HIST201: History of Europe, 1000 to 1800

Course Syllabus for "HIST201: History of Europe, 1000 to 1800"

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****This course will introduce you to the history of Europe from the medieval period to the Age of Revolutions in the eighteenth century.  You will learn about the major political, economic, and social changes that took place in Europe during this 800-year period.  The course will be structured chronologically.  Each unit will include representative primary-source documents that illustrate important overarching political, economic, and social themes, such as the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, European expansion overseas, and the French Revolution.  By the end of the course, you will understand how Europe had transformed from a fragmented and volatile network of medieval polities into a series of independent nation-states by 1800.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Think critically and analytically about European history in the medieval and early modern eras.
  • Identify and describe the religious, intellectual, social, and political components of the European Middle Ages.
  • Identify the origins and characteristics of the Italian and Northern European Renaissance, as well as describe new developments in art, philosophy, religion, architecture, and science during the era of “rebirth.”
  • Identify and describe the causes and effects of the European Age of Discovery.  Students will also be able to analyze the impact of overseas expansion on European monarchies, the world economy, and indigenous peoples.
  • Describe and analyze the Protestant Reformation.  Students will be able to identify the origins of the movement, the various inflections of the Reformation across Europe, and the Catholic Counter Reformation.
  • Identify the era of religious warfare that plagued Europe after the Protestant Reformation.  Students will analyze causes and effects of the religious conflicts that erupted in France, England, the Netherlands, and the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Identify and explain why and how “absolute” monarchs gained power in western Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Students will also be able to identify and describe why two nations—England and the Netherlands—embraced constitutionalism rather than absolutism.
  • Assess how and why absolutism characterized the monarchies of Prussia and Austria in the 1600s.  Students will also be able to identify and describe the development of Russia and the reign of Peter the Great.
  • Identify the origins and characteristics of the Scientific Revolution, as well as describe its impact on European civilization as a whole.
  • Identify the origins of the European Enlightenment and assess how this movement altered the social, political, and religious fabric of Europe.
  • Identify and describe the social and economic changes that swept across Europe during the eighteenth century.  Students will be able to assess the origin and impact of the “agricultural revolution,” the marked increase in Europe’s population, the development of “cottage industries,” the rise of the Atlantic economy, and the changes in domestic and religious practices.
  • Identify and describe the origins and impact of the French Revolution.  Students will also be able to analyze the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Analyze and interpret primary source documents from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century, using historical research methods.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer

√    Have continuous broadband internet access

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash) and software

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft Office files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.)

√    Have competency in the English language

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Course Information

Welcome to HIST201.  Below, please find some general information on the course and its requirements.

Course Designer: Christa Dierksheide

Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different, free online resources.  However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:

            - University of Calgary: The Applied History Research Group’s The European Voyages of Exploration
            - Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval History

This course contains articles by a variety of authors as part of The Gilder Lehrman Institute’s History Now.  Editor of the online publication, Carol Berkin, is Presidential Distinguished Professor of History at Baruch College (CUNY).  Applied History Research Group provides several tutorials on European history and exploration.  Note that Dr. Kreis’s online text was developed by Dr. Steven Kreis as an open educational resource for use in undergraduate history courses.  Dr. Steven Kreis teaches history at American Public University.

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials.  After working through each unit of the course, students must take the Final Exam.  Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam.  However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through the materials for each unit.

In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam.  Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment:This course will take you about 90.25 hours to complete.  Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit.  These should help you plan your time accordingly.  It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself.  For example, Unit 1 should take you 9 hours.  Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 3 hours) over the course of Monday through Wednesday; subunit 1.2 onThursday; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: Pay careful attention to major names and events in each reading and/or lecture.  Taking detailed notes as you work through the materials in each unit and remembering these terms will help you prepare for the Final Exam.

Table of Contents: You can find the course's units at the links below.