(42.326.01) Spring 2003
Hickey Old Science Hall Office 130
Navigation links for this syllabus
course description graded assignments required texts
participation précis papers biographical essay term paper
weekly schedule of assignments
This course is an introductory seminar on nineteenth century European history. Historians often refer to the "long nineteenth century," denoting a relatively coherent period of political, social, and economic development from the onset of the French Revolution (in 1789) to the onset of the "Great War" (in 1914).
We will begin the course with a brief overview of the French Revolution. The course then follows two paths simultaneously: one path traces the contours of political, economic, social, and cultural history as it unfolded on the entire European continent in three chronological sub-periods (1800-1850; 1850-1880; 1880-1914); the other leads deep into the study of state power, political cultures and social life in France and in Germany.
The course might also be seen as an introduction to several different forms of historical inquiry and writing. We begin with political history that places the greatest emphasis on political conflict and state power at its highest reaches. We then broaden our focus to look at history, politics, and the state from other perspectives--in particular, through the study of "plebian" language and culture and that of "deviance" and punishment.
The course is organized as a reading seminar. You have common assigned readings for each week, which generally range between 100 and 200 pages. At each meeting we will discuss what we have read in common for that week. In addition, during the semester each student will read and report on three articles from scholarly historical journals (one on each of the course sub-periods).
Each student also will conduct independent readings towards completion of a term paper, which shall require reading secondary and/or primary sources (beyond the course readings).
Your course grade is based upon the following components: seminar participation (20 percent); three précis papers (10 percent each, for a total of 30 percent); a biographical essay (10 percent); and a term paper (40 percent). Each component is described in greater detail below. I expect you to complete each assignment as directed in a manner that is factually correct, employs clear and sound logic, provides appropriate evidence, follows technical conventions of historical writing (including use of source citations), and uses clear, grammatical English.
A final grade of "A" in this course means that your cumulative score on all assignments adds up to 93 percent or more of possible points. A-=90-92; B+=88-89; B=83-87; B-80-82; C+=78-79; C=73-77; C-=70-72; D+= 68-69; D=60-67.
I will enforce university policy on cheating and plagiarism as it is defined at the web site http://www.bloomu.edu/academic/acadpol.shtml.
Also, I expect you to attend every class session. In keeping with university policy as defined at the web site http://www.bloomu.edu/about/govern/pol_3506.htm, absences will be excused only if they are discussed with (and approved by) me in advance or if documented by the university administration. Your class participation grade will fall in direct ratio to the number of unexcused absences (e.g., 3 unexcused absences equals missing 20 percent of class sessions, and your participation grade will fall by twenty percent).
William Doyle, The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).
Robert Gildea, Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).
William H. Sewell, Jr., Work and Revolution in France: The Language of Labor from the Old Regime to 1848 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).
Richard J. Evans, Tales from the German Underworld: Crime and Punishment in the Nineteenth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998).
Alfred Kelley, ed., The German Worker: Working Class Autobiographies from the Age of Industrialization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987).
The success of this course depends entirely upon your participation. You must attend each session having read and thought about the assigned readings for that week. (It is best if you take notes while you read, so that you can record questions you want to discuss in class and make note of main points that will help you in discussions; you should then bring these notes [as well as the books!] with you to class each week.) I will be posting some discussion questions on this course website during the semester.
Your participation grade will be based upon the quality (and not just the quantity) of your contributions to our discussions. You can contribute by asking as well as by answering questions, by offering thoughtful critiques of what others say as well as by presenting your own interpretations, etc. But you can not "fake" your way through discussion. I can tell when you have not done the reading.
Participation will account for 20 percent of your course grade. As already noted, your class participation grade will fall in direct ratio to the number of unexcused absences.
Three précis papers:
As indicated above, this course is divided into four chronological sub-periods (1789-1800; 1800-1850; 1850-1880; 1880-1914). For each of the periods 1800-1850; 1850-1880; 1880-1914, you will locate and read an article from a scholarly historical journal, on any issue of interest to you, and dealing with any country or region in Europe. (In other words, you will write three of these papers, each on a different topic and time period.)
*First: Find a topic about which you would interested in reading more.
*Second: Use the library's data bases to locate an article in a historical journal (either in our library or available in digital full text through the library data bases). The article must be a secondary source research article, and it must be published in a historical journal.
By historical journal, I mean a scholarly journal such as The American Historical Review, The Journal of Modern History, or The Journal of Social History, that publishes the original research of historians (not a magazine!).
By article, I mean a research essay (not a book review or a primary source).
*Third: I must approve your choice. Either via e-mail me or in person, present me with complete bibliographic information on your selection in this form:
Author's Name (first name then last name), "Complete Title of the Article," Title of the Journal volume number, issue number (year): page numbers.
You may not write your paper until I give you formal approval.
*Fourth: After I approve of your article, you are to read the article and then write a one-page précis that explains the author's thesis without quoting the article.
A précis is a very sharply focused summary. What I want to know is this: what was the author's main question and what is the author's thesis (the main point of their answer to this question)?
Notice: I do NOT want you to sum up all of the information in the article or tell me what it is "about"--I want you to explain the thesis, and that it all! Also, I am NOT asking you if you agree with the article or if you "liked" the article! If you understand what you are reading, then you should be able to explain the main point in one or two paragraphs.
Make sure that your paper includes (at the head) all necessary bibliographic information on the article.
You must obtain my approval for the Précis One article by the end of Week 2; the paper is due in Week 4.
You must obtain my approval for the Précis One article by the end of Week 7; the paper is due in Week 9.
You must obtain my approval for the Précis One article by the end of Week 10; the paper is due in Week 12.
I will base your grades primarily on the accuracy, clarity, and logic of your papers (but I will also take into consideration such "technical" matters as grammar and use of proper citation form). Each précis will account for 10 percent of your course grade.
The last book that we will read in common this semester is an edited volume of autobiographical essays by German workers. For this paper, you are to pick a broad topic and write a 5 page (minimum length) paper that explains 1) how we can use such memoir materials as historical sources, and 2) what we can learn from a specific set of workers' autobiographies.
*First: Pick one of the following topics:
Workers' politicization (how they learn about and become involved in politics)
Workers' sense of public identity (how they understand their relationship as a member of specific social groups in relation to other groups)
Workers' family lives (how they organize and understand their family lives and how it is shaped by work, community, and the state)
Workers' sense of masculinity/femininity and their conceptions of sex roles and gender relations at work, home, and in the community)
Workers' "dream worlds" (what are their ambitions, what do they want to cultivate in themselves, what kind of world do they hope for, etc.)
*Second: Write a paper on that topic using as your main source several (at least three) different workers' autobiographies from Alfred Kelley, ed. The German Worker.
Your paper must clearly address on of the above topics. Your aim is to explain what the memoir materials can tell us in regard to that topic.
This requires much more than simply repeating what is in the memoirs. You must think about the specific historical contexts of these workers' lives, and in particular about how and why their lives, circumstances, opinions (etc) change over time. You must think about the nature of the sources that you are using (the memoirs), and you must be aware of the various interpretive problems that you encounter in these sources. You must think about how and why similarities and differences emerge between memoir accounts.
Your biographical essay must be at least five pages long (typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins), not including source citations. You must provide endnotes to all quoted and paraphrased passages. See the following web-page if you are not familiar with endnote citation form: http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/hickey/Quoting,%20etc.htm. The paper will be due at our last class session (Week 15).
I will base your grade primarily on the accuracy, clarity, and logic of your paper (but I will also take into consideration such "technical" matters as grammar and use of proper citation form). This paper accounts for 10 percent of your course grade.
You will write a 10 page (minimum length) term paper on any topic of 19th century European history that interests you. I must approve your topic, and I must approve a list of sources that you will use for the paper. You may write either a research paper in which you focus upon analysis of primary sources, or a historiographic essay in which you compare and contrast the arguments of other historians.
Again, your term paper can be either an extended historiographic essay or a research paper. If you do a historiographic essay, then your paper must compare and contrast the arguments that historians have made regarding a specific question or issue. You should then come to a conclusion about how the question is best answered. If you do a research paper, then you will use primary sources (and secondary sources, too) to formulate a thesis that answers a specific research question.
*First: Find on a topic that interests you. It can cover any aspect or approach to European history, so long as it fits into the chronological framework of this course.
*Second: Either in person or via e-mail, explain the topic to me. Tell me as precisely as you can what you want to write about, what questions you want to answer in your paper, and what kinds of sources you must examine to answer these questions. If I think that your topic is "do-able" (that you have defined a task achievable, that can be completed in one semester, and for which you can find sources), then I will ask you to present me with a reading/source list. If not, I will ask you to pick a different topic, for which we will go through the same process. You must have my formal approval to proceed with the paper, and I will not grade any term paper that I have not approved. You must complete this stage in the term paper process by the end of Week 3.
*Third: You must present me with a list of sources that you will use for your paper (be sure that you have a copy for your own use). The list must be alphabetical, arranged by the authors' last names. It must use the following form:
For Books: The Author's Last Name, First Name. The Full Title of the Book. The Place of Publication: The Publisher, the Year of Publication.
For Articles: The Author's Last Name, First Name. "The Full Title of the Article." The Journal's Title Volume, Number (Year): pages.
For documents collections, newspapers, or web-based sources, you must also present full titles and publication information or URLs.
You must demonstrate either that these sources are in our library (the best way is to write down the call numbers), or that you are prepared to order them via Inter-Library Loan. I may require that you add additional works to your list, or I may suggest that you remove particular items. I must approve of your readings list, and it must be the basis of the research/reading for your paper. You must complete this stage in the term paper process by the end of Week 5.
*Fourth: Read your sources!
*Fifth: Write the paper. Remember:
It must be at least 10 pages long (not including source citations).
It must present a clear question/focused topic.
It must concentrate entirely on that question/topic.
It must explain either the arguments made by other historians or what your own research has revealed about the question/topic.
It must present, explain, and defend a clearly stated thesis (main point) drawn from the evidence.
It must be based upon all of the sources in your approved list of readings (although you may add additional sources that you encounter during the semester).
And it must provide endnotes to all quoted and paraphrased passages. If you are not familiar with endnote citation form, see: http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/hickey/Quoting,%20etc.htm.
The paper will be due at our final exam session (on 7 May). I will base your grade primarily on the accuracy, clarity, and logic of your paper and your use of sources (but I will also take into consideration such "technical" matters as grammar and use of proper citation form).
Weekly schedule of assignments:
Week 1. Basic Housekeeping. Discussion of Syllabus and Assignments. Course Overview.
Week 2. The French Revolution. Readings: Doyle, The French Revolution (entire book).
You must have approval for Précis 1 by the end of this week.
Week 3. Overview of European History for the Period 1800-1850, Part 1. Readings: Gildea, Barricades and Borders, chs. 1-3.
You must have approval of your term paper topic by the end of this week.
Week 4. Overview of European History for the Period 1800-1850, Part 2. Readings: Gildea, Barricades and Borders, chs. 4-5.
Précis 1 due.
Week 5. Political Cultures in France to 1850, Part 1. Readings: Sewell, Work and Revolution, pp. 1-142.
You must have approval of your term paper reading list by the end of this week.
Week 6. Political Cultures in France to 1850, Part 2. Readings: Sewell, Work and Revolution, pp. 143-284.
Week 7. State Power and the Margins of Society in Germany to 1850. Readings: Evans, Tales from the German Underworld, pp. 1-135.
You must have approval for Précis 2 by the end of this week.
Week 8. Overview of European History for the Period 1850-1880, Part 1. Readings: Gildea, Barricades and Borders, chs. 6-7.
Week 9. Overview of European History for the Period 1850-1880, Part 2. Readings: Gildea, Barricades and Borders, chs. 8-9.
Précis 2 due.
Week 10. State Power and the Margins of Society in Germany, 1850-1880. Readings: Evans, Tales from the German Underworld, pp. 136-165.
You must have approval for Précis 3 by the end of this week.
Week 11. Overview of European History for the Period 1880-1914, Part 1. Readings: Gildea, Barricades and Borders, chs. 10-12.
Week 12. Overview of European History for the Period 1880-1914, Part 2. Readings: Gildea, Barricades and Borders, chs. 13-15.
Précis 3 due.
Week 13. State Power and the Margins of Society in Germany, 1880-1914. Readings: Evans, Tales from the German Underworld, pp. 167-222.
Week 14. Workers' Autobiographies as Sources for the History of Imperial Germany, Part 1. Readings: Kelley, The German Worker, pp. 1-203.
Week 15. Workers' Autobiographies as Sources for the History of Imperial Germany, Part 2. Readings: Kelley, German Worker, pp. 204-427.
Biographical Essay due.
Term Paper due on 7 May.