‘The European World’ BK 10/15 Approaching Early Modern History

‘The European World’
Approaching Early Modern History
BK 10/15
People: Henry VIII (†1547); Columbus (†1506); Margery Polley (†1555; pictured)
- Sources becoming more numerous and varied: Charles I’s Death Warrant (1649),
Printed Gutenberg Bible (1450s), Peter the Great’s War against Beards (1705),
Tankard from the Holy Roman Empire (1570s)
The Political Topography – Map of 1500 shows familiar/unfamiliar features (Ottomans)
1. The Period
Blurred chronological boundaries (depending on perspective/ national tradition),
but distinctive clusters around 1500 (Expansion) and 1800 (French Revolution)
- Phases (dynastic: Tudors, Stuarts, …; cultural: Renaissance,…; military: Italian Wars ...)
- Chronology (website): 1492; 1517; 1559; 1588, 1618-48; 1649/89; 1709; 1756; 1789
- Character: relatively rural, patriarchal, monarchical, religious, bellicose ...
2. The Module
- Thematic structure: Society & Economy / Religion / Culture / Politics
European World Companion book/site and historiographical survey (Walker ed. 2005)
- Website structure: module details (including assignments); programme;
resources (seminars, glossary, chronology); skills; group platforms
First Impressions
- Early modern Europe was largely agricultural, face-to-face, male-dominated,
politically unequal and church-going, but with powerful contrasts (some urbanized areas;
powerful female women, religious nonconformists), regional differences (east/west; urban/
rural) and strong internal dynamics (Reformations, state building,
scientific revolution, overseas expansion)
Introductory Texts:
Cameron, Euan (ed.), Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History (Oxford, 1999)
Starn, R., ‘The early modern muddle’, in: Journal of Early Modern History 6 (2002), 296-307
Walker, Garthine (ed.), Writing Early Modern History (London, 2005)
Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E., Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789 (2nd edn, Cambridge, 2013)
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