History 4403 - Spring 2006
Europe's Enlightenments, 1648-1789

Room: South Shepler Tower 214
Section 0519: TTh, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Instructor: Douglas Catterall

Office: 634 South Shepler Tower
Office Hours:
TTh, 1-3 p.m.; W, 3-5 p.m.; and by appointment
work telephone: 581-2949
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

Goals and Approach:
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to events and changes bearing on the religious, social, and cultural complexion of Europe that unfolded in the later 17th and 18th centuries. Traditionally historians think of this time span as encompassing the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Absolutism, but our focus will chiefly be on the Enlightenment in France, the British Isles, German speaking Europe, and the Dutch Republic. However one decides to name it, the ideas that took root in Europe in this period are still very much with us today, and not just in so-called Western society.  Here are some of them: freedom of the press; freedom of expression; secularism; atheism; equality between peoples, classes, and genders; representative democracy; evolution; cultural relativism; separation of church and state; Romanticism. . . I will stop here as the list is long indeed.

As you might imagine, with so many ideas floating about, historians have had a difficult time deciding what the Enlightenment, at its heart, was. While we will not come up with any definitive answers this term, we will try to look at the merits of seeing the Enlightenment from several perspectives. We will look at those who created and promoted the Enlightenment's chief ideas (though not all of them), which is the approach of the intellectual historian. Among the thinkers we will encounter are Kant, Hume, Rousseau, and Diderot. Another level at which we will look at the Enlightenment involves looking at the people who were involved with the ideas of the Enlightenment but were not among its most famous exponents.  Most of these people came from the professional and commercial classes.  The great mass of Europe's population will also come under scrutiny.  I hope too that we will be able to see the Enlightenment not just as a collection of important but "dead" ideas but rather as a living attitude of mind.

In this course we will strive to grapple with all of the many facets of the Enlightenment with an eye towards gaining a greater understanding not only of the European past but also of ourselves and the society 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 endeavor:

Contextual Knowledge:
In this course you will improve your knowledge of the events, historical actors, and transformational trends that unfolded in Europe from 1650 to 1789 and pertained to the Enlightenment and its origins.  In particular you will learn about 1) major changes in artistic and intellectual endeavor and their broader influences on European societies; 2) the crucial shifts in religious belief and practice and their broader impact on Europe; and 3) the basics of the social, economic, and political events of this era.  You will gain information on these topics by reading, evaluating, discussing, and writing about the books and in-class readings assigned for the course and by writing the various papers, quizzes, and examinations that the course requires.

Historical Thinking and Research Skills:
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 various papers and tests that form the writing component of the course. All of the papers in this course are tied in some way to the research process that historians typically use.  In order to write these papers you will thus learn how to engage closely with primary and secondary source materials.  We will also 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 discussing 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.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to experience the research process as you write your primary and secondary source-based papers.

Texts and Other Aids

Major Secondary Works:

Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French CulturalHistory (New York: Random House Inc., 1985)

Robin W. Winks and Thomas E. Kaiser, Europe from the Olde Regime to the Age of Revlution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004)

Primary Sources and Related Readings:

Denis Diderot, The Nun, translated by Leonard Tancock (New York, Penguin Putnam Inc., 1974)

Race and the Enlightenment: A Reader, edited by Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze (Malden, MA:Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1997)

Jean-Jaques Rousseau, The Social Contract and Discourses (North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 1993)

David Liss, The Coffee Trader: A Novel (New York: Random House, Inc., 2004)

Additional source hand-outs and readings as needed

All of the above readings will be required for the course. They are all, apart from the supplementary materials listed under "Additional source hand-outs,"available at the CU Bookstore, although I do not require that you buy them there.  When necessary I will supplement these readings with short source readings, usually taken from online or paper resources in the public domain; if at all possible I will make these supplements available to you at no cost to yourselves.

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 (84 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 (60 points possible):  To focus our dicussions and your reading I will assign three short writing exercises (Working Papers), each of which will be worth 20 points 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.  Often 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.

c. Reading Quiz (36 points possible): There will be one short-essay reading quiz based on the books addressing our three structuring themes: state and society, crime and communities, and economy.

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

Reaction Papers (450 points): You will have to write three focused essay/reaction papers on the five major non-textbook readings books assigned for the course.  Each paper has a value of 150 points and is to be 5-6 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).  Due dates for the papers 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 150
Total of All Categories 750

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: As noted above, regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  I would also like to note that frequent lateness in coming to class and frequent early departures will also 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 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 quiz and final examination as well as writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Late Formal Writings/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 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.

Late Informal Writings: No late 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 marks on informal writings and I have designed the grading system to allow you a "head start".  Thus, as long as you manage to achieve the necessary points for participation, it will not matter to me how you do so. Although I will obviously keep track of what you do by way of participation.  I would advise you to remain aware of where you stand so that you know whether or not you are achieving what you wish in this important component of the course mark.

Missed Quizzes and Examinations: Make-ups for the reading quiz and 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.  

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 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, 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 plagiarism policy in the current "Student Handbook," as described in sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

1) The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;

2) The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of "W" or "F"; or

3) 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: Cameron University is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible.  The University provides a range of special services for those with disabilities.  If you anticipate a need for any of those services, please contact the Cameron University Disabled Student Services office, located in 314 N. Shepler, 2800 W. Gore Blvd., Lawton, Oklahoma 73505-6377. Phone: (580) 581-2209. 
Website for this office:


Reference Desk: Here are some on-line encyclopedias that will help you answer some of the reading questions when the textbook is not detailed enough. For Encyclopedia Britannica go to the CU Library web-site (for off-campus access please obtain the appropriate password from the CU Library staff).  For the Columbia Encyclopedia (as well as other reference resources go to: http://www.bartleby.com/ .  Finally you can also consult Encarta at: http://encarta.msn.com/ (though not all of it will be available to you unless you are a subscriber, the encyclopedia will be) Please Note: Information on the above two sites is copyright protected.

Schedule of Readings, Weekly Topics, Assignments and Activities

Week 1

(1/10) Introduction and Course Overview

Overview 1: The Precursors to the Enlightenment

(1/12) England, France, and the Dutch Republic in the 17th-Century: Winks and Kaiser, 1-36; Selections from: J.L. Price, Dutch Society, 1588-1713: Study Questions

Week 2

(1/17) Society and Culture in the later 17th century: Winks and Kaiser, 36-55; Selections from: J.L. Price, Dutch Society, 1588-1713: Study Questions

Overview 2: Economy, State, and Society in the 18th Century

(1/19) Economic Change in 18th-century Europe: Winks and Kaiser, 56-68: Study Questions

Week 3

(1/24) Politics in the 18th Century,Winks and Kaiser, 69-97: Study Questions

Overview 3: The Enlightenment: A French Movement?

(1/26) The French Contributions to the Enlightenment: Winks and Kaiser, 98-113: Study Questions

Week 4

(1/31) The Enlightenment elsewhere: Winks and Kaiser, 113-137: Study Questions

(2/2) The Failure of the Old Regime: Winks and Kaiser, 138-166: Study Questions

Week 5

(2/7) The Dutch Republic: Cradle of the First Enlightenment?
Review: Last Questions and Concerns Re: Reading Quiz.

(2/9) Reading Quiz

The Dutch Republic in the Later 17th Century: An Early Enlightenment Society?

Week 6

(2/14) The Coffee Trader, 3-81.

(2/16) The Coffee Trader, 82-159.

Week 7

(2/21) The Coffee Trader, 160-241.

Turn In: Working Paper #1 (to be executed in class, so make sure you have completed your reading)

(2/23) The Coffee Trader, 242-324.

Week 8

(2/28) The Coffee Trader, 325-384.

The Enlightenment in France

(3/2) Peasants and Workers in 18th-Century France, Great Cat Massacre, 9-65, 75-104.

Week 9

(3/7) The Respectable Middle Class in Montpelier, Great Cat Massacre, 107-143.

Turn In: Formal Writing #1.

(3/9) The Intellectuals of Paris, Great Cat Massacre, 145-189.

 Turn In: Working Paper #2

Week 10

No Class This Week, Spring Break. Have a Great Break!!!

Week 11

The Enlightenment Judges Humanity

(3/21) Introducing Natural History, Race and the Enlightenment, 10-28.

(3/23) Hume and Beattie on Whiteness and Africans, Race and the Enlightenment, 29-37.

Week 12

(3/28) Immanuel Kant and Johann Gottfried Herder on the Concept of Race, Race and Enlightenment, 38-78.
Turn In: Formal Writing #2.

(3/30) Views of Race from the Later Enlightenment, Race and Enlightenment, 79-108.

Week 13

(4/4) Inequality 1, Social Contract and Discourses, 49-84.

(4/6) Inequality 2, Social Contract and Discourses, 85-126.
Turn In: Formal Writing #3

The Enlightenment and Politics

Week 14

(4/11) Rousseau on the State and Society 1, Social Contract and Discourses, 181-228.

Turn In: Working Paper #3.

(4/13) Rousseau on the State and Society 2, Social Contract and Discourses, 229-274.

Week 15

(4/18) Rousseau on the State and Society 3, Social Contract and Discourses, 275-309.

The Enlightenment and the Church

(4/20) The Church in France 1, The Nun, 21-98.
Turn In: Formal Writing #4.

Week 16

(4/25) The Church in France 2, The Nun, 99-189.

(4/27) Wrap-Up.

Turn In: Formal Writing #5.

Final Exam Week

(5/3) Final Examination, 8:00-10:00 a.m.

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