Electoral Politics in Britain, c.1900-1964: Context (HIH3311)

StaffDr David Thackeray - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesAt least 90 credits of History at level 1 and/or level 2
Co-requisitesHIH3310 Electoral Politics in Britain (Sources)
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will introduce students to the changing culture of British political campaigns between 1900 and 1964. Rather than offering a conventional, party-centred overview of political change this module explores key themes which reshaped what it meant to participate in political life: the enfranchisement of women, the emergence of radio and cinema, the development of the tabloid press, and the changing role of the political meeting. Students are encouraged to assess whether these changes made Britain a more democratic and politically engaged society or undermined traditions of demonstrative public politics.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Evaluate the effects that new media played in reshaping British politics
  • 2. Assess the key developments within British public politics between 1900 and 1964 through independent study and seminar work

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Analyse the key developments within a particular political environment
  • 4. Focus on and comprehend complex issues
  • 5. Understand and deploy historical and political terminology in a comprehensible manner
  • 6. Follow the complex reasoning inherent in political discourse

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Perform independent and autonomous study
  • 8. Work in groups and present material for group discussion
  • 9. Digest,select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument
  • 10. Present complex arguments orally

Syllabus plan

The following subjects will be assessed in seminars - The politics of sensationalism: Elections in Edwardian Britain - The suffragettes and the politics of violence - The Edwardian free trade/ tariff reform debate - The franchise reforms of 1918 and 1928 - Labour and the democratising of political culture between the wars - Women and inter-war public politics - Ideas of nation and constitution in inter-war Britain - Passive citizens?: The new democracy after 1918 - Labour and the 1945 election - Electoral culture from Churchill to Wilson

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 2hr)
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
Better of two essay marks 332 x 3000 words1-10Verbal and written
Unseen Examination 672 questions in 2 hours1-10Written

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Laura Beers, Your Britain: Media and the making of the modern Labour party (2010)

Lawrence Black, Redefining British politics: Culture, consumerism and participation, 1954-70 (2010)

Steven Fielding et el., England arise! Labour and popular politics in 1940s Britain (1994)

Stephen Koss, The rise and fall of the political press in Britain (2 vols., 1981-84)

Jon Lawrence, Electing our masters: The hustings from Hogarth to Blair (2009)

Frank Trentmann, Free trade nation (2008)


Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

BBC suffragette archive Conservative party poster collection Digital cartoon archive LSE political poster collection Screenonline party political broadcasts Screenonline, politics and film 1903-1935

Available as distance learning?