History 106.001 : Western Civilization II
(European History since 1648)


1. Lecture Topics

2. Readings and Assignments

3. Course information and requirements

Weekly Lecture topics and assigned readings

  Unit 1 : August 26 - 28 "What is "Western Civilization?
Introduction to modern European History

  Unit 2 : Sept. 2 - 4 "The Old Regime:
Traditional European Society

  Unit 3 : Sept. 9 - 11 "Religion and Power in the 17th Century:
Empires, Monarchies, Republics

  Unit 4 : Sept. 16 - 18 "The Enlightenment :
The Individual and Society

  Unit 5 : Sept. 25, 30; Oct. 2 "Liberty, Democracy and Violence:
The French Revolution

  Unit 6 : Oct. 7 - 9 "Industrialization and its Consequences"

  Unit 7 : Oct 14 - 16 "19th-Century Politics:
Order, Liberty and Labor

  Unit 8 : Oct 21 - 23 "State and Nation :
Popular Revolution and Unification

  Unit 9 : Oct 28, Nov 4 - 6 "'Civilization' and 'Barbarism':
Mass Democracy and Imperialism

  Unit 10 : Nov 13, 18

"The 'Great War':
Democracy and Revolution

  Unit 11 : Nov 18 - 20, 25

"Challenges to Democracy :
Fascism, Nazism and World War II

  Unit 12 : Dec. 2 - 4 "Conflicting Tendencies in Post-War Europe"

Course overview

Course format and requirements

The course consists of four parts:

  1. twice-weekly class meetings, which will combine lectures by the instructor with as much open discussion as is possible (given the constraints of time and the size of the class.) Note that all lecture outlines, visuals and handouts used in the class lectures are available to you at any time on the course website. A packet of lecture notes is available for purchase at the UNLV Bookstore.

  2. weekly assigned readgins of textbook chapters, primary documents, and multi-media, interactive maps. For each unit, students will read on average 50 pages from the textbook and between ten and 40 pages of documents. The textbook for this course, Perry et al. Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics and Society (7th edition), and and the document reader, Perry et al. eds, Sources of the Westenr Tradition, vol 2, (5th edition), are available as a single package (including the Geoquest cd-rom of interactive maps) from the UNLV bookstore. Some of the primary source readings, in shorter form, are available on-line (at no cost!), via the links in the syllabus.

  3. class discussions, based on the readings and lectures. These discussions will continue questions raised in class, and time will be set aside in each class meeting for discussion; yet, student should plan on spending at least 30 minutes out of class per week participating in the on-line discussion on WebCT. Instructions for how to use WebCt and how to prepare for the discussion are available on separate handouts. Students should log onto WebCt, to participate in the discussion and consult the course calendar, at least twice per week. The student's class attendence, participation, and performance in the on-line exercises and discussions will account for 25% of the semester grade.

  4. The other course requirements will be three short (3-page) papers based on primary documents - two during the course of the term and one at the end of the term. Paper topics will be posted two weeks prior to the due date for each paper, and for each paper, students will have a choice of topic on which to write. The paper topics will be based on course readings and will require no additional research. Each paper will account for 25% of the semester grade. To get a better idea of what is expected in these papers, you should consult the handouts on "How to Write a History Paper" and the "Score Sheet" that will be used to grade your papers. Late papers will be graded down one-half letter grade for each class meeting they are late. Extensions to deadlines will be granted only in the case of a personal or medical emergency; students facing such an emergency and seeking an extension should notify the instructor immediately.

During the course of the term, students are expected to come to class having done the assigned readings; in class, students will be encouraged to answer questions posed by the instructor and/or to offer any comments or questions concerning the course material at any time. During the course of the term, students are encouraged to post any comments or questions concerning the course material to the class discussion -- in the "Main" area (which is distributed to the entire class). Students are also encouraged to send WebCT email to the instructor directly with any questions or comments that they do not wish to share with the entire class.

If you have to miss a class, please inform the instructor ahead of the class meeting; in case of an emergency absence, please inform the instructor as soon as possible. This is not only courteous; it will ensure that you are kept up to date on any course announcements. In case of an absence, once you have notified me, you should 1) do all the assigned reading for that week 2) consult the on-line lecture notes and class handouts for that class session 3) obtain notes or any announcements from a classmate who was in attendance 4) feel free to come to office hours or contact me with any questions on the course material.


Weekly Schedule of Readings and Assignments


Lecture One : "What is "Western Civilization"? Introduction to modern European History"

  1. Textbook: "Geography of Europe," xix - xxxi
  2. Geoquest, "The Holy Roman Empire"; "Europe in 1648"

Lecture Two: "The Old Regime: Traditional European Society"

  1. Documents : a. Swearing Fealty: b. Feudal Contract: c. Feudal Justice
  2. Geoquest, "Medieval Trade Routes" "The Path of the Black Death"
Lecture Three: "Religion and Power in the 17th Century: Empires, Monarchies, Republics"
  1. Textbook: "The Rise of Sovereignty: Transition to the Modern State," pp. 377 - 407
  2. Documents on English constitutionalism: a. James I on Divine Right of Monarchs; b. Parliament's "Petition of Right" (1628) ; c. Hobbes' Leviathon ; d. English Bill of Rights ; e. John Locke, 2nd Treatise on Civil Government (Ch. IX) ; Document reader, 20 - 30; 56 - 57.
  3. Documents on French Absolutism : a. Bossuet's defense of absolutism ; b. Colbert's ideas on mercantilism ; c. daily routine of the Sun King at court
  4. Geoquest, "The Protestant and Catholic Reformations"

Lecture Four: "The Enlightenment : The Individual and Society"

  1. Textbook: Chapters: "The Scientific Revolution"; "The Age of Enlightenment," pp. 408 - 458
  2. Enlightenment documents: a. Kant, "What is Enlightenment?"; b. Condorcet, "Progress of the Human Mind," c. Voltaire on "Toleration"; d. Beccarria, Crimes and Punishments ; e. Catherine II's legal reforms in Russia ; f. Rousseau on the "Social Contract"; document reader, 54 - 59; 93 - 96.
  3. Constitution documents: a. Documents on the U. S. Constitution: (Constitution and Bill of Rights).
  4. Geoquest, "Europe in 1715.".

Lecture Five: "Liberty, Democracy and Violence: The French Revolution"

  1. Textbook: "The French Revolution"; "Napoleon," pp. 460 - 506
  2. Documents: a. What is the Third Estate ; b. Abolition of the Feudal System ; c. Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen ; d. Declaration of Rights of Woman (Gouges); e. Edmund Burke on the flaws of the French Revolution ; f. Robespierre on the Terror . g. Stael, "On the Political Doctrine of Napoleon," h. Napoleon's dispatch from Egypt. Document reader, 100- 126, 150 - 151.
  3. Geoquest, "Napoleonic Europe in 1810," "Europe in 1815."

Essay #1 due Tuesday October 7

Lecture Six: "Industrialization and its Consequences"

  1. Textbook: "The Industrial Revolution," "The Industrial West," pp. 507 - 528; 637 - 652
  2. Documents: a. Adam Smith on Division of Labor ; b. Malthus on Population (ch. 1) ; b.Ure's Philosophy of Manufactures ; c. Hammond on child labor in mills; d. Testimony of workers before Sadler Commission; e. Women workers in textile mills; f. Engels on factory towns; g. Chartist petition. Document reader, 129 - 145.
  3. Geoquest, "European Industrialization."

Lecture Seven: "19th-Century Politics: Order, Liberty and Labor"

  1. Textbook : "Thought and Culture in the early 19th Century;" "Europe, 1815 - 1848," pp. 529 - 568
  2. Documents: a. The "Holy Alliance" of conservative powers ; b. Metternich on censorship of the press ; c. Metternich's Carlsbad decrees; d. De Maistre's opposition to liberal constitutions ; e. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty ("tyranny of the majority"); f. Emmeline Pankhurst, militant feminism; g. Mazzini on "duties to country" ; h. Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto. Document reader, 151 - 164; 183 - 189; 199 - 227.
  3. Geoquest, "Europe's Age of Revolution."

Lecture Eight: "State and Nation : Popular Revolution and Unification"

  1. Textbook: "Thougth and Culture in the Mid-Nineteenth Century;" "The Surge of Nationalism," pp. 569 - 580; 611 - 636
  2. Documents on 1848: a. Frankfurt constitution; b. Marx on "The Defeat of June" (read part I), c. Louis Blanc, on the right to work; document reader, 164 - 170.
  3. Documents on national unification: a. Mazzini on progress through nationalism; b. Proclamation of the German Empire.
  4. Geoquest, "The Unification of Italy," "The Unification of Germany."

Lecture Nine: "'Civilization' and 'Barbarism': Mass Democracy and Imperialism"

  1. Textbook : "Western Imperialism," pp. 582 - 610, 652 - 694
  2. Documents: on Imperialism: a.Hobson on the economic origins of imperialism; b Kipling, "White Man's Burden." c. Chamberlain on imperialism. d. Morel, "The Black Man's Burden" e. Darwin on the struggle for existence; document reader, 242 - 258.
  3. Documents on Mass Democracy: a. Sidney Webb on the democratic idea of socialism; b. Zola's "accusations" against France for its mistreatment of Dreyfus ; d. The movement for women's suffrage ; e. Bernstein on evolutionary socialism ; f. The anthem of the International. Document reader, 190 -194, 229 -238, 278 - 290.
  4. Geoquest, "Overseas Explorations, Conquests and Trade," "The Balkans in 1878 and 1914."

Second Essay, due Thursday, November 13

Lecture Ten: "The 'Great War': Democracy and Revolution"

  1. Textbook: "Modern Conciousness," "World War I," pp. 695 - 764
  2. Documents on The Great War: a. Wilson's "Fourteen Points" b. war poems by Wilfred Owen and Sigfried Sassoon; c. Treaty of Versailles. Document reader, 293 -320; 327 - 329.
  3. Documents on The Russian Revolution: Lenin's "call to power" (October 1917). Document reader, 322 - 326.
  4. Geoquest, "World War I."

Lecture Eleven: "Challenges to Democracy : Fascism, Nazism and World War II"

  1. Chapters: "Totallitarianism," "Thought and Culture in the Era of the World Wars," "World War II," pp. 765 - 865
  2. Documents: a. Mussolini on fascism.; b. Hitler calls for war (1939); c. Roosevelt wages war for "four freedoms"; e. Wannsee protocol on "final solution" f. A Nazi shooting during the Holocaust. Document reader, 357 - 369, 389 - 435.
  3. Geoquest, "World War II in Europe."

Lecture Twelve: "Conflicting Tendencies in Post-War Europe"

  1. Chapters: "Europe after World War II," "The Troubled Present," pp. 835 - 912.
  2. Documents: a. Churchill's "iron curtain" speech; b.The Marshall Plan; c. UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948); d. The Brezhnev doctrine (1968). Document reader, 453 - 477, 505 - 525.
  3. Geoquest, "Cold War Europe," "Contemporary Europe."

Final essay due Wednesday, December 10 (at noon!)