Aspects of Early Modern European History
Fall Semester 2011
Department of History
University of Ghana
J. Otto Pohl, Ph.D.
Meeting Time: Thursday 3:30-5:25 Linguistics Lecture Theatre
Course Description: This is a survey class covering various aspects of European history from the 14th Century until the end of the 18th Century. The core section of the course will focus on the 17th and 18th centuries. In particular it will concentrate on political history, but it will also cover religion, economics, art and philosophy. The course will focus on the larger and more powerful European states such as England, France, Prussia, Austria, and Russia. Special attention will be given to the political history of these states during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Requirements: Students need to attend class regularly and do the assigned readings. Material from both the readings and the lectures will appear on the final exam. No mobile phones are to be visible during class. They are to be out of sight and turned off. Finally, I have a significant hearing loss and may have to ask people to repeat their questions or statements from time to time. You can minimize this by speaking loudly and clearly. This syllabus is tentative and subject to change.
Readings: The readings for this course come primarily from two sources. The first is Birdsall S. Viault, Modern European History (New York: McGraw-Hill Inc., 1990) and the second is R.R. Palmer and Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World to 1815 Seventh Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1992). In addition to these two survey texts I have assigned a section from Andreas Kappler, trans. Alfred Clayton, The Russian Empire: A Multiethnic Empire (Essex, UK: Longman, 2001).
Grading: The grade for the class will be based upon a mid-term exam and a comprehensive final essay exam at the end of the semester. The mid-term will be worth 30% of the final grade and the final exam will constitute the remaining 70% of the grade.
Week one: Introduction and Review of Syllabus
Week two: Leaving the Middle Ages and Entering the Modern Era
Read Viault, chapter one, pp. 1-15 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 46-53.
Week three: The Renaissance
Read Viault, chapters 2-3, pp. 16-43 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 53-75.
Week four: The Reformation, Counterreformation, and Wars of Religion
Read Viault, chapters 4-5, pp. 44-77 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 75-93 and 126-149.
Week five: Imperialism and Mercantilism
Read Viault, chapter 6, pp. 78-90 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 120-126.
Week six: Mid-Term Exam. The exam is worth 30% of the total grade.
Week seven: England in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Read Viault chapter, pp. 7, pp. 91-105 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 169-182.
Week eight: France in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Read Vialut, chapter 8, pp. 106-118 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 182-197.
Week nine: Central and Eastern Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Read Viault, pp. 119-133 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 210-249.
Week ten: Russia Moves into Europe during the 17th and 18th Centuries
Read Kappeler, pp. 60-113.
Week eleven: 18th Century Wars
Read Viault, pp. 134-144 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 250-285.
Week twelve: Science, Philosophy, Art, Literature, and Music in 17th and 18th Century Europe
Read Viault, pp. 145-176 and Palmer and Colton, pp. 286-326.