Great Revolutions

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Great Revolutions
Humanities Course
Course CodeHIST
Years of Operation1990*-2005
Sites OfferedAMH, CAR, CLN, LOS, LOU, SAR, UNI
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2002):

The purpose of this course is to explore the question, "What is history?" and to help students understand how historians work by exploring important aspects of the French and Russian revolutions. While this is not a survey course, the study of revolutionary movements is an excellent way to begin the study of history because these movements encompass elements of religious, social, economic, and cultural development which are vital to an understanding of the discipline.

The term "revolution" is often applied only to a short burst of violence or a war of a few years. In this course, however, it also refers to the social, cultural, and political trends that developed over generations and culminated in some of history’s great revolutions. Students focus on the development of class consciousness and revolutionary ideologies and follow these through to the aftermaths of each revolution.

Students analyze primary documents and learn to critically evaluate secondary sources. Instruction in writing historical arguments is a central feature of the course. By considering comparative analyses of different scholars’ work on the same event, students gain not only a better understanding of history but also a greater appreciation for the historian’s craft.