The Sceptered Isle-Medieval Britain 1086-1314

Ref: C3675308

We will look the impact and consequences of the ongoing crusading movement on the population of the western Franks and the interests of the Capetian kings, along with interests of the Plantagenet kings of England, to see how this formed a backdrop to the successive reigns of Richard I and John, outlining reasons for the collapse of the Plantagenet empire and its consequences, including some consideration of the circumstances surrounding the formation of Magna Carta. We will then look carefully at the long and troubled reign of Henry III, examining carefully the reasons for his limited degree of independence, making some assessment of his character and how this may have contributed to the strife of the Barons War. We will go on to look at the achievements of Edward I, including his reforms of the administration and laws of England, his conquest of Wales and his efforts in sustaining and achieving "The Great Cause".

Course aim

The Plantagenet Empire struggled through continual and fierce rivalries, both within and outside the kingdom, culminating in the dramatic reign of King John.This course will examine the strong kings and queens that built that age.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Provide some assessment of the failures of King John's reign and the decline of the Plantaganet Empire
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the character of the Barons' War under King Henry III
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the key achievements of legal reform and The Great Cause of King Edward I

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The Plantagenets Dan Jones, Collins 2013

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Sceptered Isle-Medieval Britain 1086-1314


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  • 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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