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Lecture 1-January 10.docx

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David Stiles

January 10 Class is going to cover from the Peace of Westphalia to the Defeat of Napoleon 18151The Westphalian State SystemThe Peace of Westphalia which ended the Thirty Years War in 1648 is said to have represented a major change in the evolution of the nation state But how much really changed in 1648 and to what extent did Westphalia set the state for broader changes that unfolded over the centuryandahalf that followed Did it play a role in intensifying the imperial rivalries that kept the continent at war for much of the period 2 AbsolutismMany of the major states of our period featured a kind of government that historians refer to as an absolute monarchy in which the monarch theoretically enjoyed unlimited divinelyendowed power To what extent is this description accurate How might it be distorting our understanding of the periodLouis XIV the Sun Kingreigned 16431715 power of the state invested in the monarchwhat the king says goes I am the state engaged economic realitiesinternational affairs3 The Enlightenment and the Scientific RevolutionThese intellectual movements were associated with among other things an increased focus on the liberalization of social and economic life the application of rationality and a flourishing of natural philosophy and the beginnings of our modern notion of progressivism How did they transform European society How did they contribute to the economic political and cultural changes of the timeEnlightenment and the Scientific RevolutionVoltaire 16941778 Sir Isaac Newton 16431727 4 The Commercial Credit and Consumer RevolutionsThe period between 1648 and 1815 arguably saw more radical economic changes in Europe than any other to date Important financial innovations in the Dutch Republic and Great Britain when combined with liberal commerce and eventually the industrial revolution had a powerful transformative effect To what extent did these changes affect the social cultural and political life of Europe and usher in the modern era1815rise of consumerism businesses trying to persuade what is bought 5 The End of the Early ModernWhy do historians say that the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars signal the end of the Early Modern and the beginning of the Modern period Is there something distinctly modern that emerges in our period of study If so what signs of this change can we detectth17 Century European SocThe Great Chain of Being how the world was organized in reference to a hierarchal static arrangement
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