This course will review the political, social and military changes in 17th century England and examine how it shaped modern Britain. England will be the main focus but reference will be made to other states, Scotland, France, Italy, Holland and Spain. Through the letters of various families (eg. the Pastons) we will follow the events of the 16th century and see what life was like for the gentry in the countryside in Stuart England and during the Civil War. We will use their involvement to assess the impact of the Civil War on the English gentry.