1600-1750: The Age of Enlightenment - HI433

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
(version 2)
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4 15 (7.5) DR J Loop







This module will provide a survey of the major events, themes and historiographical debates in early modern history from the religious wars of the first half of the seventeenth century to the dawn of modernity in the second half of the eighteenth century. This period in European history witnessed the development of a system of nation states in Europe, the rise of Absolutism, the development of new European powers in Eastern and Central Europe, an expansion of European influence in the Americas and Asia (leading to a greater commercialisation of European society), as well as the fundamental shifts in European intellectual culture associated with the Scientific Revolution, overseas expansion and the Enlightenment. As with the complementary module on earlier European history (c.1450-1600) the lectures and seminars will be arranged around six key areas: 1) religion 2) intellectual and scholarly life 3) economy 4) society 5) politics and war and 6) culture. These themes will be approached through the examination of national histories, specific events, and historiographical controversies.


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Method of assessment

The module will be examined by coursework (50%) and a two-hour written exam in the Summer term (50%). Students will write and submit two 1,500-word essays (40% each of the coursework component of the module), and will be assessed on their contribution to the seminars (20% of total for coursework). A two-hour, unseen examination will be held in the summer term.

Indicative reading

J.H. Elliot, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830 (2006)
Steven G. Ellis, The Making of the British Isles: the State of Britain and Ireland 1450-1660 (2007)
Ralph Houlbrooke, Britain and Europe 1500-1780 (2011)
Merry E. Weisener-Hanks, Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789 (2006)
M.S. Anderson, War and Society in Europe of the Old Regime 1618-1789 (1988)
Beat Kümin, ed., The European World 1500-1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History, (2009)
Euan Cameron, ed., Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History, (1999)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

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