England 1815-1870 - Part 1

Ref: C3741563

This period saw the emergence of the modern political system in Britain. This class will look at the process of parliamentary reform, the growth of popular protest and political activism and the careers of some of the leading politicians of the day. We shall also look at foreign affairs and the growth of the British Empire.

Course aim

To introduce the changes in government and politics in the period; to describe the leading political figures of the time and their impact on events.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is for people with an interest in history who would like to extend and deepen their knowledge.

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

  • Describe the political system of Britain in the early nineteenth century.
  • Give an outline of the campaign for, and impact of, the 1832 Parliamentary Reform Act.
  • Give an outline of the impact of the 1867 Parliamentary Reform Act.
  • Describe the growth of popular protest and political movements.
  • Give an outline of the careers and achievements of some of the prominent politicians of the time.

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
  • Students who wish to take notes should bring suitable writing materials.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Additional reading is not required, but for those who wish to pursue the subject further, appropriate resources will be suggested.

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
  • Continue to study independently by reading, for example nineteenth century novels, visiting museums and places of interest. Become involved as a volunteer with local history societies or places of interest.

Download full course outline

England 1815-1870 - Part 1 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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