Texas Wesleyan University Course Syllabus

Fall 2018

Course: HIS 4399-01 Nineteenth Century Europe


Instructor: Christopher Ohan

Meeting: Tuesdays 1:30-4 p.m. in STC 114

Phone: 817-531-4913

Office: PMC 244

E-mail: cohan@txwes.edu

Office Hours: Mon/Wed 11-1 (in ASC), Tue 9-12, 4-6, Thurs 9-12, or by appointment

Web: http://www.historymuse.net



“[I]f a society legitimizes itself by a principle which claims both universality and exclusiveness,
if its concept of ‘justice,’ in short, does not include the existence of different principles of legitimacy,
relations between it and other societies will come to be based on force”

―Kissinger, A World Restored


Course description: This course covers the ‘Long Nineteenth Century,’ or the period from 1789 to 1914; with a special emphasis on the significance of the French Revolution and Napoleon, the conservative reaction, the Industrial Revolution, the rise of liberalism, nationalism, romanticism, as well as the European imperialism prior to the outbreak of the Great War.


Learning Outcomes:  Upon successful completion of this class, you should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the history and significance of the “Long Nineteenth Century.’  You should be able to trace the origin of various ideological concepts (whether philosophical and/or political) from this period and compare, analytically, events and issues from this period to various issues in the contemporary world.  To make these comparisons, you will become familiar with various types of sources from the period, including text, art and artifact.  Through the exam essays, and book reviews, you should be able to employ basic historical methods of research.  Through the readings, in-class discussions and writing assignments, you should acquire the ability to distinguish between and use primary and secondary sources for the period.


Course Learning Objectives                                                                                Degree Program Goals


Objective 1: Students completing this course will develop a basic understanding of the ‘Long Nineteenth Century’ in European history.

1. Develop a general knowledge of human history, including a basic chronology of both western and non-western societies covering time periods from the ancient to the modern.

Objective 2: a. Students will understand the different historical interpretations pertaining to this period.  b. They will understand the influential intellectual trends from the period.

2.  Understand Historical Interpretation and Historiography.


Objective 3: They will also be introduced to the historian’s craft and the important of sources in formulating sound arguments.  Students should appreciate and interpret multiple forms of evidence (textual, visual, oral, statistical, artifacts from material culture); differentiate between primary and secondary sources and understand how each is used via

a.        reading primary sources relative to the period.

b.        writing critical book reviews.

c.        writing DBQ essays using primary sources.

d.        using computer software to produce all assignments.

3. Learn the various skills associated with the craft of history. These skills include:

a. Reading Comprehension and Cognitive Skills

b. Historical Thinking Skills

c. Research Skills

d. Written Communication Skills

e. Oral Communication Skills

f. Computer Literacy

Objective 4:  This course will prepare those students seeking secondary certification to perform well on the history and social studies content exams.

4. Students completing a major in the Department of History will be prepared to enter graduate programs in History, teach History in secondary or middle schools, or enter other careers open to graduates with degrees in the Liberal Arts.


Required Texts:

Winks, Europe and the Making of Modernity, 1815-1914 (Oxford, 2005)

Kissinger, A World Restored

Mill, On Liberty

Hobsbawm, Industry and Empire (New Press, 1999)

Anderson, Imagined Communities (Verso, 2016)


Instructional Methods/Class Format:  Most classes will consist of some lecture but should be primarily discussions of primary sources as well as the monographs under consideration.  Do not hesitate to bring up relevant questions and comments.  On the university level, and especially in an upper-level class, I assume that you will complete the assigned readings for each week.  It is also assumed that you will attend all classes.


Student Workload Expectation: Each class is 2.5 hours in duration.  Most classes have chapter reading amounting to 20-25 pages and 15-20 pages of primary sources.  I expect that you spend enough time with the primary sources so that we can discuss them in class.  The book reviews will require that you read four monographs (we will discuss some of the books’ contents in various classes) and write critical reviews of each.  Any written assignments (book review, take-home exams) should be grammatical, logical and adhere to assignment guidelines.  If you have trouble with grammar/writing, please take advantage of the Academic Success Center.




Class Participation


Kissinger Review

Mill Review

Hobsbawm Review

Anderson Review





Midterm Exam


Final Exam







Grades will be assigned according to the following percentages: 90-100=A; 80-89=B; 70-79=C; 60-69=D; 0-59=F


Exams:  Exams will out-of-class written essays that respond to a question prompt.  The midterm essay is due on 9 October.  The final exam is due 11 December.  Both must be turned in via Blackboard by 1:30 pm on those dates.


Book Reviews:  You are responsible for completing critical book reviews on each of the monographs listed above.  The reviews will be turned in via Blackboard by 1:30 pm according to the following: Kissinger, 25 September; Mill, 23 October; Hobsbawm, 16 November; Anderson, 5 December.  See guidelines/formal below. Parts of each will be discussed in class (see Lecture Topic and Reading Schedule below).


Class Participation:  The majority of class time will be devoted to discussion.  Discussions will draw primarily on the readings.  Half of your class participation grade will consist of my evaluation of your preparedness and the level of your participation in these discussions.  Obviously, if you are consistently absent or don’t speak, your participation will not be very effective.  Keep in mind that participation is not just speaking; but informed speech.  To accomplish that you need to keep up with the readings.


Attendance is mandatory.  If you miss more than 1 class (for us, the equivalent of one week) consider the effect on your grade.  Should you miss more, please do not offer excuses, notes or request special consideration.  Keep in mind a) that “dropping a course” is perfectly legitimate when circumstances arise that prevent you from completion, and b) that I should not be expected to change class expectations based on your circumstances.  You are responsible for all class assignments regardless of attendance.  Quizzes covering assigned readings may be given at any time and factored into the course grade at the discretion of the instructor.  If you are unable to complete this course, you must withdraw from it.  The last date to withdraw with a W is 13 November.

                If you want mercy, pray; grace, see the Department of Philosophy and Religion located on the third floor of PUMC.


Internet/Blackboard:  Feel free to send email to the address above.  Keep in mind that I will not entertain discussion about grades, missed classes, philosophy, &etc over email or any other electronic medium.  In addition, this syllabus, the lecture/reading schedule, some of the course readings and any other class handouts will be posted on the above web address.  All assignments (book reviews and take-home essay exams) will be submitted via Blackboard.


Texas Wesleyan University Policies:


    Academic Integrity


Familiarize yourself with Wesleyan’s Student Code of Conduct.  Academics are not only devoted to learning, research, and the advancement of knowledge, but also to the development of ethically sensitive and responsible persons. By accepting membership in this class, you are joining a community characterized by free expression, free inquiry, honesty, respect for others, and participation in constructive change.  All rights and responsibilities exercised within this academic environment shall be compatible with these principles. 


Academic Dishonesty is a breach of the Student Code of Conduct.  Dishonesty includes:

1.     Plagiarism, representing the work of another as one's own work;

2.     Preparing work for another that is to be used as that person's own work;

3.     Cheating by any method or means;

4.     Knowingly and willfully falsifying or manufacturing scientific or educational data and representing the same to be the result of scientific or scholarly experiment or research;

5.     Knowingly furnishing false information to a university official relative to academic matters;

6.     Soliciting, aiding, abetting, concealing, or attempting conduct in violation of this code.


Academic Dishonesty will not be tolerated in this course. Any offense will result in an F in the class (not simply on the assignment) and be referred to the appropriate academic officials for adjudication. If you have any questions regarding this subject please see me.  For a detailed description and further clarification, please see the link for “Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty” on my website, the 2017-2019 Wesleyan Catalog (p. 84-86), or the Student Handbook.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


·   Texas Wesleyan University adheres to a disability policy which is in keeping with relevant federal law. The University will provide appropriate accommodation as determined by the Director of the Counseling Center, Dr. Michael Ellison. Students must notify instructors of any permanent or temporary disabilities and must provide documentation regarding those disabilities prior to the granting of an accommodation. For assistance, students should consult with Dr. Ellison at mellison@txwes.edu or via phone at (817) 531-7565.


·   Course syllabi are intended to provide students with basic information concerning the course. The syllabus can be viewed as a 'blueprint' for the course; changes in the syllabus can be made and students will be informed of any substantive changes concerning examinations, the grading or attendance policies and changes in project assignments.


Unified Discrimination and Harassment Reporting (Including Title IX)


As noted in the catalog under the Unified Discrimination and Harassment Policy, Texas Wesleyan University is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of prohibited discrimination and sexual harassment.  If you have experienced any such discrimination or harassment, including gender- or sex-based forms, know that help and support are available from the following resources:

   Complete online incident report at https://txwes.edu/incident-report-form/

   Contact Campus Conduct Hotline (24 hours a day): (866) 943-5787

   Campus security (24 hours a day): (817) 531-4911

   Dean of Students: deanofstudents@txwes.edu OR (817) 531-4872

   Please be aware that all Texas Wesleyan University employees, other than designated confidential resources (i.e., Community Counseling Center) are required to report credible evidence of prohibited discrimination or harassment to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, or to one of the Title IX Assistant Coordinators.  If you wish to speak to someone confidentially, please contact the Community Counseling Center at (817) 531-4859 to schedule an appointment.


Note: Course syllabi are intended to provide students with basic information concerning the course. The syllabus can be viewed as a “blueprint” for the course; changes in the syllabus can be made and students will be informed of any substantive changes concerning examinations, the grading or attendance policies and changes in project assignments.



Writing for this course should employ standard academic formatting—double spaced, typed—with citations following either MLA or Chicago style—this latter style is required if you are a history major.  If you need help with this see the guides on the links page of the class website, the Wesleyan library or the instructor.  Correct use of source information and citations is assumed on the college level.  Failure to cite or format in the appropriate style will result in a lower grade.  See Grading Guidelines on the class webpage for specific grading criteria regarding written work. 


Statement of Understanding:


As a professional, I follow the American or western model of higher education.  According to this model the instructor encourages the students to think critically.  This is not merely the expression of an opinion, but well-thought, structured and supported arguments.  Do not be surprised if I voice an unconventional argument—particularly as we relate much of the course content to current events.  My purpose is not to express my own opinion but to challenge you to think critically about the topics being considered.  If you find yourself offended by something said in the classroom, consider than in the Humanities and Social Sciences “Truth” is at best elusive and tolerance essential. 


A valid method of instruction that has been used in the east and west for centuries, since 500 BCE, was founded in Greece; the Socratic method is based on rhetorical argumentation.  Rhetorical argument, in the classical sense, means the following: to inform, to convince, to explore, to make decisions, and even to meditate, as odd that may sound.  Although arguments may at times “pique” you emotionally, as an educated person you must learn to weigh ideas and use logic and not emotion to counter the argument.  Scholars of pedagogy agree that we learn best when we are confronted with a problem or, put another way, when we are humbled or taken out of our comfort zones; this, by the way, is the essence of the term offendere.  Therefore you should not consider a critique from me or anyone else in the class to be a negative attack or an occasion for anger and vengeance, but an opportunity for critical thought and reflection.  Moreover, and most importantly, education requires us to be tolerant of ideas that we may not understand and to consider values that we do not embrace.  Tolerance means that we allow others to believe a certain way even though we do not believe it; it does not mean that we have to embrace that belief.  If, however, we do not open our minds enough to understand ideas that we might disagree with, then we all will live in shallow, ignorant worlds of like minds and never come to agreement about anything except among people who thing just like us.  The latter is not characteristic of a university and as a member of Wesleyan’s academic community, I assume that you agree. 


I respect students who respect learning, so please do not show disrespect to me or your fellow students by asking to submit papers late or by asking for extra credit when you couldn’t meet the credit standards laid out in this syllabus.  Also, if you turn in writing that does not meet the standards set for class, you will receive the grade you deserve.  That grade does not reflect anything personal; it is strictly a professional assessment of academic work.  I have many years of experience on the university level, so I am fully aware of how to score historical writing.  Although I am always happy to explain why you earned a particular grade on an assignment, please think carefully before asking me to change a grade; to do so is tantamount to asking me to undermine the integrity and professional standards to which I try to adhere.  It is also an insult to the students who earned a higher grade.  I will protect the students who earned those grades. 


My Goal for you in this class is that you develop an understanding of the vast array of ideology that drove the events in European history from 1789 to 1914.  In our class, ideas will hold precedence over facts, dates, and the like.  History is NOT about memorization of factual information but a discipline that analyzes, interprets and creates an account of the past.  It is important that you consider the classroom an open forum for discussion—of anything related to the themes and topics of the course.  (Of course, any argument—whether spoken or written—must be supported.)  While I (or other students) may challenge beliefs/perspectives, realize that the purpose is not to change them.  That said, an open/tolerant attitude is essential in this class.  Remember—this is a college course where you ought to be able to discuss things openly and intelligently.  If you choose to be intolerant and interrupt class discussion, I reserve the right to you to leave the classroom.


As a goal, historians strive to be objective.  Therefore, for the purposes of this class regarding the political beliefs and perspectives that held by the various groups we will examine, all are equally valid.  That is, while f political beliefs certainly affected the period, we will avoid arguments that suggest one group has any more claim to absolute “Truth” than another.



Book Review Format (please consult the book review rubric: https://lat.taskstream.com/rubricExternal/awcwcscwcyc2cqct)


1.       5-6 pages typewritten, double-spaced.  Title page, if used, does NOT count.  Observe the normal rules of writing such as standard one-inch margins, page numbering, etc. 

2.       Full bibliographic citation on the title page or at the top of the first page.  (Consult an MLA or Chicago style guide if you’ve forgotten how to do this.  Do NOT make up your own form.)

3.       Brief introduction to the topic or subject of the book.  Why is this topic or subject important to the period of history being covered?

4.       Summarize the author’s thesis (argument) and main points concisely but fully.  (What do you think the author is trying to accomplish by writing the book?)

5.       Briefly say something regarding the author’s qualifications.

6.       Critique the book.  (What you’re doing is analogous to what happens in a courtroom. Consider yourself the judge and the author a lawyer who has presented an argument/case.  It’s up to you, having read his/her argument/case to decide whether or not her claims have validity.)  Based on your answer to #4 do you find his/her arguments and conclusions convincing?  How does s/he do in terms of accomplishing his purpose for writing?  Do not walk fences or resort to elementary tactics such as pleading ignorance.  (This should be about one-half of your paper.)

(6a. If the book is a work of literature, you’ll still consider what the author is trying to accomplish, but you’ll need to think about what the work says about the time period or place in which it’s set, the characters, the environment, etc.  For example, you’d look at it the same way an historian would look at More’s Utopia or possibly Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Those works are good literature but say a lot about the time period in which they were written.)

7.       While a review does not usually include the readers own opinion, you may provide a brief personal evaluation of no more than one paragraph.  Be sure to explain and support your opinion carefully and coherently.  At this point in your academic career, you ought to have an informed opinion.  “Informed” suggests that you’re offering specific evidence as to how and why you agree or disagree.

8.       This is not a research paper, so formal footnoting is not necessary.  If you do quote or draw on information that is not your own, simply use a parenthetical reference according to Turabian/Chicago style. 

9.       Papers which are turned in after the time they are due will be penalized one letter grade for each day.  No papers which are more than four days late will be accepted.  If you or someone close to you is looking like they’re coming down with the latest disease or that they might need emergency surgery, turn it in early.  If you want mercy or grace, see above.



Tentative Class Topic and Reading Schedule
           (Winks=textbook; the 4 monographs are referred to separately below)


Aug 21


The Enlightenment

Readings: Winks Introduction

Aug 28

The French Revolution and Napoleon

Readings: Winks Introduction; Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; Declaration of Rights of Man and of Citizen; Napoleon Bonaparte (miscellaneous documents)

Sept 4

The Congress of Vienna and Triumph of Conservatism

Readings: Winks 1; Metternich, The Odious Ideas of the Philosophes

Sept 11

Metternich and Castlereagh

Readings: Kissinger text (review due Sept 25)

Sept 18


Readings: Winks 2

Sept 25

The Industrial Revolution

Readings: Winks 3, 4; Sadler Commission, Report on Child Labor

Oct 2

Nineteenth Century -isms

Readings: Winks 5; Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Selections), Le Bon, Mass Psychology

Oct 9

Midterm Take-home Exam Due by 1:30 pm

Oct 16

On Liberty

Readings: Mill text (review due Oct 23)

Oct 23


Readings: Winks 6

Oct 30

Modern Nation-States

Readings: Winks 7; Mazzini, Young Italy,

Nov 6

More Industry and Darwin

Readings: Winks 8; Hobsbawm text (review due Nov 16), Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, Darwin, Natural Selection

Nov 13


Readings: Winks 9; Lin Tse-Hsü, Letter to Queen Victoria, Hobson, Imperialism

Nov 27

Imagined Communities

Readings: Anderson text (review due Dec 5)

Dec 4

La Belle Époque

Readings: Winks 11

Dec 6

Final Take-home Essay Exam Due by 1:30 pm