Stuart monarch sitting on a powder keg and the second losing his head, the reigns of the early Stuarts came to a dramatic close & were replaced by the regimes of Oliver Cromwell. This course will explore the role of court and parliament during the reigns of James I and Charles I, the civil war & the interregnum. The rising tension between the Stuart kings & their subjects is set against the splendour of court life. The progression from crisis to civil war & regicide marks the 1640s as the most turbulent decade in English domestic history, followed by Oliver Cromwell's efforts to find an acceptable constitutional settlement in the 1650s.

Additional information about this course


Course aim

To introduce students to developments in crown and constitution through the most turbulent period of English domestic history by exploring the personalities and political manoeuvres of James I, Charles I and Oliver Cromwell.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Identify and contrast the personal styles and public policies of James I, Charles I & Oliver Cromwell
  • Assess the causes of civil war & outline the military campaigns
  • Identify the constitutional developments during the Interregnum period

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

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but students might like to familiarise themselves with the period by dipping into one or two of the recommended books:

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course outline

The Early Stuarts and the Interregnum: Monarchs and Rebellion Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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