HIST 2204A: Early Modern Europe, 1350–1650
Fall 2022

Instructor: Jason Dyck

Introduction: This course follows some of the major social, political, and cultural developments in continental Europe between 1350 and 1650. It covers the Renaissance, the Reformation, the emergence of the nation-state, the Scientific Revolution, the printing press, the rise of capitalism, and the making of the Atlantic world. Instead of seeing the early modern period as a major break with the medieval past, this course emphasizes continuities as much as it highlights important changes. And rather than focusing only on the deeds of kings, queens, nobles, bishops, popes, and intellectuals, weekly topics include material on the daily lives and struggles of peasants, slaves, tradespeople, and minorities. Overall, this course seeks to understand how Europe – somewhat of a backwater on the global stage during the Middle Ages – emerged from the crises of the fourteenth century to become a powerful force in world history.

Class Format: This course will be delivered asynchronously online through Carleton’s learning management system. Each week students will be assigned readings to guide them through course content and to prepare them to participate in weekly forums. Course content will be delivered through video lectures by the instructor and a few other virtual exercises.

Aims and Goals: This course offers students the opportunity to learn about some of the most important people and events in the history of early modern Europe and how they have been traditionally interpreted. Through their engagement with course material, students will also be able to learn about research skills that are fundamental to the craft of history and a wide range of different professions (citation, searching, writing, and critical reading skills). This course is designed to help students develop their ability to tell intriguing stories about the past based upon meticulous research and sound reasoning.

Text: Readings for this course will consist of primary and secondary sources made available through the MacOdrum Library (whether as pdf files or as e-books and e-journals).

Questions? Please email me at: jason.dyck@carleton.ca