Global Empires module (HY51027)

On this page


Module code


This module provides a comparative study of the major historiography of the Dutch, British, French and Spanish Empires in the Americas and Asia.  Major topics to be studied include:

  • patterns of imperial government
  • the development of trade and its economic and political implications
  • differences between the imperial policies of diverse European powers


This module is assessed as follows:

  • Five fortnightly journals (30%)
  • Essay (70%): 4,000 words

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will have:

  • an understanding of the main themes of research in the history of global empires
  • a knowledge of the comparative development of the different colonial systems
  • an awareness of some of the theoretical approaches to global and imperial history


  • To enable you to grasp some of the major themes currently being studied by historians of the global European empires
  • To offer a comparative analysis of the development of the different European empires in the Americas and Asia
  • To examine some of the main theoretical arguments surrounding the colonisation process


Dr Matt Graham


Students meet weekly in two-hour seminars to discuss a major work of historiography.