Fall 2021 - HIST 224 D100

Europe from the French Revolution to the First World War (3)

Class Number: 4349

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2021: Tue, 12:30–2:20 p.m.



A survey of European history emphasizing the French Revolution, and Napoleonic Europe and first Industrial Revolution, liberalism and its opponents, agrarian conservatism, liberalism and conservatism, the Revolutions of 1848, the struggles for political unification, the second Industrial Revolution and the origins of the First World War. Breadth-Humanities.


Europe’s Long 19th Century:

The Fading of Empires and the Building of Nations

The political map of Europe changed dramatically in the years between 1789 and the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.  Old regimes faced spirited challenges from emerging nations. Revolutionary ideas challenged traditional claims to legitimacy.  The outlines of this story are well known.  Yet usually when this story is related, the focus is on Europe’s west.  In contrast, this course will emphasize how the same developments unfolded in the large multiethnic empires that dominated most of the European landmass, and particularly the east and the southeast.  These empires – the Habsburg, the Russian, and the Ottoman – all collapsed before the end of the First World War.  They were weakened, and in the Ottoman case, substantially disintegrated during the preceding century and a half.  And yet these empires experienced notable victories as well as setbacks, and for a time they were not too frail to resist and withstand the challenges of modernity.  We will analyze how these empires, which had existed for centuries prior to their decline, responded to the mounting challenges of nationalism, liberalism, radicalism, industrialization, and globalization.   


  • Tutorial participation 20%
  • First essay test 30%
  • Second essay test 35%
  • Response papers 15%



There will be two in-class examinations and three short written assignments (take-home mini-essays, aka “response papers”).  The two exams will be worth 30% (first exam) and 35% (second exam) of your grade.  The short written exercises will account for another 15%.  Another 20% of the course grade will be based on the tutorial.



Leo Tolstoy, Hadji Murat. Vintage, 2012.

Mark Mazower, The Balkans: A Short History. Modern Library, 2002.

Joseph Roth, The Emperor’s Tomb. Overlook Press, 2002.

Ernest Gellner, Nations & Nationalism. Cornell Univ. Press, 2009.

John Merriman, A History of Modern Europe; vol. 2 (From the French Revolution to the Present).

Registrar Notes:


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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.