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 A&H 171 - Early Modern History


This course gives a chronological overview of the early modern period (1500-1815) in world history. It covers the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, and from the early modern period to the modern age. In this course we will attempt to develop a critical perspective on widely disseminated notions about modernization in which medieval and early modern society are described as ‘stages’ in the development to modernity. In order to test this perspective we will look at specific themes in the early modern age, so that students will gain insight in the characteristics of this period.

Special attention will be given to the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century. Within a small and unstable territory, this nation managed to become the economic center of Europe, and to some extent even of the contemporary world. The course covers the interactions between economic, social, political and religious factors in the history of the Dutch Republic and other European nations.

Dr. Tobias Van Gent



Required for

This course is an alternative requirement for the following courses:

  • A&H 278 History of Empires
  • A&H 279 Western Way of War