Dr Richard Hall is a historian of Early America and a member of both the History Department and the Department of Adult and Continuing Education (DACE). His teaching focuses primarily on the British Atlantic World (c. 1550-1760) and the American Revolution (c.1760-1791). Other modules to which he contributes include ‘The Early Modern World: 1500-1800’ and the introductory Level 4 (Year 1) History module ‘What is History?’ He has a background in education and before embarking on his career at Swansea University, was a qualified (with QTS) and practicing primary school teacher. Dr Hall is now a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Current research
Dr Hall’s PhD thesis examined the failed ‘Braddock expedition’ of 1755, an early campaign in the conflict known as the French and Indian War. His thesis was published as a monograph in 2016. At present, his research is focused on the clash of military cultures in North America during the eighteenth century, while a developing field of research Dr Hall is undertaking examines the motivations of those British soldiers who served in North America during the American War of Independence.

Publications

  1. Hall, R. Book Review: Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire The Mariner's Mirror 101 4
  2. Hall, R. Book Review: War in the Chesapeake: The British Campaigns to Control the Bay, 1813–1814 The Mariner's Mirror 102 1
  3. Hall, R. Atlantic Politics, Military Strategy and the French and Indian War Basingstoke Palgrave MacMillan
  4. Hall, R. “Storys, scalping and mohawking”: American tales, narratives, stories—“the rhetoric of fear”—and the defeat of General Edward Braddock Journal of Early American History 5 2 158 186
  5. Hall, R. 'Norteamérica y la Guerra de los Siete Años' ('North America and the Seven Years War) Desperta Ferro Historia Moderna 1 34 Madrid Desperta Ferro Ediciones SLNE

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Teaching

  • DAL100 What is History?

    History is an imprecise art, and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened. This module will introduce students to the study and presentation of the past. It will focus on developing the skills students will need to work within DACE History modules over the course of their study at Swansea University. It will offer an overview of how history as an academic discipline has changed over time. Students will consider the following broad topics: how to read, think and write as a historian; how to approach primary and secondary sources; understanding historiography and historiographical shifts; thinking critically about how the past is used in the public sphere; and reflecting on how the study of history will equip students with skills beyond the immediate discipline.

  • DAL102 Medieval Europe: An Introduction

    The module is a basic introduction to the history of Europe c600-c1450, a period usually described as 'Medieval'. It outlines the political and economic structures of the period, and examines the medieval 'world view' by discussing attitudes to life, death and the afterlife. Its first theme, expansion, charts the growth of Europe as a major world power and includes topics such as the crusades against the Muslims and pagans, political and economic growth, and intellectual development in the foundation of the universities. Its second theme, crisis, focuses on the devastating impact of plague, famine and warfare, and the increasing persecution of heretics, lepers, homosexuals, and Jews.

  • DAL275 Creating an 'Imagined' Empire: The British Atlantic World, 1550-1760

    This module will provide an overview of central aspects of the social, cultural and political history of Britain and its American colonies between the mid-sixteenth and the mid-eighteenth centuries. The module examines the formation of the American colonies and British Empire from attempts to settle Roanoke Island in the 1580s to the British conquest of Quebec in the French and Indian War in 1760 (the American theatre of the Seven Years¿ War of 1756-63). The first part of the module will explore concepts of `Empire¿ and Atlantic History¿. It will also delve into changing patterns of belief, social and economic structures and political participation in Britain¿all set against the backdrop of the Reformation and the political and ideological struggles that resulted in the civil wars of the seventeenth century. After a brief examination of sixteenth-century exploration, trade, and plunder, and the origins of the idea of empire, the module will explore the development of British-American and African-American societies and cultures, and the effects of colonisation upon Native-American societies and cultures. It will then look at ideas of empire through the eyes of intellectuals, merchants, colonial founders, migrants (free and enslaved), and finally the monarchs and ministers who attempted to shape the politics and constitution of empire.

  • DAL319 The Modern American Presidency III

    The Modern American Presidency examines the changes that took place after 1933 in the scope and domain of the executive branch of the American government as result of the crises caused by the Great Depression and World War II. F.D. Roosevelt and his successors expanded the role of their office in both domestic and international contexts in the decades after the 1932 election. At the same time the module will seek to assess the importance of leadership and personality in political office in a modern democracy.

  • DAL369 Creating an 'Imagined' Empire: The British Atlantic World, 1550-1760

    This module will provide an overview of central aspects of the social, cultural and political history of Britain and its American colonies between the mid-sixteenth and the mid-eighteenth centuries. The module examines the formation of the American colonies and British Empire from attempts to settle Roanoke Island in the 1580s to the British conquest of Quebec in the French and Indian War in 1760 (the American theatre of the Seven Years¿ War of 1756-63). The first part of the module will explore concepts of `Empire¿ and Atlantic History¿. It will also delve into changing patterns of belief, social and economic structures and political participation in Britain¿all set against the backdrop of the Reformation and the political and ideological struggles that resulted in the civil wars of the seventeenth century. After a brief examination of sixteenth-century exploration, trade, and plunder, and the origins of the idea of empire, the module will explore the development of British-American and African-American societies and cultures, and the effects of colonisation upon Native-American societies and cultures. It will then look at ideas of empire through the eyes of intellectuals, merchants, colonial founders, migrants (free and enslaved), and finally the monarchs and ministers who attempted to shape the politics and constitution of empire.

  • DAU301 Extended Essay

    This module supports students to highlight and focus on an area or areas of specific interest in their academic studies. Students will work with a supervisor to develop, agree and carry out a detailed exploration and discussion of an area of interest within their preferred discipline. Students will agree a specific title for this assignment with guidance from the tutor.

  • HI-M22 Dissertation

    Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.

  • HIH118 Early Modern World, 1500-1800

    In 1500, European exploration and colonisation of the rest of the world was only in its infancy. America, two continents North and South, had been unknown to Europeans until just eight years previously. Most of it was still unmapped by Europeans, as were large parts of the rest of the world. By 1800, on the other hand, it was possible to construct a recognisable modern version of a world map. Europeans had explored, colonised, and resettled huge swathes of America in the first instances. They had killed or displaced millions of Native Americans in the process, wiping out whole civilisations, and they had enslaved 12 million or more Africans in that same process, inflicting immense damage on African societies. Europeans were in the early stages of colonising large parts of Africa and Asia too by 1800. And yet, advances in science had transformed human understanding of the universe, of the world, and indeed of ourselves. This was connected through the Renaissance in art, culture, and politics as well as science, to enormous changes in the structure of polities and societies. The early modern era perhaps saw the invention not only of modern empires, but of large, centralised modern states. Also, the Renaissance and then Enlightenment changed the way people and states interacted. Arguably, the early modern period represents the transition period between an era of medieval hierarchy and the origins of modern social and political democracy. Essentially, the aim of the module, through your lectures, seminars, and independent reading and thinking, is to give you a sense of the connections between these places and their histories, highlighting that the increasing inter-connection between them is itself a feature of the early modern period. You¿ll also get a broad sense of how the world as a whole changed between 1500 and 1800.

  • HIH122 Making History

    History is an imprecise art and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened in the past. Most people's knowledge about the past doesn't come from professional historians at all but rather from 'public history'. Public history is the collective understandings of the past that exist outside academic discipline of history. It is derived from a diverse range of sources including oral traditions, legends, literature, art, films and television. This module will introduce you to the study and presentation of the past. It will consider how the content, aims and methods of academic and public history compare and contrast and you will engage in your own small research project to investigate this. The module will also teach you about the fundamentals of studying and writing history at university. You will learn about essay writing, group work and critical analysis and employ these skills to understand and assess history today, both as an academic activity and as public knowledge.

  • HIH259 British Atlantic World c.1550-1760

    This module will provide an overview of central aspects of the social, cultural and political history of Britain and its American colonies between the mid-sixteenth and the mid-eighteenth centuries. The module will examine the politics, culture and society of Britain in this period and assess how the development of Britain¿s overseas colonies in North America contributed to Britain¿s emergence as a world power by the eighteenth century. The first part of the module will explore changing patterns of belief, social and economic structures and political participation in Britain set against the backdrop of the Reformation and the political and ideological struggles that resulted in the civil wars of the seventeenth century. Part 2 examines the formation of the American colonies and British Empire from attempts to settle Roanoke Island in the 1580s to British conquest of Quebec in the French and Indian War in 1760 (the American theatre of the Seven Years¿ War of 1756-63). It examines sixteenth-century exploration, trade, and plunder, origins of the idea of empire, development of British-American and African-American societies and cultures, the destruction of Native-American societies and cultures, in the Chesapeake, West Indies, New England, Middle Colonies, Lower South, and Canada, and will analyse ideas of empire through the eyes of intellectuals, merchants, colonial founders, migrants (free and enslaved), and finally the monarchs and ministers who attempted to shape the politics and constitution of empire.

  • HIH278 Revolutionary America, 1760 - 1791

    This module explores the American Revolution, the formation of the United States, and imperial and colonial politics and society between 1760 and 1791. The first section of the module explores events from the end of the French and Indian War in 1760, taxes and other measures leading to Independence in 1776, the war of 1775-83, through to the founding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in 1787-91. The second section examines imperial politics and colonial societies in greater depth, exploring the evolution of Anglo-American constitutionalism and political thought throughout the period, and examining social structure in America, slavery, Native Americans, women, and whether 1760-1791 saw a 'social revolution'. The third part of the module will explore particular people, places, events, and themes in greater detail still (e.g. the Founding Fathers, urban artisans, the rural South, the Boston Tea Party, revolutionary concepts and ideas, etc.). Students may request topics for lectures for the third section of the module. Seminars will analyse various primary documents including the Declaration of Independence (1776) and Constitution (1787) and Bill of Rights (1791), but students may request that other documents also be included in tutorial readings.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2010 2014 Tutor Swansea University

Research Groups

  • British Group of Early American Historians

    The British Group of Early American Historians is an extra-institutional collective of scholars interested in the early modern Atlantic world. http://www.britishearlyamerica.stir.ac.uk