Module Code MO1007

Module Title

The Early Modern Western World, c.1450-c.1750

Module Description

MO1007 is designed as an introduction to the study of early modern history at university level. It is intended to provide an overview of politics, society, religious change, the economy and culture across a broad range of European countries, beginning in the age of the Renaissance and ending just as the "age of revolutions" begins. It also looks at Europeans' encounters with non-European peoples, in particular those of the Americas and the Ottoman empire. This was a period of almost unprecedented religious, social, and political change, and saw the development of many key characteristics of our own society, as well as some “dead ends.” In analysing these transformations, the module also introduces students to the uses of history and the methods by which it is studied.


List of Lecture Titles

Week 1: Introduction: The Renaissance and the Emerging "Early Modern" World
Week 2: Introduction (continued)
Week 3: Religion: The Protestant Reformations
Week 4 - Politics: Renaissance Government and its Opponents
Week 5 - Religion: The Changing Catholic Landscape
Week 6 - Culture and Society: Everyday Life
Week 7 – Culture and Society: Witches and Gender
Week 8: Different Worlds: Overseas Expansion/Discoveries
Week 9: Different Worlds: The Mediterranean and Middle East
Week 10: Politics and War: Government and Society 1600-1700
Week 11 – Culture and Society: The Challenges to Orthodox Belief


List of Tutorial Topics

The Renaissance
The Reformation
The Counter-reformation
Overseas exploration
The Ottoman empire
Renaissance government and its rebels
Economy and society
Government c.1600-1770
The Mediterranean and Middle East
Witchcraft and gender
The Scientific revolution and Enlightenment
Recommended Reading
  • Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Early Modern Europe 1450-1789 (Cambridge, 2006 – new edn. in 2012/13?)
  • A. Pettegree, Europe in the Sixteenth Century (Oxford, 2002)
  • (ed.) T.C.W. Blanning, The Eighteenth Century: Europe 1688-1815 (Oxford, 2000)

Resource List