Science 21400 & 32400
This course provides a survey of major wars, the development of states' military and financial capacity, the course of imperial expansion and retreat, diplomatic alignments and alliances, arrangements for international trade and investment, as well as efforts to create international institutions. In short, it surveys the history of modern inter-state relations in the nineteenth century. This course covers the period from the Congress of Vienna (at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars) through the origins of World War I. It covers key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory. Besides diplomatic relations among the Great Powers, the course examines long-term trends in economic development and military force. Specific topics include the settlement after the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, European imperialism, the industrial revolution and its impact on international affairs.
This course uses multimedia extensively. Class presentations feature computerized maps, graphs, historical photos and paintings, and newspapers from the period. I also show my lecture notes in class (although not online). To give a flavor of the historic periods we cover, the class presentations include propaganda posters and political cartoons.
This course is intended for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in the social sciences, particularly those working on international relations. Its goal is to provide historical grounding for theorizing about international relations. There is no prerequisite for this course. This is one of four related courses on the history of international politics, each of which can be taken independently:
To cover so much material, even in a survey fashion, requires intensive reading, although I have pared the assignments to a minimum. Please note that it is an introductory survey course and not a research course. Students with a strong background in modern history should take other, more advanced courses that encourage detailed inquiry and independent research.
There are three required books for the course, listed below:
1. Provide a concise, general history of international and diplomatic events and sequences, especially those bearing on Great Power relationships;
2. Draw connections, where possible, between the historical materials and analytic questions of interest to IR theorists;
3. Incorporate international economic issues, which are too often slighted in political and diplomatic histories. They should be included for two reasons:
Books are available at UC/Barnes & Noble Bookstore and the Seminary
Cooperative Bookstore and are on short-term reserve at the Regenstein Library.
There will be three in-class exams, one for each module. They will incorporate materials from lectures and assigned readings. There are no papers and no final.
Each exam will focus on the module we just covered but may ask for integration of materials from earlier modules, as well.
The format of each exam will include an ID/Timeline and an essay question.
The essay will focus on one of the major themes of the course, and you will have some options in choosing the topic on which you write.
The timeline/ID section will ask you to name several major events that occurred during the time period of the module and to describe those events briefly (in about one sentence each). The timeline/ID section will normally divide the time into two, three, or four subperiods and ask you to name and describe a few events in each subperiod. For example, in Module I, which covers 1814-1847, the subperiods will be (1) 1814-1815; (2) 1816-1829; and (3) 1830-1847. In the first period, you might name the Congress of Vienna and briefly describe it. In the third period, you might name the revolutions of 1830.
Please bring one or two blue blooks to each exam. They are available in the Barnes & Noble University of Chicago Bookstore.
Some students must miss the regular exam date because of illness or other excusable reasons. Students may take a make-up only after they have received Prof. Lipson's written permission. They should seek that permission before the regular exam is given.
How to Request a Make-Up: Students must make a written request for a make-up exam and clearly state why the regular exam could not be taken (for example, a serious family illness). This email request must be sent to three people in a single email:
I will respond to that email, saying whether or not you have permission to take the make-up exam, and will copy my response to your TA and college adviser.
When is the Make-Up Exam Given?
The readings rely on three books, and you should purchase all three. For your convenience, I have also included the call numbers
Since the course requires papers, you will need to do more detailed readings to explore your paper topics. To aid your search for the best readings, please feel free to ask your section leaders or me for suggestions. I have also listed a few background readings for those who want to deepen their understanding of the particular periods or topics. Of course, the list of useful readings is far longer than I can include here. Again, please feel free to ask for suggestions regarding topics that specially interest you.
For a strong
collection of modern history resources on the Web, please see my
Optional for entire course: an excellent collection of online documents and articles covering the entire era.
Edward Whiting Fox, The Emergence of the Modern World (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1991). D102.F690
J. M. Roberts, A History of Europe (New York: Allen Lane, 1996). D20.R645 1997
Both Fox and Roberts provide a useful background and general setting for the events discussed in this class. The Fox book essentially begins with the French Revolution (he has a little material on the earlier period) and goes up through the Cold War. Roberts covers a longer period and in greater depth. Both are well-written, intelligent books that require no prior knowledge of the subjects; both are focused on Europe.
Other useful supplementary books are:
F. Roy Bridge and Roger Bullen, The Great Powers and the European States System 1815-1914 (London: Longman, 1980), same territory as Norman Rich book but briefer and more selective. D363.B750
William H. McNeill, The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000 (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1982), pp. 63-184, covers the same territory as Addington. U37.M380 Law
Robert I. Rotberg and Theodore K. Rabb, eds., The Origin and Prevention of Major Wars (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989), has excellent essays on individual wars U21.2.o720 1989 (Gen) (Harp)
David S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor (New York: W. W. Norton, 1998), an excellent analysis of the economic development in historical perspective. HC240.Z9 W45 1998