Fall 2021 - HIST 223 D100

Early Modern Europe, 1500-1789 (3)

Class Number: 3958

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2021: Thu, 2:30–5:20 p.m.



A survey of early modern European history which will examine, among other topics, the wars of religion, the 17th century revolutions, 16th and 17th century economic development, the scientific revolution, the enlightenment and the political and social character of the old regime. Breadth-Humanities.


Transitions are exciting and disturbing.  From the eve of the Protestant Reformation to the eve of the French Revolution, Europeans experienced many transformative changes.  They participated in or endured religious and cultural innovations, political and social conflict, and economic opportunity and crisis. The early modern period in European history was a time of crucial transitions.  

We shall begin by asking if the term “early modern” is appropriate for this period.  Does it point to a shift to modern Europe?  Next, we shall discover how religious and social rituals structured and sometimes disrupted the lives of Europeans.  Finally, we shall consider if evidence from the eighteenth century points to the demise of the prevailing social system and to the beginnings of modern Europe.

We shall use Canvas in several ways.  You can download a Canvas app for your devices.


The course requirements of History 223 will help you achieve the educational goals of undergraduate courses in the Department of History.  By the end of the course, you will be able

  • to identify the principal historical developments of early modern Europe
  • to apply a knowledge of these developments in assessing historical interpretations of early modern Europe.
Hist. 223 will prepare you for Hist. 320 (European Reformation) and Hist. 336 (Ideas and Society in Early Modern Europe).  It is a course prerequisite for Hist. 439 (Catholicism in Early Modern Europe).



  • Participation (oral and/or written) 15%
  • Five quizzes (23 Sept., 7 Oct., 21 Oct., 4 Nov., 2 Dec.) (5 x 7%) 35%
  • First Essay (800-1000 words, due 18 October on Canvas) 20%
  • Second Essay (1000-1500 words, due 6 December on Canvas) 30%



Euan Cameron, ed., Early Modern Europe (online at the SFU library) or for your purchase at Amazon.ca

Journal articles available electronically from the SFU library through the course syllabus.

Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre. Purchase e-book or paperback at Amazon.ca. Other options are available here.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.