King, Parliament and People: England 1603-1690

Ref: C3744240

The seventeenth century saw the greatest political upheavals in English history. This class will study the religious controversies of the period, the causes of the Civil War, the Commonwealth period, the restoration of the monarchy and the eventual accession of Protestant William and Mary. The course will consider how England progressed towards the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy we have today. This course will not include a detailed account of the battles of the Civil War.

Course aim

To introduce students to the principal events and issues relating to the political and religious controversies of the seventeenth century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course is for anyone who is interested in the history of England and who would like to study it in greater depth.

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

  • Identify the principal themes and causes of controversy in seventeenth century political, religious and constitutional history.
  • Describe the personalities of the principal individuals involved, such as Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, and identify their flaws and achievements.
  • Name the significant events in the conflict.
  • Recognise how the events of the seventeenth century have continued to influence the political and constitutional development of the United Kingdom.

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
  • No work is required outside of class, but books and other resources will be suggested for students who wish to carry out further reading.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Students are encouraged to ask questions and join in discussion. Material covered will be reviewed at intervals during the course, when students will have the opportunity to assess their memory and understanding and seek clarification if necessary.

What else do I need to know?

  • Note taking is not required, but students who wish to take notes for personal use should bring suitable writing materials.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • There is no requirement to carry out additional reading during the course, but books and other resources will be suggested for students who wish to do so.

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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Students may wish to continue with further reading or visit places of interest connected to the course topic.

Download full course information sheet

King, Parliament and People: England 1603-1690


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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