History (HIST) 216

Europe, 1618-1939: From the Thirty Years’ War to the Age of Dictators (Revision 1)

HIST 216

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: HIST 215 is strongly recommended but not required.

Precluded courses: HIST 214 and HIST 314. (HIST 216 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for HIST 214 or HIST 314.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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HIST 216 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course surveys the most significant political, economic, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual trends in European history from the end of the sixteenth century to the 1930s. The aim of the course is to provide both a description and an explanation of the forces that shaped the modern world, including the development of the nation state, military conflict, the intellectual movements of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, industrialization, urbanization, nationalism, the spread of European industry, commerce, and culture to both the New World and the continents of Africa and Asia, and the development of new forms of government in the early twentieth century. The course also aims to prepare students for further studies in history by emphasizing critical reading and essay writing skills.


  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: Absolutism and Constitutionalism
  • Unit 3: Absolutism in Eastern and Central Europe to 1740
  • Unit 4: Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment
  • Unit 5: Agriculture, Global Economy, and Changing Life
  • Unit 6: Revolutions in Politics
  • Unit 7: Industrial Revolution
  • Unit 8: Ideologies, Reforms, and Revolutions
  • Unit 9: Urbanization and New Ideas
  • Unit 10: Nation Building and Economic Expansion
  • Unit 11: Imperialism, the First World War, and the Russian Revolution
  • Unit 12: Economic Crisis and Authoritarianism


To receive credit for HIST 216, you must obtain at least 50 percent on the examination and achieve a final course composite grade of “D” (50 percent) or better.

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Final Examination Total
25% 10% 30% 35% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


McKay, John P., Bennett D. Hill, John Buckler, Clare Haru Crowston, Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, and Joe Perry. A History of Western Society, Volume 2: From the Age of Exploration to the Present. 11th edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. This textbook is accompanied by a companion website.

Marius, Richard and Melvin E. Page. A Short Guide to Writing about History. 9th edition. New York: Longman, 2015.

Other Materials

The course materials include a study guide #1, study guide #2, and a reading file.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HIST 216 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the challenge examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, November 2, 2009.

Updated May 17 2016 by SAS