Revolution in Modern Europe

Taught: Fall 2021


August 19, 2022

History 1204 examines the dynamic transformation of Europe and the world over the past five hundred years, emphasizing periods of rapid and momentous changes that have been seen as revolutionary by either contemporaries or historians. From the closing of the medieval world and the waning of the Renaissance, the course commences with the wide-ranging transformations brought about by the discovery of the Americas and the splintering of the Western Church with the Reformation. The course will investigate periods or political, social, cultural, and economic upheaval, highlighting the experience of contemporaries and how the concept of revolution has changed from the sixteenth century up to the twenty-first century. Through both primary sources and the work of historians, we will pay close attention to debates over the meaning and nature of rights that were supposed to be held by individuals. The topic of revolution will also lead to discussions of the ways that people have conceptualized time in the past and how people have looked to either the past or the future for inspiration in thinking about their present actions. At all points emphasis will be placed on historical thinking and trying to better understand past cultures rather than memorization of facts, figures, and dates.

Syllabus PDF