History 4353 - Fall 2013
Northern Europe: 1300-1800

Room: Conwill Hall 106
Section 11570: TTh 2-3:15P

Instructor: Doug Catterall
Office: South Shepler 634
Office Hours: TTh 1-2, 3:15-4:15P; W, 9A-12P, 1-3P; F, 8:30-9:30A
and by appointment

work telephone: 581-2949 
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

Goals and Approach:

Welcome to Northern Europe, 1300-1800!  In this course we will consider societies and cultures within northern Europe to be more inter-related than separate.  As we will see, countries that seem different from one another in the popular mind were (and are) more closely related than one might think. By looking for patterns of interaction we will be able to see not only these similarities but also understand more clearly how and why differences arose.  Our method in the course will be to construct an overarching narrative based on four themes: nation and modernity; war and society; travelers, traders, and other migrants; and religious pluralism.  We will focus our discussion of each theme on a single society or focused group of societies in northern Europe, that is from among those societies running in a band from Britain to Ukraine in the south and from Britain to the Baltic states in the north, and we will also put the developments we discuss into the broader context of developments elsewhere in northern Europe.  In the more detailed case studies we will be able to take into account themes beyond our three main ones.  In this way we will be able to engage with the major processes that shaped northern European societies in the High Middle Ages and the early modern and even the modern period while still keeping an eye on the big picture. My hope is, of course, that you will gain a greater understanding of the European past.  At the same time, I also want you to see this course as a vehicle for learning more about the world in which we currently live.  As I place a particular emphasis both on written and oral expression, it is also my hope that you will each improve your abilities in these areas as well.


Click on the link in this sentence to access a more detailed description of the course's aims.



A Seminar Environment: This course is to be run as a seminar.  This means that the focus of much of our classroom activities will not be me standing before you and lecturing.  Instead we will spend our time discussing the issues raised in the books that are assigned for the course (see below for these).  Thus the following things are essential: 1) consistent participation from all members of the class in the discussions and other activities; 2) openness or the freedom that allows each individual to say what is on his or her mind; 3) respect for boundaries, which means not saying things in a way that might be unacceptable to members of the class or unacceptable in a more general sense.  If we strive towards these three ideals, I guarantee you that this class will be exciting, fun, and even exhilarating!!!

Course Texts:

Main Texts:

Robert A. Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950-1350 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994); ISBN: 978-0691037806

The Thirty Years' War: A Documentary History, edited and translated with an introduction by Tryntje Helfferich (Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2009); ISBN: 978-0872209398

Gershon David Hundert, Jews in Poland-Lithuania in the Eighteenth Century: A Genealogy of Modernity (Berkeley, CA: University of California, 2006); ISBN: 978-0520249943

Maarten Prak, The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century: The Golden Age, trans. Diane Webb (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); ISBN: 978-0521604604

Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Belarus, 1569-1999 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004); ISBN: 978-0300105865


Other Materials: When I deem it helpful, I will supplement these readings with primary or secondary source readings, usually taken from online resources or my own collections of source materials.

All of the above readings will be required for the course. They are all, apart from the supplementary, CU Library Reserve, and e-book materials, available at the CU Bookstore, although I do not require that you buy them there.

Requirements: Course work consists of three elements: participation, which consists of several elements; formal writings; and an essay-based final examination.


Participation (150 points):

a. Discussion (90 points possible): This is an upper division course run largely as a seminar.  Participation in discussion is therefore mandatory and your grade will suffer if you do not participate.  You can earn up to 3 points for each day you come to class, depending on your contributions to class discussion and classroom activities.  No credit will be extended for partially attended classes.

b. Working Papers (39 points possible):  To focus our discussions and your reading I will assign four short writing exercises (Working Papers), each of which will be worth 13 points (the lowest score will be dropped) and be 2 typed, doubled-spaced pages in length, written in Times Roman, 12-pt. font and must be properly footnoted (see me before starting an assignment if any of these standards are unclear).  The emphasis will vary from paper to paper, but since the focal point of this course is historiography, I will often be asking you to write up a brief historiographic analysis of the reading(s) in question.  In other words, I won't want just a summary, but an actual discussion of what's going on in the piece.  The purpose of these assignments is to give you practice with historiographic concepts and historiographic writing before you have to write a serious essay for me.

c. Reading Quizzes (39 points possible): There will be four short reading quizzes each worth 13 points based on the books addressing our structuring themes: nation and modernity; war and society; travelers, traders, and other migrants; and religious pluralism.  I will drop the lowest of the four scores

d. Credit for Participation: A perfect score in participation is 150 points.  Thus you need a minimum of 135 for an A, at least 120 for a B, at least 105 for a C, and 90 points for a D.  Anything less than that is an F.


Historiographic Essay (450 points): You will have to write a focused historiographic essay on a topic tied to one of the four major course themes: nation and modernity; war and society; travelers, traders, and other migrants; and religious pluralism worth a total of 450 points, of which 150 will be earned as part of a drafting process.  The paper must be 12-15 typed, double-spaced pages in length.  Papers are to be typed in Times Roman font with a 12-pt. pitch and must be appropriately footnoted (please see me before writing a paper if you have questions about these standards).  There will also be a mandatory drafting process involving a paper proposal, a first draft of 8 to10 pages that will undergo a mandatory peer critique and a critique from me and a second rough draft of at least 10 to 12 pages on which I will comment.  You can earn up to 25 points for your paper proposal, 50 points for the first draft, and 75 for the second, but failure to turn the proposal or a draft in on time will result in an automatic loss of the points available for that piece of work and writing drafts that are short of the minimum length will result in up to a 10-point deduction for each page you fall short of the minimum.  In addition, failure to participate in the in-class peer review will result in a 10% deduction from the final paper score.  Lastly, please note that the final draft will NOT be accepted late for any reason.  Due dates for the various drafts for the paper are listed below. General guidelines, including my expectations for a paper, are to be found by clicking on the hypertext in this sentence. Specific guidelines for the papers will be provided in this syllabus in a timely manner.  To find them look for the due dates below in the course assignment and reading schedule where you will find the paper title in hypertext; by clicking this hypertext you will arrive at the specific instructions for the paper.


Final Examination (150 points): There will be a comprehensive, essay-based final examination.

Grading Breakdown:

Course Component

Component Point Value



Reaction Papers


Final Examination


Total of All Categories



Calculation of your mark: In this course 750 points is a perfect score.  Thus an A requires a minimum of 675 points, a B at least 600 points, a C at least 525 points, a D at least 450 points.  Anyone earning less than 450 points fails the course and earns a mark of F.

General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  


Attendance: Regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  Equally, and as outlined above, lateness in coming to class and early departures will be penalized as these habits are rude to your fellow classmates and to me as the instructor.  I will take attendance daily in this class and an absence is an absence and will be counted as such.  

Preparation: All assignments for a given day, whether involving reading or writing, are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and discussions as this will make studying for the reading quizzes and final examination and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Late Papers: The following policy applies to all late final drafts of papers or formal writings for this course that will receive a letter grade. All papers submitted to me at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero.  Please note that a different policy applies to rough drafts for formal papers and it is outlined above.


Late Working Papers: No late working papers will be accepted as the lowest of the four scores will be dropped.


Missed Quizzes and Examinations:  There will be no make-ups for the quizzes as the lowest score that you earn will be dropped.  Make-ups for the final examination are granted to the student at the instructor's discretion and only with a legitimate (e.g. a medical emergency) and documented reason.


Academic Dishonesty: The following statement encapsulates university policy on academic misconduct: "Each student is expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach.  Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty¦ will be subject to disciplinary action."  Additional information is provided in the Cameron University Code of Student Conduct at: http://www.cameron.edu/student_development/student_conduct

Among the most serious offenses a student can commit is plagiarism, which is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions.  Instructions on the basics of citation may be found under the general guidelines for papers and can and should be consulted before any formal essays come due.  If for some reason you do not choose to examine this page, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the policy for academic dishonesty in the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

a. The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required
of other students in the course;
b. The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of “W” or “F”;
c. The student’s grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected
by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure.

Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.


Disability Statement: As per the Office of Student Development, "It is the policy of Cameron University to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law.  Students with disabilities who need classroom accommodations must make their requests by contacting the Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209, North Shepler Room 314."

Website for this office:



Reference Desk:. The CU Library also has a number of excellent online sources available through EBSCO and I strongly encourage you to use them. Please see me if you require an orientation as to how to access these resources. 


Table for Major Historical Trends in Northern Europe:  Click Here

Schedule of Readings, Weekly Topics, Assignments and Activities

(8.15) Introduction and Course Overview

Aristocrats Behaving Badly, Travelers, Traders, and Other Migrants, c. 1200-1500

the medieval background

(8.20) Read: Bartlett, 1-59.

(8.22) Read: Bartlett, 60-105, Indrikis Sterns, "Crime and Punishment among the Teutonic Knights," Speculum 57, no. 1 (Jan., 1982): 84-111 in JSTOR.

(8.27) Overview of Nobles on the Move

(8.29) Read: Bartlett, 106-166.

(9.3) Read: Bartlett, 167-196.

(9.5) Overview of Commoners on the Move

the changing face of Europe

(9.10) Read: Bartlett, 197-250; Take: Reading Quiz 1

(9.12) Read: Bartlett, 250-314.


The Emergence of Europe’s First Modern Society?: The Dutch Republic in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

(9.17) Read: Prak, 1-60.

(9.19) Read: Prak, 61-121

(9.24) Read: Douglas Catterall, "At Home Abroad: Ethnicity and Enclave in the World of Scots Traders in Northern Europe, c. 1600-1800," Journal of Early Modern History 8, nos. 3/4 (2004): 319-357 available online via Academic Search Premier, and Maria Bogucka, "Dutch Merchants' Activities in Gdansk in the First Half of the 17th Century," in Maria Bogucka, Baltic Commerce and Urban Society, 1500-1700 (Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2003), VI, 19-32, available on the class Blackboard module under Assignments;

(9.26) Read: Prak, 122-185; Turn In: Working Paper #1

(10.1) Read: Prak, 186-198, 222-end; Turn In: Paper Proposal for Historiographic Essay.


War and Society

political and institutional background

(10.3) Read: Selections from Glete, 11-66 (n.b. this is an e-book, so you will need to access it via the CU Library Web Portal!)

Take: Reading Quiz 2.

(10.8) Read: The Thirty Years' War, ix-xxi, 1-14.

(10.10) Overview of the Thirty Years' War; Turn In: Working Paper #2.

the Thirty Years' War from the ground up
Read: The Thirty Years' War, 14-66.

(10.17) NO CLASS (Fall Break)

(10.22) Read: The Thirty Years' War, 67-86, 91-117, 124-137.

(10.24) Read: The Thirty Years' War, 153-198; 198-204 or 204-212; 212-227 or 233-249; 252-273.

(10.29) Read: The Thirty Years' War, 274-324; Take: Reading Quiz 3.


Religious Pluralism and Modernity

(10.31) Critique: (Mandatory Participation on Pain of a 1 Mark Reduction from the Final Essay Grade): First Draft of Historiographic Essay with Peer Review Partner; Turn In: First Draft of Historiographic Essay to Blackboard by 9:00 a.m.; Read: Hundert, 1-31; Ben Kaplan, "Fictions of Privacy: House Chapels and the Spatial Accommodation of Religious dissent in Early Modern Europe," American Historical Review 107, no. 4 (October 2002): 1031-1064 in JSTOR.

(11.5) Overview of Religious Pluralism and Modernity

(11.7) Read: Hundert, 32-98; Pick Up: Instructor Critique of First Draft of Historiographic Essay.

(11.12) Read: Hundert, 99-159; Turn In: Working Paper #3.

(11.14) Read: Hundert, 160-240.


The Emergence of Nationalism in Eastern Europe: A Missed Opportunity for Toleration?

(11.19) Read: The Reconstruction of Nations, 1-51; Take: Reading Quiz 4.

(11.21) Read: The Reconstruction of Nations, 52-104; Turn In: Second Draft of Historiographic Essay

(11.26) Read: The Reconstruction of Nations, 105-153; Pick Up: Instructor Critique of Second Draft of Historiographic Essay

(11.28) NO CLASS (Thanksgiving)

(12.3) Read: The Reconstruction of Nations, 154-178; Turn In: Working Paper #4.

(12.5) Review: for final examination; Read: The Reconstruction of Nations, 179-216.


Final Examination

(12.10) Final Examination: 12:30-2:30 p.m.; Turn In (via Blackboard by the beginning of class at the latest): Final Draft of Historiographic Essay (no essays can be accepted late).



N.B. The Web Syllabus is the Syllabus of Record and is subject to change if I deem this necessary.


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