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Twentieth-Century Wales: Economy, Politics and Society - 20 credits (HST887)

During the twentieth century Wales experienced a series of economic, political and social crises and changes which severely tested and fractured the widely-accepted notions of Welsh identity and nationality that had been established in the buoyant years leading up to 1914. These developments include the effects of two world wars, the years of savage depression, the decline of the heavy industries and its social ramifications, the emergence and waning of a distinctive coalfield culture, and the decline and late-twentieth century stabilisation of the Welsh language. Social, economic and cultural change has been accompanied by political and governmental transformations, among them the establishing of Welsh national institutions and a Welsh political system (most notably in the form of the Welsh Assembly), the emergence of the Labour party as the dominant political force and the more recent resurgence of nationalism. This module examines the interaction and impact of these forces and changes, and explores the divergent and complex responses and interpretations they have evoked.