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Politics and Society in Early Modern Wales - 20 credits (HST623)

During the early modern period Wales experienced transformative changes which fundamentally altered the nature and conduct of political and social life. The ‘Acts of Union’ of the mid-Sixteenth Century incorporated Wales formally and fully into the British state, while also effecting revolutionary changes in the country’s machinery of government and internal political systems. This had far-reaching consequences for the nature of a Welsh identity and the conduct of its local and national politics. This module will trace the consequences of these developments in the social, religious and political spheres, considering, for example, the complex interactions between the Welsh language, political power and the membership of a wider British polity. Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Welsh society and politics was located in a context which was not universally conducive to the construction of a separate Welsh identity, and students will explore some of the tensions and accommodations made in Welsh life during this period of profound change.