Problems and Topics in Revolutionary France: 1750-1850

History 280B.006

Spring 2007
2231 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
W 10-12

Traditionally, the French Revolution has been studied as the last chapter in the history of the ";Old Regime."; Since 1989 all this has changed. Recent historiography has given shape to a new unit of French history, ";revolutionary France,"; spanning roughly from the Enlightenment through the Revolution of 1848. The purpose of this course is to give students an opportunity to develop foundational knowledge of this most turbulent of periods in French history. It will introduce participants to the major areas of research in this field--political, social, economic, military, race and colonialism, women, religion and, not least, intellectual and cultural history. The aim will be to achieve a solid understanding of the causes, course and consequences of the Revolution of 1789-99 and the successive regimes that followed: the Napoleonic empire, the Bourbon Restoration, and the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848. Students will have an opportunity to engage with the major traditions of interpretation, both classical and contemporary. Reading knowledge of French is preferred, but not required.

Course Requirements:
The emphasis of this course is on reading. However, along with energetic reading and discussion, participants will be required to give two seminar presentations and to write two short (3-5 page) papers and one longer (15-20 page) final paper. A 285 option is negotiable.