Why has the subject of British decline been of such fascination to historians

British decline
An end-of-module 3,000 word assessment, comprising of 2 parts: The first part is designed to test your understanding of the debates in the historiography (secondary sources); the second part is a more general essay, in which you can combine both secondary and primary sources.
It is extremely important that you answer both parts i.e. Q.1 and Q.2 to maximise your marks potential.
1. Answer one of the following questions in essay form, in not more than 1,500 words and with specific reference to at least two of the module’s key texts (such as those by David Reynolds, John Young, Peter Clarke, David Cannadine, Paul Kennedy, or others):
a) Why has the subject of British decline been of such fascination to historians?
b) Critically evaluate the work of those historians who contend that British power in the 20th century faced inevitable collapse.
c) ‘Though the laurels of international leadership passed to others during the 20th century, Britain still had its moments of glory, not all of them illusory’ (Peter Clarke). Assess this view.
d) What are the main lessons of Britain’s role in 20th century international history for our foreign policymakers today?
Note: MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) referencing and a bibliography are essential (see the History Field Guide for full details).
2. Answer one of the following questions in essay form and in not more than 1,500 words. The essay must make use of secondary and at least some primary sources (published or archival). Again, MHRA referencing and a bibliography are essential (see the History Field Guide for full details):
a) How confident was Britain about its place in the world during the period 1900-1914?
b) In what ways did the First World War alter Britain’s place in the world?
c) Assess, with particular regard to German nationalist territorial ambitions, the role and policy of the British Foreign Office during the period 1919-1939.
d) How did British foreign policy-makers react to and view the international Communist policy of Stalin’s Russia, 1928-1953?
e) What were Britain’s foreign affairs priorities in the aftermath of the Second World War, 1945-51?
f) Was the Suez Crisis a symptom or a cause of British decline?
g) Assess the nature of the Anglo-American relationship during the period 1945-2007.
h) What did the Falklands War in 1982 reveal about Britain’s world role?
i) How important to Britain was German reunification and wider events in Eastern Europe during the period 1989-1992?
j) Was British foreign policy a success or failure during the years 1997-2007?
Referencing and bibliography.
David Reynolds: Britannia Overruled: British Policy and World Power in the 20th Century (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2nd ed., 2000)
John Young: Britain and the World in the 20th Century (1997)
Peter Clarke: Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000 (London: Penguin Books, 2nd ed., 2004)
David Cannadine: Britain in Decline? (1997)
Paul Kennedy: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1988)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Why has the subject of British decline been of such fascination to historians

British decline
An end-of-module 3,000 word assessment, comprising of 2 parts: The first part is designed to test your understanding of the debates in the historiography (secondary sources); the second part is a more general essay, in which you can combine both secondary and primary sources.
It is extremely important that you answer both parts i.e. Q.1 and Q.2 to maximise your marks potential.
1. Answer one of the following questions in essay form, in not more than 1,500 words and with specific reference to at least two of the module’s key texts (such as those by David Reynolds, John Young, Peter Clarke, David Cannadine, Paul Kennedy, or others):
a) Why has the subject of British decline been of such fascination to historians?
b) Critically evaluate the work of those historians who contend that British power in the 20th century faced inevitable collapse.
c) ‘Though the laurels of international leadership passed to others during the 20th century, Britain still had its moments of glory, not all of them illusory’ (Peter Clarke). Assess this view.
d) What are the main lessons of Britain’s role in 20th century international history for our foreign policymakers today?
Note: MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) referencing and a bibliography are essential (see the History Field Guide for full details).
2. Answer one of the following questions in essay form and in not more than 1,500 words. The essay must make use of secondary and at least some primary sources (published or archival). Again, MHRA referencing and a bibliography are essential (see the History Field Guide for full details):
a) How confident was Britain about its place in the world during the period 1900-1914?
b) In what ways did the First World War alter Britain’s place in the world?
c) Assess, with particular regard to German nationalist territorial ambitions, the role and policy of the British Foreign Office during the period 1919-1939.
d) How did British foreign policy-makers react to and view the international Communist policy of Stalin’s Russia, 1928-1953?
e) What were Britain’s foreign affairs priorities in the aftermath of the Second World War, 1945-51?
f) Was the Suez Crisis a symptom or a cause of British decline?
g) Assess the nature of the Anglo-American relationship during the period 1945-2007.
h) What did the Falklands War in 1982 reveal about Britain’s world role?
i) How important to Britain was German reunification and wider events in Eastern Europe during the period 1989-1992?
j) Was British foreign policy a success or failure during the years 1997-2007?
Referencing and bibliography.
David Reynolds: Britannia Overruled: British Policy and World Power in the 20th Century (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2nd ed., 2000)
John Young: Britain and the World in the 20th Century (1997)
Peter Clarke: Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000 (London: Penguin Books, 2nd ed., 2004)
David Cannadine: Britain in Decline? (1997)
Paul Kennedy: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1988)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *