for History 81
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History81 will be organized into three sections. First, we will examine
the social structures of seventeenth-century Europe. The seventeenth
century was a period of economic crisis. How did this change the lives
of the peoples of Europe, rich as well as poor? Second, we will study
basic outlines of politics and national religions in the aftermath of
the Reformation. We will focus our attention on England under Queen
Elizabeth and the early Stuart monarchs, France’s attempts at
creating absolutism under Louis XIII and Louis XIV, the rise of the
Netherlands and the fall of Spain and Italy. We will strive to make
sense of the confusing politics of central Europe and the Habsburgs.
We will also examine the civil and religious wars of the period. Third,
we will investigate cultural changes between 1550 and 1700. We will
consider the importance of popular religion as well as organized religious
programs like the Inquisition and missionary activities to “new
worlds”. This was the era of the great witch hunts, so the class
will discuss witches, as well as magic and alchemy, and how these phenomena
were understood in the seventeenth century. The Scientific Revolution
will be examined from both an astronomical and anatomical perspective
so that we can appreciate the immensity of its discoveries.
This course is Writing Intensive and is designed to help develop your
critical reading, thinking, writing and speaking skills. On discussion
days we will read essays of prominent historians and the class period
will be devoted to examining different historians’ interpretations
of and events. You will do a great deal of writing this semester. There
is a reaction paper due at the beginning of each discussion class. This
is a 1-2 page paper in which you respond to the author of one of the
texts for the week. You are to explain the argument that the author
in making in his or her piece and state whether or not you found the
argument convincing. Students are also required to write two longer
papers. The shorter of the two will be 5 pages in length. The longer
paper is a research paper on a topic of the student’s interest
that has been accepted by the instructor. In class readings may be used
as research for this paper, but additional sources will be necessary.
Students are encouraged to meet with the professor to discuss paper
outlines or rough drafts of papers. The final exam will be composed
of essay and short answers questions. The exam questions require students
to synthesize the class discussions and the readings.
Reaction Papers 20%
Long Paper 40%
Short Paper 20%
Final Exam 20%
Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.
R. J. Knect, Richelieu. New York, NY: Routledge, 1991.
UNIT I SOCIETY AND CULTURE IN THE 17TH CENTURY
Week One Introduction
9/3 Introduction and Geography
9/5 Lecture: Social Hierarchies and Estates
Week Two Economic Challenges
9/10 The Seventeenth-Century Crisis and Its Effects
9/12 Social Hierarchies and Estates
Readings Robert Darnton, "The Great Cat Massacre" in The Great
Cat Massacre and other Episodes in French Cultural History. NY: Basic
Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1983.
Week Three Religious Challenges
9/17 The Protestant Reformation
9/19 DISCUSSION - Reaction paper due at the beginning of class
Readings Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.
Lyndal Roper, "Blood and Codpieces: masculinity in the early modern
German town" in Oedipus and the Devil. NY: Routledge, 1994., 107-124.
UNIT II THE POLITICAL WORLD OF THE 17TH CENTURY
Week Four Southern Europe
9/24 Spain: the Most Catholic Kings
9/26 IN-CLASS EDITING SESSION
SHORT PAPER DUE AT BEGINNING OF CLASS
Readings J.H. Elliot, “Self-Perception and Decline in Early Seventeenth-Century
Spain” Past and Present, 74 (February 1977), 41-61.
J.I. Israel, “The Decline of Spain, a Historical Myth?”
Past and Present 91 (May 1981) 170-180.
Gretchen Starr-Lebeau, "Mari Sanchez and Ines Gonzalez: Conflict
and Cooperation among Crypto-Jews," in Women in the Inquisition,
ed. Mary Giles. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999,
Week Five Southern Europe
10/1 Italy in an Age of Decline?
REVISED SHORT PAPER DUE AT BEGINNING OF CLASS
10/3 DISCUSSION - Reaction paper due at the beginning of class
Week Six The Age of Absolutism?
10/8 France and the Wars of Religion
10/10 Louis XIII and Richelieu
Readings R. J. Knect, Richelieu. New York, NY: Routledge, 1991.
Week Seven The Age of Absolutism?
10/15 Louis XIV and Absolutism at Versailles
10/17 DISCUSSION - Reaction paper due at the beginning of class
Readings Sharon Kettering, "Brokerage at the Court of Louis XIV,"
The Historical Journal, 36/1 (1993), 69-87.
Jeffrey Merrick, "The Cardinal and the Queen" French Historical
Studies 18/3 (1994): 667-699.
Dorothy R. Thelander, "Mother Goose and Her Goslings: The France
of Louis XIV as Seen through the Fairy Tale," The Journal of Modern
History 54/3 (1982): 467-496.
Week Eight England and the Challenge to Absolutism
10/22 The Tudors
10/24 The Stuarts
Readings Thomas Cogswell, "The Politics of Propaganda: Charles
I and the People in the 1620s," Journal of British Studies 29/3
Ann Hughes, "The King, the Parliament, and the Localities during
the English Civil War," Journal of British Studies 24/2 (1985):
Steve Pincus, "Coffee Politicians Does Create: Coffeehouses and
Restoration Political Culture," The Journal of Modern History 67/4
Week Nine The Netherlands and the Challenge to Absolutism
10/29 The Netherlands
10/31 DISCUSSION - Reaction paper due at the beginning of class
Readings Herbert H. Rowen, "The Dutch Revolt: What Kind of Revolution?"
Renaissance Quarterly 43/3 (1990): 570-590.
Jonathan Israel, "Dutch Influence on Urban Planning, Health Care
and Poor Relief," in Health Care and Poor Relief in Protestant
Europe, 1500-1700, eds. Ole Peter Grell and Andrew Cunningham. NY: Routledge,
Week Ten The Holy Roman Empire and the Challenge to Absolutism
11/5 The Holy Roman Empire and the Thirty Years War
11/7 A Look toward Eastern Europe
Readings William Hagen, "Seventeenth-Century Crisis in Brandenberg:
The Thirty Year's War, The Destabilization of Serfdom, and the Rise
of Absolutism." The American Historical Review, 94/2 (1989): 302-335.
Theodore Rabb, "The Effects of the Thirty Years' War on the German
Economy," The Journal of Modern History 34/1 (1962): 40-51.
Merry Wiesner, "Paternalism in Practice: the Control oc Servatns
and Prostitutes in Early Modern German Cities," in Gender, Church
and State in Early Modern Germany. NY: Longman, 1998: 94-113.
UNIT III CULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS
Week Eleven Cultural Challenge: the Witch Hunts
11/12 Witch Hunting in Europe
11/14 DISCUSSION - Reaction paper due at the beginning of class
Readings Edmund Kern, "Confessional Identity and Magic in the Late
Sixteenth Century: Jakob Bithner and Witchcraft in Styria," Sixteenth
Century Journal 15/2 (1994): 323-340.
Anita M. Walker and Edmund H. Dickerman, "A Woman under the Influence:
a Case of Alleged Possession in Sixteenth-Century France," Sixteenth
Century Journal 13/3 (1991): 533-554
Week Twelve Cultural Challenge: the Scientific Revolution
11/19 The Scientific Revolution
11/21 Popular Piety and Local Religion
Readings Harold Cook, "Good Advice and Little Medicine: The Professional
Authority of Early Modern English Physicians," Journal of British
Studies 33 (1994): 1-31.
Thomas Kuhn, "Mathematical vs. Experimental Traditions in the Development
of Physical Science," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 7/1
Week Thirteen Final Paper Preparation
11/26 IN-CLASS EDITING SESSION
LONG PAPER DUE AT BEGINNING OF CLASS
11/28 NO CLASS - THANKSGIVING
Week Fourteen STUDENT PRESENTATIONS
12/3 Student Presentations
12/5 Student Presentations
REVISED LONG PAPER DUE AT BEGINNING OF CLASSFinal exams are due before
noon on Thursday 12 December to the History Department on the top floor
of Hoxie Hall.