AMS-20079 - Rebels, Bandits and Outcasts in Colonial American History (1607-1776)
Coordinator: Kristen C Brill Tel: +44 1782 7 33201
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

From the settlement of Jamestown in 1607 to the outbreak of revolution in 1776, this module will examine lives on the margins in British colonial American society. Examining the ways in which certain groups were excluded and disenfranchised on the periphery (such as Native Americans, slaves, poor whites and women) will offer a new lens to consider the operation of power and governance at the centre of society. Through this framework and a wide range of case studies (Salem Witch Trials, 1741 New York Slave Insurrection, Native American `rebellions┐ and many more), the module will explore an array of contested issues in the field: Where did power reside in colonial America, in the Old or New World? How did colonial America define its borders and notions of belonging? How 'American┐ was colonial society before 1776? In examining the social, political, cultural and economic history of colonial America, the module will showcase the centrality of an exclusionary politics of race, gender and class to colonial American society.

The module aims to develop students' critical thinking and analytical skill sets in their exploration of the social, economic, political and cultural history of British North America (1607-1776).

Intended Learning Outcomes

Critically engage with the changing relationship between Britain and its American colonies over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries
: 1,2
Constructively analyze the role of identity politics and the interplay between social, political, economic and cultural history in the study of British North America before the American Revolution
: 1,2
Investigate and evaluate the use of primary and secondary sources in historical analysis
: 1,2
Assess and evaluate relevant historical debates: 1,2
Communicate ideas and arguments cogently and effectively in oral and written forms
: 1,2
Conduct independent research as well as to work collaboratively in groups to meet deadlines: 1,2

Study hours

Scheduled Teaching Hours
12 x 2-hour seminars = 24
12 x 1-hour extra contact hour = 12
Seminar Preparation (for 12 seminars) = 72
Group Presentation Preparation = 14
Essay Preparation = 28

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 65%
Students will write a 2,000-word research essay on one of ten questions based on seminar topics.

2: Group Presentation weighted 35%
Group Presentation
In small groups, students will give 15-minute presentations in seminars. Presentations will critically engage with the required primary and secondary readings. Presentations will also draw connections to wider course themes and raise questions for class discussion. All members of the presenting group will be awarded the same mark.