Making a Maritime Nation: England in the Tudor Age (HIH1036)
|Staff||Dr James Davey - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 2: 11 weeks;|
The first aim of this module is to introduce you to the maritime history of the Tudor era. This will be taught through a series of focused sessions that will ground you in the chronology and key events of the period. It will also connect you with a number of historiographies that can be explored further in other modules. These include debates on national identity, the purpose and legacy of empire, England’s relationship with Europe, and the development of the Royal Navy.
Just as importantly, the module will familiarize you with the types of sources used by early-modern historians. Seminars will discuss different source types, including state documents, personal letters, various forms of published writing (travel narratives, books, plays and treatises), paintings, museum objects and archaeological findings. You will have the opportunity to conduct their own research into these sources, consider their value and limitations, and use them to explore particular topics and themes. You will also be encouraged to think about the absence of sources, and consider what this means for historical study. This module will help you develop skills in source analysis and research to provide a foundation for future historical work.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Understand and assess the main factors that contributed to Englands emergence as a maritime nation in the Tudor era.
- 2. Work critically with a range of written and visual sources relating to the topic.
- 3. Assess the sources in relation to the historical debates, purposes for which different contemporary sources were produced, and analyze and evaluate their reliability and usefulness for the study of English maritime history.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and compare the validity of different types of sources.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
- 8. Digest, select and organize material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
- 10. Write to a very tight word-length.
Weekly seminar topics might include: early-modern voyages of exploration, the origins of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the establishment of the Royal Navy and the Royal Dockyards, the experience of life at sea, the founding of trading companies, privateering and piracy, maritime propaganda, early colonisation and the failed colony of Roanoke, the Spanish Armada, and the visual representation of the maritime world in the Tudor era.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||2||2 hour lecture: Introduction to module|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||10 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week|
|Guided independant studies||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-7, 9||Oral|
|Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||60||2000 words (500 per commentary)||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
|Essay on Sources||40||1500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period|
|1500-word essay||1500-word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Stephen Alford, London’s Triumph: Merchant Adventurers and the Tudor City (London: Allen Lane, 2017)
Jerry Brotton, This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World (London: Allen Lane, 2016)
Charles Carlton, This Sea of Mars: War and the British Isles 1485-1746 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011),
Nicholas Canny, ed. The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)
David Childs, Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness (Barnsley: Seaforth, 2009)
J.H. Elliot, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830 (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2006)
James Evans, Merchant Adventurers: The Voyage of Discovery that Transformed Tudor England (London, 2013)
Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
David Loads, ‘From the King’s Ships to the Royal Navy, 1500-1642’, in J.R. Hill, ed. The Oxford History of the Royal Navy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 24-55.
N.A.M. Rodger, The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain, 660-1649 (London: Allen Lane, 2004)
David Scott, Leviathan: The Rise of Britain as a World Power (London: Harper Collins, 2013)
Penry Williams, The Later Tudors: England, 1547-1603 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, The New Oxford History of England series, 1995)
Module has an active ELE page?
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
England, Maritime, Trade, Warfare, Slavery, Empire, privateering, piracy, Royal Navy, national identity.