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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Making of the Modern World (HIST08033)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an introduction to the history of the modern world (c.1780-c.2015). Students will look at major themes and examine these from both a thematic and chronological perspective.
Course description This courses contextualises modern history by providing a framework in which major historical processes can be understood. It moves away from a Eurocentric position towards a more global history that takes in different approaches and regions. Although the structure of the course is chronological, the main focus is on processes and themes. Students will be expected to use specific case studies to illuminate large themes such as modernity, revolution, nationalism and decolonisation. Tutorials will be organised according to the weekly themes below: Weekly topics: (subject to change) Week 1 Age of Revolution 1. Course Introduction: Making of the Modern World 2. Atlantic Revolutions (American and French Revolutions, as have to cover both in this lecture) 3. Latin America in the Age of Revolution Week 2 Industrialisation & Society 4. Trade, Divergence and the Industrial Revolution 5. Why did Britain Industrialise First? 6. Why China did not Industrialise. Week 3 Nations & Nationalism 7. The Birth of the Modern State 8. The American Civil War 9. Sub-State Nationalism: Ireland, Poland & the Jews (or just Ireland) Week 4 - Empires 10. The Multi-National European Empires 11. India 12. Abolition and Persistence of Slavery Week 5 Mass Society 13. The Development of Mass Society & Women's Suffrage 14. Migration, Imperialism & the Industrial Economy 15. Race Theory, Racism & Imperialism Week 6 The First World War 16. The Great War 17. Russian & other Revolutions 18. The Wilsonian Moment Week 7 The Interwar Crisis 19. Counter-Revolution: Fascism 20. The Interwar Economy: Fragile Recovery & Depression 21. Culture and Society in the Interwar Crisis Week 8 Global War 22. The War in Asia 23. The War in Europe 24. War and Genocide Week 9 The Global Cold War 25. The Postwar Economy: Reconstruction & Golden Years 26. A World Divided The Global Cold War 27. Decolonisation, 1945-1975
Week 10 The Global 1960s & 1970s 28. Civil Rights 29. 1968 30. The Long 1970s Week 11 Globalisation & the Birth of the Contemporary World 31. The Return of Religion (Iranian Revolution & global Islam) 32. The End of History? Communism & Postcommunism
33. Course Conclusion: One World Divisible
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Revolution (1962), Age of Capital (1975), Age of Empire (1987), Age of Extremes (1994)
Jonathan Sperber, Revolutionary Europe, 1780-1850 (2000)
Christopher Bayly, The birth of the modern world, 1789-1914 (2004)
David Reynolds, One world divisible: a global history since 1945 (2001)
Tony Judt, Postwar (2005)
Michael Howard and Roger Louis (eds.), The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century (2002)
Robert Gildea, Barricades and Borders, 1800-1914 (2003)
Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987)Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (2006)
Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000)
John Illiffe, Africans: The History of a Continent (2007)
Felipe Fernández-Armesto. The Americas: The History of a Hemisphere (2004)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and abilities in research and enquiry: ability to draw valid conclusions about the past, ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems, ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence, ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding, ability to extract key elements from complex information, readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry, ability critically to assess existing understanding and the limitations of knowledge and recognition of the need regularly to challenge/test knowledge, ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding
Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy: openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking, ability to identify processes and strategies for learning, independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement, ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate, intellectual curiosity, ability to sustain intellectual interest
Skills and abilities in communication; ability to make effective use of oral and written means convey understanding of historical issues and one's interpretation of them, ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently, ability to collaborate and to relate to others, readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness; ability to approach historical problems with academic rigour, ability to manage and meet firm deadlines, possession of the confidence to make decisions based on one's understanding and personal/intellectual autonomy, ability to work effectively with others, capitalising on diversities of thinking, experience and skills
KeywordsModern World
Course organiserDr Esther Mijers
Tel: (0131 6)50 3756
Course secretaryMrs Diane Knowles
Tel: (0131 6)50 3781
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