Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Nancy J. Curtin

HSRU 1000
Prof.  Nancy Curtin

Spring 2009

Course description

In this lecture course we will explore the making of the modern world, starting with the fundamental intellectual, social, political, and economic transformations which occurred in the eighteenth century and concluding with a survey of the traumatic twentieth century. 

Written assignments and exams

Midterm exam (20%) – on Mar. 25

Paper (20%) – 3-5 pages due Apr. 14 – see Paper Assignments document

Quizzes (20%)  -- 7 or 8 short quizzes (two lowest scores dropped)

Class Participation (10%) – both class discussion and weekly postings to the class discussion board at

Final (30%)

Required readings

Chambers, et. al.,  The Western Experience, vol. C: The Modern Era (see for the on-line student resources for this text)

All texts and documents listed below are available on line via my web page at  and on the syllabus on the course page at Blackboard,

Course Schedule of Meetings and Readings

Jan. 13-16 - Introduction and Old Regime Europe

Jan. 20-23 - The Enlightenment

Chambers, ch. 19

Voltaire, "Tolerance" from the Philosophical Dictionary

Montesquieu, from The Spirit of the Laws

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from The Social Contract        

Jan. 27-30 - French Revolution

Chambers, ch. 20 

Abbe Sieyes, What is the Third Estate?

Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, 1789

Olympe de Gouges, Declaration of the Rights of Women

Declaration of Independence

La Marseillaise

Maximilien Robespierre, On the Principles of Political Morality

Feb.3-6 - Napoleon/The age of Restoration and Reaction

Chambers, pp. 762-72

From the Memoirs of Prince Metternich


Feb. 10-13 - The Industrial Revolution

Chambers, pp. 773-93

Evidence given before the Sadler Committee

Testimony gathered by Ashley's Mines Commission

Chadwick's Report on Sanitary Conditions

Andrew Ure, from The Philosophy of the Manufacturers


Feb. 18-20 - Liberalism

Chambers, ch. 23

Thomas Malthus, from the Essay on Population

David Ricardo, "The Iron Law of Wages"

Feb. 24-27 - Socialism

Karl Marx, "The Fetishism of Commodities" from Capital

The Internationale

Midterm: Feb. 25

Mar. 3-6 - Nationalism and the Unification of Germany

Chambers, ch. 24

Documents of German Unification, 1848-1871

Mar. 10-13 - Imperialism

Chambers, ch. 25

Herbert Spencer, "Progress: Its Law and Causes"

Jules Ferry on French Colonial Expansion

John Hobson, from Imperialism

Rudyard Kipling, "The White Man's Burden"

Edward Morel, "The Black Man's Burden"

George Orwell. “Shooting the Elephant”

Mar. 24-27 - International Rivalry and World War I

Chambers, ch. 26-7

From the Journal of Private Fraser, 1914-18

War  Poets

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Charge of the Light Brigade”


Mar. 31- Apr. 3 - The Russian Revolution

Chambers, pp. 984-1006

Vladimir Illyich Lenin, from What is to be Done

Vladimir Illyich Lenin, April Theses          


Apr. 7-8 - The Russian Revolution (cont.)  

Alexandra Kollantai, The Worker's Opposition

Vladimir Illyich Lenin, "Our Revolution"


Apr. 14-17 - Germany Between the Wars

Chambers, pp. 1007-1035

Versailles Treaty, excerpts

Adolph Hitler, Speech, 1921

Horst Wessel Song

From the Nuremburg Laws, 1935

SS Racial Policy

The Poisoned Mushroom

Wannsee Conference

Papers due: Apr. 14

Apr. 21-24 - World War II 

Chambers, ch. 29 

Apr. 28-29 - Cold War 

Chambers, ch. 30


Final Exam: Tuesday, May 5, 1:30-3:30

Office Hours

618Dealy (x0730)
10:30-11:30  Tues.
12:30-1:30 Wed.
or by appointment

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