2 x 1-hour lectures weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Assignment(s), test(s), tutorial participation, tutorial presentation
Topic description

During the ‘long nineteenth century’ Europe was crisscrossed by wars, convulsed by revolutions and turned upside down by the new industrial world. The royal families of the continent contended with liberal parliaments, while the new politics of socialism and communism threatened them both. Europe’s empires consolidated their grasp on the world, establishing and consolidating colonies across the globe. These colonies in turn changed the way Europeans saw themselves. National and imperial competition saw Europe become a ‘powderkeg’, awaiting a single spark.

This topic looks at Europe during the period in which it moved from the aristocratic Ancien Régime through to the fateful decision in July 1914 to go to war. It will use primary materials from the period and the latest scholarship to explain a period of radical change in Europe and how this change affected the world.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Introduce students to major developments in European history in the period from the Napoleonic wars to World War One
  • Discuss the expectations and requirements of historical practice at university level
  • Acquaint them with key concepts in historical thinking as they relate to modern European history
  • Introduce them to various historical sub-disciplines such as political, social, military and cultural history
  • Introduce them to fundamental skills of research, analysis and presentation which will benefit them both as historians and as university graduates
  • Foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation that encourages students to both learn through collaboration and to become independent and critical thinkers
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of key developments in European history in the period from the Napoleonic wars to World War One
  2. Show a familiarity with basic historical approaches and methods
  3. Reflect on the nature of various historical sub-disciplines
  4. Present their knowledge and thoughts in both written and oral forms to an appropriate scholarly standard