HIS211 Social history essay questions

Course requirements: One essay and one set of three gobbets, or two essays

Students can do essays from either the Political or the Social History Reading Lists or both, as they please. 

Political and Social Topics are covered equally in the final examination for this course.

1. What new light, if any, has been shed on English social history by techniques of village and community reconstruction?

2. How 'progressive' was English agriculture, 1603-1660?

3.       Discuss the social, cultural and demographic impact of bubonic plague.


Why did so few people die from starvation in early modern England?

4. Why did early Stuart Englishmen and women take each other to court in such numbers in our period?

5. Assess the reliability of the evidence for an increase in literacy in our period, and discuss the significance of growth in the ability to read and write.

6. Why did the puritans fail to change the morals and manners of the English people, 1603-60?

7. How serious a threat to the social and political order were riots and rebellions before 1660?

8. What do criminal statistics tell us about either popular beliefs and customs or the actual level of violence and property crime in our period?

9. Discuss the importance of the people in the political process, 1603-1640.

10. What did it mean to be a gentleman in early Stuart England?

11. What was the impact of towns and cities on the social and economic life of England, 1603-60?

12. To what extent did women lack power in early modern England?

13. What light do diaries and autobiographies shed on either puritanism or family life in our period. You must answer with reference to at least three diaries.

14. Assess the economic and social significance of the growth of London in our period.


Social History Reading
Social History Questions
Social History Thematic Breakdown
Social History Lecture Plan
Riot and Rebellion main page
Departmental reading list main page
Political history reading list