History 304 F10

Kathleen Addison (kathleen.addison@csun.edu)

Sierra Tower 606, Office Hours MW 11:20-12:20 and by appt

677-2404 (voicemail)


Who controls the past, controls the future.  Who controls the future, controls the present.  -- George Orwell


Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe – H.G. Wells.


The point is not to observe history; the point is to change it.  – Karl Marx


History bears the scars of our civil wars – Guns n’ Roses



Topics in Western Civilization: Revolutions in European History



This course is a study of the revolutionary periods in western civilization from 1500 to the present. The concept of revolution takes several forms: It is not only the political revolutions that overthrow existing governments, but dramatic changes in society through culture, intellectual ideas, popular consensus, technology and ways of life. This era is an extremely dynamic period in history that has seen some of mankind’s greatest accomplishments in terms of humanism, via the creation of art, technology, science and medicine.  Conversely, it is also the period containing what are arguably some of the bloodiest, most savage acts of cruelty towards all humanity of recorded time.  Indeed, as Dickens noted, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  In this class we shall explore the transition from medieval/Middle Ages Europe with its unravelling in the age of Reformation, its transition to a “World Superpower,” the onset of modernity through various processes, into the post-modern era of the global community. 


My philosophy to history is that it is not comprised of names and dates; there are plenty of those.  History is about how things change and why; and my emphasis on teaching the class is to see the "big picture" importance of these events.  Your emphasis as a student does require some knowledge of the names and dates, as these do represent a necessary part of your working vocabulary.  However, your preparation guideline should be to ask the question, why is this important? Context is everything.


Exams:  There is a midterm, one short (5 page/each) paper and a final that is both in class and takehome (two parts).  These are essays that will be done in class; you will only write one essay per exam.  I do not give the questions out ahead of time.  My study guides will include “directed topics” for your focus, but will be along the lines of “wars of religion” and similarly broad topics.    Your paper will be on responses comparing selected readings from the class, and handouts will be provided to allow you breadth of choice from these works.   The final will be comprised of a takehome to be answered over a weekend, 10 pages, and must be submitted through turnitin.com; and an in-class portion of ID's from the scope of the class, written in a bluebook at one paragraph per term. 


Grades:  I grade on a straight 90-80-70 basis with plus/minus breaks at 93-90-87.  Curving the exam is detrimental to those at the high and low ends; if you make a 93%, you get the A, regardless of whether there are more than 10% who should be assigned an A according to a calculated curve.


Grade breakdown of class: 

Midterm Exam:                                                            30%

Responses to readings (takehome)                               20%

Final                                                                            40%  (30% for takehome, 10% in-class)

Participation/Discussion                                               10%


Participation means that you are prepared in your reading and can actively discuss the topics in class.  Attendance is expected and obviously you cannot participate if you are not here.  Participation grades are NOT given for sitting in the chair wishing class was over.


Please note that the book for this class, Coffin and Stacey, is suggested but not required.  However, if you are unfamiliar with European History, it will be necessary for you to have SOME kind of reference, although I will be happy to provide recommendations.  Previous students have found "European History for Dummies" useful (really!).    I will post articles for you on the class website that are required readings as well.


Academic Honesty, behavior in the classroom, or an object lesson in the Social Contract:  Please turn off all cell phones and pagers when in classroom (unless you are awaiting an organ transplant or birth of a child).  Interruptions of class will be subject to your dismissal or a negative impact on your grade.  Or this. Interruption of an exam will result in your immediate removal from the classroom and an F on the test.  I am serious.  Equally serious:  Academic honesty.  Be familiar with the terms and definitions of your expected behavior in this regard as found in the school catalog.  This includes collaborative efforts on work, cheating, plagiarism, turning in work for a previous class, or the dissemination of any work represented as original which is attributable to anyone else (with or without their permission).  If you have a question, ask ahead of time.  Thieving isn’t acceptable, be it of material objects or intellectual property.  Academic dishonesty will be dealt with in the strongest terms possible: your case will be forwarded to the dean, and you will receive an F for the class which is not subject to ‘do-over.’  The reasons for your F will be noted on the transcript, and that looks really bad when you’re applying to law school.  You are also subject to suspension or expulsion, even if you’re a graduating senior with a fabulous job or grad school ahead of you.  Please don’t risk it; I will be glad to show you the file of student works (names deleted) of seniors who were all set to graduate, and didn’t.  I will show no mercy.  As noted above, you may not use any internet sources, cited or otherwise, for your written work unless it represents an archived, scholarly journal, i.e., J-STOR.  There are some sites which are useful for instructional enhancement, study exercises, etc, and I leave that to your judgment. 


Office Hours:  The hours are noted above.  You are welcome to come by and discuss problems or questions you have with the class, history in general, or chat about happy things that won’t depress me.  If you need to consult with me in an off-hours period, chances are if it’s MW, I am probably there anyway; if I am busy at that exact moment I will tell you but generally if I can, I will make the time. 


Exiting the class:  If for any reason you decide this is not the class, for you, or your reading load is too much, etc, you must do so the college drop deadline (friday of third week, September 3, 2010);  that is the last day to withdraw from the class.  The Dean of Students has gotten very strict about these dates and will now only approve late drop forms for the “most extenuating circumstances” – which do not include changes in work schedule, poor performance in a class, problems with transportation, childcare, etc.  I will be required to assign a grade for the class after this date, however I might sympathize with your plight. 



Textbooks for this course:

  Coffin & Stacey, Western Civilizations, vol 2, brief.  WW Norton Pub.  This is suggested for the historical background. 

Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (available online without charge at www.marxists.org)

various, Online Readings per reading schedule


Suggested:  Any second half western civ textbook; John Merriman's A History of Modern Europe; Norman Davies, Europe;  Ruiz, A Beginner's Guide to Marx; various others for more specific topics, please ask!


Schedule of Lectures and Readings:

Proviso: These are subject to revision and represent a suggested guideline; it may be modified accordingly (ESP for the Saturday class).


(Website readings are linked)

*please note that some powerpoints (if saved as html files) will be better viewed in IE than Firefox Mozilla). 

Week 1


8/23, 25

(Sat 8/28)

Preconditions, Renaissance, Reformation; background of nationalist disputes within Europe

Outline:  Ren-Ref; Dynastic Chart


C&S chap 12

Desiderus Erasmus In Praise of Folly


Week 2

Wars of Religion & Nationalism, Stuart England;

8/30, 9/1

(Sat 9/4 is holiday)

C&S chap 13, start on 14 

Online 95 Theses Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

Martin Luther’s Letter to the German Nobility

Jean Calvin on Predestination

PPT  English Civil War

Week 3



Sat 9/11


France Ascendent; Competition between Nations; Absolutism

Absolutism Outline

Powerpoint: Louis XIV


Read: C&S chap 15



Week 4 -6

9/13, 15

9/20, 22

9/27, 29

(Sat 9/18,

9/25, 102)

INTELLECTUAL REVOLUTION: The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment

Read C&S chaps 16 and 17 (per week)

Online: (1)  Galileo Galleli's Letter to Duchess Christina  as well as (2) Indictment of Galileo; for the first week; enlightenment stuff the second week

Read Kant:  What is the Enlightenment; Dumarsais, Definition of a Philosophe; Condorcet, Future Progress, DeFoe on Women's Education, Lessing on Human Education

Political Philosophy in the Enlightenment:  Overview: Cheat Sheet

Locke:  1) Two Treatises on Govt; 2)


Montesquieu:  Spirit of the Laws

Rousseau:  1) Discourse on Origins of Inequality

2) Social Contract

Powerpoint Sci-Rev;

PPT Enlightenment 

just for fun:  Cambridge during the Sci-Rev

Bonus:  RussiaFrom Muscovy to Catherine the Great ppt


also, just for fun, The Russian Enlightenment at History House


Week 7

10/4, 6

Sat 10/9


Outline French Rev; Video


Read:  Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen  

C^S, chap 18 (carries into next week), so start on 19.



Week 8

10/11, 13

Review Monday 10/11

MIDTERM covers through end of chap 18 (end of French Rev)

Midterm Wednesday 10/13; bring one large blank bluebook to class, and you may bring ONE (1) 3 x 5 notecard for reference.



Study Guide for Exam;


Week 9

10/18, 20

SAT 10/23

Napoleon, Congress of Vienna, Romanticism and reactions to change

Socialism and Political Change

Read:  Chap 18 of C&S, use wednesday to read chap 19 and 20. 

PPT:   Napoleon

Week 10



 10/25, 27

Sat 10/30

Three-way revolution, Industrialism and the social problems of modernization;

Read:  C&S chap 19

Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (excerpt)

Engels Industrial Manchester

Leeds Woolen Workers' Petition

Answer to Petition

Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal



11/1, 3

Sat 11/6

Socialism, Communism and Liberalism, Oh My!




http://www.csun.edu/~kaddison/socialism.html (HANDOUT)




review chap 20 in C&S

Online Documents inc. Communist Manifesto (or Marx excerpt)

What is Property? ; St. Simon’s views on Utoptianism

Mill on Liberalism;

Week 12

11/8, 10

 Sat 11/13

Revolution from Below: Independence Movements and 1848

PPT 1848 Revolutions

POLITICAL, PART III: Unification of Germany and Italy

Women’s Movements in late 19th c. (handout)


Read:  C^ S chap 21 & 22

Week 13

11/15, 16

Sat 11/20

 2nd SCIENTIFIC REV., Growth of Nationalism and Imperialism

Nationalism & Imperialism ppt


CULTURAL REVOLUTION: Modernization & Imperialism

Read:  C&S chap 23

Read:  Fichte, German Nation, Mazzini, On Nationality

Week 14

11/22, 24



WORLD REVOLUTION: The advent of WWI and Russian Revolution (handout on WWI and Rus Rev); Rise of Fascism and Totalitarianism



Read:  Chap 24, 25

Online:  Timeline of Russia; Read:  Mussolini's What is Fascism?; Lenin's  What is to be Done?,  Stalin: On Leninism and Trotskyism;

Week 15

11/29, 12/1

WORLD REVOLUTION II: World War II and Globalization




C&S chap 26

Online:  Restrictions of Jews in Interwar Germany by Nazi Gov't

Hitler's 1939 Speech at Berlin; Stalin's Implementation of the Five Year Plans (1928); Stalin's "Dizzy with Success" response from Pravda, 1930

Week 16

12/6, 8

Decolonization, Cold War, an International Community; Pink Floyd was right

Read:  C&S chap 27, 28

Cold War and Containment ppt

Read:  Huntington's Clash of Civilizations





 SATURDAY 12/11 8-10 AM; MW CLASS MONDAY 12/13 12:45-2:45


No alternate time will be arranged for the final so please plan accordingly.