History 4353 - Spring 2002
Northern Europe: 1300-1800

Room: Nance-Boyer West 107
Section 7300: Th 6:30-9:10 p.m. (diagonally across from West Hall)

Instructor: Doug Catterall
Office: West Hall, 217 N
Office Hours: M, W 11 a.m.-12 p.m. & 1-2 p.m.;

T 11 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-4 p.m., and Th 4-6 p.m.
and by appointment

work telephone: 581-2949
home telephone: 536-7950
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

Goals and Approach:
Welcome to Northern Europe, 1300-1800! You are embarking on a path that historians themselves have not yet fully marked out. Therefore, you have the opportunity to participate in a very real sense in the making of a new field of history. In this course we will be taking a fundamentally new approach to Europe's history, and consider societies and cultures within northern Europe to be more inter-related than separate. I have chosen the division of northern Europe based on the maritime ties that linked this region as early as the year 500 C.E. As we will see, countries that seem different from one another in the popular mind were (and are) actually 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 look at five major topics: gender and property relations; welfare and prisons; science and society; the transformation of warfare; and empire and the press. In many cases we will look at these topics from the perspective of one major region, but I will also provide a broader perspective in the in-class presentations I do and in the classroom activities I design. Here are the regions that concern us: the British Isles, Denmark, Finland, northern Germany, the Low Countries, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. In this course we will strive to engage with the major processes that shaped northern European societies in the High Middle Ages and the early modern period. 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.

Specific Objectives of the Course:

This course will provide you with opportunities to improve in the following three areas of intellectual

Contextual Knowledge:
In this course you will improve your knowledge of the events, historical actors, and transformative
trends in northern Europe from 1300-1800, particularly in the areas of gender, property, and social
rank; poverty, marginality, and society's attitudes towards them; the Scientific Revolution;
warfare in northeastern Europe; and popular attitudes towards empire. You will gain information
on these topics by reading, evalutating, discussing, and writing about the books and in-class
readings assigned for the course.

Historical Thinking:
Since this is a seminar in which our main goal will be to understand how different historians have
tried to understand complex historical phenomena, you will improve your ability to evaluate conflicting
interpretations of past events and issues. You will do this in two ways: 1) by contributing to discussions
in class, which is a major component of the course grade, and 2) by writing the reaction papers and
working papers that form the writing component of the course.

Historical Research Skills:
The reaction papers in this course are not research papers as such since they do not require a lot of
engagement with primary sources. We will, however, discuss how historians have tried to relate their work
to that of other historians (historiography); how they have used sources to explore the past (methodology);
and how historians deal with the complex task of defining change, continuity, and the causes behind each.
Thus, you will be thinking about how to conduct, organize, and present research by examining and dicussing how
others have done these things and you will gain a knowledge of the terms and categories that historians
use when they practice their craft.

A Seminar Environment: I run my upper division courses as seminars for the most part. 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). In order for a seminar to work we need the following things: 1) consistent participation from all members of the class in the dicussions 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 exhilerating!!! Requirements: Course work consists of four elements: participation in discussions, informal writings (called working papers), formal writings, and an essay-based final examination. Participation: a. Preparation: In order to understand the background presentations that I will give and participate in class discussions and other activities you will need to do the assigned readings. Please budget time to complete readings for the date in which they appear in the assignment and reading schedule. The readings are in two forms, which are listed below.
Secondary Works:

John Robert Christianson, On Tycho's Island: Tycho Brahe and his Assistants, 1570-1601
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)

Martha Howell, The Marriage Exchange: Property, Social Place, and Gender in Cities of the
Low Countries, 1300-1500 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998)

Robert Juette, Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1994)

Robert I. Frost, The Northern Wars: War, State and Society in Northeastern Europe, 1558-1721
London: Longman, 2000)

Primary Sources:

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels: An Authoritative Text, the Correspondence of Swift, Pope's
Verses on Gulliver's Travels, Critical Essays second edition, edited by Robert A. Greenberg
(New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1970)

Other Materials: When I deem it helpful, I will supplement these readings with short 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 available at the CU Bookstore, although I do not require that you buy them there.

b. Discussion: This may seem like a small thing and something unrelated to the real stuff (passing the exams and hammering out the papers). As this is an upper division course run largely as a seminar, however, I want to stress that participation in discussion will count heavily (10%) in your grade and that active participation often improves performance in the pressure situations. I will gauge participation on a daily basis with a check, check-plus, check-minus system.

c. Informal Writings: There is no textbook for this course. Indeed, there are really no textbooks yet written for this field. Therefore, for each of the major books we read I will assign one short writing exercise or working paper to help focus your reading of the books and to prepare you for our discussions. For some papers I will be asking you to write up a brief analysis of the main point of a section or sections of the reading in question. In other words, I won't want just a summary, but an actual discussion of what's going on in the piece. Other papers may require something slightly different. The emphasis will vary from paper to paper. Informal writings will also be graded with a check, check-plus, check-minus system and include comments. I will provide a sample of the sort of thing for which I'm hoping before the first assignment. These informal writings will be worth 10% of the total mark, so please take them seriously.

d. Credit for Participation: Informal writing(s) and class discussion and the reading quiz will be worth 20% of the final grade. You can receive up to ten points for each day that you show up to class for a total of 130 and approximately 32 points for each working paper for a total of another 130 points. An A in participation requires a minimum of 207 points, a B 184, a C 161, and D a minimum of 138 points.

Reaction Papers: You will have to write four focused essays/reaction papers out of the five books). Thus you may choose the four papers that best suit you. Each paper will account for 20% of your total grade, but with particular attention paid to the degree to which people improve over course of the term. Due dates for the papers are listed below. General guidelines 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. Guidelines for the grading standards that apply to written work done for this class may be found by clicking on the hypertext in this sentence.

Guidelines for Academic Work:

Late Papers: The following policy applies to all late papers for this course that will receive a letter grade. All papers submitted 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 ten days from the original due date to turn in the paper, during which time no further penalty for lateness will be incurred. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero.

Late Informal Writings: No late working papers (i.e. informal writings) will be accepted, so don't ask. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance in class and your performance on informal writings. Thus, as long as you achieve the number of participation points corresponding to the mark you desire, you'll be fine.

Missed Examinations: As noted above, there is a final examination for this course. Makeup's for the final examination will be allowed only under extraordinary circumstances and the nature of any make-up final given will be determined at my discretion.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism 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 these such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions. I will provide a sheet explaining the basics of citation before any formal essays come due. If for some reason you do not receive a copy of this hand-out, do not assume you will be exempt from following its guidelines as it will be available on the online syllabus. In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the 2000-2001 "Student Handbook," pp. 207-211. Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Reference Desk: Here is an on-line encyclopedia that you may find useful for this course. I once had more on-line reference tools, but sadly they have become restricted to subscription customers only. On the bright side, the CU Library has a number of 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. For the Columbia Encyclopedia click on the hypertext below: http://www.bartleby.com/65/ Please Note: Information on the above site is copyright protected.

Schedule of Readings, Weekly Topics, Assignments and Activities

(1/17) Introduction and Course Overview

Property and Gender Roles in Early Modern Europe, c. 1300-1700

(1/24) Marriage Exchange, 1-96.

(1/31) Marriage Exchange, 97-173.

(2/7) Marriage Exchange, 174-240.

Turn In: Working Paper #1: Design Your Own System of Inheritance Rules

The Origins of the Modern Debates on Welfare and Incarceration, c. 1400-1800

(2/14) Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe, 8-99.

Turn In: Paper #1

(2/21) Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe, 100-200.

Science and Daily Life in the Era of Scientific Revolution, c. 1550-1700

(2/28) On Tycho's Island, 1-82.

Turn In: Paper #2

(3/7) On Tycho's Island, 83-170.

(3/14) On Tycho's Island, selection 171-248.

War in Northeastern Europe, c. 1550-1720

(3/28) The Northern Wars, 1-101.

Turn In: Paper #3
Working Paper #2: State Structure and the Capacity for War

(4/4) No Class

(4/11) The Northern Wars, 102-226.

(4/18) The Northern Wars, 227-330.

Turn In: Working Paper #3: Early Modern European Warfare Goes to the Movies

Empire and the Press in the Eighteenth Century

(4/25) Gulliver's Travels, IV-124.

Turn In: Paper #4
Working Paper #4: Popular Representations of Exploration
(5/2) Gulliver's Travels, 126-230.

Back to Courses Page