Civilisation and Barbarism in the Kingdom of Ireland, 1537-1800 - HY31042

Quick Facts

  • Level 3
  • 30 Credits
  • Semester 1
  • 24 places
  • History - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 50% Examination 50%
  • A European Studies pathway module choice.

Module Details

This module will investigate the political literature created by thinkers and political actors involved in the Anglo-Irish relationship between 1537 and 1800. In 1537 the Irish Parliament created the Church of Ireland and declared religious separation from Rome.

In 1541 the Parliament transformed the Lordship of Ireland into the Kingdom of Ireland. This was the basis for the project of creating a new kind of polity in Ireland modelled on the English monarchy, a project that ended in eventual failure and the creation of the new United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The extension of the claim to sovereignty by the English crown over Ireland set the scene for a long and torturous debate on the conditions of civility and the nature of barbarism, and occasioned cycles of violence interspersed with moments of extraordinary cultural creativity. 

The module will include the following:

  • Plantation and the literature of improvement
  • Ideas of the Irish Constitution
  • The Irish Enlightenment
  • Ireland in the Atlantic World
  • Religious controversy and politics
  • The origins of Irish radicalism.


Professor James Livesey


This module is assessed as follows:

  • Essay 2500 words 30%
  • Source Analysis 1500 words 20%
  • Examination 50%


Introductory Reading

  • Toby Barnard, The Kingdom of Ireland, 1641-1760, (London, 2004)
  • Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1580-1650, (Cambridge, 2003)
  • S.J. Connolly, Divided Kingdom: Ireland 1630-1800, (Oxford, 2010)
  • Thomas Duddy, A History of Irish Thought, (London, 2002)
  • James Livesey, Civil Society and Empire: Ireland and Scotland in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World, (New Haven Conn, 2009)

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