Britain: Losing and Gaining and Empire - 1763-1914

This course has been designed around the the Nikki Christie textbook by Hodder. Please click on the image to purchase through Amazon

 

The examined part of the A Level will study the British Empire and the part played in this by the Royal Navy and merchant marine. Looking at social, economic and political issues, students will study a series of developments that started with an imperial catastrophe which threatened to reduce Britain once more to a European offshore island, but would then transform Britain's standing in the world so that by the end of the period it had the largest empire the world has known.

 

Students will be expected to undertake extensive wider reading outside of the classroom. The Edexcel text is the approved core reading material for this course but additional texts may appeal to the preferred learning style of individual students. I have inspection copies of all the recommended books. Extension reading materials are to be found at the bottom of this page.

 

Additionally this site contains links to video resources which have organised to link to specific booklets. Students wishing to succeed will be expected to use these in their studies.

 

Comprehensive audio Mp3 files are also available for students covering the core lectures of this course as well as resources available from I Tunes University giving students access to materials from some of the worlds leading academic institutions.

 

 

The Exam

 

30% of final mark

 

Written examination, lasting 2 hours 15 minutes

Students will answer 3 questions: one from section A, one from section B and one from section C

 

Sections A comprises one compulsory question for the option studied, assessing source analysis and evaluation skills (AO2)

Section B comprises a choice of essays that assess understanding of the period in depth (AO1)

Section C comprises a choice of essays that assess understanding of the period in breadth (AO1)

 

Edexcel Overview Booklet

 

Glossary of Terms - Britishempire.co.uk

British Empire Top Trumps

Niall Ferguson - How Britain made the Modern World

 

Overview Lessons

 

Overview/Revision Booklet - Free 

 

Lesson - Dirty Money

Video -

Worksheet

 

Students will watch Epsode 4 of 'The British: 2000 Years in the Making' to contextualise the circumstances and position of Britain in the Eighteenth Century

 

Lesson - Theories of Empire 

 

Video

Worksheet

 

Students will read Chapter 3 of 'A Very Short Introduction to the British Empire' considering the 'Engines of Expansion' that drove the Empre to evolve and consider the observation that 'The British Empire was acquired in a fit of absence of mind'

 

               Buy Here

             A Very Short Introduction to

                    The British Empire

                       Ashley Jackson.

 

 

                  Buy Here

                            The British

                2000 Years in the Making

 

 

 

Lesson- Why Britain? - Niall Fergusons' Empire Pt1 

 

Worksheet Video

Worksheet

Documentary Episode

 

Students will watch Epsode 1 of ' Niall Fergusons 'Empire' to contextualise the circumstances and position of Britain in the Eighteenth Centuryand the dynamic facors that contributed to the rise of Britain as an imperial power

 

Lesson - Superpower 

 

Video

Worksheet

 

Students will watch Epsode 4 of 'The British: 2000 Years in the Making' to contextualise the circumstances and position of Britain in the Eighteenth Century

 

Lesson -The Seven Years War 

 

Video

 

Students will be introduced to the Seven Years War that serves as an introuction to the course. They will read Lawrence James 'The Rise and Fall of The British Empire' Chapter 2 'Tis to glory we steer: Gains and Losses - 1743-83'. This will set the scene for both the start of the taught course and a brief outline of Britains declining position in her 13 Colonies.

 

Note Taking Assessment

 

 

Each of these sheets will need completing and signing off prior to the start of the course proper

 

 

 

Teaching Resources

                 Buy Here

             Niall Ferguson - Empire

 

 

                  Buy Here

                    Lawrence James

 The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

 

 

Aspects in breadth: ruling the waves

 

 

Theme 1: The changing nature and extent of trade 

 

Reasons for, and nature of, the changing patterns of trade, 1763-1914: the importance of government policy (key developments: the abolition of the slave trade 1807, the adoption of free trade 1842–46, the repeal of the Navigation Acts 1849). 

 

The changing importance of ports, entrepôts and trade routes within the UK and throughout the Empire, 1763-1914: (key developments: the acquisition of Singapore 1819 and Hong Kong 1842, the opening up of Shanghai to trade 1842, the purchase of the Suez Canal shares 1875, the acquisition of Zanzibar 1890, the lease of Wei hai-wei 1898). 

 

Trade is arguably the most important 'engine' in the devlopment of the British Empire. Profit has always been the 'end; and trade, the 'means'. Mecantilsim and the Navigation Acts that supported it were the prefered style of commerce until the lessons learnt from the loss of the American colonies reusulted in the transitiuon away from Mercantilsim towards Free Trade. Underpinned by the theories of Adam Smith, the Americans were intially the first to embrace this new style of unhindered trade yet, to the British authorities it was nothing less than smuggling. Once lost to the British thoug, the explosion in Atlantic trade between the two countries was testamount to its success and started the move towards Free Trade that the British would finalise with the abolition of the Corn Laws and Navigation acts towards the middle of the Nineteenth Century. This would be the heyday of Britains imperial and economic power that would oly be checked by the rising power of resurgent European economices from 1875 onwards.

 

Trade Lessons

 

Overview/Revision Booklet

 

Lesson - Mercantilism v. Free Trade

 

Activity - Economic Models - Mercantilism to Free Trade & its role in the 'First British Empire'

 

School of Life - Adam Smith

A Dramatic - Adam Smith

The Invisible Hand

Extended Reading - Leviathan - David Scott - The British Atlantic - pages 370 - 376  

Worksheet

 

Lesson - The Industrial Explosion

 

 

Lesson - Mercantilism Simulation

 

Extended Reading - The Business of Empire

 

Lesson - Amazing Grace

 

Extended Reading - A Gruelling Campaign

Extended Reading - Breaking the Bonds

EXtended Reading - The Revolt against Slavery

 

 

Lesson - The East India Company and the reorientation of the British Empire

Worksheet

Video

Extended Reading - Leviathan - David Scott - Eastern Promise - pages 358-70

Worksheet

 

Students will watch the Dan Snow documentary on the rise of the East India Company and its transition from a British Crown monopoly to a Corporate Empire. Studetns will learn about the dynamic relationship between the two countries as the British evlove from being seduced by India to controlling and changing it with all the consequences that entailled.

 

Lesson - Imperial Beginnings in India

 

 

Lesson - Clive in India

 

 

Lesson - The McCartney Mission

 

Video - The First Opium War

Video - The Second Opium War

Video - The Third Opium War

 

Extended Reading - Michael Lynch - The McCartney Mission

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Robert Hughes - The Opium War

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Robert Hughes - Traders in Oblivion

Worksheet

 

Lesson - The significance of the evolution of Britains network of ports, entrepots and trade routes - Independent Project and Presentation Work

 

Singapore

Hong Kong

Shanghai

The Suez Canal

Zanzibar

Wei-Hai-We

 

 

Viewing

 

Empire - BBC - Jeremy Paxman

Empire - How Britain Made the Modern World - Niall Ferguson

 

Teaching Resources

                           Buy Here

                            Jeremy Paxman - Empire

 

                           Buy Here

                               DVD - Amazing Grace

 

 

Theme 2: The changing nature of the Royal Navy

 

The changing Royal Navy, 1763-1914: the significance of changing ship types; the growing role of commerce protection, including protecting, and later suppressing, the slave trade; suppressing piracy and defending British commerce (key development: the attack on Algiers 1816); the work of exploration and mapping (key development: Captain Cook's exploration of the South Seas, 1768-71). 

 

The importance of the acquisition and retention of key strategic bases around the globe, 1763-1914 (key developments: Gibraltar retained 1783, and the acquisition of Malta, Ceylon and Cape Town in 1815, the Falklands in 1833, Aden in 1839 and Cyprus in 1878). 

 

Funded by the taxes and revenue sccrused through Tarde, The Royal Navy evloved to fulfill two consistent roles:the defence of the Realm and the protection of trade and the sealanes that allowed Britain to trade so effectivly. In wartime this was its foci. In peacetime howvever, the Navy could expand its role to include anti piracy operation, the suppression of slavery and exploration.

 

As a machine for fighting wars it can be argued that the Royal Navy was one of the principle casues for the evloution of the centralised state and its institutions that gave Britain such an advantage in its wars with bigger rivals like France and Spain. It certainly contributed in a large part to the fostering of the Industrial Revolution as war neccesitated the innovation of technologies that helped the Royal Navy assert itself and move from a position of superiroty, achieved after 1763 through to supremacy achieved after 1805. Its rise howvever, was not linear and due to its associated ruinous costs the Royal Navy often found itself reduced in strength during times of war as well as deeply conservative in times of peace after 1805 and during its unchallenged role as the worlds policeman during the Pax Britannica.

 

Despite former rivals reasserting themselves latterly in the second half of the Nineteenth Century, the Royal navy managed to remain innovative enough and reform mined when required to ensure it started the First World War retaining its position as the gratest naval force in the world.

 

Navy Lessons 

 

Overview/Revision Booklet

 

Lesson - Hearts of Oak 

 

Video 

Worksheet

 

The first of Dan Snow's documentraries on the rise of the Royal Navy and the institutions of the State and economic and technical innovations that facilliatated this.

 

Lesson - An Introduction Empire of The Deep

 

Extended Reading - Empire of The Deep - Ben Wilson - Chapter 42 - Persuasion - 1805 - 1842

Worksheet

 

Students will be introduced to how much the Royal Navy has affected language and culture?

 

 

Lesson - The Development of the Royal Navy

 

 

Lesson - Wooden Walls

 

Video

Extended Reading - Empire of The Deep - Ben Wilson - Chapter 43 - Making the Weather - 1842-60 

Worksheet

 

Lesson - The Royal Navy and Britain's commercial interests

 

Lesson - The Golden Ocean

 

Video

Worksheet

 

Extended Reading - Britannia Rules the Waves

Worksheet

Extended Reading  - Empire of The Deep -  Ben Wilson - Chapter 44 - Arms Race - 1860- 1899

Worksheet

 

Lesson - Commercial Interests

 

 

Lesson - The importance of Key Strategic Acquisitions

 

Video

Worksheet

 

Activity - case Studies

Video

 

Gibraltar

Aden

The Cape of Good Hope

Cyprus

Malta

Ceylon

The Falkalknds

 

Lesson - High Tide

 

Video

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Empire of The Deep - Ben Wilson - Chapter 45 - The Brink -1899-1914

Worksheet

 

Lesson - Captain Cook and The Age of Exploration

 

Documentary - BBC Timewatch - The Man behind the Legend

Video

Worksheet

 

Extended Reading - Revealing the World

Worksheet

 

Extended Viewing - Captain Cook - Obsession & Discovery: A Likely Lad

Extended Viewing - Captain Cook - Obssesion & Discovery: Taking Command

Extended Viewing - Captain Cook - Obsession & Dicovery: Beyond Speculation

Extended Viewing - Captain Cook - Obsession & Discovery: The Northwest Passage

 

Lesson - Sea Change

Worksheet

 

Extended Reading - Scuppering Britains Fossil Navy

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Meeting the German Menace

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Empire of The Deep - Ben Wilson - Chapter 45 - The Brink - 1899-1914

 

Teaching Resources

 

                        Buy Here

                 Ben Wilson - Empire of The Deep

                               Buy Here

                               DVD - Empire of The Seas

 

 

                          Buy Here

   Paul Kennedy -The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery

 

 

                               Buy Here

                           Brian Lavery - Empire of the Seas

 

 

Aspects in depth: losing, gaining and governing territory

 

The loss of the American colonies, 1770–83

 

Tensions between colonists and the British, 1770–75: the issue of custom collection and tea duties, including the Boston Tea Party; the Coercive Acts 1774 and their impact. 

 

Clashes between British forces and rebels, 1775–76; the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation. 

 

Britain's defeat, 1778–83: French and Spanish involvement; Britain’s limited military resources; the defeats of Burgoyne 1778, and Cornwallis 1781; the decision to seek peace and accept the Treaty of Paris. Impact of defeat on Britain 1783. 

 

America Lessons

 

Overview / Revision Booklet

 

Lesson -Being a British colonist -

Worksheet

Video Lecture

Extended Lecture:The Great Courses - The History of the United States, 2nd Edition - 9 The Great War for Empire

 

Lesson - Being a British American 

Worksheet

Video Lecture

 

Lesson - Outraged Colonials - The Stamp Act

Video Lecture

Extended Lecture:The Great Courses - The History of the United States, 2nd Edition - 10 The Rejection of Empire

 

Lesson - Resisitance or Rebellion: What is going on in Boston?

Video Lecture

 

Lesson - The logic of resistance -

Video Lecture

Extended Lecture:The Great Courses - The History of the United States, 2nd Edition -11 the American Revolution

Independence - Video Lecture 

 

Lesson - The Course of The War

 

Viewing

 

The War that made America - Part 1 - PBS 

The War that made America - Part 2 - PBS

 

 

 

                         Buy Here

                   David Reynolds - Empire of Liberty

                           Buy Here

                      Nick Bunker - Empire on the Edge

 

 

The birth of British Australia 1788-1829

 

Australia’s role as a penal colony from 1788; the importance of Lachlan Macquarie: the development of Sydney; land grants to ex-convicts and development up the Hawkesbury River; the growth of Macquarie towns. 

 

impact of British settlement on Aborigines in Tasmania and

New South Wales, 1788-1829.

 

The spreading impact: penal settlement in Van Diemen's land 1803; development of whaling; first crossing of the Blue Mountains 1813; first settlements in Western Australia 1826; extent of colonial control by 1829. 

 

Australia Lessons

 

Activity - Why Australia? Who were the first British Settlers?

Activity - 

Activity - The Great Lectures

Activity - The importance of Lachlan Macquarie to the development of New South Wales

Activity - The impact of British settlement on the Aboriginal population in Tasmania and New South Wales

Activity - What was the extent and nature of Colonial Control in Austrlai in the years 1803-1829?

 

Essays

 

Essay Checker - Class Tools

 

Viewing

 

Bound for Botany Bay

Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery - A Likely Lad

Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery -Taking Command

 

Captain Cook - Fictionalised

 

 

                             Buy Here

                        Robert Hughes - The Fatal Shore

                             Buy Here

             Tom Keneally - Commonwealth of Theives

 

 

                            Buy Here

                       Tony Robinson - Down Under

                            Buy Here

                          Ben Wilson - Empire of the Deep

 

Learning from past mistakes: Canada and the Durham Report,1837–40

 

The political nature and governmental system of Upper and Lower Canada and the perceived threat from the USA. 

 

The revolts of 1837–38: causes, course and impact. 

 

The importance of the Earl of Durham's appointment as High Commissioner; the roles of Charles Buller and Edward Gibbon Wakefield; the main recommendations and importance of the Durham Report. 

 

Lesson 1 -

Lesson 2 -

Lesson 3 -

Lesson 4 -

Lesson 5 - 

Lesson 6 -

 

Essays

 

Essay Checker - Class Tools

 

Viewing

 

History of Canada Episode 3 Claiming the Wilderness Documentary

History of Canada Episode 4 Battle for a Continent Documentary

History of Canada Episode 5 - A Question of Loyalties

                             Buy Here

           Bob Bothwell - The Penhuin History of Canada

 

 

                           Buy Here

                              Niall Ferguson - Empire

 

 

Nearly loosing an Empire - The British in India, 1829-1858

 

The role of the East India Company and the Governor General; the importance of Bengal and the Company Army. 

 

William Sleeman’s campaign against Thagi: the drive against Sati and female infanticide; the impact of missionaries. 

 

The Indian Rebellion: the reforms of Dalhousie; the annexation of Awadh; outbreak and events in Meerut, Cawnpore and Delhi; the siege and relief of Lucknow; reasons why the British retained control. 

 

Lesson 1 -

Lesson 2 -

Lesson 3 -

Lesson 4 -

Lesson 5 - 

Lesson 6 -

 

The Great Course - A History of British India

 

The Great Course - A History of British India

 

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 3 Indian and British Economic Interests

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 4 British a Expansion in India (1757-1820)

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 5 Knowing the Country: British Orientalism 

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 6 Race, Gender and Culture (1750-1850)

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 7 The Age of Reform (1830-1850)
Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 8 The Great Uprising
Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India -9 Economics and Society under the Raj

Essays

 

Essay Checker - Class Tools

 

Viewing

                            Buy Here

                         Lawrence James - British India

 

 

                            Buy Here

                      John Darwin - Unfinished Empire

 

 

The Nile Valley, 1882-1898

 

Reasons for intervention in Egypt 1882: Arabi Pasha and Arab nationalism; protecting European loans and people. French withdrawal; the British military campaign. 

 

Egypt as a 'veiled protectorate'; the promises to withdraw and the failure to do so; the work of Sir Evelyn Baring. 

 

The problem of the Sudan: the Mahdi; Gladstone's concerns and policy; Gordon's mission, 1884–85. The conquest of the Sudan 1898: the fear of French occupation; the role of Kitchener; the significance of Omdurman. 

 

Lesson 1 -

Lesson 2 -

Lesson 3 -

Lesson 4 -

Lesson 5 - 

Lesson 6 -

 

Essays

 

Essay Checker - Class Tools

 

Viewing

 

 

The Exam

 

 

Required Reading

 

The British Empire Magazine  - Orbis/TimeLife/ BBC

18th Century Empire Timeline - BritishEmpire.co.uk

19th Century Empire Timeline - BritishEmpire.co.uk

 

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© Andrew Withey