Room: Main 223
Sections 3A & 4A: 9:40a.m.-10:50a.m. & 1:00-2:10, even days
office: 445 Main Building
work telephone: 363-5190
home telephone: (612) 788-3963
Goals and Approach:
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the history of early modern Europe. By 1400 Europeans had only begun to explore the world and by the end of our period they had mapped most of it and were living on all of its continents but Antarctica. Religious experiences were quite different with a variety of Protestant denominations joining Catholicism as mainstream faiths and atheism became a defensible position. In 1800 more Europeans lived in cities; their economies were more dependent on overseas trade; and increasingly they were dependent too on specialization, merchant capital, expensive infrastructure and a cash economy. European rulers found their powers both expanded as states grew in size, and restricted as their subjects began to demand more of a say in government and kingdoms were joined by new forms of government such as the republic. Europeís social structure became more fluid as well. Nobles had to share the stage with powerful merchant princes and professionals like lawyers and politicians. Village folk became more closely tied to cities through migration systems and less tied to the land that sustained them. Cities saw their guild-based social structure become more open.
Covering the amount of material we have to will be difficult, but our task will be made easier by focusing on particular themes. Four themes stand central in this course: 1. Europeans and their interactions with the world; 2. religious transformations ; 3. state/society relations; and 4.everyday life in cities and towns. Each of the units we cover throughout the semester will relate to one of these themes. You should approach these themes with three objectives in mind: understanding how early modern Europeans understood their world; exploring how historians have approached the same subject; and developing your own interpretation(s) of the past. Clearly, only by thinking through the issues with consideration and focus will you arrive at your own interpretations of history, which is in fact heart of the historian's craft. During the course, then, three skills will be crucial: critical thinking: which has two sides, 1. the consideration of ideas, problems and/or themes from different perspectives and 2. the construction of explanations by observing inter-connections between the ideas/themes; critical reading: the selection of important information from a text which can be used to answer a particular question; and communication: expressing your views through writing and speaking.
The heart of the class-room environment (for me) rests in enthusiasm, respect and openness. This may sound general, so I will elaborate. Enthusiasm means a persistent willingness to tackle the problems that come up in the readings and assignments for each week. It does not mean that everyone always has to show up happy and cheerful, but readiness to make a contribution to class is a must. Respect in the classroom means valuing each person's participation, not because their ideas are the best (although you might think so), but because they are trying to make a contribution to the group. Openness lies in the freedom for people to express their thoughts and opinions, which includes scope for debate and disagreement with me or anyone else. The closer we approach this ideal environment, the more the classroom will be an effective space for clarifying, making manageable and even experimenting with the issues confronted in the course. This ideal may not always be achievable, but in my view we should always strive for it.
Course work consists of four elements: participation in
discussion and class activities, occasional informal writings, formal writings,
and essay-based examinations.
a. Preparation: In order to understand the lectures 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 three forms, which are listed below.
Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History, edited
by Euan Cameron (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999)
Studies and Sources:
Alexandra Parma Cook and David Noble Cook, Of Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance: A Case of Transatlantic Bigamy (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1991)
Giles Milton, Nathanielís Nutmeg or the True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999)
Excerpts from: Robert Monro, Monro, His Expedition With the Worthy Scots Regiment Called Mac-Keys
The Portable Voltaire, edited by Ben Ray Redman (New York: Penguin Books U.S.A., Inc., 1977)
Additional supplemental readings as needed (indicated with Supptl. Rdng.)
For those interested there will also be a web-based reference archive, which you may (but are not required) to consult.
All of the above readings will be required for the course and (with the exception of the supplemental readings) are available at the CSB bookstore. The volume edited by Euan Cameron provides an overview of the subjects we will cover. The studies by Alexandra Parma and David Noble Cook and Giles Milton as well as the extended source readings by Monro and Voltaire will be important to our in-class discussions and provide material for the papers required in the course. Apart from the hand-outs, copies of all the required readings will be on reserve at the Clemens Library. With a few exceptions all handouts will be available at the following web-site: www.fordham.edu/halsall/, an internet site that provides medieval and modern source-books. Copies of the handouts will be made for you for in-class use (for which you will be charged at the end of the term), but if you should miss a class the documents handed out will be available at this site. Feel free to explore the site if you wish.
b. Discussion: This may seem like a small thing and something unrelated to the real stuff (passing the exams e.g.). I want to stress, though, that participation in discussion will count in your grade. I will gauge participation on a daily basis with a check, check+, check- system.
c. Informal Writings: Occasionally I may assign short writing exercises to help focus our discussions. Informal writing will also be graded with a check, check-plus, check-minus system and include comments.
d. Movies: We will watch a number of films this term and in each case I will expect everyone to attend or arrange to see the film with enough time for the in-class discussions that we will have of the films. The films include Aguirre, the Wrath of God, The Return of Martin Guerre and, time permitting Moll Flanders Some of the viewings will need to be outside of class and if you cannot make these you must hand in a one-page single-spaced summary by the day we discuss the film.
e. Reading Questions: Every other week one half of the class will be responsible for submitting 2 questions to me via e-mail at the beginning of the week. These questions should be based on the readings for that week and I will then structure our class time around them. If you want to know what group you are in for submitting questions or what weeks you are meant to submit questions click on the hypertext here.
f. Credit for Participation: Informal writing(s)
and class discussion will be worth 20% of the final grade.
Reaction Papers: You will have to write three reaction
papers in this course on the following works: Of Good Faith and Truthful
Ignorance; Nathanielís Nutmeg; and Candide. Each of these
papers will count for 15% of your grade for a total of 45%.
Examinations: There will be two examinations, a midterm worth 15% and a final examination worth 20% of the total grade. The mid-term examination will be a mixture of essays, matching questions and a map exercise. The final examination will be a take-home.
Guidelines for Academic Work:
Late Papers: Late work will lose a grade per day after the set due date. Barring a serious illness or other extenuating circumstance which can be documented, there will be no exceptions to this rule.
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 hand out 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. In cases of plagiarism, the Department of
History at the College of St. Benedict and St. Johnís University follows
the plagiarism policy agreed by students and faculty Spring Semester 1998.
Consult a current Academic Catalog or an on-line student hand-book for
Schedule of Readings, Lecture Topics, Assignments and Activities
Week 1 Defining Europe c. 1450
(2/1) Introduction: Early Modern History in our Everyday Lives
(2/3) How Should We Define Europe?
Read: Cameron et al., xvii-xxxi, 1-14
Turn-in: Map exercise
Week 2 Europe and the World Beyond
Thematic Outline 2
(2/7) What Europeans Knew about the World, c. 1450-1500
Read: Cameron et al., 14-28
Watch: Aguirre, the Wrath of God, part 1
(2/9) The Portuguese and the Spanish Search for Empire in the Indies
Read: Supptl. Rdng.
Watch: Aguirre, the Wrath of God, part 2
(Evening viewing at 7:30 p.m. in 223 Main on CSB Campus)
(2/11) Life in Peru, 1520-1555
Read: Cook & Cook, 1-41
Week 3 Everyday Life in Europe, 1450-1600
Thematic Outline 3
(2/15) Society, Economy and Daily Life in Rural Europe, 1450-1600
Read: Cameron et al., 31-55
Watch: The Return of Martin Guerre, part
(2/17) Society, Economy and Daily Life in Urban Europe, 1450-1600
Read: Cameron et al., 55-62
Watch: The Return of Martin Guerre, part
Week 4 Religious and Political Change in Europe
Thematic Outline 4
(2/21) Late Medieval Piety and Humanism
Read: Cameron et al., 63-80
(2/23) Europeís Reformations
Read: Cameron et al., 80-101Supptl. Rdng.
(2/25) Rulers and Subjects
Read: Cameron et al., 102-133
Week 5 State and Society in the 16th Century
Thematic Outline 5
(2/29) Family and Marriage during the Reformations 1
Read: Cook & Cook, 41-91
(3/2) Family and Marriage during the Reformations 2
Read: Cook & Cook, 91-153
Week 6 European Society at the Dawn of the 17th Century
Thematic Outline 6
(3/6) Daily Life in the Countryside and the Towns
Read: Cameron et al., 136-156
Discuss: The Return of Martin Guerre
(3/8) Migration and Economic Life
Read: Cameron et al., 157-170
Turn In: Reaction
Paper Number 1
(3/10) The Early Explorations of the English and the Dutch for a Northwest Passage to the Indies
Read: Milton, 9-20, 29-65, 162-190
Week 7 Northern Europe Enters the Race for Empire
(3/14) The Beginnings of the Dutch and English East India Companies
Read: Milton, 66-134
Take Midterm Examination
Week 9 The Anglo-Dutch Rivalry for Trade and Empire
Review Outline 1
(3/27) The Anglo-Dutch Rivalry for Empire 1
Read: Milton, 134-161, 190-244
(3/29) The Anglo-Dutch Rivalry for Empire 2
Read: Milton, 245-308
(3/31) The Thirty Yearís War and the Dutch Revolt
Read: Cameron et al., 206-217
Selections from Monro
Week 10 The Thirty Yearsí War and Religious Change in Europe
Review Outline 2
(4/4) Absolutism, Revolt and Revolution
Read: Cameron, et al., 217-230
(4/6) Confessionalization in Europe
Read: Cameron et al., 171-187
Week 11 Statebuilders, Free-Thinkers and Scientists
(4/10) Statebuilding in the 17th Century I
(4/12) Statebuilding in the 17th Century II
(4/14) Sceptics and Scientists I
Read: Cameron et al., 187-205
Week 12 More Sceptics, More Scientists
Review Outline 3
(4/18) Sceptics and Scientists II
Read: Supptl. Rdng.
Turn in: Reaction
(4/20) Everyday life in 18th-century Europe I
Read: Cameron et al., 233-264
Week 13 The Emergence of a Consumer Society & the Enlightenment I
Review Outline 4
(4/26) Everyday life in 18th-century Europe II
Watch: Moll Flanders
(4/28) Everyday life in 18th-century Europe III and Enlightenment I: Morality and the Church
Review: Cameron et al., 233-264
Read: Cameron et al., 265-276
Selections from Voltaireís Philosophical Dictionary:
53-54, 58-60, 73-76, 88-90, 96-99, 109-122, 128, 132-134, 134-136, 144-148,
178-79, 187-199, 200-202, 205-208, & 212-215
Week 14 The Enlightenment II: The Republic of Letters
Review Outline 5
(5/2) Worldly Philosophers and Enlightened Monarchs?
Read: Cameron et al., 276-293
Selections from Selections from Voltaireís Philosophical
Dictionary: 77-78, 102-103, 112-116, 141-144, 148-155, 160-161, 166-169,
173-178, 202-205 & 217-218; Voltaireís Letters
(5/4) Voltaire's Candide and the Enlightenment I
Read: Cameron et al., 298-344
Voltaireís Candide, 229-281; Selections from Voltaireís
Philosophical Dictionary: 124-127, 128-132, 163-164, & 179-187
Week 15 Politics in the 18th Century and the Decline of the Ancien Regime
Review Outline 6
(5/8) Voltaire's Candide and the Enlightenment II
Read: Voltaireís Candide, 281-328
(5/10) The Outbreak of Revolution in Europe
Read: Cameron et al., 345-374 Supptl. Rdng.
(5/12) Conclusion and Review Session
Week 16 Examination Week
Turn In: Reaction Paper 3 & Final Examination
N.B. All Examinations And Papers Due In By Midnight On This Date! You may: mail your examination and paper to my home address (2605 Johnson Street N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55418); e-mail them to me as an attachment; or hand deliver them to my office in Main Bldg. on the CSB campus. Thanks!
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