Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2018/2019

HIST 329: Warfare, Witches, And Life In Early Modern Europe, 1550-1700

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  Course Description

Early modern Europe served as a kind of precedent for modern life through developments such as competitive empire-building, science and industry, the nation-state, and free-trade economies. This course explores both traditional topics such as the Reformation, the Thirty Years’ War, absolutism and constitutionalism, and the Scientific Revolution, and more recent histories of women, popular culture, sexuality, peasant life, and magic.

Prerequisite: HIST 101 or HIST 111

Proctored Exams: Final


Required monograph: (available for free through Stafford Library)
• A full list of digitized monographs available through the Stafford Library is provided in the Content area of the course. You will choose one monograph from the list to read for your Book Review.

Required primary sources: (available for free through textbook’s companion website)
http://www.cambridge.org/features/wiesnerhanks/primary_sources.html. Significant use of these primary sources is required in this course.


  • Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks. (2013). Early-Modern Europe, 1450-1789 (2nd ed.). Early-Modern Europe, 1450-1789.  
    • [ISBN-978-1107643574]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

Through discussions, writing exercises, and exams you will explore the social, political, and intellectual aspects of the Early Modern period in Europe. The course focuses on events in Europe, but will also consider the ways in which interactions with newly-discovered parts of the world both informed and transformed the experience of Early Modern life.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Objectives

  • To understand the major themes in early modern political, social, religious, and economic thought
  • To understand the historical context in which early modern theorists wrote
  • To engage with primary works from the early modern period
  • To better understand some of the ways historians have interpreted the early modern period
  • To gain an introductory knowledge of interdisciplinary approaches in early modern social history, including anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies
  • To evaluate specific arguments made in historical texts and relate language used in texts to historical factors and contexts

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Describe how European social, political, economic, and religious issues changed from the late-medieval through early modern era.
  • Explain early modern Europe as holding tensions between medieval religious beliefs and emerging early modern scientific and Enlightenment ideals.
  • Describe early modern Europeans’ and colonial others’ perceptions of one another.
  • Explain the relationships between state efforts at religious uniformity, and the causes and progress of civil conflict within and among European states.
  • Demonstrate understanding of early modern concepts of gender, childhood, class, and criminality.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 200 20%
Book Review 100 10%
Discussion: Book Review 25 2%
Scholarship Paper 275 28%
Quizzes (2) 200 20%
Final Exam 200 20%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction 5 Sunday
Discussion 1 20
Plagiarism Tutorial and Quiz 0

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 25 Sunday
Scholarship Paper: Preliminary Thesis 25
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 25 Sunday
Quiz 100

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 25 Sunday
Scholarship Paper: Bibliography 25

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 25 Sunday
Book Review 100

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 25 Sunday
Book Review Discussion 25
Quiz 2 100

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 25 Sunday
Scholarship Paper: First Draft 25

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 25 Saturday
Scholarship Paper: Final Draft 200
Final Exam 200
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


You may not use work submitted in another course or from previously taking this course. I will grade this as plagiarism. During the first week of class, you should review the plagiarism tutorial and take the plagiarism quiz. You will find both of these tools in the D2L course environment.

The minimum penalty for plagiarism is a score of zero on any plagiarized assignment, essay, discussion post, or quiz/exam.


Weekly discussion posts are objective academic exercises. Your postings should be original, relevant observations of the assigned topic(s). You are expected to read your classmates’ postings and respond to them. Simply rephrasing the textbook or another student’s post is not acceptable. All responses should be original and relevant to the assigned topic. While discussion postings are informal, they should be intelligible and effectively communicate your idea(s). Please pay attention to the use of capitalization and avoid misspellings, incomplete sentences, and other violations of grammatical rules.

To receive full credit, you must post a minimum of three times throughout the week, and on at least three separate days. One post must be submitted by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. The rest of the postings are due by Sunday night. I have structured discussion questions around the primary source readings for each week, but I expect you to incorporate information from the assigned secondary sources into your answers.

Book Review

You will read the most recent edition of one of the monographs listed in the Content area of the course and write a review of 900-1,100 words, summarizing and critiquing the author’s argument. This exercise is an opportunity for you to read a specialized historical study and identify the thesis and central arguments of the monograph. In this review you will also evaluate the significance and value of the work in the field of Early Modern history. You must submit your reviews to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area by Sunday of Week 5. I will grade your reviews according to the criteria outlined in the grading rubric in the Content area of the course.

Book Review Discussion
During Week 6 you will engage in discussions with your classmates over the book reviews you submitted in Week 5. You must post your own review to the Book Reviews discussion by Monday of Week 6. You must read at least two of the book reviews and respond by either making observations about the contents of the book in relation to the material studied in class or raising questions for the review’s author. Your first book review response post must be submitted by Thursday of week 6. You must monitor the discussion for your book review and respond to any questions or comments on at least three days during Week 6.

Scholarship Paper

For the Scholarship Paper, you will choose a topic that relates to the Early Modern Period in Europe (1450-1789). In this paper, you must 1) critically analyze primary resources and 2) research related secondary sources. The assignment is broken into several components so that I can take steps to encourage you to develop research and writing skills as well as synthesize knowledge about a specialized subject.

The parts of the paper are due as follows:

• Week 2: Preliminary Thesis
• Week 4: Annotated Bibliography
• Week 7: First Draft
• Week 8: Final Draft

Submit all of these paper assignments to the appropriate folders in the Dropbox area of the course.

Your final draft of the paper must be between 2000 and 2500 words (about 8-10 pages; double-spaced, using a 12-point font). Papers with less than 2000 or more than 2500 words will have points deducted from the paper grade, as outlined in the grading criteria. You are encouraged to ask questions or discuss your paper topic in the Scholarship Paper discussion.


You will take two 100-point quizzes. These quizzes are timed; quizzes submitted past the 90-minute time limit will incur a 20% late penalty. They will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions in reference to the reading material for the previous three weeks. Study guides for the quizzes will be available in the Content area. You will access each quiz from the Quizzes area from Monday until 11:59 pm CT Sunday of the week it is assigned. You are encouraged to ask questions or discuss the quizzes in the Quizzes discussion.

Final Exam

The comprehensive proctored final exam will consist of short answer/definition style questions as well as essay questions. The final exam is available in the D2L quizzes module. NOTE: A proctor must supervise you taking the exam. You will have two hours to take the exam, and you will not be allowed to use books, notes, flash drives or any outside websites. You are responsible for setting up a proctor. See the Proctor Information module in the Content are of the course for more information about requesting an acceptable proctor. You can ask questions or discuss the final exam in the Final Exam discussion.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

• Wiesner-Hanks, Chapter 1
Primary Sources
[Available through the Content area of the course]
• Chapter 1 documents: 1, 6, 7, 12
Introduce yourself to your fellow students. In your introduction give us your name, your major, and any special interests you may have in history. (5 points)
Discussion 1
By the middle of the 15th century, Europe was becoming increasingly cosmopolitan, and knowledge about the world outside of Europe grew significantly. Do the documents that you read for this week demonstrate that Europeans were generally accepting of the “other” or do they indicate that outsiders were usually excluded? What examples do you find of inclusion and exclusion? (20 points)
Plagiarism Tutorial and Quiz
Please complete the plagiarism tutorial and quiz in the course.
• Wiesner-Hanks, Chapter 2 and 8
Primary Sources
[Available through the Content area of the course]
• Chapter 2 documents: 2, 14
• Chapter 8 documents: 3, 4, 5, 6, 10
Discussion 2
The primary source readings this week offer some very personal insights into relationships between family members in the Early Modern period. How are families of the Early Modern period different than families today? How are they similar?
Scholarship Paper: Preliminary Thesis
Submit your preliminary (working) thesis to the folder in the Dropbox area. See the grading rubric for guidelines.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
• Wiesner-Hanks, Chapter 3 and 9
Primary Sources
[Available through the Content area of the course]
• Chapter 3 documents: 6, 8
• Chapter 9 documents: 1, 17
Discussion 3
According to the primary source readings this week, what was the role of the monarch in Early Modern Europe? Did this role differ from place to place and time to time?
Covers Wiesner-Hanks Chapters 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9. Please see the study guide in the course content for more details.
• Wiesner-Hanks, Chapter 4
Primary Sources
[Available through the Content area of the course]
• Chapter 4 documents: 8, 10, 14 (both Don Quixote and Shakespeare)
Discussion 4
Each of the documents in this week’s reading explores the characteristics of human nature. Is it possible from what you read in these documents to derive some consistent themes of the Early Modern view of human nature? How does this view (if such an exercise is, indeed, possible) differ from the modern view?
Scholarship Paper: Bibliography
Submit your preliminary (working) bibliography to the folder in the Dropbox area. See the grading rubric for guidelines.
• Wiesner-Hanks, Chapter 10
Primary Sources
[Available through the Content area of the course]
• Chapter 10 documents: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Discussion 5
Describe the main features of Early Modern science as reflected in this week’s readings? What social and intellectual features of Early Modern culture and intellectual life provided motivation for the development of modern science? In what ways did Early Modern Social and Intellectual life hinder the development of modern science?
Book Review
Submit your Book Review to the folder in the Dropbox area. See the grading rubric for guidelines.
• Wiesner-Hanks, Chapter 5 and 11
Primary Sources
[Available through the Content area of the course]
• Chapter 5 documents: 1, 2, 15
• Chapter 11 documents: 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14
Discussion 6
What is the difference between a saint and a heretic? Between a healer and a witch?
Book Review Discussion
Your initial post should include your review as an attachment and be made by Monday of Week 6. You must read at least two of other book reviews and respond by either making observations about the contents of the book in relation to the material studied in class or raising questions for the review’s author. Your first book review response must be submitted by Thursday of week 6. You must also monitor the discussion for your book review and respond to any questions or comments on at least three different days during Week 6.
Quiz 2
Covers Wiesner-Hanks Chapters 4, 5, 10, and 11. Please see the study guide in the course for more details.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
• Wiesner-Hanks, Chapter 6 and 12
Primary Sources
[Available through the Content area of the course]
• Chapter 6 documents: 3, 5
• Chapter 12 documents: 11, 12, 13
Discussion 7
Based on the documents you read for this week, did conditions for the common laborer improve or decline over the course of the 15th through the 18th century? In what ways were conditions similar in the 15th and 17th centuries? How were they different?
Scholarship Paper: First Draft
Submit your First Draft to the folder in the Dropbox area. See the grading rubric for guidelines.
• Wiesner-Hanks, Chapter 7 and 13
Primary Sources
[Available through the Content area of the course]
• Chapter 7 documents: 3, 4, 6, 10
• Chapter 13 documents: 4, 6, 10, 15
Discussion 8
This week you are reading about encounters between Europeans and non-Europeans from the perspective of both groups. How do the documents reflect acceptance or resistance to cultural differences from each perspective? Which of the two groups (Europeans or non-Europeans) is more accepting of the other?
Scholarship Paper: Final Draft
Submit your Final Draft to the folder in the Dropbox area. See the grading rubric for guidelines.
Final Exam
The comprehensive exam may be taken any time during Week 8. You will have two hours to complete the exam. No notes or textbooks are allowed at the proctored final exam. You can post questions about the final in the discussion forum that will open in Week 4. Please see the study guide in the course for more details.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

I do not accept late work for any discussions or the final exam.

I will penalize all other late work by two letter grades (20%) unless I have granted an extension to you before the due date. This late penalty applies to all papers or exams (except the final exam) submitted after the due date or past the allotted time limit.

If you need an extension on an assignment, please email me well ahead of time. If I give you an extension on an assignment, you must remind me of my consent when you turn in the late assignment.

Student scholarship and exams will be kept on file for one session following the completion of this course.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.