Old Regime and Revolutionary France

History 166B

Fall 2015
Day & Time: 
MWF 3-4P

How did France come to attain political and cultural dominance of Europe during the reign of Louis XIV? How did eighteenth-century developments weaken the political structure of Europe's cultural and military hegemony? By 1800, the political and social structure that nourished France's former dominance had disappeared in a democratic Revolution. The new France remained a European paradigm, but as a democratic challenge to other European states. This course will examine the transition from the "Old Regime," the monarchical state of the later Bourbons, to the "New Regime,";the equally monarchical state that crystallized under Napoleon and his Bourbon successors. In examining the origins and consequences of the French Revolution, the course will look into economic, social, political, intellectual, and cultural factors that made French men and women believe that it was possible -- and indeed to attempt to create a new society. Course requirements will include informed participation based on completion of assigned reading, short reading quizzes, and attendance at lectures, as well as three short (< 3 pg) essays, and a final examination.