Western Civilization

Part II From the Treaty of Westphalia to the Atom

I. Economic Truth Determining National Politics

HIS 102 14--Informal Review

Last Revised May 17, 2000
Raymond J. Jirran

The two introductory topics on the syllabus are the most important topics of this course. These topics outline where we are going and how we are going to get there. Comments, suggestions, and alterations are appropriate here in the beginning, but not after we are underway.

Topic 3, Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715), regarded himself as a businessman king. Richelieu (1624-1642) gave the state national boundaries; Colbert (1661-1683) gave the state its money. Politics was in the process of giving way to economics.

Topic 4, Prussia, involves the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) known as King George's War in the colonial United States; the Seven Years War (1756-1763), known as the French and Indian War; and the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia.

Topic 5, Russia, is about the lack of capital. Major influences came from Peter the Great and Catherine the Great who flourished in 1714 and 1789 respectively. As important as Russian military forces were, basic problems, including an inadequate industrial base, were not resolved with the reforms of 1874.

Topic 6, Culture, is about education. Five elements are involved: (1) realization, beginning with vocabulary; (2) comprehension, especially a sense of chronology and time; (3) synthesis identifying various themes; (4) analysis identifying similarities and differences; and (5) evaluation of what the other four elements mean.

Topic 7, Energy, is about the so-called Industrial Revolution. Important dates include 1870 when the importance of coal and iron gave way to chemical advances; 1851, the Crystal Palace at the Great London Exposition; and 1712 when Thomas Newcomen used coal to drive an engine.

Topic 8, Slavery, is both capital and a source of capital. The work of slaves on sugar plantations participated in changing sugar from a rarity in 1650 to a luxury in 1750 to a psychological necessity in 1850.

Topic 9, The Enlightenment, is about new truths dislodging old politics. Thomas Hobbes (b. 1588), John Locke (fl. 1688), and John Stuart Mill (d. 1873) are the founding fathers of liberalism.

Topic 10, The French Revolution is about old politics giving way to new truths. The important dates are 1789, the beginning of the French Revolution; 1799, the beginning of the Napoleonic era; 1815, Waterloo.