European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present

History 5

Spring 2014
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2-330P

This course introduces students to the history of Europe since the late Renaissance, surveying the landmark events, dates, people, and historical processes of European history over the last half-millennium.  We begin in 1492 with the European conquest of the New World and the development of the “new monarchies” in Europe, and move rapidly through the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and Religious Wars, the development of strong and increasingly national states, the intellectual revolutions in science and philosophy, the French Revolution, industrialization, liberalism and socialism, colonial empires, the world wars of the 20th century, the Cold War, decolonization, and the formation of the European Union.  Throughout the course, we will focus on the reading and interpretation of primary sources, using an array of documents to introduce students to the sources of historical knowledge and the interpretive practices of historical thinking  – from theological tracts to accounts of conquest, from philosophical texts to political treatises, from descriptions of social conditions to speeches, memoirs, letters, and visual artifacts.  Themes on which we shall focus include the changing nature of political authority and practices and the changing expressions of collective identities in Europe.  Requirements include attendance at two weekly lectures and a two-hour section meeting devoted to discussing primary sources, several short papers, a midterm, and a final.  

Course Books

Hard Times by Charles Dickens Dover Publications. ISBN: 978-0486419206 Required
Western Civilizations: Their History and Their Culture Brief Third Edition, Volume 2, paperback + Perspectives from the Past: Primary Sources in Western Civilizations: From the Age of Exploration through Contemporary Times Fifth Edition, Paperback Volume by Coffin, Stacey; and Brophy, Epstein W.W. Norton. ISBN: Package ISBN: 978-0-393-13341-7 Required
The Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zemon Davis Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674766914 Required
Civilization and its Discontents by Signmund Freud Rough Draft Printing. ISBN: 978-1603865517 Required
The Prince by Machiavelli Penguin Classics. ISBN: 978-0140449150 Required
Candide by Voltaire Penguin Classics. ISBN: 978-0140440041 Required