Undergraduate Course: War, Commerce, Liberty, and Empire: European Political Thought, from Mandeville to Marx (c. 1700 - c. 1850) (HIST10464)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||European views of the relationship between politics and economic affairs underwent profound change in the period from c. 1700 until c. 1850. The course examines this relationship by focusing on four connected themes - war, commerce, liberty, and empire - in controversies that took place among some of the most influential and fascinating thinkers of this era in Britain, France, and the German lands.
War, commerce, liberty, and empire are closely related themes in the debates that shaped European intellectual culture from c. 1700 to c. 1850. This course examines a broad selection of prominent contributors to these debates. The writings of these authors will, at all times, be related to their wider - intellectual, political, cultural, and institutional - contexts. Students will develop their skills in understanding primary sources as contributions to particular, historically situated controversies. They will be encouraged to recover the historically specific coherence of the arguments made by these authors. Students will also have the opportunity to reflect on the question to what extent arguments from the past continue to be relevant to present-day concerns.
The course begins with the debates, in France and elsewhere, over universal empire and the economic foundations of national greatness, which were stimulated by the military campaigns of Louis XIV. In particular, we shall consider FenÚlon's Telemachus, one of the most widely read books of the early eighteenth century, and its contexts. The course will then turn to Britain in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution and the controversies surrounding the second and third edition of Mandeville's Fable of the Bees, which was itself a response to FenÚlon, before examining the views of Hume, Smith, Steuart, Melon, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Ferguson on the place of economic activity in 'modern', eighteenth-century states. The course will then examine the impact of the French Revolution on these debates, focusing on the writings of Burke, Wollstonecraft, and Macaulay in Britain, and Immanuel Kant in the German lands. The course will conclude by examining the thought of Hegel in the context of pos-Napoleonic European politics, and the emergence of Marx's early thought from the intellectual milieu of the 'Young Hegelians'.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|Prohibited Combinations|| Students MUST NOT also be taking
Intellectual History from Montesquieu to Marx (HIST10257)
||Other requirements|| A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Coursework: Three 4,000-word essays (one in S1, one in S2, one at beginning of May exam diet), each accounting for one third of the overall mark.
||Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
- 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;
- demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
|L. Dickey, Hegel: Religion, Economics and the Politics of Spirit 1770-1807 (Cambridge, 1987).|
Annelien de Dijn, French Political Thought from Montesquieu to Tocqueville: Liberty in a Levelled Society? (Cambridge, 2008).
A. O. Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph (Princeton NJ, 1977).
I. Hont, 'The Luxury Debate in the Early Enlightenment', in M. Goldie and R. Wokler (eds), The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 379-418.
Reidar Maliks, Kant's Politics in Context (Oxford, 2014).
Karen O'Brien, Women and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge, 2009).
N. Phillipson, Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life (London, 2010).
J.G.A. Pocock, 'The Political Economy of Burke's Analysis of the Revolution', in Pocock, Virtue, Commerce and History: Essays on Political Thought and History, chiefly in the Eighteenth Century, (Cambridge, 1985).
H. Rosenblatt, Rousseau and Geneva: From the First Discourse to the Social Contract, 1749-1762 (Cambridge, 1997).
J. Shklar, Men and Citizens. A Study of Rousseau's Social Theory (Cambridge, 1969).
R. Whatmore, 'Luxury, Commerce, and the Rise of Political Economy', in: James Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 2013).
Allen Wood, Karl Marx (London, 1981; 2nd edition 2004).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course will help students develop a range of transferable skills, including:
- the ability to manage one's time effectively, work to deadlines, and perform effectively under pressure;
- the ability to gather, sift, organise and evaluate large quantities of textual evidence;
- the ability to marshal argument in both written and oral form;
- the ability to work independently and as part of a pair or larger group.
|Course organiser||Dr Thomas Ahnert
Tel: (0131 6)50 3777
|Course secretary||Miss Katherine Perry