Skip to main content

Seminar Group 12

Tutor: Aidan Norrie

Email: a dot norrie at warwick dot ac dot uk

Seminar Time and Location: Thursdays, 4pm–5pm, H445.

Tutor's Office: H240.

Tutor's Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2.00pm–3.00pm; Thursdays, 12.30pm–1.30pm (teaching weeks only).


Notices: A list of all the readings from Term 1 is available for download from the right-hand column of this page (under the portrait of Elizabeth).

**I am unable to make my usual Tuesday office hour in Week 3.
I have re-scheduled it for 4.00pm–5.00pm in H516 (still on Tuesday though).**


Term 2

Week 3: Early Modern Empires

Welcome to Week 3, where we will be discussing early modern empires. As you will notice from the readings, we are taking a very global approach to the topic: this approach is vital to understanding the context of all empires, and it also helps to prevent the further perpetuation of the incorrect and inaccurate idea of Western exceptionalism.

Read the following primary sources:

  • Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, The Turkish Letters (1555–1562). Link here.
  • Will Adams, My Coming to Japan (1611). Link here.
  • The Secret History of the Reign of Jan Sobieski (1683). Link here.

Read the following comparative studies of early modern empires:

  • Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘A Tale of Three Empires: Mughals, Ottomans, and Habsburgs in a Comparative Context’, Common Knowledge 12.1 (2006), 66–92. Link here.
  • Leonard Blussé, ‘Northern European Empire in Asia: The VOC’, in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350-1750: Volume II: Cultures and Power, ed. by Hamish Scott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 227–251. Link here.
  • C.K. Woodworth, ‘Ocean and Steppe: Early Modern World Empires’, Journal of Early Modern History 11.6 (2007), 501–518. Link here.
    (For those of you who are struggling with how to incorporate discussion of the historiography into your essays, this review article is a great example of it done well—although of course I don’t expect as much as this!)

Week 2: The People and Politics

Welcome to Week 2. A brief reminder: modern, representative democracy would be completely foreign to premodern people. While social hierarchies helped keep order, there were limited ways for people to express displeasure with government (read: royal) policy. This week, we consider what happened when everyday people became political. For some reason, this topic always makes me think of ‘aggressive negotiations’ from Attack of the Clones (watch here).

Read the following primary sources. Think about what they have in common, as well as how they’re different:

  • Demands for Kett’s Rebellion. Link here.
  • Demands from the German Peasants’ War of 1525. Link here.
  • Death Warrant for Charles I. Link here.

Read the following secondary sources to both contextualise the primary sources, and to think about the Europe-wide ‘revolts’:

  • Bernard Capp, ‘Riot and Rebellion’, in The European World 1500-1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History, ed. by Beat Kümin (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 377–385. Link here.
  • Samuel K. Cohn, Jr, ‘Authority and Popular Resistance’, The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350-1750: Volume II: Cultures and Power, ed. by Hamish Scott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). Link here.
  • John H. Elliott, ‘Revolution and continuity in early modern Europe’, Past & Present 42 (1969), 35–56. Link here.

Week 1: The Political Landscape

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your break, and are refreshed and ready for another term of The European World. This week, we are considering the early modern political landscape, with a focus on state formation, and different styles of government. We will also think about international relations, and how state formation impacted these relations.

Read the following primary sources, thinking about how intertwined religion and politics was, and how different forms of government were conceived:

  • Dutch Declaration of Independence. Link here.
  • Letters from Elizabeth I to Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, in Elizabeth I’s Italian Letters, ed. and trans. by Carlo M. Bajetta (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 21–62 (you can, of course, skip over the original Italian). PDF here.
  • Edict of Nantes. Link here.

Read the following secondary sources to contextualise the primary sources, and think about what international relations in an era before the internet looked:

  • Carlo Capra, ‘Governance’, in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350-1750: Volume II: Cultures and Power, ed. by Hamish Scott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 478–507. Link here.
  • David Potter, ‘Mid-Tudor Foreign Policy and Diplomacy: 1547–63’, in Tudor England and Its Neighbours, ed. by Susan Doran and Glenn Richardson (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 106–127. Link here.