Understanding Historical Change: Modern Europe (EP)
Modern European history—including Europe’s encounters with non-Europeans—has profoundly shaped our lives in the Western World. In this course, we will explore the social, political, economic, and cultural forces in the European continent since the time of the French Revolution that contributed to the making of the modern West. This is not a course about kings, wars, dates, and treaties. Rather, we will focus on broad historical phenomena, particularly with an eye to the daily struggles of common people. In this regard, we will be interested in broad social movements, the evolution of critical ideas, the influence of culture, and the changing role of technology in Europe in the recent past. The course itself is roughly chronological, but we will forgo detailed accounts of events in favor of broader historical phenomena through the last four hundred years of European history. These phenomena include the history of ideas, changes in the nature of work, European colonialism, science and technology, war in the 20th century, and popular culture.