Modern Europe: Napoleon to the Present
Instructor: Michael Ebner
This course examines the major trends and developments in European history since the late eighteenth century, including the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, imperialism, the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Fascist and Nazi dictatorships, the Second World War, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and European Unification. The thematic focus of this course is the relationship between the state and the individual. How does this relationship change over time – what makes it “modern”? To address this issue, we will examine the events, developments, and ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, socialism, nationalism, fascism) that shaped how individuals interacted with the state during the modern period.
Summary of Requirements
Final grades will be based on three take-home tests (10%, 15%, 15%), two papers (20%, 20%), and participation and engagement (20%). Much of the material on the take-home tests will come from lectures.
Brian Levack et al, The West: Encounters and Transformations, Volume 2: Since 1550, 4th edition.
This textbook is available for purchase as an e-text through several services. If you click on the MyHistoryLab button, and you will see a link to establish an account and purchase the e-text. I assume that most students will use the e-text, but you can also purchase the hard copy through an online bookstore.
A less expensive route is to "rent" this textbook from an online bookstore like amazon.com. Just make sure you by the exact edition (check to make sure you have the correct volume, and double check the ISBN).
Each week students will read primary documents and discuss them on blackboard.
Blackboard.syr.edu and email
Most of the resources for this course can be found on blackboard (times, dates, assignments, etc). Feel free to write the professor with any questions, but please consult your syllabus and/or blackboard first. You must check your SU email regularly.
Participation and Engagement (20%): Students will be required to contribute to discussions (posting questions, comments, etc. on blackboard) on a regular basis. Failure to contribute to any given discussion topic will be considered an “absence.” More than two absences will lower a student’s participation grade. The quality of the contribution will be graded in addition to the quantity. Reading quizzes may be assigned periodically, and will also count toward the participation and engagement grade. For more information on discussion posts, see the "Discussion" section.
Three take-home tests: Exams consist of written identifications, quote explanations, and and essays. They measure your knowledge of the assigned readings, lectures, and discussions. Therefore, answers that do not reflect knowledge of the assigned materials and ideas presented in lectures (in particular) and sections will receive a low grade. Each test focuses on material covered up to that point, but the final exam may contain essay questions that have a cumulative component. Take-home tests will be given out on Thursdays and will be due the following Monday.
NOTE: Tests cannot be made up. Failure to turn them in on time may result in a zero for that test.
Papers: (20% and 20%): Topics and instructions for the two 5-page papers will be distributed on a Thursday and will be due the following Monday. These writing assignments are not research papers and must draw on themes and factual points from assigned readings, lectures, and discussions. Moreover, the thesis of the paper must be proved with evidence from the assigned primary sources. Additional research from other sources, including the internet, will in most cases lower, rather than improve, your grade. Papers that contain passages cut and paste from the internet (or any other type of plagiarism—see below) will receive a failing grade ranging from an “F” to a zero (no credit). You must provide citations for any factual or interpretive points that are not your own.
Papers can be turned it to me by email (). Late papers will be marked down one-third of a grade on the due date and, beyond that, one full grade for each day they are late.
Academic Integrity: Cheating and Plagiarism
For this course, penalties for cheating or plagiarism range from an "F" or a zero (no credit) for the assignment to an "F" for the course. When in doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, please contact your teaching assistant or me. Many cases of plagiarism occur because students do not know what plagiarism is. Plagiarism includes cutting & pasting from the internet or taking another writer’s sentence (even from the textbook) and changing a few words, even with a footnote. Turning in a paper that consists of writing from another course is cheating. All instances of suspected cheating and plagiarism will be reported to the Academic Integrity Office.
Students are responsible for reading Syracuse’s Academic Integrity Policy. Please visit the web site of the Academic Integrity Office:
If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, please contact me and the Office of Disability Services (804 University Ave, 443-4498) as early in the term as possible.
Religious Observance Policy
Under SU’s religious observance policy, students may make up any examination or work requirements missed due to a religious observance, provided they notify their instructors (through MySlice/Student Services/Enrollment/My Religious Observances) before the end of the first week of classes. Note that the policy covers only the religious holiday itself and not the days before or after (for travel, etc.) The policy may be found at:
HOW TO TAKE THIS COURSE
Normally this course would meet M-Th for almost two hours per day. Therefore, including “class time” and studying, students should plan to spend 3-4 hours per day on this course. Additionally, students will require extra time (several hours) to complete tests and papers (usually during the period Friday-Monday). This schedule is a big time commitment, but the course is cramming a whole fifteen-week semester into six weeks.
On the “content” section of the blackboard site (see button on left side of blackboard screen), you will find the daily assignments (readings, lectures, discussion questions, tests, paper topics). Students should work through these assignments in the following way.
1. Read Online Textbook.
2. Watch “Part I” of the lecture. Pay special attention to the "key terms," as they will appear on the test at the end of most weeks.
3. Read a primary source
4. Watch “Part II” of the lecture.
5. Read a primary source
(continue with lectures and primary sources as needed if there are more than two)
6. Two or three times each week, post comments in response to discussion questions on the “Discussion” page of blackboard. You must contribute to the discussion on the day it is due -- late contributions will not be accepted. Additional, follow-up posts can be posted until noon the following day, but a student's initial post must appear on the day it is due.
7. On Thursdays, you will receive a “test” or a paper topic, which will be due the following week
I am always available to answer questions or talk about course content over email (email@example.com) I am also available to look at drafts of papers (but not tests), but students must give me drafts a few days before they are due.