Aspects of European History (1780-1939)

By Prof. Subhas Ranjan Chakrobarty   |   St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata
Learners enrolled: 1886
This course seeks to locate the fundamental transformation of European society and politics during the period under review. We begin with revolutionary Europe when the ancien regime gave way to a society of property owners; politics was divided over a wide spectrum into conservatism, liberalism, radicalism, democracy, socialism, Communism and Fascism. 
The great events of ‘the long nineteenth century’ - French Revolution, Napoleonic wars and reorganization, the return of conservatism in 1815, the Reform Bill of 1832, the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 - are sought to be integrated and presented with a narrative cohesion. Revolution is a theme that runs through politics for the entire period though their ideological ramifications might have changed.
Nationalism emerged as an important force in the 19th century. It was both unifying and divisive. By the end of the First World War European state system had undergone a transformation. 
The century ended in the conflagration of the First World War. Nationalism, capitalism, imperialism and different kind of revolutionary movements-- all played a role. Hobsbawm’s ‘age of catastrophe’ (1914-1945) experienced an elusive quest for peace and rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany. This resulted in a more devastating war. The course pans the whole period and, we hope, would convey an understanding of the coming of the contemporary world.
Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 05 Jul 2021
End Date : 28 Aug 2021
Exam Date :
Enrollment Ends : 15 Aug 2021
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate

Course layout

Week 1: Lesson
Module 01: Crisis of the “Ancient Regime” in France
Module 02: Coming of the French Revolution
Module 03: The Constitution of 1791
Module 04: Rise and Fall of the Jacobin Republic
Module 05: Revolution and Gender, Revolutionary Culture

Week 2: Lesson
Module  06:The Directory and Coup d’etat Of 18th Brumaire
Module  07: Napoleon as ruler: Internal Reorganization
Module  08: Napoleon and Europe: ‘Revolution on Horseback’
Module  09: Napoleon: The Road to Decline

Week 3: Lesson
Module 10: Europe after Napoleon: Forces of continuity and change
Module 11: Restoration and Revolution in France: 1815 – 1848
Module 12: 1848: The Year of Revolutions
Module 13: Revolution of 1848: Germany

Week 4: Lesson
Module 14: The Unification of Italy: The Risorgimento
Module 15: The Unification of Italy: Making of a Unified Italy 
Module 16: Establishment of the Second Reich in Germany
Module 17: Germany: Road to Unification

Week 5: Lesson 
Module 18: Industrial revolution and emergence of Industrial Societies in Europe
Module 19: Socialism in Europe
Module 20: German Foreign Policy: Bismarckian diplomacy and the system of alliance 
Module 21: German Foreign Policy: Changes under Wilhelm II 

Week 6: Lesson 
Module 22: The Eastern Question: The problem and its background
Module 23: Emergence of Balkan Nationalism: 1851-1878 and 1878-1914
Module 24: Russian Revolution: Making of the Russian Revolution of 1917
Module 25: Theories of imperialism and The Age of Empire

Week 7: Lesson 
Module 26: World War I - The Origins
Module 27: Rise of Fascism
Module 28: Fascism in Italy
Module 29: The Rise of Nazism in Germany

Week 8: Lesson 
Module 30: World Economic Depression
Module 31: The Slide to War: 1930s
Module 32: Hitler, Nazism and The second World War
Module 33: Origins of the Second World War

Books and references

E.J. Hobsbawn: The Age of Revolution. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1962.
Lynn Hunt: Politics, Culture and Class in the French Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.
Andrew Porter, European Imperialism, 18760 -1914 (1994).
E.J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes, 1914 - 1991, New York: Vintage, 1996.
Doyle, William; 'The Oxford History of the French Revolution'; Oxford, 1989.
Lefebvre, Georges; 'The Coming of the French Revolution'; Princeton, 1947.
Soboul, A; 'The French Revolution (1787-99)'-2 vols; London, 1974.
Furet, F; 'The French Revolution, 1779-1814'; Oxford, 1996.
Bergeron, Louis; 'France under Napoleon'; Princeton, 1990.
Gildea, Robert; 'Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800- 1914'; Oxford, 1987. 
Droz, Jacques; 'Europe between Revolutions, 1815-48'; London, 1981.
Sperber, Jonathan; 'The European Revolutions: 1848-51'; Cambridge, 1994.
Woodward, E.L.; 'The Age of Reform 1815-1870'; Oxford University Press.
Field, Daniel; ‘The End of Serfdom: Nobility & Bureaucracy in Russia 1855-1861’; Harvard University Press.
Granada, Fitzpatrick S.; ‘The Russian Revolution’; Oxford University Press.
Deane, P.M.; ‘The First Industrial Revolution’; Cambridge University press.
Kennedy, Paul; ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Power’; London,1988.
Bosworth, R.J.B.; ‘Mussolini’; Arnold, London.
Pollard, J.F.; ‘The Fascist Experience in Italy’; Routledge.
Taylor, A.J.P.; ‘The Origins of the Second World War’; Penguin Books Ltd, London, 1991.
Evans, E.J.; ‘The Coming of the Third Reich’; Allen Lane, London, 2003.
Parhta Sarathi Gupta: Europe ka itihas
Devsh Vijay and Meena Bharadwaj: Adhunik Europe  ka ithas
Aniruddh Deshpande: Viswa ke badalte aayam ( Translation of Eric Hobsbawm's The Age of Extremes

Instructor bio

Prof. Subhas Ranjan Chakrobarty retired from Presidency College, Kolkata. Author of a bestseller primer on European history, Prof. Chakraborty has taught European history, including the history of the French Revolution and Napoleon, for several decades. He has published on aspects of European history, on the history of Darjeeling and on social and cultural histories of sports and migration. His recent publications include papers on Voyage of Komagata Maru, the Derozians, and the Tudor State. A former President of the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, a research collective and a Vice-president of the Asiatic Society, Kolkata.

Course certificate

30% for in Course Assessment & 70% of end-term Proctored Exam.

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