The Rise of the British Empire, 1600-1900 | Newberry

The Rise of the British Empire, 1600-1900

Led by Frank Biletz. Ten sessions, 10 am - noon.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Saturdays, September 16 - December 2 (class will not meet on September 30 or November 25)

10 am - noon

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (by September 1): $285
Regular Price (after September 1): $314

Register Online

Seminar Description

In treating the rise of the “empire on which the sun never set,” we will consider such topics as the colonization of the Americas, narratives of European captivity by native peoples, the causes of the rebellion of the thirteen colonies, Captain Cook’s explorations in the Pacific, the penal colony of Botany Bay, the anti-slavery movement, the Great Mutiny (or Rebellion) of 1857 in India, the Opium Wars in China, the New Imperialism, and the “scramble for Africa.” Ten sessions.

Frank A. Biletz received his PhD in history from the University of Chicago, with a primary specialization in modern British and Irish history. He is currently Adjunct Instructor in History at Loyola University Chicago and has been teaching seminars at the Newberry since 1994.

Materials List


  • Lawrence James, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997. ISBN# 978-0312169855.
  • Linda Colley, Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850. New York: Anchor Books, 2004. ISBN# 978-0385721462.

First Reading:

  • Please read part one of The Rise and Fall of the British Empire by Lawrence James, and the introduction of Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850 by Linda Colley, before the first class meeting.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.