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The Modern World


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Professor Frank Trentmann
  • Assessment: a 500-word summary of a scholarly article (20%), a 1000-word book review (20%), a 1500-word essay (20%) and a 48-hour online examination (40%) with 60% attendance requirement

Module description

The aim of this course is to provide you with a basic knowledge of the history of Britain, Europe and the world in the long nineteenth century. The lectures are arranged chronologically and thematically. They are followed by classes focusing on a key text related to the subject.

Indicative module content

Term 1: The Age of Revolution (1776 to 1848)

  • Introduction: the birth of the modern world
  • The crisis of the ancien régime
  • Revolutions and popular politics
  • Global war and restoration
  • Agrarian and industrial revolutions
  • Slavery and serfdom
  • The making of the working class?
  • Peoples and parliaments
  • Worlds of faith
  • Visions of progress

Term 2: The Age of Empire (1848 to 1914)

  • Introduction: expansion and crisis
  • Nations and states
  • The new imperialism
  • Resisting empires
  • Trade and globalisation
  • The modern city
  • Mass politics
  • Migration and mobility
  • Cultures of modernity
  • The origins of the First World War