Charles Lipson
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E-mail: c-lipson@uchicago.edu

 

Charles Lipson

Peter B. Ritzma Professor

Political Science Department

University of Chicago

5828 S. University Ave.

Chicago, IL 60637

 

World Politics in the 19th Century: A History

Political Science 21400 & 32400
Charles Lipson

University of Chicago
Syllabus, Autumn 2010

Course Time: 1:30-2:50 Monday, Wednesday Prof. Lipson's office is Pick 418b
Classroom: Kent 107 Office Hours: Tuesday 1-2:50 (no sign up needed)
Please note: There will be a lecture on the Monday before Thanksgiving, but not on Wednesday. E-mail: clipson@uchicago.edu
Sections assigned in second week. In e-mails about this course, please put PS214 somewhere in subject line.

Course Description

This course provides a survey of major wars, the development of states' military and financial capacity, the course of imperial expansion and retreat, diplomatic alignments and alliances, arrangements for international trade and investment, as well as efforts to create international institutions. In short, it surveys the history of modern inter-state relations in the nineteenth century. This course covers the period from the Congress of Vienna (at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars) through the origins of World War I. It covers key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory. Besides diplomatic relations among the Great Powers, the course examines long-term trends in economic development and military force. Specific topics include the settlement after the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, European imperialism, the industrial revolution and its impact on international affairs.

This course uses multimedia extensively. Class presentations feature computerized maps, graphs, historical photos and paintings, and newspapers from the period. I also show my lecture notes in class (although not online). To give a flavor of the historic periods we cover, the class presentations include propaganda posters and political cartoons.

This course is intended for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in the social sciences, particularly those working on international relations. Its goal is to provide historical grounding for theorizing about international relations. There is no prerequisite for this course. This is one of four related courses on the history of international politics, each of which can be taken independently:

   
Undergrad & Grad     

World Politics from the 1490s to 1815: A History

Political Science 213 & 323
Great Power Politics in the Nineteenth Century: A History Political Science 214 & 324
World Politics in the Twentieth Century, 1914-45: A History Political Science 215 & 325
The Cold War, 1945-1991: A History Political Science 216 & 326
Big Wars: Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Political Science 291 & 392

To cover so much material, even in a survey fashion, requires intensive reading, although I have pared the assignments to a minimum. Please note that it is an introductory survey course and not a research course. Students with a strong background in modern history should take other, more advanced courses that encourage detailed inquiry and independent research.

Basic Course Requirements

There are three required books for the course, listed below:

  • There will be three in-class exams, one for each module of the course. There will be no final exam and no papers.
  • Reading assignments are not broken down, week by week, although your TAs may request that you do certain readings for their sections. Otherwise, simply read through the materials for the module we are working on.
  1. Module I: 1814-1848: The Concert of Great Powers
  2. Module II: 1848-1871: The Concert Breaks Down, Crimean War, Germany is Unified
  3. Module III: 1871-1914: Fragile Balance, Imperialism, and the Road to World War I

Goals of this Course

1. Provide a concise, general history of international and diplomatic events and sequences, especially those bearing on Great Power relationships;

2. Draw connections, where possible, between the historical materials and analytic questions of interest to IR theorists;

3. Incorporate international economic issues, which are too often slighted in political and diplomatic histories. They should be included for two reasons:

a. They are often a central object of state policy, especially since states were charged with political responsibility for the performance of their economies.

b. They are a source of countries' rise to great power status. Germany became a great power not only because the Prussian military was so efficient or because Bismarck unified it under Prussian leadership, but also because northern Germany was the largest and most dynamic industrial power of the late 19th century. Spain disappeared as a Great Power because of its economic decline.

Administrative Details

Books are available at UC/Barnes & Noble Bookstore and the Seminary Cooperative Bookstore and are on short-term reserve at the Regenstein Library.
A Chalk site is associated with this course. Documents listed as "PDF at Chalk" can be found under course documents at the Chalk site.
Undergraduates normally enroll in PS 214.
Graduate students enroll in PS 324.
Students have weekly discussion sections, which will be assigned in Week 2.
There will be only one lecture during Thanksgiving Week, on Monday. There is no lecture on Wednesday. Only sections scheduled for Monday or Tuesday will meet that week.

There will be three in-class exams, no papers and no final.
Extra time will be alloted for students with learning disabilities or who are non-native English speakers. Please let your TA know in advance and bring the necessary paperwork.
The class grade will be based on the three exams plus your attendance and active participation in sections.

Exams for Each Module

There will be three in-class exams, one for each module. They will incorporate materials from lectures and assigned readings. There are no papers and no final.

Each exam will focus on the module we just covered but may ask for integration of materials from earlier modules, as well.

The format of each exam will include an ID/Timeline and an essay question.

The essay will focus on one of the major themes of the course, and you will have some options in choosing the topic on which you write.

The timeline/ID section will ask you to name several major events that occurred during the time period of the module and to describe those events briefly (in about one sentence each). The timeline/ID section will normally divide the time into two, three, or four subperiods and ask you to name and describe a few events in each subperiod. For example, in Module I, which covers 1814-1847, the subperiods will be (1) 1814-1815; (2) 1816-1829; and (3) 1830-1847. In the first period, you might name the Congress of Vienna and briefly describe it. In the third period, you might name the revolutions of 1830.

Please bring one or two blue blooks to each exam. They are available in the Barnes & Noble University of Chicago Bookstore.

Make-up Exams for Each Module

Some students must miss the regular exam date because of illness or other excusable reasons. Students may take a make-up only after they have received Prof. Lipson's written permission. They should seek that permission before the regular exam is given.

How to Request a Make-Up: Students must make a written request for a make-up exam and clearly state why the regular exam could not be taken (for example, a serious family illness). This email request must be sent to three people in a single email:

  1. Me
  2. Your TA, and
  3. Your college adviser.

I will respond to that email, saying whether or not you have permission to take the make-up exam, and will copy my response to your TA and college adviser.

When is the Make-Up Exam Given?
The make-up exam is given only once, exactly one week after the regular exam, immediately after the regular class lecture that day. If the original exam was on a Monday, for example, then the make-up will be the following Monday. It will last 80 minutes. Please bring 2 bluebooks, just as you would for the regular exam.

Required Books

The readings rely on three books, and you should purchase all three. For your convenience, I have also included the call numbers

    Call Number ISBN
Overview T. C. W. Blanning, ed., The Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

D359 .N56 2000

0198731353

General Text Norman Rich, Great Power Diplomacy, 1814-1914 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1992).

D363.R450 1992

0070522545

Military Larry H. Addington, The Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century (2nd ed.; Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994).

U39 .A33 1994

0253208602

Overview of Great Power Politics in the Nineteenth Century
 Norman Rich, Great Power Diplomacy, 1814-1914, Introduction, pp. xvii-xx. Required book
D363.R450 1992
Paul W. Schroeder, "International Politics, Peace, and War, 1815-1914," in T. C. W. Blanning, ed., The Nineteenth Century, Chapter 5. PDF at Chalk
Required book
D359.N56 2000
Module I: 1814-1848: The Concert of Great Powers
 Norman Rich, Great Power Diplomacy, 1814-1914, Chapters 1-5. Required book
D363.R450 1992
 Larry H. Addington, The Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, 2nd ed., portion of Chapter 2 (pp. 43-58). Required book
U39.A33 1994
Niall Ferguson, "The European Economy, 1815-1914," in Blanning, ed., Nineteenth Century, Chapter 3.  (This chapter covers the entire period and should be reviewed in all three portions of the course.) PDF at Chalk
Required book
D359.N56 2000
In-class exam at the completion of Module I.  
Module II: 1848-1871: The Concert Breaks Down, Crimean War, Germany is Unified
 Norman Rich, Great Power Diplomacy, 1814-1914, Chapters 6-8, 11 (you can skip chapters 9-10). Required book
D363.R450 1992
 Larry H. Addington, The Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, 2nd ed., portion of Chapter 2 (pp. 58-68, 94-101). This skips the US Civil War Required book
U39.A33 1994
Niall Ferguson, "The European Economy, 1815-1914," in Blanning, ed., Nineteenth Century, Chapter 3.  (This chapter covers the entire period and should be reviewed in all three portions of the course.) PDF at Chalk
Required book
D359.N56 2000
In-class exam at the completion of Module II. The exam will focus on that module but may include materials from the earlier one.  
Module III: 1871-1914: Fragile Balance, Imperialism, and the Road to World War I
 Norman Rich, Great Power Diplomacy, 1814-1914, Chapters 12-14, 18, 20-26 (skip chapters 15, 16, 17, and 19). Required book
D363.R450 1992
 Larry H. Addington, The Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, 2nd ed., Chapter 3 Required book
U39.A33 1994
 A. G. Hopkins, "Overseas Expansion, Imperialism, and Empire, 1815-1914," in Blanning, ed., Nineteenth Century, Chapter 6. PDF at Chalk
Required book
D359.N56 2000
 Niall Ferguson, "The European Economy, 1815-1914," in Blanning, ed., Nineteenth Century, Chapter 3.  (This chapter covers the entire period and should be reviewed in all three portions of the course.) PDF at Chalk
Required book
D359.N56 2000
In-class exam at the completion of Module III. There will be no final exam. The exam will focus on that module but may include materials from earlier ones.  

Supplementary Readings

Since the course requires papers, you will need to do more detailed readings to explore your paper topics. To aid your search for the best readings, please feel free to ask your section leaders or me for suggestions. I have also listed a few background readings for those who want to deepen their understanding of the particular periods or topics. Of course, the list of useful readings is far longer than I can include here. Again, please feel free to ask for suggestions regarding topics that specially interest you.

For a strong collection of modern history resources on the Web, please see my page
     Scholarly Resources-Modern History.

Optional for entire course: an excellent collection of online documents and articles covering the entire era.

Edward Whiting Fox, The Emergence of the Modern World (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1991). D102.F690

J. M. Roberts, A History of Europe (New York: Allen Lane, 1996). D20.R645 1997

Both Fox and Roberts provide a useful background and general setting for the events discussed in this class. The Fox book essentially begins with the French Revolution (he has a little material on the earlier period) and goes up through the Cold War. Roberts covers a longer period and in greater depth. Both are well-written, intelligent books that require no prior knowledge of the subjects; both are focused on Europe.

Other useful supplementary books are:

F. Roy Bridge and Roger Bullen, The Great Powers and the European States System 1815-1914 (London: Longman, 1980), same territory as Norman Rich book but briefer and more selective. D363.B750

William H. McNeill, The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000 (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1982), pp. 63-184, covers the same territory as Addington. U37.M380 Law

Robert I. Rotberg and Theodore K. Rabb, eds., The Origin and Prevention of Major Wars (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989), has excellent essays on individual wars U21.2.o720 1989 (Gen) (Harp)

David S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor (New York: W. W. Norton, 1998), an excellent analysis of the economic development in historical perspective. HC240.Z9 W45 1998

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