War and Society in Europe c 1779-1990 - HI428

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
4 30 (15) DR M Draper







This module will offer a comparative study of wars in Europe from the French Revolutionary Wars to the Cold War. The module will adopt the 'war and society' approach to this topic and so will focus on the social composition and combat effectiveness of the armies concerned, as well as the causes of the wars, civil-military relations and the various peace treaties. There will also be discussion of these wars at the strategic and operational level. This module will consider the French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleonic Wars, Crimean War, Wars of Italian and German Unification (including the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars), Balkan Wars, First World War, Spanish Civil War, Second World War and Cold War. Students will thus gain an overview of the wars which shaped modern Europe and will also gain some insights into political and economic change in this period.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

This module will be taught through one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week, with the exception of Enhancement Weeks and one week per term that will be dedicated to coursework feedback.

Method of assessment

This module is assessed by:

- Essay 1 (2500 words) - 15%
- Essay 2 (2500 words) - 15%
- Presentation - Autumn Term (15-minutes) - 3%
- Presentation - Spring Term (15-minutes) - 3%
- Seminar Participation - Autumn Term - 2%
- Seminar Participation - Spring Term - 2%
- Examination (2 hours) - 60%

Indicative reading

Geoffrey Best, War and Society in Europe, 1770-1870
Timothy Blanning, The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802
Jeremy Black (ed.), European Warfare 1815-2000
Brian Bond, War and Society in Europe, 1870-1970
Roger Chickering (ed.), The Cambridge History of War Volume IV: War and the Modern World
Charles Esdaile, The Wars of Napoleon
John Gooch, Armies in Europe
Geoffrey Wawro, Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792-1914

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes of this module are that, on completion of this module, students will be able to:

- To introduce students to the historiography and history of Europe at war, c. 1770-1990.
- To encourage students to develop their critical and analytical skills, through a comparison of a wide range of armed forces, political systems and operational theatres.
- To introduce students to the history and historiography of various wars in a comparative framework.
- To develop a critical understanding of different historical approaches and degrees of bias as well as of the methodological complexities in the historical record itself.

The intended generic learning outcomes of this module are that, on completion of this module, students will be able to:

- To further develop analytical and reflective skills and the ability to express complex ideas and arguments orally and in writing, skills which can be transferred to other areas of study and employment.
- To further develop communication, presentation and information technology skills.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.