Counter-Factual History Paper (25%):
This 1500-word (approx. 6pages, double-spaced) assignment offers you the opportunity to ponder the “what-ifs” of Tudor and Stuart history. You will be asked to choose one of the “what-ifs” from the list below. Using your Bucholz and Key textbook as well as at least 4 monographs(history books)or journal articles(good sources are listed in the textbooks)and 1 primary source you are to construct a counter-factual history, arguing what might have happened if events during the period had turned out differently. For instance, what might have occurred if the Spanish Armada in 1588 had landed its troops and they had marched on London and captured Elizabeth I or what if Henry VIII had not divorced Katherine of Aragon and they had lived happily ever after with just Mary Tudor as the couples only child. English history may have looked quite different if these two scenarios had played out in this way. Keep in mind that a counter-factual paper is based on facts, and as Jeremy Black and Donald M. Macarid point out in their book, Studying History, the counter-factual is, “at the very root, the idea of conjecturing on what did not happen, or what might have happened, in order to understand what did happen”. Therefore, you will need to do research on the events leading up to the moment, and the events that followed, before constructing the counter factual. If you are interested in looking at some examples of counter-factual history, look at Geoffrey Parker’s “If the Armada Had Landed”HistoryVolume 61, Issue 203, October 1976, pp. 358–368. (Find link on Moodle) The paper should follow this basic outline; an introduction, establishing the situation on the eve of the event, which will obviously be based on the facts as we know them. This can be a few paragraphs in length if required. If we are using the Armada as an example, the introduction would assess the reasons for the Armada’s sailing and the possible defenses that the English possessed to repel it. The next part clearly establishes the “what if”, offering a coherent and factually based discussion of how the “what if” would unfold. In the case of the Armada -Where would it have landed? What kind of army would the English be able to raise against it? How might the local population have responded? The final part of the paper analyses the immediate consequences (though some long-term consequences could be mentioned). For example, the establishment of a Spanish regency to control Elizabeth’s crown, the execution of the Queen Elizabeth for heresy, and/or the re-Catholicization of England. Again, these would all have been very possible scenarios had the Spanish landed (with one of the finest armies in Europe) in the summer of 1588and defeated an English army sent to defend the coast. Sources Bucholz and Key offer bibliographies in both the textbook and the primary source reader that will be useful for this paper. You should consult at least 4 monographs or journal articles and 1 primary source to assist you with the paper. The textbook and reader can also be used as sources. Scott Library has a good collection of online works on British History. See Scholar’s Portal for works from Oxford University and Cambridge University Presses. There are also several good online primary source that can be used, British History Online athttp://www.british-history.ac.ukEarly English Books Online provides copies all the printed English books from 1485 to the beginning of the 18thcentury but can only be accessed through
7ScottLibrary. I have also included several links to primary sources on the Moodle page. Online journals, notably English Historical Review, Journal of British Studies (previously Albion), Historical Research, Historical Journal, and Transactions of the Royal Historical Society can all be accessed through Scott Library. Below are your choices:
1.What if Perkin Warbeck’s uprising against Henry VII had succeeded?
2.What if Henry VIII had remained married to Katherine of Aragon?
3.What if Henry VIII and Charles V had successfully divided France in 1525 following the capture of Francis I at Pavia?
4.What if Cardinal Wolsey had become Pope in 1525?
5.What would the religion of England have looked like if Edward VI had lived into his fifties, rather than dying at 15?
6.What if Lady Jane Grey had become queen instead of Mary?
7.What if Wyatt’s Rebellion in 1554 had succeeded?8. What if Mary Tudor and Philip II had produced a male heir?
9.What if the Northern Rebellion against Elizabeth I had succeeded?
10.What if Mary, Queen of Scots had not been executed by Elizabeth I in 1587?
11.What if the Essex Revolt (1601) against Elizabeth I had succeeded?
12.What if the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 had succeeded?
13.What if the Jamestown colony had failed?
14.What if Charles I and the royalists had won the Civil War?
15.What if the Levelers had successfully gained control of Parliament in the late 1640s?
16.What if the Irish had defeated Oliver Cromwell at Drogheda in 1649?
17.What if the Scots had defeated Oliver Cromwell at Dunbar in 1650?
18.What if the Lord Protectorship of Richard Cromwell had been successful and long-lived?
19.What if the Popish Plot had succeeded?
20.What if Monmouth’s Rebellion in 1685 had succeeded?
21.What if Parliament had succeeded in excluding James II from the throne in 1685?22.
What if the Glorious Revolution had failed?
Type of service-Academic paper writing
Type of assignment-Essay
Pages / words-6 / 1650
Number of sources-5
Academic level-Junior (College 3rd year)