a) How did debates about free trade shape the politics of nineteenth century Britain?
b) Did the Reform Acts of 1832, 1867 and 1884 represent a fundamental transformation of British politics and society? Why or why not?
a) Was the nineteenth century an age of ‘laissez-faire’? Why or why not?
b) Were the British ‘absent-minded imperialists’ in the nineteenth century?
c) How did events in Ireland shape British politics from the 1840s until the First World War?
Weeks 6-10: 1919-2021
a) Was the interwar period characterised by crisis? Why or why not?
b) Should we understand Britain between the 1940s and the 1970s as an era of ‘decline’ and ‘austerity’, or as a golden age of ‘affluence’? Why?
c) What was ‘consensus’ politics, and was it doomed to fail?
d) What were the characteristic of ‘Thatcherism’ as an ideology, and how did it respond to the politics of the 1950s, 60s and 70s?
e) Was New Labour a continuation of, or departure from, the social and economic policies that characterised Thatcherism?