Department of history module handbook 2013-14 approaches to early modernity: 1500-1750 Module Convenor: Dr Gabriel Glickman

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Module Convenor: Dr Gabriel Glickman

Context of Module:

This is the core module for the MA in Religious, Social and Cultural History. The module, taught in the Autumn term, may also be taken by students on the MA in History, the MA in Modern History, or any taught Masters students outside the History Department.

Module Aims:

This module aims to provide a broad and comparative introduction to the themes of the MARSCH degree. It is organized around the three core themes of Religion, Culture, and Society, with tutors introducing both broad approaches and insights from their own research. By the end of the module, students should have a sound knowledge of current trends in approach and topic, and be equipped to tackle the more specialised modules on offer in the second term.

You can choose to write a 5000-word essay about any of the topics that we cover. You can either use a title from the ones suggested or formulate one of your own in consultation with the module director or with the seminar tutor. Suggestions for reading are provided for each of the seminars, but again please ask if you want more advice.

You are expected to attend the Early Modern Seminar though you may also found much of interest in the Global History, Eighteenth Century and History of Medicine seminars – the programmes are on the departmental website, where you will also find a forum for research activity.

Intended Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • display an advanced knowledge of the key themes in early modern European history (including Britain). Students will have a sound knowledge of the complex religious, social, political and cultural contexts that prevailed. Students will be able to articulate an advanced understanding of key themes, and to be aware of change over time and space.

  • show advanced knowledge and conceptual awareness of the different interpretations of key themes in early modern history, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of varying approaches and arriving at an independent judgement. Students should be able to show a sophisticated handling of concepts and arguments.

  • display an ability to interpret primary sources, showing initiative in researching their contexts and meanings. Students should be able to work autonomously to identify texts that are relevant to their essay topic, but within a guided framework.

  • refine their writing and debating skills

  • scope a dissertation topic, with the capacity for original work that will allow the student to pursue independent research


The course is taught in weekly 2-hour seminars; Thursday 3.00-5.00 pm; Room H.3.03

Week 1: Introduction (Gabriel Glickman)

Week 2 : Religion I: The Reformation(s) and Confessionalization (Gabriel Glickman)

Week 3: Religion II: Popular Religion and ‘Disenchantment’ (Gabriel Glickman)

Week 4: Culture I: (Beat Kumin and Claudia Stein)

Week 5: Culture I: (Beat Kumin and Claudia Stein)

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Society I: Social Order and Social Protest (Bernard Capp)

Week 8: Society II: Gender (Bernard Capp)

Week 9: Europe and the New World (Gabriel Glickman)

Week 10: Module Workshop (all tutors)

Illustrative Bibliography:
M. Braddick, State Formation in Early Modern England c.1550-1700 (2000)

A. Brett and J. Tully (eds), Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought (2006)

P. Burke, Varieties of Cultural History (1997)

R. Chartier, The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Modern France (1987)

J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830 (New Haven and London, 2006).

A. Grafton, New Worlds, Ancient Texts. The Power of Tradition and the

Shock of Discovery (1992).

K. von Greyerz, Religion and Society in Early Modern Europe 1500-1800 (1984)

R. Houston, Literacy in Early Modern Europe: Culture and Education 1500-1800 (1988)

B. Kumin (ed), The European World 1500-1800 (2009)

E. Muir, Ritual in Early Modern Europe (1997)

A. Pagden, European Encounters with the New World: from Renaissance to Romanticism (1993).

J. Ruff, Violence in Early Modern Europe (2001)

D. Sabean, Power in the Blood: Popular Culture and Village Discourse in Early Modern Germany (1984)

R. Starn, ‘The Early Modern Muddle’, Journal of Early Modern History 6:3 (2002), 296-307 W. Te Brake, Shaping History: Ordinary People in European Politics 1500-1700 (1998)

G. Walker (ed), Writing Early Modern History (2005)

M. Wiesner-Hanks, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (2008, 3rd edition)

P. Withington, Society in Early Modern England: The Vernacular Origins of Some Powerful Ideas (Cambridge, 2010)

Assessment: 1 assessed essay of 5,000 words will be due on Tuesday 10 December 2013 (first week after the end of Term 1). In addition, an optional non-assessed, ‘practice’ essay of c. 2000 words (which you are encouraged to undertake) can be handed in to Gabriel Glickman by Monday of Week 7 (11 Nov).


Tutor: Gabriel Glickman

Seminar and Essay Questions:

  • Should we properly speak of the Reformation or of Reformations?

  • To what extent did national and regional contexts shape the course of the Reformation(s)?

  • How useful is the confessionalization thesis?

R. Birely, The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450-1700 (1999)

J. Bossy, Christianity in the West (1985)

E. Cameron, The European Reformation (1991)

P. Collinson, The Reformation (2003)

W. Coster and A. Spicer (eds), Sacred Space in Early Modern Europe (2005)

N. Davidson, The Counter-Reformation (1987)

E. Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580 (1992)

H. J. Goertz, The Anabaptists (1996)

Bruce Gordon, Calvin (2009).

B. S. Gregory, Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (1999)

M. Greengrass, The Longman Companion to the European Reformation (1998)

K. von Greyerz, Religion and Culture in Early Modern Europe (2008)

R. Hsia, The World of Catholic Renewal (1998)

R. Hsia (ed), Cambridge History of Christianity Volume 6: Reform and Expansion 1500-1660 (2007)

B. Kaplan, Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe (2007)

B. Kümin (ed.), The European World (2009), part 3: ‘Religion’

D. MacCulloch, Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490-1700 (2003)

P. Marshall, The Reformation: A Very Short Introduction (2009)

P. Matheson (ed), Reformation Christianity (2007)

A. McGrath, Reformation Thought: An Introduction (1988; second edn 1992)

J.W. O’Malley, Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era (2000)

L. Palmer Wandel, The Eucharist in the Reformation: Incarnation and Liturgy (2006)

A. Pettegree, ed., The Early Reformation in Europe (1992)

A. Pettegree (ed.), The Reformation World (2000)

A. Pettegree, Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion (2005)

U. Rublack, Reformation Europe (2005)

A. Ryrie (ed), Palgrave Advances in the European Reformations (2006)

R. Scribner et al. (eds), The Reformation in National Context (1994)

J. D. Tracy, Europe’s Reformations 1450-1650 (1999)

P. G. Wallace, The Long European Reformation (2004)

Specifically on the ‘Confessionalization’ debate:
John M. Headley, Hans J. Hillerbrand, and Anthony J. Paplas (eds), Confessionalization in Europe, 1555-1700: Essays in Honor and Memory of Bodo Nischan (2004)

H. Schilling, Religion, Political Culture and the Emergence of Early Modern Society (Leiden, 1992), esp. pp.205-45 (‘Confessionalization in the Empire’)

W. Reinhard, ‘Pressures towards Confessionalization? Prolegomena to a Theory of the Confessional Age’, in C. S. Dixon (ed.), The German Reformation: The Essential Readings (1999)

P. Benedict, ‘Confessionalization in France? Critical reflections and new evidence’, in R.A. Mentzer and A. Spicer (eds), Society and Culture in the Huguenot World (1559-1685) (2002), pp. 44-61, and also in P. Benedict, The Faith and Fortunes of France’s Huguenots, 1600-85 (2001), pp. 309-25

Tutor: Gabriel Glickman
Seminar and Essay Questions:

  • How helpful is the distinction between ‘elite’ and ‘popular’ religion in the early modern period?

  • Did the Reformation(s) lead to the ‘disenchantment of the world’?

  • Did Protestant and Catholic reformers fundamentally differ in their attitude towards the religion of ‘the people’?

R. W. Scribner, ‘The Reformation, Popular Magic and the “Disenchantment of the World”’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 23 (1993), pp. 475-94; reprinted in C. Scott Dixon (ed.), The German Reformation (1999), pp. 262-79.

------ ‘Reformation and Desacralisation: from Sacramental World to Moralised Universe’, in R. Po-Chia Hsia & R. Scribner (eds), Problems in the Historical Anthropology of Early Modern Europe (Wiesbaden, 1997)

A. Walsham, ‘The Reformation and the Disenchantment of the World Reassessed’, Historical Journal, 51 (2008).

A. Walsham, The Reformation of the Landscape (2011).

Richard van Dülmen, ‘The Reformation and the Modern Age’, in C. Scott Dixon (ed.), The German Reformation (1999), pp. 193-219.

Ulinka Rublack, Reformation Europe (2005), ch. 4 and epilogue

Euan Cameron, ‘For Reasoned Faith or Embattled Creed? Religion and the People in Early Modern Europe’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th series, 7 (1998)

---------, Enchanted Europe: Superstition, Reason and Religion, 1250-1750 (2010)

Peter Marshall, The Reformation: A Very Short Introduction (2009), chs. 5-7

Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971), chs. 1-2

Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars (1992), esp. introduction

K. von Greyerz, Religion and Culture in Early Modern Europe (2008)

Philip Soergel, ‘Popular Religion’, in A. Ryrie (ed), Palgrave Advances in the European Reformations (2006)

Stephen Wilson, The Magical Universe: Everyday Ritual and Magic in Pre-Modern Europe (2000).

R. W. Scribner, ‘Ritual and Popular Religion in Catholic Germany at the Time of the Reformation’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 35 (1984) [reprinted in his Popular Culture and Popular Movements in Reformation Germany (1987)]

--------, ‘Cosmic Order and Daily Life: Sacred and Secular in Pre-Industrial German Society’, in Kaspar von Greyerz (ed.), Religion and Society in Early Modern Europe 1500-1800 (1984) [reprinted in his Popular Culture and Popular Movements in Reformation Germany (1987)]

B. Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe (latest edn)

Edward Muir, Ritual in Early Modern Europe (1997)

B. Scribner and T. Johnson (eds), Popular Religion in Germany and Central Europe 1400-1800 (1996)

M. Todd, The Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern Scotland (2002)

John Bossy, Christianity in the West 1400-1700 (1985)

Larissa Taylor, ‘Society and Piety’, in R. Hsia (ed.), A Companion to the Reformation World (2003)

H. Parish and W. Naphy (eds), Religion and Superstition in Reformation Europe (2002)

Gary Waite, Heresy, Magic, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (2003)

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Talcott Parsons (1930), ch. iv, pp. 95-139 (also 1958 and 1992 editions).
WEEKS 4 AND 5: Cultural Histories of Early Modern Europe: the Culture of Drinking and the Tavern and the Visual Culture of Medicine and Science
Tutors: Beat Kumin and Claudia Stein

The sessions in week 4 and 5 will introduce us to the ‘new cultural history’, a form of history writing that emerged during the 1980s. The ‘new’ cultural history – to be distinguished from an ‘older’ form of cultural history practiced around the turn- of-the twentieth century – was inspired by research methods and theories in anthropology (e.g. Clifford Geertz) and the so-called ‘linguistic’ turn in the human sciences. Historians increasingly moved away from understanding the past as predominantly economically determined and began to explore its ‘symbolic meanings’. The new cultural historians turned their attention to rituals and language, its signs, metaphors, and rhetoric. But they began to be interested in the question how the visual world shaped the production of knowledge in the past. 'Culture' in its multifarious ways became to be seen as intrinsic to social practice, and therefore at the heart of society itself.

We will look at two flourishing research areas in this area, i.e. the cultural history of drink and the visual culture of science and medicine. Week 4 is dedicated to introductory surveys, week 5 features short student presentations and a general discussion.

General Readings about Cultural History (* = required text):
Burke, Peter, What is Cultural History? Cambridge (Polity Press, 2004)

Hunt, Lynn (ed.), The New Cultural History (Berkeley, 1989)

* Rigby, Anne, ‘Being an Improper Historian’, in Keith Jenkins, Sue Morgan, and Alun Munslow (eds), Manifestos for History (London, 2007), pp. 149-159.

Case Study 1: Drinking Cultures
Seminar Readings (* = required text):
Brennan, T. E. (ed.), Public Drinking in the Early Modern World 1500-1800: Voices from the Tavern (4 vols, 2011) [source collection]
Clark, P., The English Alehouse: A Social History (1983) 

Cowan, B., The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffee House (2001)

Kümin, B. / Tlusty, B.A. (eds), The World of the Tavern: Public Houses in Early Modern Europe (2002)

Martin, L., Alcohol, Violence and Disorder in Traditional Europe (2009)

Scott, J. C., ‘Social Sites’, in his Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (1990), 108-35

Tlusty, B.A.,  ‘Crossing gender boundaries. Women as drunkards in early modern Augsburg’, in: Sybille Backmann et al. (eds), Ehrkonzepte in der frühen Neuzeit (1998), 185-198

Warwick Drinking Studies Network:

* Withington, P., 'Company and Sociability in Early Modern England', in Social History 32 (2007), 291-307

Seminar Questions / Presentation Topics:

  1. To which extent was early modern drinking culture socially exclusive?

  2. Did drinking affirm or challenge the existing order?

  3. What can drinking studies teach us about early modern culture more generally

Case Study 2: Visual Culture of Medicine and Science
Seminar Readings (* = required text):
Clark, Stuart, Vanities of the Eye: Vision in Early Modern European Culture (Oxford, 2007), see also my essay review on his book Stein, Claudia, ‘Insights on Sight’, History Workshop Journal 69, 1 (2010): 245-253.

Dear, Peter, Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and Its Ambitions, 1500-1700 (chapter 1-2) -- very good intro into the ‘cultural history’ of medicine and science.

*Kusukawa, Sachiko, ‘The Uses of Pictures in the Formation of Learned Knowledge: the Cases of Leonhard Fuchs and Andreas Vesalius', in Transmitting Knowledge: Words, images, and instruments in early modern Europe, ed. by Sachiko Kusukawa and Ian Maclean, Oxford, 2006), pp. 73-96.

Kusukawa, Sachiko, Picturing the Book of Nature (Chicago, 2012)

Ogilvie, Brian, The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance Europe (Chicago, 2006).

Siraisi, Nancy, and Pomata, Gianna (eds), Historia: Empiricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge 2005).

Stein, Claudia [?], ‘Images and Meaning-Making in a World of Resemblance: The Bavarian-Saxon Kidney Stone Affair of 1580’, European History Quarterly 43,2 (2013): 205-234.
Useful websites:

Research Project ‘The Origins of Science as a Visual Pursuit’ (organised by Sachiko Kusukawa ( - lots of new literature and research projects

Also very useful is ‘historical Anatomies on the web by the National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Seminar Questions / Presentation Topics:

  1. Does Vesalius discover the ‘real’ body?

  2. How do images fit into the production of scientific knowledge in the early modern period?

  3. Did sixteenth-century anatomists or botanists ‘revolutionise’ their fields?

Tutor: Bernard Capp

Seminar and Essay Questions:

  • What can popular protests (petitioning, riots, rebellions) tell us about social order in early modern England?

  • Could riots and rebellions in early modern Europe achieve any gains?

Required Reading:
Bercé, Y.-M., Revolt and Revolution in Early Modern Europe (1987)

Reay, Barry. Popular Cultures in England, 1550-1750 (London, 1998), pp.168-97.

Thompson, Edward. ‘The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century’, Past & Present 50 (1971), 76-136, reprinted as Thompson, Customs in Common (London, 1991), ch.4.
Further Reading:
Walter, John, & Wrightson, Keith. ‘Dearth and the Social Order in Early Modern England’, Past & Present 71 (May 1976), 22-42.

Fletcher, Anthony and MacCulloch, Diarmaid, Tudor Rebellions, 5th edn. (2005)

Blickle, Peter (ed.), Resistance, Representation and Community (1998)

Beik, William, Urban Protest in Seventeenth-Century France (1997)

Davis, N.Z., Society and Culture in Early Modern France (1975), ch. 6.

Sharp, Buchanan. In Contempt of All Authority: Rural Artisans and Riot in the West of England, 1586-1660 (Los Angeles, 1980).

Walter, John. ‘Grain Riots and Popular Attitudes to the Law: Maldon and the Crisis of 1629’, in John Brewer & John Styles (eds.), An Ungovernable People: The English and their Law in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (London, 1980), pp.47-84.

Te Brake, Wayne, Shaping History: Ordinary People in European Politics 1500-1700 (1998)

Sharp, Buchanan. ‘Popular Protest in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Barry Reay (ed.), Popular Culture in Seventeenth-Century England (London, 1985), pp.271-308.

Manning, Roger B. Village Revolts: Social Protest and Popular Disturbances in England 1509-1640 (Oxford, 1988).

Walter, John. ‘The Social Economy of Dearth in Early Modern England’, in John Walter & Roger Schofield (eds.), Famine, Disease and the Social Order in Early Modern Society (Cambridge, 1989), pp.75-128.

Wood, Andy. ‘The Place of Custom in Plebeian Political Culture: England, 1550-1800’, Social History 22:1 (January 1997), 46-60.

Wood, Andy. ‘“Poor Men Woll Speke One Day”: Plebeian Languages of Deference and Defiance in England, c.1520-1640’, in Tim Harris (ed.), The Politics of the Excluded, 1500-1850 (Basingstoke, 2001), pp.67-98.

Walter, John. ‘Public Transcripts, Popular Agency and the Politics of Subsistence in Early Modern England’, in Michael Braddick and John Walter (eds), Negotiating Power in Early Modern Society: Order, Hierarchy and Subordination in Britain and Ireland (Cambridge, 2001), pp.123-48.

Wood, Andy. Riot, Rebellion and Popular Politics in Early Modern England (Basingstoke, 2001).

Wood, Andy. ‘Fear, Hatred and the Hidden Injuries of Class in Early Modern England’, Journal of Social History 39:3 (Spring 2006), 803-82


Tutor: Bernard Capp

Seminar and Essay Questions:

  • ‘The law was one thing, social practice quite another’. To what extent was this true of marriage formation and marital separation in this period?

  • Were pre-industrial households ever a sphere of ‘rough and ready equality’ for women?

  • Would you agree that the experience of women in early modern society was characterised by ‘restrictive ideology’ coexisting with ‘permissive reality’?

  • How far were there multiple understandings of ‘masculinity’ in this period?

Required Reading:
Capp, B., ‘Gender and Family’, in: B. Kümin (ed.), The European World: An Introduction to Early Modern History (2009), 33-43

Wiesner, Merry, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (1993)

Further Reading:
Hufton, Owen, The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe 1500-1800 (1995)

Ozment, Steven, When Fathers Ruled (1983)

Amussen, S.D. ‘Gender, Family and the Social Order, 1560-1725’, in Anthony Fletcher and John Stevenson (eds), Order and Disorder in Early Modern England (1985), pp.196-217.

Fletcher, Anthony, Gender, Sex and Subordination (1995)

Reay, Barry. Popular Cultures in England, 1550-1750 (1998), pp.4-35.

Wrightson, Keith, English Society 15801680 (2nd edn, 2003), pp.74-126

Underdown, David. ‘The Taming of the Scold: The Enforcement of Patriarchal Authority in Early Modern England’, in Anthony Fletcher and John Stevenson (eds), Order and Disorder in Early Modern England (1985), pp.116-36

Ingram, Martin. ‘Ridings, Rough Music and Mocking Rhymes in Early Modern England’, in Barry Reay (ed), Popular Culture in Seventeenth Century England (1985), pp.166-97.

Hindle, Steve. ‘The Shaming of Maragret Knowsley: Gossip, Gender and the Experience of Authority in Early Modern England’, Continuity & Change 9:3 (1994), 391-419.

Fletcher, Anthony. ‘Men’s Dilemma: The Future of Patriarchy in England, 1560-1660’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 6th ser., 4 (1994), 61-81.

Walker, Garthine. ‘Expanding the Boundaries of Female Honour in Early Modern England’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society sixth ser. 6 (1996), 235-46.

Ingram, Martin J. ‘Juridical Folklore in England Illustrated by Rough Music’, in C.W. Brooks & Michael Lobban (eds.), Communities and Courts in Britain, 1150-1900 (1997), pp.61-82.

Capp, Bernard. ‘The Double Standard Revisited: Plebeian Women and Male Sexual Reputation in Early Modern England’, Past & Present 162 (February 1999), 70-100.

Capp, Bernard. When Gossips Meet: Women, Family and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England (2003).

Gowing, Laura. Common Bodies: Women, Touch and Power in Seventeenth-Century England (2003).

Shepard, Alexandra. Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (2003), chs.3 & 6

Griffiths, Paul, Youth and Authority: formative experiences in England, 1560-1640 (1996), ch. 4 (on male subcultures).

Shepard, Alexandra. ‘Honesty, Worth and Gender in Early Modern England’, in Henry French and Jonathan Barry (eds.), Identity and Agency in England, 1500-1800 (2004), pp.87-105.

Shepard, Alexandra. ‘”Swil-Bols and Tos-pots”: Drink Culture and Male Bonding in England, c.1560-1640’, in Laura Gowing, Michael Hunter & Miri Rubin (eds), Love, Friendship and Faith in Europe, 1300-1800 (2005), pp.110-30.

McIntosh, Marjorie, Working Women in English Society 1300-1620

Tutor: Gabriel Glickman
Seminar and essay questions:

To what extent did the discovery of the New World change European cultural and intellectual life?

Did England and Spain develop opposing models of empire in the Atlantic world?

How far did the colonial societies of the New World replicate the customs and practices of their respective mother countries?

Required reading:

Elliott, J.H., Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830 (New Haven and London, 2006).

Pagden, A., European Encounters with the New World: from Renaissance to Romanticism (1993)
Iberian colonisation

Clendinnen, I., Ambivalent Conquests (1987).

Elliott, J.H., Imperial Spain, 1469-1715 (1963).

Elliott, J.H., Spain and its World, 1500.-700 (1989).

Greenleaf, R.E., The Mexican Inquisition 1536-1543 (1961).

Kamen, H., Spain, 1469-1714: A Society of Conflict (1983).

Lynch, J., Spain 1516-1598: From Nation State to World Empire (1991).

Lynch, J., The Hispanic World in Crisis and Change, 1598-1700 (1991).

Kagan, R. and Parker, G., (eds.), Spain, Europe and the Atlantic World (1995)

Thomas, H., The Conquest of Mexico (1993).

Gruzinski, S., Painting the Conquest (1992).

Hemming, J., The Conquest of the Incas (1972).

Liss, P.K., Mexico Under Spain (1975).

Lockhart, J., Spanish Peru, 1532-1560 (1968).

Lockhart, J., and Schwartz, S.B., Early Latin America (1993).

McAlister, L.N., Spain and Portugal in the New World 1492-1700 (1984).

MacCormack, S., ‘The Heart has its Reasons: Predicaments of Missionary Christianity in Early Colonial Peru’, Hispanic American Historical Review 1985.

MacLachan, C.M., Spain’s Empire in the New World (1988).

Parry, J.H., The Spanish Seaborne Empire (1966).

Phelan, J.L., The Millenial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World (1970).

Ricard, R., The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico (1966).

Simpson, L.B., The Encomienda in New Spain (1966).

Stern, S.J., Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest (1982).
English colonisation

Andrews, K.R., Canny, N.P., and Hair, P.E.H., (eds.), The Westward Enterprise: English Activities in Ireland, the Atlantic, and America, 1450-1650 (1978).

Jennings, F., The Invasion of America (1975).

Armitage, D., The ideological origins of the British Empire (2000)

Armitage, D., and Braddick, M.J., (eds.) The British Atlantic World, 1500-1800 (2002) – essays by Games, Zahedieh, Pestana, Braddick, Mancke.

Armitage, D., Greater Britain, 1516-1776: Essays in Atlantic history (2004) – chapters III, IV, VII, VIII.

Canny. N., ‘The ideology of English colonisation: from Ireland to America’,William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 30:4 (1973), p. 575-98.

Canny N., and Morgan, P., The Oxford handbook of the Atlantic world c.1450-c.1850 (2011) – introduction, chapters by Rodger, Whitehead, Schaub, Klooster, Chaplin, O’Reilly, Hancock, Mancke, Mills.

Canny, N., ed., The Oxford History of the British Empire, vol. 1 (1998) –introduction, essays by Pagden, Armitage, Horn, Anderson, Mancall, Appleby, Rodger.

Canny, N., and Pagden, A., eds., Colonial identity in the Atlantic world: 1500-1800 (1987)- essays by Elliott, Zuckerman.

Games, A., The web of empire: English cosmopolitans in an age of expansion, 1560-1660 (2008) chapters 1-5.

Games, A., Migration and the Origins of the English Atlantic World (Harvard, 1999).

Kupperman, K.O., Settling with the Indians (1980).

Meinig, D.W., The Shaping of America, vol. I (Atlantic America, 1492-1800) (1986).

Middleton, R., Colonial America: A History, 1607-1760 (Oxford, 1992)

Quinn, D.B., and Ryan, A.N., England’s Sea Empire, 1550-1642 (1983).

Williamson, A., ‘An Empire to end Empire’, in Paulina Kewes, ed., The uses of history in early modern England (Huntingdon Library Quarterly special edition, 2005) - available on JSTOR.

Cultural impact of the New World

Andrien, K.J., and Adorno, R., Transatlantic Encounters: Europeans and Andeans in the Sixteenth Century (1991).

Burke, P., The European Renaissance (1998)

Chiappelli, F., First Images of America (2 vols., 1976).

Elliott, J.H., The Old World and the New (1992)

Goddard, P., ‘Augustine and the Amerindian in Seventeenth-Century New France’, Church History, 67 (1998).

Grafton, A., New Worlds, Ancient Texts. The Power of Tradition and the

Shock of Discovery (1992)

Greenblatt, S., Marvellous Possessions: the Wonder of the New World (1991).

Hale, J., The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance (1993)

Hale, J., ‘A World Elsewhere’ in D. Hay (ed.) The Age of the Renaissance (1967)

Hanke, L., The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America (1965).

Hanke, L., Aristotle and the American Indian (1959).

Hay, D., Europe. The Emergence of An Idea (1957)

Kupperman, K.O., (ed.), America in European Consciousness 1493-1750 (1995).

Pagden, A., European Encounters with the New World: from Renaissance to Romanticism (1993)

Pagden, A., The Fall of Natural Man: the American Indian and the Origins of

Comparative Ethnology (2nd. edn., 1982).

Pagden, A., ‘The Impact of the New World on the Old: the History of an Idea’,

Renaissance and Modern Studies 1986

Reinhard, W., ‘The Seaborne Empires’ in T. Brady et al. Handbook of

European History (1994) vol. I.

Ryan, M.T., ‘Assimilating New Worlds in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 23 (1981).


While arguably all historical is about assessing the balance between continuity and change, the early modern period is often felt to present this dilemma in a particularly acute form. Was it (as the very name ‘early modern’ might seem to imply) a seed-bed of new developments that would burst into full flower in following centuries, or is it better understood as a more stable, tradition-bound ancien regime?

This session will draw upon the themes and questions that have emerged earlier in the module to reflect upon this very broad question.
In groups of about three, students will have prepared in advance a presentation, each group selecting a particular theme, event, individual or artefact that can be regarded as effecting or exemplifying significant historical change. The presentation can be accompanied by hand-outs, power-point, overhead slides or circulation of a primary text.
Each group will defend ‘their’ exemplary case as the most important trajectory of change, against queries and challenges from other students and module tutors.

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