Britain from the French Revolution to the Battle of Waterloo

Ref: C3743032

This course will cover the political history of Britain during the period of the French revolutionary wars. Besides considering the social and cultural shifts in society in this period, we will look at some of the 'characters' of the age including Nelson and Wellington. Aspects of French history, including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars will be considered from a British perspective. We will also consider the social impact on society with the rise of class and increasing poverty towards the end of the period. As part of the course a visit to Apsley House (the Home of Wellington) can be included.

Course aim

The period of the French Revolution affected British society in many ways. The aim of this course is to look in detail at how politics, poetry, class, and poverty were affected through the period 1789-1815

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Name the main Political Parties in England from 1789-1815
  • Give two ways in which English Romantic Poetry was influenced by the French Revolution
  • Name at least 4 'Great Men/Women' of the period
  • Give 2 reasons for the rise of an English Working Class
  • Explain the outcomes of the French Wars

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • The course may include an outside visit with an observation sheet.

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
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Evans, Eric (1983) The forging of the modern state: early industrial Britain, Longman Mori, Jennifer (2000) Britain in the age of the French Revolution 1785-1820 Pearson

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course information sheet

Britain from the French Revolution to the Battle of Waterloo


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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