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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Raymond A. Jonas
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

At its core, this course is about the French Revolution from the twilight of the old regime to the defeat of Napoléon and the restoration of the monarchy. However, the Revolution’s impact extended well beyond Europe. It prompted slave revolt in the Caribbean, weakened the hold of Europe on Latin America, and shook the status quo in North Africa and the Middle East.

Students will learn how the Revolution of 1789 destabilized the European old regime and opened the era of modern politics. By the time the Revolution was over, the inertia that had favored the rule of kings and queens from Madrid to Moscow had been destroyed, public opinion was a recognized force, human rights had become a legitimate goal, and terror as a political tool had new advocates.

Lecture topics will include: the invention of public opinion in the 18th century; the Revolution and the Catholic Church; revolutionary evangelism; the king's trial and execution; the guillotine and modern justice; counter revolution and resistance to the Revolution; the Terror and terrorism in historical perspective; the status of women in a fraternal revolution; music and political culture; the Revolution and the world’s first successful slave revolt (Haiti); the Napoleonic armies and the spread of the Revolution from the Caribbean to Cairo; Napoléonic warfare (strategy and tactics in the age of mass politics); revolutionary culture and iconography; the Revolution and the city of Paris; the Revolution in film; the Revolution today.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion.

Recommended preparation

Familiarity with the outlines of European history.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly readings in primary and secondary sources; discussion; midterm, paper, final.

class discussion midterm examination term paper final examination


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Raymond A. Jonas
Date: 02/06/2014