Faith, Power and Revolution: Europe and the Wider World, c.1500-c.1800
This information is for the 2022/23 session.
Dr Ronald Po SAR 2.18
This course is available on the BA in History, BA in Social Anthropology, BSc in History and Politics, BSc in International Relations and History, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations and BSc in Social Anthropology. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.
This course provides an introduction to the international history of the early modern period by examining the complex political, religious, military and economic relationships between Europe and the wider world. The period between 1500 and 1800 enables the course to introduce students to a crucial period in international history. In political terms, it covers the rise of major dynastic states, with increasingly centralised institutions and concepts such as absolutism to promote the authority of the monarch, as well as the challenges to that authority and growing interest in political and social reform, culminating in the revolutions examined at the end of the course. Internationally, the period witnessed the gradual consolidation of leading European powers, as reflected in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), with formerly peripheral states emerging to challenge their position by the early eighteenth century. At the same time, the rise of major Islamic empires in Eurasia and the growing contact between Europe and the wider world provide students with important points of comparison between European and non-European states. The intellectual, religious and cultural developments of this period provide an important context for these major political events. The course will discuss the influence of key movements, such as the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, which re-ignited an interest in the Classical past and fostered a culture of rational enquiry into the natural world. Yet religion remained a vital component in the world-view of contemporaries, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish. This world-view was subject to challenges throughout the period, as during the Reformation, and often sought to impose its own orthodoxy, whether through religiously-motivated conflicts or the persecution / conversion of certain groups. The course seeks to familiarise students with some of the most important issues and current debates on these aspects of this period. While its scope is necessarily broad in nature, the course will help students to deal with the dynamics of continuity and change over a long period of time.
10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.
There will be a reading week in week 6 of the Michaelmas and the Lent terms.
One essay in the Michaelmas Term, two essays in the Lent Term. There may also be a mock exam.
Beat Kümin (ed.), The Early Modern World, 3rd Edition (2018) D208 E81
Charles Parker, Global Interactions in the Early Modern Age, 1400–1800 (2010) HN13 P23
Euan Cameron (ed.), Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History (2001) D228 E11
Chris Cook and Philip Broadhead, The Routledge Companion to Early Modern Europe, 1453-1763 (2006) D208 C77
Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500-2000 (1989) D217 K31
Richard Bonney, The European Dynastic States, 1494-1660 (1991) D228 B71
William Doyle, The Old Order in Europe, 1660-1800 (1992) D273.A3 D75
John F. Richards, The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World (2005) GF13 R51
Merry E. Weisner, Christianity and Sexuality in the Early Modern World: Regulating Desire, Reforming Practice, 2nd edition (2010) BT708 W65
Marshall Hodgson, Rethinking World History: Essays on Europe, Islam and World History (1993) D21.3 H69
Stephen F. Dale, The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals (2010) DS292 D13
Jack Goldstone (ed.), Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (1991) D210 G62
K. N. Chaudhuri, Asia before Europe: Economy and Civilisation of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (1990) DS339 C49
Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Department: International History
Total students 2021/22: 26
Average class size 2021/22: 9
Capped 2021/22: No
Value: One Unit
Course selection videos
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Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Specialist skills