Skip to main content

New Introductory Courses in History (200-0-24)


Age of Revolutions


Robin Duffin Bates
Harris 242

Meeting Info

Fisk Hall 217: Tues, Thurs 3:30PM - 4:50PM

Overview of class

Why do revolutions start?
What factors make them succeed or fail?
How have people sought to unleash and seize control of massive historical change - or, less grandly, simply tried to survive it?

We will consider these questions as we examine the era of modern revolutions, beginning with the outbreak of the interlinked French, Haitian, and American Revolutions of the late 1700s, then following their decades-long aftershocks as a wave of revolutions sweeps the globe from Europe to Latin America to the Middle East. This cascade of dramatic struggles between democracy and aristocracy, freedom and slavery, independence and colonialism, created a new world order as well as key components of our ongoing social reality: socialism, capitalism, liberalism, conservatism, terrorism, and perhaps most importantly revolution itself, an eruption of sudden and epochal social transformation which has electrified some but terrified others ever since.

Learning Objectives

1) Identify, explain, and critically interrogate the historical actors, events, and ideas that have shaped revolutions in the modern world;
2) Assess competing explanations of historical transformations, showing an awareness of how claims are supported by evidence and how arguments are structured by analytic categories;
3) Formulate original arguments based on your independent interpretation of sources and situate these arguments in a meaningful historiographical context.

Evaluation Method

Participation (in class + discussion sections): 25% of your final grade;
Three discussion board posts: 15% (5% each);
Essay Assignment: 30%;
Take-Home Final Exam: 30%

Class Notes

Concentration: Americas, European, Global

Class Attributes

Historical Studies Foundational Discipline
Historical Studies Distro Area

Associated Classes

DIS - Annenberg Hall G28: Fri 11:00AM - 11:50AM

DIS - University Hall 412: Fri 1:00PM - 1:50PM

DIS - University Hall 118: Fri 2:00PM - 2:50PM

DIS - Locy Hall 305: Fri 10:00AM - 10:50AM

DIS - University Hall 118: Fri 11:00AM - 11:50AM

DIS - University Hall 118: Fri 12:00PM - 12:50PM

DIS - University Hall 112: Fri 12:00PM - 12:50PM

DIS - Parkes Hall 213: Fri 1:00PM - 1:50PM

DIS - Harris Hall L05: Fri 2:00PM - 2:50PM