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European History



For centuries Europe dominated world commerce, industry, science, and politics. Its history comprises social upheaval, wars, revolutions, and cultural achievements that contributed immensely to human development on a global scale. For better or worse, we still live in the world that modern Europe created. This course examines the theme of modernity through a survey of European history since the Atlantic Revolutions that began in the late 18th century. Why were dynastic monarchies replaced by democratic nation-states? How did mostly agrarian economies change under the impact of industrialization and urbanization? What distinguished modern imperialism from earlier eras of colonization? What caused the first and second world wars, which toppled European empires? And how did the experiences of fascism and communism transform politics, culture, and society over the long 20th century? These are the major questions that will occupy us as we study the making of European modernity.

Learning goals:

Goal 1: Acquire a historical understanding of Europe’s diversity in terms of politics, culture, and social order within the framework of a common modernization process during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Goal 2: Form educated opinions and conduct serious discussion about various aspects of European political, cultural, and social history.
Goal 3: Recognize the historical roots of contemporary problems in European politics, and acknowledge the importance of historical perspective in political scientific research.


Relevant reading material for this course will be distributed through Brightspace


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