Contemporary History (18th and 19th Century)


a) Acquire a critical view of the extended nineteenth century, from 1789 to 1914, as a crucial time for understanding the contemporary world.
b) Review the "long nineteenth century" in its main features of modernity, but also trough the persistence of tradition, in political, economic and social perspective, primarily in the European context.
c) Understanding the history of Europe in a comparative perspective in relation to other world regions.
d) Know the different historiographical perspectives on the period.
e) Being able to search, select and analyse sources and historiographical texts about the period and the subjects under study.
f) Being able to produce a written work and make oral presentations about any of the subjects taught.
g) To acquire knowledge that enable to pursue a thorough study of the modern and contemporary epochs.


General characterization





Responsible teacher

Paulo Jorge Chalante Azevedo Fernandes


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





Beauchamp, C. (1998). Revolução Industrial e crescimento económico no séc. XIX. Lisboa: Edições 70.
Doyle, W. (2001). The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gildea, R. (2003). Barricades and Borders: Europe, 1800-1914. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kaelble, H. (Ed.). (2004). The European way: European societies during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. New York: Berghahn Books.
Sperber, J. (2000). Revolutionary Europe, 1780-1850. Edinburgh: Pearson Education.
Sperber, J. (2008). Europe 1850-1914: Progress, Participation and Apprehension. London: Routledge.

Teaching method

The lectures will be mainly expository, with the possibility of involvement of students to clarify questions or comments. The practical classes will be devoted to the analysis, commentary and discussion of historiographical texts, contemporary sources, movies or web sites about the nineteenth century, previously selected by the teacher and analyzed by students.

Evaluation method

written exam without consultation (4(40%), written exam without consultation (4(40%), participation in practical classes(20%)

Subject matter

1. Introduction to the "long nineteenth century" (1789-1914)
a. Chronological and geographical framework
b. Themes and perspectives of an era of modernity
2. Europe´s at shock (1789-1815)
a. Background of the French Revolution
b. Revolution and war: the end of the "ancien regime"?
c. Revolution conquers Europe: The Napoleonic Empire
d. The Industrial Revolution: the pioneering England
3. The return of the European balance (1815-1851)
a. The Congress of Vienna and the "system" of Metternich
b. Liberal Europe vs. Conservative Europe
c. The revolutionary eruption of 1848-1851
4. New nationalism in Europe (1850-1871)
a. The Crimean War
b. Italian Unification
c. The unification of Germany and the defeat of France
5. A domineering and divided Europe (1871-1914)
6. The Europe of contrasts (1789-1914)
7. One legacy of the nineteenth century: the "isms"


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