/ Articles / FeU presents ‘The Making — and Unmaking — of the United Kingdom: 1283-present’

FeU presents ‘The Making — and Unmaking — of the United Kingdom: 1283-present’

January 17, 2020


The United Kingdom is much in the news today because of the ongoing political crisis caused by “Brexit” — its 2016 vote to leave the European Union. In fact, the crisis caused by Brexit has been building for 500 years, beginning with the English Crown’s conquest of its nearest neighbors Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Historian Dr. Mary Magray will provide the background for today’s turmoil in her new course, “The Making — and Unmaking — of the United Kingdom: 1283 to the Present." The course is offered by Fe University from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 and 12, at the Mercer Community Center, 2648 Margaret St., Mercer.

The “United Kingdom” as it is known has only existed since 1801, and its future is not assured. For not only did these three conquered neighbors “make” the United Kingdom, they may yet prove to be the unmaking of it. Well-organized nationalist movements demanding independence are challenging the very existence of the UK. In three, 3-hour sessions the class will examine the historical complexities to help make sense of the current precarious predicament of the first Western nation to develop a representative form of government and one of our oldest and closest allies. 

The only requirements are an interest and desire to understand this profoundly critical juncture in the evolution of one of the Western world’s foundational democracies. For more details about the course content, visit www.feuniversity.org. 

Magray has an MA in European history and a PhD in British and Irish history, with a focus on women and religion. She has been teaching a wide variety of European history courses to students of all ages for more than thirty years, including the history of early Irish and British Christianity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of “The Transforming Power of the Nuns: Women, Religion, and Cultural Change in Ireland, 1750-1900,” published by Oxford University Press in 1998, and is currently an instructor in the Division of Continuing Studies at UW-Madison. “The Making — and Unmaking — of the United Kingdom” will be the fourth Fe University class taught by Dr. Magray, a popular Fe instructor.

The fee for “The Making — and Unmaking — of the United Kingdom” is $38. Registration forms may be downloaded from the website or picked up at the Mercer Library or the Iron County UW Extension Office at the Hurley Courthouse. For more information call 715-561-3098 or 715-562-0315.

Fe University is a non-accredited, non-profit “college” based in Iron County, offering classes targeting seniors but open to anyone over 18 in the area. Other classes offered this winter include “Furbearers of Wisconsin: Diversity, Trapping & Management;” “Cross Country Ski Instruction;” “Repairing the Harm: The Root of Restorative Justice;” “The History of the Vietnam War;” and “Computer and Internet Skills.”

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