The Evolution of Modern Europe - Online history courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

The Evolution of Modern Europe

HIST 125/6.0

A survey of Western and Central Europe and Great Britain from about 1750 to 1950. The focus is on the revolutions which produced modern Europe, notably the political revolutions (1789 and 1848), industrialization, urbanization, population growth, secularization, the rise of new classes, and changes in ideologies and popular attitudes.

Please note: This course is typically offered in the summer term

Learning Outcomes

After completing HIST 125, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and state the historical significance of major trends and milestones in 18–21st century European history.
  2. Analyze issues and problems in European history in their historical context.
  3. Analyze and discuss historical problems in European history.
  4. Apply historical research methods to analyze historical sources and apply effective essay-writing to argue that analysis.
  5. Analyze primary and secondary sources on European history.
  • The Origins of Modern Europe
  • Europe under the Old Regime
  • The Age of Enlightenment
  • The French Revolution
  • Napoleon and the Aftermath of the Revolution - Conservatism, Romanticism, Liberalism and Nationalism
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • The Rise of the Nation State, New Imperialism and Social Darwinism
  • World War I - The First Modern War?
  • The Russian Revolution
  • The Rise of Totalitarianism in Interwar Europe
  • World War II and the Cold War Division of Europe
  • The Collapse of Communism and the Challenges of European Integration


The Evolution of Modern Europe is a course designed to introduce you to important aspects of European social, cultural, political, economic and intellectual history during the past several centuries. The twelve lessons are meant to guide you chronologically through this span of history, providing you with both a narrative and an analytical exploration of modern Europe.

Threading its way through the lessons will be the overarching theme of "modernness." This may seem obvious given the title of the course, but we wonder how many of you paused to reflect on what it means to refer to Europe as modern. Certainly those of us living in "Western civilization" have been profoundly shaped by what's happened in Europe since its tremendous devastation at the hands of the Black Death some six centuries ago.

Three broad aims apply to a course like this. First, you should gain some general knowledge of the period, along with some appreciation of the complex forces that have moulded modern Europe. The assigned readings will introduce you to varying and at times diverging interpretations of specific historical developments and questions. You don't have to treat these readings as final authorities. Think about them, question them, constructively criticize them - you're free to agree or disagree with the perspectives of the authors, and with the unifying theme of the course for that matter. As in any survey course, all that can be provided here is a place to begin thinking about the subject matter. But it's hoped that by the time you complete the course, you'll have gained a sense of some of the major themes, theoretical questions, and conceptual debates that have occupied historians of Europe.

This raises the second aim of the course, which is to introduce you to a number of different kinds of historical problems. In your assignments and exam you'll have an opportunity to develop and demonstrate your skills as a historian, by identifying patterns which tie together and give meaning to masses of facts and by creating arguments about those patterns of meaning.

Finally, through your assignments and the feedback you receive on them, you should learn about historical method, the presentation of evidence, and the writing of historical papers. In short, it's hoped that this course will sharpen your ability to analyze past events, and will enable you to reconstruct the past imaginatively and critically. Good luck in your endeavours. I hope you find it a stimulating and worthwhile learning experience.


Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks, if required, can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.