In these seminars Professor Brian O’Farrell will concentrate on the most important rulers and analyse how they were so successful. 

The term “Great Britain” did not exist before 1707 while “The United Kingdom” came into use from 1801 . For those members who may not know, G.B. represents the union of England, Wales and Scotland. U.K., on the other hand currently also incorporates Northern Ireland. 

Observed sometimes as much in the breach as in the fulfillment, nevertheless, at least until the English Civil Wars, the monarch was the all powerful Executive. Parliament gradually whittled away his powers and eventually supplanted him. Leadership. from now on, came from parliament via ministers appointed by the ruler who still had nominal control.

How was it possible that a small group of islands off the coast of the European continent became one of the world’s great powers?  It’s population was relatively small and its resources minimal and only mineral, yet it grew to be the largest empire the world had ever seen. At its height in 1913 it controlled two thirds of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s land area. It was an empire which lasted over two hundred years and parts of it still exist today. It pioneered free trade, free capital movements and modern global communications. It spread and enforced the Rule of Law over vast areas, and maintained global peace for a period unmatched before or since.

It championed representative government and spread worldwide the English language as well as the gospel of Protestantism. As some modern historians have argued, the Empire or the bustling city states that sprang from it, really formed the modern world. There are many factors which made this success possible, sea power being one of the main ones but, the presenter would argue,  the most important single factor can be found in the leadership of the empire. This leadership of English rulers, by and large, backed by a compact landed aristocracy and an efficient navy made possible the Empire’s great successes. In these lectures Dr Farrell will concentrate on the most important rulers and analyse how they were so successful.  He will start with the Anglo-Saxons, dip into the medieval monarchies, explain the Tudor-Stuart rulers, and then concentrate on the Hanoverians and their modern successors.

Dr O’Farrell is open to questions and discussion during a lecture 

Dr O’Farrell has been lecturing for U3A International on the subject of British History for more than 16 years. He has previously taught at University of California (from where he graduated), University of S. Carolina, University of London and Regent’s University. His main research interest is Tudor-Stuart Britain. In 2011 he published Shakespeare’s Patron, William Herbert, Third Earl of Pembroke, 1580-1630. And recently, he also published an article on Shakespeare in the Globe magazine. Each session affords opportunity for questions and answers.

Read some of Brian’s more recent work HERE

To Contact the Organiser: Dr Brian O'Farrell

Phone: 952885627

Start Date: October 19, 2023

Day: Thursday

At: 4:00pm

Max Attendees: 50

Frequency: Fortnightly

Location: Sala Marbella in the Hapimag Resort, Camilo Jose Cela, Marbella

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