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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Eric Bright
HSTEU 422
Seattle Campus

The French Revolution and Napoleon: 1789-1815

Transformation of France under the Revolution of 1789; the Reign of Terror and Napoleon; the impact of the revolution and Napoleon upon Europe.

Class description

This course covers the history of France from approximately 1750 to 1815, encompassing the French Enlightenment, the decline of the absolute monarchy, the French Revolution, the rise and fall of the Napoleonic Empire, and the Bourbon Restoration. In chronicling this period of rapid social, political, and cultural transformation, the course will examine a number of historiographical issues including the nature and extent of the Enlightenment in France, the reasons for the decline of the absolutist system, the internal dynamics of the Revolution with respect to the failure of consensus and the phenomenon of counter-revolution, the question of popular and state-sponsored violence, the ambivalent experience of women during the Revolution, and the relationship between militarism, individual rights, and the needs of the state.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures will be conducted Monday-Wednesday, weekly peer group meetings on Thursday, and discussion of course materials on Friday.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites are required but, since this is a reading-intensive course, a willigness to engage and an ability to distill large quantities of information would be helfpul.

Class assignments and grading

Several quizzes administered throughout the quarter, final paper of approximately 6 pages (with peer reviewed rough drafts), weekly peer group meetings, and participation in class discussion.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Eric Bright
Date: 05/24/2005