Modern Europe

History 5

Fall 2016
105 North Gate
Day & Time: 
TTh 1230-2
  • Note new room.
  • This course introduces students to European history from around 1500 to the present. During this time, a small, poor, and fragmented Europe became a world civilization, whose political, cultural, and economic power now touch the four corners of the globe. Our course will ask how and why this happened. How, in other words, did "modernity" become "western" for better and worse? As we cover this half-millennium, we will look at major landmarks in European cultural, intellectual, social, political, and economic development: the Renaissance, the epochal expansion of Europe into the new world, the break-up of Latin Christianity into competing religious communities, the construction of the modern state, the formation of overseas empires, the coming of capitalism, the Scientific Revolution, the French Revolution, liberalism and the Industrial Revolution, socialism and the rise of labor, modern colonialism, the world wars, communism and fascism, decolonization, the Cold War, and the European Union. Our readings will include learned treatises in religion, classics in political theory, fiction, and other documents from the past, as well as a textbook. Work in sections centers on reading and discussion of original sources and of lectures, and on the improvement of writing skills. Three hours of lecture and two hours of section (required) per week.

Course Books

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli Penguin Classics. ISBN: 0140449159 Required
Modern European History by Viault, Birdsall McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN: 978-0070674530 Required
Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi Touchstone. ISBN: 0684826801 Required
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Norton, Fourth Critical Edition. ISBN: 9780393926361 Required
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Norton, Second Critical Edition. ISBN: 9780393927931 Required
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Verso. ISBN: 1859848982 Required
The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Penguin Classics. ISBN: 0140442014 Required