Professor Stephen Alford
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue
Primary Sources for the Historian: An Introduction to Documentary Study, 2013/14, Semester 2
On this page:
Before the module start you should purchase:
Thomas Paine, Rights of man (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1984) ISBN 978-0140390155
Alongside reading the text you must read the item(s) listed in the Set Reading section for each week. The Further Reading is listed for you to use to enhance your knowledge and prepare yourself for essays and the examination.
Week 1: Introductions
This class will consider how to study documents, and give you the chance to handle original copies of the text.
Week 2: The Rights of Man
This class will look at the ideas presented in the Rights of Man and provide a general overview of the work.
The Introduction and sample section from Rights of Man .
Ford, Karen, ‘The life and ideas of Thomas Paine’, Politics review. , 7 (1997), 27-30
Philp, Mark, Paine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989)
Week 3: Thomas Paine and his world, c.1760-1840
The class will focus on the political and social context of Britain in the late eighteenth century and the impact of the French Revolution on Britain, and Paine himself.
You'll need to read one item from the set reading, and your presentation group should aim to cover as much of the material as possible.
British society and politics before 1790
'parliamentary reform', in A dictionary of British history [electronic resource] , ed. by John Cannon, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)
Cannon, John, Parliamentary reform, 1640-1832 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1972)
Derry, John, Politics in the age of Fox, Pitt and Liverpool (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001); chapters 1 and 2.
Dickinson, H. T., The politics of the people in eighteenth-century Britain (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995); chapter 7
Dinwiddy, J. R., Radicalism and reform in Britain, 1780-1850 (London: Hambledon, 1992); chapter 1
O'Gorman, Frank, The long eighteenth century : British political and social history, 1688-1832 (London: Arnold, 1997); chapters 8, 9 and 11
Prest, Wilfrid, Albion ascendant : English history, 1660-1815 (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); chapter 17
Rule, John, Albion's people : English society, 1714-1815 (London: Longman, 1992); chapter 5
Thompson, E. P., The making of the English working class (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991); chapter 5
Thorne, R. G., The House of Commons, 1790-1820 (London: Published for the History of Parliament Trust by Secker and Warburg, 1986), vol. 1
Williams, Glyn and John Ramsden, Ruling Britannia : a political history of Britain, 1688-1988 (London: Longman, 1990); chapter 8
Reaction to the French Revolution in Britain
Claeys, Gregory, The French Revolution debate in Britain : the origins of modern politics (Basingstoke [England]; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
Claeys, Gregory, ‘The French revolution debate and British political thought’, History of political thought. , 11 (1990), 59-80
Dickinson, H. T. (ed.), A companion to eighteenth-century Britain (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002); chapters 12-15
Emsley, Clive, Britain and the French Revolution (Harlow: Longman, 2000)
Evans, Chris, Debating the revolution : Britain in the 1790s (London: Tauris, 2006)
Macleod, Emma Vincent, A war of ideas : British attitudes to the wars against revolutionary France, 1792-1802 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998)
O'Gorman, Frank, The long eighteenth century : British political and social history, 1688-1832 (London: Arnold, 1997); chapters 8, 9 and 11
Royle, Edward, Revolutionary Britannia : reflections on the threat of revolution in Britain, 1789-1848 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001); chapter 1
Thompson, E. P., The Making of the English Working Class (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991); chapter 5
Wright, D.G., Popular radicalism : the working class experience, 1780-1880 (London: Longman, 1998)
Thomas Paine's life
Collins, Paul, The trouble with Tom : the strange afterlife and times of Thomas Paine (London: Bloomsbury, 2006)
Dyck, Ian, Citizen of the world : essays on Thomas Paine (London; New York: Christopher Helm, 1987); chapters 1-3 and 7
Nelson, Craig, Thomas Paine : enlightenment, revolution, and the birth of modern nations (London: Profile Books, 2007)
Philp, Mark, ‘Paine, Thomas (1737-1809)’, in Oxford dictionary of national biography : from the earliest times to the year 2000 , ed. by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); available online
Week 4: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine
In the Rights of Man , Paine makes many references to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France . The class will examine the relationship between the two works and introduce you the ‘pamphlet war’.
Paul Langford, ‘Burke, Edmund (1729/30-1797)’, in Oxford dictionary of national biography : from the earliest times to the year 2000 , ed. by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); available online
Goodrich, Amanda, 'Surveying the Ebb and Flow of Pamphlet Warfare: 500 Rival Tracts from Radicals and Loyalists in Britain, 1790-1796', Journal for eighteenth-century studies. , 30 (2008), 1-12 e-journal
Butler, Marilyn (ed.), Burke, Paine, Godwin, and the revolution controversy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984)
Burke, Edmund, Reflections on the Revolution in France (New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 2004)
Blakemore, Steven, Intertextual war : Edmund Burke and the French Revolution in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, and James Mackintosh (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London: Associated University Presses, c1997); chapter 4
Claeys, Gregory, ‘Republicanism versus commercial society: Paine, Burke, and the French Revolution debate’, Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History. , 54 (1989), 4-13 e-journal
Goodrich, Amanda, Debating England's aristocracy in the 1790s : pamphlets, polemics and political ideas (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2005)
Harris, Ian, ‘Paine and Burke: God, nature and politics’, in Public and private doctrine : essays in British history presented to Maurice Cowling , ed. by Michael Bentley, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 34-62
Hodson, Jane, Language and revolution in Burke, Wollstonecraft, Paine, and Godwin (Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007)
Hitchens, Christopher, Thomas Paine's rights of man : a biography (London: Atlantic, 2006)
Lock, F.P., Edmund Burke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998)
Pendleton, G. T.,‘Towards a bibliography of the Reflections and Rights of Man controversy’, Bulletin of Research in the Humanities , 85 (1982), 65-103
Week 5: Paine and the debate about British history
This session will focus on the accounts of various episodes in British history that are provided in the Rights of Man, and four in particular were considered to be important by contemporaries in the political development of Britain.
One from the following:
Aldridge, A. Owen, Thomas Paine's American ideology (Newark: University of Delaware Press; London: Associated University Presses, c1984); part 1
Bonwick, Colin, English radicals and the American Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c1977); chapter 1.
Bonwick, Colin, The American Revolution (Basingstoke, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
Brewer, J., ‘English radicalism in the age of George III’, in Three British revolutions : 1641, 1688, 1776 , ed. by J.G.A. Pocock, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c1980), pp. 323-367
Burrow, J.W., Whigs and liberals : continuity and change in English political thought (Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1988); chapter 3
Chibnall, Marjorie, The debate on the Norman Conquest (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999); chapter 3
Foner, Eric, Tom Paine and Revolutionary America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976)
Hill, Christopher, ‘The Norman Yoke’, in Puritanism and revolution : studies in interpretation of the English Revolution of the 17th century , ed. by Christopher Hill, (London: Secker and Warburg, 1958), pp. 58-125 [esp. 98-119]
Philp, Mark, ‘Burke and Paine: texts in context’, Enlightenment and dissent. , 9 (1990), 93-105
Thomas, Peter D.G., Revolution in America : Britain and the colonies, 1763-1776 (Cardiff: University of Wales, 1992)
Trevor-Roper, Hugh and Baron Dacre Redwald, 'Epilogue: the Glorious revolution’, in The Anglo-Dutch moment: Essays on the Glorious Revolution and its world impact , ed. by Jonathan Irvine Israel, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 481-94.
Smith, R. J., The Gothic Bequest : medieval institutions in British thought, 1688-1863 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); chapter 4
Week 6: A history of the French Revolution?
Soon after the start of the French Revolution in 1789, authors began to commentate on the meaning and significance of events in France (and it continues to be debated by historians today). Paine was particularly concerned to redress what he considered inaccurate account of events and so this class will examine his writings on the events of Revolution.
Items in the VLE, or one of the following:
Blakemore, Steven, Intertextual war : Edmund Burke and the French Revolution in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, and James Mackintosh (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London: Associated University Presses, c1997); chapter 5
Doyle, William, The Oxford history of the French Revolution (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)
Forrest, Alan, The French Revolution (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995)
McPhee, Peter, The French Revolution, 1789-1799 (Oxford [England]; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)
Popkin, Jeremy D., A short history of the French Revolution (Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall, c2010)
Rudé, George, The French Revolution (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988)
Week 7: Reforming society
Alongside strident political ideas, Paine also commented on society and, in part 2, provided a detailed method for recasting society. The class will examine aspects of his radical critique of contemporary social conditions and look at Paine’s attitude to different ‘groups’ of people.
One from the following, appropriate to your presentation topic.
Bradley, James E., Religion, revolution, and English radicalism : nonconformity in eighteenth-century politics and society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, c1990)
Donnelly, F.K., ‘The Levellers and Early Nineteenth Century Radicalism’, Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History. , 49 (1984), 24-28 e-journal
Fruchtman, Jack, ‘The revolutionary millennialism of Thomas Paine’, Studies in eighteenth-century culture. , 13 (1984), 65-77
Harrison, J. F. C., ‘Thomas Paine and Millenarian Radicalism’, in Citizen of the world : essays on Thomas Paine , ed. by Ian Dyck, (London; New York, 1987), pp.73-85
Henriques, Ursula R. Q., Religious toleration in England, 1787-1833. (London, c1961)
Innes, Joanna, Inferior politics : social problems and social policies in eighteenth-century Britain (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)
King, J. E. and J. Marangos, 'Two Arguments for Basic Income: Thomas Paine (1737-1809) and Thomas Spence (1750-1814)', History of Economic Ideas, 14.1 (2006), 55-72
Marangos, John, 'Thomas Paine (1737-1809) and Thomas Spence (1750-1814) on Land Ownership, Land Taxes and the Provision of Citizens' Dividend', International Journal of Social Economics , 35.5 (2008), 313-25 e-journal
Williams, Michael, 'Visionaries and Sceptics: Tom Paine and Some Contemporaries', English Academy Review: Southern African Journal of English Studies, 27.1 (2010), 4-13
Week 8: Political philosophy – constitutions, power and the Enlightenment
The enlightenment witnessed the application of reason to politics (amongst many other areas) and the Rights of Man formed part of a growing body of literature on politics and political power written in the Eighteenth Century. Not only did Paine utilise these works but he also drew on a longer radical tradition in Britain.
One from the following:
Edwards, Pamela, ‘Political Ideas from Locke to Paine’ in A companion to eighteenth-century Britain , ed. by Harry Thomas Dickinson, (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), pp. 294-310
Fruchtman, Jack, The political philosophy of Thomas Paine (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009)
Hampsher-Monk, Ian, A history of modern political thought : major political thinkers from Hobbes to Marx (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992)
Kors, Alan Charles (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment t (New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2002); see entry for ‘Natural Rights’ and other entries as appropriate.
Philp, Mark, 'Enlightenment, Republicanism, and Radicalism' in The Enlightenment world , ed. by Martin Fitzpatrick, Peter Jones, Christa Knellwolf and Iain McCalman (Oxford : Routledge, 2004), pp. 457-472 Available online
Royle, Edward, 'Thomas Paine : What Was the Impact of Thomas Paine on Liberalism and Liberal Thought? ', Journal of Liberal History, 67 (2010)
Stromberg, Roland, An intellectual history of modern Europe (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, )
Whatmore, Richard, ‘“A gigantic manliness”: Paine’s republicanism in the 1790s’, in Economy, polity, and society : British intellectual history, 1750-1950 , ed. by Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, and Brian Young, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 135–57
Week 9: Popular radicalism and the conservative reaction
The Rights of Man was published during a period of polarisation in politics and this class will focus on both sides of the response from the upsurge in radical activity to the conservative reaction to Paine.
Choose one item from the following list.
Graham, Jenny, The nation, the law and the king : reform politics in England, 1789-1799 (Lanham Md; New York: University Press of America, 2000)
Navickas, Katrina, Loyalism and radicalism in Lancashire, 1798-1815 (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)
'Jacobin' and 'Levellers' in A dictionary of British history [electronic resource] , ed. by John Cannon, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)
Archer, John E., Social unrest and popular protest in England, 1780-1840 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
Davis, Michael, 'The British Jacobins : Folk Devils in the Age of Counter-Revolution? ', in Moral panics, the media and the law in early modern England , ed. by David Lemmings and Claire Walker (Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 221-44
Dickinson, H.T., British radicalism and the French Revolution 1789-1815 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993)
Hampsher-Monk, Iain, 'British Radicalism and the Anti-Jacobins', in The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought , ed. by Mark Goldie and Robert Wolker, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 660-87
Harvey, A. D., Britain in the early nineteenth century (London: Batsford, 1978); chapters 3, 5 and 6
Herzog, Don, Poisoning the minds of the lower orders (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c1998)
Larkin, Edward, Thomas Paine and the literature of revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)
Philp, Mark, ‘The fragmented Ideology of reform’, in The French Revolution and British popular politics , ed. by Mark Philp, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 50-77
Royle, Edward, English radicals and reformers, 1760-1848 (Brighton: Harvester, 1982)
Stevenson, John, ‘“Paineites to a man”? : The English popular radical societies in the 1790s’, Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History. , 54.3 (1989), 14-25 e-journal
Thompson, E. P., The making of the English working class (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991)
Wright, D. G., Popular radicalism : the working class experience, 1780-1880 (London: Longman, 1988); chapter 3.
Dickinson, H. T., The politics of the people in eighteenth-century Britain (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995); chapter 8
Dinwiddy, John, ‘Interpretations of anti-Jacobinism’, in The French Revolution and British popular politics , ed. by Mark Philp, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 38-49.
Dozier, Robert R., For king, constitution, and country : the English Loyalists and the French Revolution (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, c1983).
Epstein, James, ‘“Our real constitution”: trial defence and radical memory in the Age of Revolution’, in Re-reading the constitution : new narratives in the political history of England's long nineteenth century , ed. by James Vernon, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 22-51
Gilmartin, Kevin, 'The "Sinking Down" of Jacobinism and the Rise of the Counter-Revolutionary Man of Letters', in Romanticism and popular culture in Britain and Ireland , ed. by Philip Connell and Nigel Leask (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 128-47
Harvey, A. D., Britain in the early nineteenth century (London: Batsford, 1978); chapter 7
Scheuermann, Mona, In praise of poverty : Hannah More counters Thomas Paine and the radical threat (Lexington KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2002)
Week 10: Sources related to the Rights of Man
Week 11: Conclusion and revision
This list was last updated on 27/01/2014