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HIS244H1S Early Modern Europe, 1648–1815

Choose Your Topic

For specific essay assignment requirements, please refer to the syllabus.

Are you having trouble choosing a theme, finding one that interests you, or are you considering narrowing it down to a specific aspect or part? Consulting an encyclopedia or another reference source will help.

Encyclopedias provide overviews of various topics. They:

  • are unlike Wikipedia, since they are authored by expert writers and reviewed by an editor prior to their publication
  • are excellent points for understanding the topic of your assignment if you are not familiar with it
  • provide introductory information: titles of primary sources, biographies of leading personalities, significant dates, cultural and social contexts, and the names of major scholars studying in the field, as well as their publications (secondary sources).

However, an encyclopedia entry is designed to provide background reading for your own development of a topic. It serves to help you gain a working knowledge of what you are researching and it should not count as a stand-alone source for your essay.

The following list is not exhaustive. It is a sampling of what is available.

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment Includes entries on the history of literature, philosophy, and scientific innovations between 1670 to 1815.
Europe 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World Focuses on significant developments in the areas of politics, religion, exploration, arts and warfare.
Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Contains maps and essays on the historical context of the slave trade as well as excerpts from primary sources.
The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science Includes entries based on various theoretical perspectives on the influence of science and scientific discoveries on literature, philosophy, politics, religion, and war between the mid-sixteenth to the late twentieth century.

created by: Agatha Barc | updated: July 13, 2015