Nineteenth-Century Europe: Between Revolution and War


Choose ONE of the questions below and write a 2,000 word essay addressing it


1. Population and Society

What were the causes of the “demographic revolution” in European society between 1750 and 1850?


2. Romanticism

Liberals, radicals and conservatives all adopted themes in the cultural movement of Romanticism for their own ideological purposes. Explain how Romanticism could exert such a wide appeal, and how it was utilised in the service of nineteenth-century nationalist movements.



3. Social Change in Industrialised Britain
What does EITHER Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Mary Barton OR her novel North and South say about the effects of industrialization in nineteenth-century Britain? Does she have a political message in the novel?


4. Ireland
How and to what extent can Ireland be considered a “colony” of Britain in the 1800s?


5. Scandinavia
What were the major historical changes in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland) in the period from 1780 to 1850, and how did the history of this region differ from that of such countries as Britain, France and Germany during this period?



6. Marx and 1848
What were Marx’s hopes for 1848? How does he explain the failure of the 1848 revolution in France? Are you convinced?


7. Sex and Politics
Why was sex controversial in Europe in the period from 1870 to 1900? What issues involving sexuality came to the fore, and what was their political importance?



8. The Crowd
Was the nineteenth-century European crowd “a mad beast”, as one Italian observer once described it, or was the reality of popular rebellion more complex than this? If so, how?



9. Nationalism
Was nationalism in the latter half of the nineteenth century the ideology of a dominant middle class, the weapon of the marginalised, or the ideology of an intellectual elite? Discuss in terms of any European state or political movement, and draw on relevant primary sources.



10. Masculinities
Discuss the political significance of changing cultures of masculinity in nineteenth-century and pre-First World War Europe.



11. The “New Woman”
Who was the “new woman” of the late 1800s? How did her behaviour and attitudes challenge accepted norms? How successful was she in challenging society? In answering this question, you may wish to focus on particular individuals or countries. Try to use some primary sources.


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