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HIST 0540 Enlightenment Europe

The eighteenth century in Europe was an age of Enlightenment although not necessarily an enlightened age. European commercial empires spread around the globe, driven by an expanding market for consumer goods like sugar, tobacco and tea. These goods were often produced by slave labor, and the trade in African slaves peaked during the period. At the same time, European intellectuals had never been more strident in asserting the benefits of liberty and toleration. The established Churches struggled to maintain their influence over populations that were increasingly affected by urbanisation, manufacturing and other challenges to long-established ways of life. The revolutions of the late 1700s in the Low Countries and France marked the start of a political transformation inspired in part by the consequences of social and cultural change.

Sample topics: 

War and State Formation

European Empires

Commerce and Consumerism

The Spread of Manufactures

Rural and Urban Poverty

Enlightened Culture

Thankful for every moment
I devoured the integral lectures, the seminars, the tea and biscuits, and the charming streets of Oxford. Aided by my tutors, my passion for the human...
Mike Rectenwald, Summer 2000, Geneva College