The Modern Age: Europe 1700–1945
This course examines the history of Europe from the Enlightenment in the 18th century to the end of the Second World War in the middle of the 20th century. It was during these two-and-a-half centuries that traditional European society—rural, agrarian, aristocratic, monarchical—dissolved in a series of political, economic, and social revolutions that led to the formation of the modern world. Students learn about the political and social thought of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the rise of nationalism, the role of women in an age of separate spheres, the growing role of science, the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Fascism and Communism, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. Students examine the key events in European history which were most responsible for shaping the modern world. Students are also encouraged to consider the degree to which our current society is still a product of the ideas, debates, and controversies generated between 1700 and 1945.