The French Revolution was a defining episode in modern European history. This course examines the revolutionary period from the end of the Old Regime through to the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. It assesses the origins, development, and significance of the French Revolution and investigates the nature of Napoleonic rule and its impact upon Europe and the wider world. Participants will be introduced to a range of primary sources, including petitions, political speeches, newspapers, memoirs and paintings, and will have the opportunity to explore in-depth such topics as the formation of nation states, the rights of the individual, the Terror, and the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. No knowledge of French is required for this course.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain the origins and development of the French Revolution and Napoleonic rule;
- Demonstrate an in-depth appreciation of key historiographical and theoretical interpretations of the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods;
- Locate and interpret primary sources to generate insights into the past;
- Analyse primary and secondary sources to construct evidence-based arguments about the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods;
- Evaluate the political, social and cultural legacies of the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods for France, Europe and the wider world; and
- Design and complete a research essay on some aspect of the French Revolution and/or Napoleonic rule.
Indicative AssessmentTutorial participation (10%) [addresses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6].
2000 word essay (30%) [addresses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6].
4000 word essay (60%) [addresses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6].
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsNoah Shusterman, The French Revolution. Faith, desire, and politics (London & New York: Routledge, 2014); Alan Forrest, Napoleon (London: Quercus, 2012); Philip G. Dwyer and Peter McPhee (eds), The French Revolution and Napoleon: a sourcebook (London & New York: Routledge, 2002).
Preliminary ReadingPaul R. Hanson, Contesting the French Revolution (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2009).
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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