Rachel Fulton Brown

Department of History

The University of Chicago


Winter 2016







Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762), trans. Maurice Cranston [Penguin Books, 1968; ISBN 0-14-044201-4]

Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) [Penguin Books, 1993; ISBN: 0141441259]

Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845 in German, 1887 in English) [Oxford University Press, 2009; ISBN 0199555885]

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859), ed. Elizabeth Rapaport [Hackett Publishers, 1978; ISBN 0915144433]

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness (1899), ed. Paul B. Armstrong [W.W. Norton & Co., 2005; ISBN 0393926361]

Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (1958), trans. Stuart Woolf [Touchstone, 1996; ISBN 0684826801]




Readings in Western Civilization 7: The Old Regime and the French Revolution, ed. Keith Michael Baker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) = RWC 7 [CB245.U640 1986, vol. 7]

Readings in Western Civilization 8: Nineteenth-Century Europe. Liberalism and its Critics, ed. Jan Goldstein and John W. Boyer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) = RWC 8 [CB245.U640 1986, vol. 8]

Readings in Western Civilization 9: Twentieth Century Europe, ed. John W. Boyer and Jan Goldstein (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) = RWC 9 [CB245.U640 1986, vol. 9]



1.     Careful study of the assigned readings. As one of the main purposes of this course is to enable you to read different kinds of texts from different historical periods and to develop your confidence in approaching unfamiliar texts in the future, it is very important that you read each of the assigned selections as carefully as possible before coming to class each day. As you are reading, pay careful attention to what the author tells us (explicitly or implicitly) about why he or she was writing and for whom. Why was the author’s subject so important that he or she considered it worth writing about? What does the author’s interest in the subject tell us about the historical circumstances in which he or she was writing? Try, if you can, to imagine a context in which the text you are reading would have been of vital importance, so important that an author felt the need to commit its contents to writing. What was the text that you are reading intended to do?


2.     Attendance and participation in class discussion (20% of your final grade). 


3.     Two textual analyses (6-8 pages, double-spaced, each 20% of your final grade).  First paper due February 2 in class. Second paper due March 1 in class.


4.     Final paper (8-10 pages, double-spaced, 40% of your final grade). Paper due March 17 in the Chalk Dropbox.




January 5  The Civilizing Process


January 7  The Social Contract

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762) [especially pp. 49-88, 101-110, 129-30, 136-39, 149-54, 176-87]


January 12  Civil Society, Crime, and Commerce

Cesare Beccaria, An Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1764), Introduction and chapters I-VIII, XII, XVI, XIX, and XXVII-XXVIII, pp. 11-38, 46-47, 58-67, 73-76, and 93-108 [http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2193] [use Facsimile PDF]

Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society, 5th ed. (1782), part I, section I, pp. 1-16; part IV, pp. 301-40; and part VI, section 5, pp. 437-55 [http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1428] [use Facsimile PDF]


January 14  Revolution

Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, “What is the Third Estate?” (1789) [RWC 7, pp. 154-79]

Dispatches from Paris (April-July 1789) [RWC 7, pp. 184-98]

Peasant Grievances, Reports of Popular Unrest, Decrees of the National Assembly, The “October Days” (1789) [RWC 7, pp. 208-37]

“Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” (1789) [RWC 7, pp. 237-39]

“The Civil Constitution of the Clergy” (1790) [RWC 7, pp. 239-42]


January 19 The Rights of (Wo)Man

Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Author's Introduction, Dedication to M. Talleyrand-Périgord, chapters 1-2, chapter 3 ("...It is time to effect a revolution...rendered weak, if not vicious?..."), chapter 4 ("That woman is naturally weak...moved only a pace or two"; "...In the same strain have I heard...never yet been placed [end of chapter]"); chapter 9, and chapter 13: section VI.

Petition of Women of the Third Estate to the King [on Chalk]

Marie-Olympe de Gouges, “Declaration of the Rights of Woman” (1791) [RWC 7, pp. 261-68]


January 21  Terror

The King’s Trial [RWC 7, pp. 302-23]

“Make Terror the Order of the Day” (5 September 1793) [RWC 7, pp. 342-53]

The Law of Suspects (17 September 1793) [RWC 7, pp. 353-54]

The Revolutionary Calendar [RWC 7, pp. 362-68]

Maximilien Robespierre, “Report on the Principles of Political Morality” [RWC 7, pp. 368-84]

The Festival of the Supreme Being (8 June 1794) [RWC 7, pp. 384-91]

Joseph de Maistre, “Considerations on France” (1797) [RWC 7, pp. 445-52]


January 26 Chivalry I

Walter Scott, “Dedicatory Epistle to the Rev. Dr. Dryasdust, F.A.S,” Ivanhoe: A Romance (1819), ed. Graham Tulloch (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2000), pp. 1-14 [on Chalk]

Thomas Carlyle, “Signs of the Times” (1829) [http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/carlyle/signs1.html]

Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present  (1843), Book 2, chapter 10: “Government”; Book 4, chapter 4: “Captains of Industry” [http://www.historyhome.co.uk/readings/carlyle/contents.htm]

Samuel Smiles, “William Fairbairn” [RWC 8, pp. 82-92]

Two Articles from The Economist (1851) [RWC 8, pp. 92-100]


January 28 Chivalry II                                

Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England  (1845 in German, 1887 in English), pp. 1-35, 87-196, 281-302, 312-25


February 2 The Essence of Liberty

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)


February 4 The Essence of Christianity                            

Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, trans. George Eliot (1854), Introduction, pp. 1-32 [Hathi Trust] [http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015005676799;view=1up;seq=27]

Ernest Renan, The Life of Jesus, Preface (13th edition 1867) [RWC 8, pp. 336-51]

James Thomson, “Jesus Christ Our Great Exemplar” (1874) [http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/thomson/1.html]


February 9 The Essence of Man

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness (1899) (ed. Armstrong, pp. 3-77)

Encyclopedia Britannica (1902), s.v. “Congo Free State” (ed. Armstrong, pp. 99-113)

Encyclopedia Britannica (1910), s.v. “Congo Free State” [European Reactions to Leopold’s Abuses] (ed. Armstrong, pp. 113-19)

King Leopold II, [The Sacred Mission of Civilization] (ed. Armstrong, pp. 119-20)

George Washington Williams, “An Open Letter to His Serene Majesty Leopold II, King of the Belgians and Sovereign of the Independent State of Congo” (ed. Armstrong, pp. 120-31)

Contemporary reviews of Heart of Darkness (ed. Armstrong, pp. 307-12)


February 11 The Industry of Man

Nikolay Ivanovich Bukharin and Yevgeny Preobrazhensky, The ABC of Communism (1922), trans. Eden and Cedar Paul (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1966), Foreword, Introduction, chapters 3, 9, 11, and 15 (pp. 15-16, 19-25, 66-91, 220-27, 247-57, 331-36)


February 16 The Love of Man and Woman

Alexandra Kollontai, "Make Way for Winged Eros: A Letter to Working Youth" (1923), pp. 276-92 [on Chalk]

________, "Three Generations" in Love of the Worker Bees (1923), trans. Cathy Porter, pp. 182-211 [on Chalk]


February 18  The New State

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1925) [RWC 9, pp. 191-218]

The Program of the NSDAP (1928) [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/1708-ps.asp]

Benito Mussolini, “The Doctrine of Fascism” (1932) [RWC 9, pp. 219-33]

Friedrich von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (1944) [RWC 9, pp. 433-45]


February 23  If this is a man…                                              

Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (1958)


February 25 NO CLASS Work on your papers


March 1 A New Europe                    

Sir William Beveridge, “New Britain” (1942) [RWC 9, pp. 503-515]

Winston Churchill, "United States of Europe Speech," September 19, 1946 [on Chal

Robert Schuman, "The Schuman Declaration," May 9, 1950 [on Chalk]

Jean Monnet, “A Red Letter Day for European Unity” (1953) [RWC 9, pp. 553-59]

The Bad Godesberg Program (1959) [RWC 9, pp. 527-39]


March 3 A New Church

Selected Constitutions and Declarations from the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965): Gaudium et Spes, Dignitatis Humanae, and Nostra Aetate [http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/index.htm]


March 8 What is European civilization?

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (December 7, 2000) [http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/default_en.htm]

Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, Preamble (2004) [handout]

Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Representatives of Science at the University of Regensburg (September 12, 2006) [http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg.html]

Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Collège des Bernardins, Paris (September 12, 2008) [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080912_parigi-cultura_en.html]


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