Churchill and the Empire, 1874 - 1965: Sources (HIH3255)

StaffProfessor Richard Toye - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesAt least 90 credits in History at level 1 and/or level 2
Co-requisitesHIH3256 (Context)
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will aim to provide focus on the sources available for the study of Churchill's attitude towards the British Empire. It will look at a range of sources, including Parliamentary Debates, politicians' diaries and correspondence, official reports, newspaper reports, cartoons, periodical literature and election material. Students will be asked to focus on the reliability and value to the historian of these different types of source and to place them within the broader context in which they were produced.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Ability to evaluate the different and complex types of source available for the study of the politics of Empire in the period
  • 2. Ability to analyse very closely those sources which the students focus upon in their seminar presentations and written work
  • 3. Ability to analyse the complex diversity of the sources studied

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Ability to analyse closely complex original sources and to assess their reliability as historical evidence
  • 5. Ability to focus on and comprehend complex texts
  • 6. Ability to understand and deploy political and imperial terminology in a comprehensible manner
  • 7. Ability to follow the often complex reasoning of political discourse in the period

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Independent and autonomous study and group work, including presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning
  • 9. Ability to digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment
  • 10. Ability to present complex arguments orally

Syllabus plan

The module will focus on primary sources relating to the following subjects: the origins and context of Churchill's imperial thought; his early experiences as a soldier and journalist in imperial war; Churchill at the Colonial Office 1905-08; the link between Empire and social reform in the Edwardian period; the imperial politics of WWI; Churchill and Ireland; T.E. Lawrence and the Middle east settlement of 1901; Churchill's India campaign in the 1930s; the Empire and 'appeasement'; Churchill and the rhetoric of Empire during WWII; and the adjustment to decolonization after 1945

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities44Seminars (22x2hr)
Guided independent study256Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio of written work80%6000 wordsVerbal and written
Individual presentation20%20-30 minutesVerbal and written

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Randolph S. Churchill & Martin Gilbert (eds.), Documentary Companion Volumes to the Official Biography of Winston S. Churchill, (Heinemann, 1967-1994).
Robert Rhodes James (ed.), Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897-1963, 8 vols., (Chelsea House, 1974).
Penderel Moon (ed.), Wavell: The Viceroy's Journal, (Oxford University Press, 1973).
Kimball, Warren F. (ed.), Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence, vol. I: Alliance Emerging, October 1933 - November 1942, (Princeton University Press, 1984).
Trefor Evans (ed.), The Killearn Diaries, 1934-1946: The Diplomatic and Personal Record of Lord Killearn (Sir Miles Lampson), High Commissioner and Ambassador, Egypt, (Sidgwick and Jackson, 1972).

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?