Enlightened Despotism in Europe 1763-1789

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Module code


  • Level 4
  • Semester 1
  • 24 places
  • History - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 50% Examination 50%
  • A European Studies pathway module choice.


This module will enable you to study Enlightened Despotism between 1789 and 1799 by focusing on some key (debated) issues or problems, enabling you to understand the interaction between political and other developments within one state and society.

Indicative content:

  • The broad economic, social, cultural, intellectual origins of Enlightened Despotism
  • Enlightened Despotism in the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy
  • Enlightened Despotism in Prussia and Germany
  • Enlightened Despotism in Italy
  • Enlightened Despotism in Russia
  • Enlightened Despotism in Spain and Portugal and their empires
  • Enlightened Despotism in Scandinavia
  • Enlightened Despotism in France?


Dr Christopher Storrs


This module is taught through 3 hours of contact per week, constising of one hour of general seminar, one hour of seminar focused upon one student presentation on a relevant theme or topic, and one hour of source based tutorial.


This module is assessed by the following components:

  • one Essay (30%)
  • one Presentation (20%)
  • one 3-hour Examination (50%)


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