H114 Western Civilization Survey (Since 1600)
Summer 2011

Diana Lin

Office: Hawthorn Hall 206A
(O) 980 6981
Email: dchenlin@iun.edu
Website: www.iun.edu/~hisdcl
Office hours: TR 9:30-11:30, or by appt.

Preparation questions for the first in-class test.

Preparation questions for the second in-class test.

Purpose of Course

This course covers major political, social, and economic trends and events in Europe from 1600 to around World War II. It seeks to examine the context and causes for these trends and events through looking into modern day explanations in the text and original writings of people who were participants in these trends and events. This course also tries to trace our ways of thinking to historical trends and events in Europe in the past five hundred years, from our ideas of democracy, liberalism, nationalism, authoritarianism, to our ideas of science and knowledge, among others.

This course fulfills the following requirements:

  • For all majors, it counts as a course that fulfills IUN General Education Principle 2: Breadth of Learning: Cultural and Historical Studies.
  • For College of Arts and Sciences majors, it can fulfill one of two requirements:
    • COAS Group IIIC: Humanities, or
    • COAS Group IV-A: cultures

What to expect

This course emphasizes a close reading of our textbook and document book. Since one of the goals of this class is to fine tune critical reading skills, a close reading of the text-a practice variously called textual analysis and hermeneutics, among others, helps greatly toward that goal. You can see the difference in one semester. Each class session consists of lecturing and Essay questions. Each week there is a Essay question on an assigned questions. So always be prepared when you come to class.

Books and Requirements

The following textbook is available at the IUN bookstore.

Dennis Sherman and Joyce Salisbury, The West in the World, v.2. McGraw Hill, 4th edition, 2010.

This textbook has a web site at http://www.mhhe.com/sherman3 where you can find chapter outlines, quizzes, and much else. Besides this book, there are also required readings in primary sources that are available online. The syllabus and lecture notes are available at my website at http://www.iun.edu/~hisdcl.

Method of grading: all grades are assigned in percentages, which will be tabulated at the end of the semester and converted to letter grades. The conversion is as follows: 93-100: A; 90-92.9: A-; 85-89.9: B+; 80-84.9: B; 75-79.9: B-; 70-74.9: C+; 65-69.9: C; 60-64.9: C-; 55-59.9: D+; 50-54.9: D; 45-49.9: D-; 44 and below: F.

  • There are two in-class tests and two take-home essays. The essays use built-in topics and are to be 4-6 pages, typed and double-spaced.
  • There are four quizzes that use multiple-choice questions from the textbook's quiz bank at the Student edition, which can be found by chapter number.
  • You are required to do five essay questions from under the "class schedule", and turn them in before class starts, via Oncourse Messages to me.
  • To look up archaic and unfamiliar words in your readings, you can use the Oxford Reference Online, which, though, is accessible only when you are on campus.

The grade distribution is as follows:

  • Class attendance: 5 per cent (for those who miss class two times or less in the semester. For those who miss class more than four times, they receive 0 for their class attendance.)
  • Class participation: 10 per cent
  • Four quizzes: 20 per cent
  • Five essay question assignments: 15 per cent
  • Take-home essays: 10 per cent each.
  • In-class short answer tests: 15 per cent each.

There is no extra credit for this course. The emphasis is good, solid work in all the homework assignments (which together account for 32 per cent of the final grade) and careful preparation for each test. The grade distribution is spread out among a wide range so that if you did not do well on one item, it might be compensated for by better grades from other items.

Class Schedule

Week 1 (May 16-May 22)

The page numbers are given for both the 3rd and 4th editions of the textbook. Page numbers for the 3rd edition are indicated with (3rd), and for the 4th edition are indicated with (4th).

May 17 Europe's political systems before the age of parliamentary governments (or: what triggered the motivation for parliamentary governments)

1. Introduction.

2. Royal absolutism in France. Sherman, 415-26 (4th); 405-17 (3rd). Online reading: Massacre of St.Bartholomew's Day. The court of Louis XIV, Louis XIV's letter to the people of Marseilles. Lecture notes.

The site below Louis XIV, the Sun King gives excellent introduction to Louis XIV and many pictures of the Versailles Palace. A panoramic view of Versailles Palace

Essay question 1: What is shown in Figure 13.3? What image are this building and its lands designed to convey? Also examine Figure 13.4; what perception do you receive of the people in this painting?

May 19

1 . The English Revolution, or, how a parliamentary system was reinforced against absolute kings. Sherman, 433-444 (4th); 423-32 (3rd).  Online reading: True Law of Free Monarchies  King/queen heals by touchingExecution of Charles I. The following site is about Oliver Cromwell's life and political career.Oliver Cromwell website Notes. Optional reading: NPR: King James's Bible. NYTimes: Why the King James's Bible endures.

 Essay question 2: Discuss the different fates of the English and the French monarchs who both wanted to be absolute kings.  Do you think the English revolution made a lasting change to English politics, why or why not?

2. Locke and Hobbes.  Online reading: Hobbes: Leviathan, and Locke: Second treatise on government, chap.8
Essay question 3: Name some of the differences between Locke and Hobbes.

Week 2 (May 23-29)

May 24 First quiz.

Intellectual changes that affected people's political views: the emergence of the study of science and the social sciences.

1.  The Scientific Revolution. Sherman, 452-464 (4th); 441-55 (3rd).  Notes.

Students can take a virtual tour of Florence's Museum of the History of Science, where they can read a brief biography of Galileo and view his inventions, at:
The following site at Rice University shows Galileo's villa and maps from his day:
Galileo's condemnation for heresy and his abjuration (1633) are available at:

Essay question 4: Many thinkers in the sixteenth century saw no contradiction in studying areas we would consider pseudo-science, like alchemy, along with real science. Examine Figure 14.2; discuss why this was so.

2. Newton and Descartes.  Online readings: Newton: Mathematical Principles and Descartes: Discourse on Method.  Notes.
Essay question 5:
"All cats meow. Fluffy is a cat. Therefore, Fluffy meows." What kind of reasoning, discussed in this chapter, does this example represent? Give your own example of it. Name the most eminent advocate of such reasoning during this period. How useful would this kind of reasoning be for science and philosophy? Do you know the other major kind of reasoning? It would be illustrated by the following example: "Fluffy, a cat, meows. Puff, a cat, meows. Daisy, a cat, meows. Therefore, all cats meow." How reliable is this kind of reasoning? Do we use it today? In which situations?

May 26

1. The emergence of the social sciences as a method of social reform. Sherman, 464-73 (4th); 455-64 (3rd)d. Online readings: Voltaire's letters #6, on the Presbyterians, #9, on English government and #10 on trade.   Notes.
Essay question 6: Voltaire had a saying that, loosely translated, meant, "Crush the infamous thing!" What kinds of "infamous things" did Voltaire have in mind? With what did he and other philosophes plan to "crush" them?

2 . Montesquieu and Rousseau.  Online readings: Rousseau, Social Contract. Montesquieu: Spirit of the lawsNotes.
Essay question 7: Review the Biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Sherman, 460-1). What did Rousseau mean when he called himself a "man of paradoxes"? Do you think Rousseau was an archetypal Enlightenment thinker?

Week 3 (May 30-June 5) A paradigmatic change: the French Revolution and the overthrow of the ancien regime (or: the major event that established the value of republicanism in Europe)

May 31 2nd quiz
1. The ancien regime. Sherman, chap.15.   Notes.
Essay question 8: Divide into two groups to debate this principle of Frederick II of Prussia: "The fundamental rule of governments is the principle of extending their territories."

2. The French Revolution and its ramifications. Sherman, chap.15 and chap.16. Online reading: letter of Marie AntoinetteTravels of Arthur YoungDeclaration of the Rights of Man.Robespierre, Terror and Virtue.
Students can see several views of Paris in 1789 at:

Notes on the Causes of the French Revolution: Images of the French Revolution

Essay question 9:  Imagine yourselves to be clergy; aristocrats; and middle class and peasants. The scene is France, early in 1789. Discuss each group's demands.

June 2

1. Notes on the process and aftermath of the French Revolution
Essay question 10:
Why did the French revolution start with goals of liberty and fraternity, but end up with the revolutionary leadership such as the Girondins and the Jacobins deeply disagreeing with one another and among themselves?

2. 19th Century Europe:

1.The Industrial Revolution and its social impact. Sherman, chap.17.  Notes.

Essay question 11: How did the Industrial Revolution transform European lives?

Students can explore 1827 London at the following site, with an online, clickable version of Greenwood's map of the city:
At the sites below, students can read about and see illustrations of the flying shuttle, spinning jenny, and other innovations of industrialization:

Week 4 (June 6-12)

First take-home paper due from Oncourse email attachment by June 13. Paper topic: Imagine yourself being an English traveling with Arthur Young in France in 1789. Based on a comparison of the kings of England and France in the past two centuries and the fate of the English kings in the English revolution, comment on what is going on in France and predict what will happen in France.

Note: You need to read Arthur Young's travelogue carefully and identify which parts you want to use as your own "observation" of France.  Then, identify each of them followed by careful explanation of why it is so (which Arthur Young does not really do): go to Voltaire for comparisons with English politics, noble privileges/taxation,/religion/trade, and go to earlier lectures on English revolution and Louis XIV of France to see how the two political systems became so different.

June 7 Reactions against the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution

1. In the wake of the Industrial Revolution: the rise of socialism and Marxism. Sherman, 589-591 (4th); 578-9 (3rd).  Online reading: Communist ManifestoNotes.

Essay Homework 12: 
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed that class struggle and economic self-interest drove human action. Describe their view of history and of the future. Do you agree that these factors are the most important elements in understanding human history? Why or why not?

2. The rise of Romanticism and  Liberalism. Sherman, 582-83(4th), 586-89 (4th); 570-71(3rd), 574-77 (3rd). Adam Smith Wealth of Nations.  David Ricardo, The Iron Law of WagesNotes.

Essay questions:

13. How did the Romantics distinguish themselves from Enlightenment philosophy? What elements did they contribute to economic liberalism?

14. Define nineteenth-century economic liberalism. What do we mean by "liberalism" today? Has its meaning changed

June 9

1. John Stuart Mill and political liberalism. Sherman, 583(4th); 572(3rd). John Stuart Mill, On Liberty.

Essay question 15: Do you agree with Mill's criticism of the representative government? What are your expectations of our representative government?

2. First in-class examination.

Week 5 (June 13-19)

June 14  Nationalism and Italian and German unifications.3rd Quiz

1. Return of a conservative political order and modern conservatism as a political theory. Sherman, 581-82 (4th); 591-92(4th); 565-91 (3rd). Edmund Burke: Reflections on the French RevoultionNotes.
Essay question 16: Discuss what France, Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia-at the Congress of Vienna wanted from the Congress of Vienna.

2. The rise of modern nationalism and Italian unification. Sherman,583-86(4th), 610-11(4th); 596-8(3rd). Cavour on Italian unification.  Giuseppe Mazzini, The Duties of ManNotes.
Essay question:
In the period 1850-1870, what states would be more fearful of and threatened by nationalism? Name two areas in Europe where nationalism had strong appeal. Explain why these states or parts of states feared or embraced nationalism. Hint: consider Map 19.3.

June 16

1. German unification. Sherman, 610-16 (4th); 598-603(3rd). Otto von Biamarck. Description of Bismarck.  Notes.
Essay question 17: What was the role of Austria in Italian and German unifications?

Mechanization of industry, demand for market, and imperialism.

2. The nature of imperialism. Sherman, chap.20(4th); 628-40(3rd). Rudyard Kipling, The White Man's Burden.   Notes.
 Essay question question 18: Discuss the views of the Comte de Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. What kinds of people do you think might be prone to adopting these views? Do you see any connections between them and nationalism?

Week 6 (June 20-26)

June 21 "Descending" into the 20th century: war, revolution, and ultra-nationalism. 4th quiz

1. The causes of World War I. Sherman, 691-705(4th); 673-88(3rd). Zimmerman telegramNotes.
An excellent starting point for students interested in World War I is the following site, with many clickable maps, images, and texts:
Students can view one hundred paintings depicting World War I by artists of the era at:
Hosted by the BBC, the following site offers students audio and video sources on World War I, including a 1984 interview with a man who, at the age of fourteen, fought in the war:
To learn more about the role of women in the Great War and on the war's influence on women's issues, students can explore the text and images at:

Essay question 19: Draw up war tactics and strategies (refer to Map 22.3). Include what each side hopes to avoid as it pursues the war.

2. Post WWI settlement and the interwar years. Sherman, 705-10(4th); 689-92(3rd).  Woodrow Wilson, Fourteen Points.  Notes.

Essay question 20: Study Map 22.5. Identify the land taken from the losers of World War I. What ethnic groups lived in these areas? Woodrow Wilson advocated the idea of national self-determination as the basis for the creation of states. Was this principle uniformly applied? Why or why not?

June 23

The rise of fascism and Nazism. Sherman, chap 23.  Mussolini: What Is Fascism?  Hitler: The 25 Points.  Speech (1921) and Mein Kampf
A very useful online guide to the film Schindler's List (see below) is available at:
A collection of Nazi propaganda is available at:
Examples of leaflets dropped as propaganda may be found online at:

Notes on Fascism
Essay question 21: Study Figure 23.6. Using this photograph as your primary source, describe the nature of Mussolini's fascism. Then, study Figure 23.11. Undertake the same exercise. Compare the images in each picture. How are they alike and different?

Notes on Nazism
Essay question 22:
Discuss how unemployed German army veterans of World War I; middle-class women; socialists; wealthy industrialists; professional army officers; Jewish shopkeepers; devout Catholics, reacted to the Nazi party in the German diet election of 1932.

 Week 7 (June 27-July 3) Second take-home paper due via Oncourse on June 28. Paper topic: Imagine yourself as an American traveler in Germany and Italy during the 1930s, listening to the speeches made by Hitler and Mussolini at big public gatherings. Try to explain to the Americans what Hitler's Nazism and Mussolini's Fascism were through a Essay question of their speeches' connections with and departures from 19th century European thinking.

June 28

 1. World War II and the aftermath. Sherman, chap 24.  Notes.

At the following site, students can learn a great deal about the American decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan:
Details about the effects of the bomb that fell on Hiroshima may be studied at:
Posters and other visual resources on the Second World War are available at a searchable and clickable database maintained by Northwestern University:

Essay question 23:
Play the role of foreign policy advisers to President Harry Truman in the late 1940s. Draw up a list of recommended actions and statements addressing the greatest foreign policy concerns in Europe.

2. Conclusion: Nationalism, the European Union, and other patterns of European developments today. The emergence of the new European Union.   Conclusion

June 30. Second in-class examination.