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Conflict and identity in modern Europe, c.1770-2000 HI1009-05

This course aims to provide students with a solid grounding in key economic, social, political and cultural developments which affected the lives of modern Europeans.


30 Credits

Topics covered

  • The changing map of Europe
  • Population movements
  • The industrial transformation of Europe
  • Enlightenment, religion and irreligion
  • The French Revolution and beyond
  • The transformation of rural society
  • Liberalism and Democracy
  • The triumph of the nation state
  • Bourgeoisie and proletariat
  • Labour movements and the rise of socialism
  • Progress and its discontents
  • Imperialism
  • The modern city
  • European society at war
  • Revolution and counter-revolution
  • The challenge of Communism
  • The challenge of Fascism
  • Planning and welfare
  • World War II: occupation, collaboration and resistance
  • Western Europe and Eastern Europe in the post-war period

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Show an informed understanding of the major changes impacting the lives of Europeans since the late 18th century
  • Identify continuities as well as change and appreciate the roles of demography, economics and politics in effecting social and cultural transformations
  • Make reasonable sense of the world we live in by knowing how and why it came about
  • Evaluate critically different interpretations and debates in historical writing
  • Produce coursework essays that are properly structured, cogently argued, fluently written in reasonable English and fully referenced
  • Interact with other members of their tutorial class and with the course tutor on an appropriate level of academic discourse


  • Exam (80%)
  • Essay (10%)
  • Reflective journal and forum posts (10%)

Essential reading

  • A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present by Merriman, John. History: A Very Short Introduction by Arnold, John.
  • A History of Western Society, Volume 2: From the Age of Exploration to the Present by (McKay, Crowston, Wiesner-Hanks, Perry)
  • Companion to Nineteenth-Century Europe by Beger, Stefan. (supplied as an e-book via the University of London Online Library).