Organised Street Protest in Modern British and American History: Context (HIH3269)

StaffDr Matthias Reiss - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesAt least 90 credits of History at level 1 and/or level 2
Co-requisitesHIH3268 Organised Street Protest: Sources
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide a better understanding of protest in the modern era. The module will introduce you to some of the theoretical approaches which have been used to understand protest in the modern period as well as to a wide variety of primary sources dealing with contentious action from the nineteenth century to the present. We will, among other things, discuss how protest is generated, how repertoires of protest have developed over time, how protest has been framed, the role of the media, why some campaigns have been more successful than others, and which role organised street protest has in modern democratic societies.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. A detailed knowledge of the different sources available for the study of the social movements in Britain and the United States since the late nineteenth century, together with very close specialist knowledge of those sources which the students focus upon in their seminar presentations and written work
  • 2. The ability to analyse the complex diversity of the sources studied

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Ability to analyse closely original sources and to assess their reliability as historical evidence
  • 4. Ability to focus on and comprehend complex texts and other types of evidence
  • 5. Ability to understand and deploy historical and social science terminology correctly

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

Syllabus plan

The module will focus on the following protest activities: Unemployed Protest in Britain from the 1880s to the First World War; Coxey's Army and the First March on Washington; Women's Suffrage Demonstrations; the Labour Movement and 1st May; Labour Unrest after the First World War; Fascist Demonstrations; Hunger Marchers in Britain and in the United States; the Jarrow Crusade; the Bonus Army; the Marches of the Blind to London; the Civil Rights Movement in the United States; Protest against the Vietnam War; the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; the People's Marches for Jobs; the Million Man March; the Orange Order Parades in Northern Ireland; the Protest against the Iraq War and the Anti-Globalization Protest.

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 (22 x 2hrs)
Guided independent study256Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionOngoing through course.1-8Verbal from tutor and fellow students.
Worse of two essay marks3000 words1-7Verbal and written.

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
Better of two essay marks332 x 3000 words1-7Verbal and written
Unseen examination672 questions in 2 hours1-7Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Better of two essaysBetter of two essays1-7Referral/deferral period
Unseen examinationUnseen examination1-7Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Cohen, Max, I was One of the Unemployed (London, 1945).
Frow, Edmund, and Ruth Frow, The Battle of Bexley Square: Salford Unemployed Workers' Demonstration - 1st October, 1931 (Salford, 1994).
Hannington, Wal, Unemployed Struggles 1919-1936: My Life and Struggles amongst the Unemployed (London, 1977).
MacDougall, Ian (ed.), Voices from the Hunger Marches: Personal Recollections by Scottish Hunger Marchers of the 1920s and 1930s, Vol. I (Edinburgh, 1990).
Madhubuti, Haki R. and Maulana Karenga (eds.), Million Man March / Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology (Chicago, 1996).
Mailer, Norman, The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History (1st publ. 1968; New York, 1994).
Minnion, John and Philip Bolsover (eds.), The CND Story: The first 25Years of CND in the Words of the People involved (London, 1983)
Wilkinson, Ellen, The Town that was Murdered: The Life Story of Jarrow (London, 1939).

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