HS3T85-The Making of the French Revolution

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Joël Félix

Email: j.m.felix@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module will ask why the French Revolution happened, how it happened, and what it changed. It will identify the structural problems which pitted the Absolute monarchy before 1789 and analyse the ways in which they paved the way to the French Revolution. The module will then ask why crisis of the Estates General in 1789 led to the collapse of the Old Regime and why the establishment of a new political system based on the rights of the citizen led to instability, violence and international war.


Aims:

The module will ask why the French Revolution happened, how it happened, and what it changed. It will identify the structural problems which pitted the Absolute monarchy before 1789 and analyse the ways in which they paved the way to the French Revolution. The module will then ask why crisis of the Estates General in 1789 led to the collapse of the Old Regime and why the establishment of a new political system based on the rights of the citizen led to instability, violence and international war.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

- identify and explain the main issues and events studied

- acquire a detailed knowledge of the events through extensive reading in specialised literature

- locate and assemble information on the subject by independent research

- appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject

- organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays.


Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student's effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.


Outline content:

After a general introduction, the course will review the major historical interpretations about the origins of the French Revolution. The following sessions will be devoted to analysis of the social, economic, political and religious structures of the Absolute monarchy. Then focus will be on the challenges brought about by the Enlightenment and the pressures of international competition for great power status, and examine how conflicts over reforms paralysed government and forced the king to convene a meeting of the Estates general in 1789. The following sessions will show how conflicts between the deputies and the king paved the way to the storming of the Bastille and the collapse of the Old Regime. The second half of the course will be devoted to study of the conflicts which pitted various groups concerning the principles of the new regime and its organisation. The last sessions will analyse the ways in which growing tensions fuelled violence, both at home and abroad, and review the debates about the origins of revolutionary violence and Terror.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The three weekly hours will be divided into 1 hour of lecture and 2 hours of seminars. Lectures will present factual knowledge, so as to contextualise problems and questions, and also introduce students to historiographical debates. Seminar rely on structured group discussion and may also include seminar papers by students, discussion of evidence, team-based exercise and debates. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 170
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 3 examinations.


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write one essay of not more than 2,500 words, to be submitted electronically via Blackboard by 12 noon on the Monday of week 9 of the term. Five marks will be deducted if the coursework essay exceeds 2,625 words (ie 5% over the word limit).


Formative assessment methods:

1,000 words or 2 pages of A4 maximum to include, at the module convenor's discretion, an essay plan, bibliography, book review or other preparatory work towards the summative essay.


Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall.


    Reassessment arrangements:

    Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) ONLY in August. These will be capped at a maximum mark of 40%. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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