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Social sciences and humanities

Subject: MODERN HISTORY (A.A. 2023/2024)

single-cycle master degrees (5 years) in PRIMARY TEACHER EDUCATION

Course year 1
Teaching units Unit STORIA MODERNA
History (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: M-STO/02 CFU: 8
Teachers: Niccolo' GUASTI
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Exam type written
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
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Niccolo' GUASTI


The course aims to delineate the most important political, economic, social, cultural, religious events and problems of the Early Modern History, from the discovery of America to the Restoration. The course also provides students with the main pillars of the historical discipline in the field of researching and teaching, as well as the critical skills that allow to understand the long-term historical processes connected to the analysis of the present world. At the end of the course students should be able to recognize the significance of the historical periodization and the role of chronology in historiographical practice; they are also expected to be able to decode Early Modern sources in their own contexts and to use them in teaching practice. Finally, students should achieve a deep critical awareness concerning the key issues of Early Modern Age, particularly: the geographical discoveries, the first globalization and the European colonial Empires, the Old Regime society; the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the Absolutism and the emergence of the first Parliamentary/Constitutional Regimes, the Enlightenment and Eighteenth-century Reforms, the American and French Revolutions, the great economic changes and the first industrialization. A in depth focus will be devoted to underline the key-role played by the spread of printing and the Society of Jesus in developing modernity.
For a wider overview of the course’s learning objectives, please see the item “expected learning outcomes”.

Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of Early Modern History learned in Higher Secondary School.

Course contents

I) The historical periodization and interpretation; Early Modern History’s general features: the historiographical debate; Early Modern History’s sources and their use in teaching practice; teaching History: some basic elements (1 CFU: 7 hours); II) an overview on the key events and main problems of Early Modern History (5 CFU: 35 hours): 1. the rise of centralized monarchies; 2. Early Modern History’s economic and demographic trends; 3. the Ancient Regime society; 4. the spread of Humanism and Renaissance culture; 5. the geographical discoveries and the Conquest of America; 6. the Lutheran Reformation and Calvinism; 7. Charles V’s Imperial dream; 8. the Counter-Reformation in Europe; 9. the Ottoman Empire; 10. Philip II of Spain; 11. Early Modern England from Henry VIII to Elisabeth I; 12. the emergence of the United Provinces; 13. the wars of religion in Early Modern France; 14. the crisis of 17th Century; 15. the favorite ministers; 16. the thirty-years war; 17. 17th Century English revolutions; 18. the Scientific revolution; 19. Louis XIV; 20. the new economic and political hierarchies between the 17th and 18th centuries; 21. the Enlightened reforms in the age of the Enlightenment; 22. the American revolution; 23. the French revolution; 24. Napoleon and the French Empire; 25. The Industrial revolution; 26. the Restoration; 27. the extra-European civilizations (China, Japan, India, Persia, Africa and Americas) in Early Modern Age; 28. Early Modern age, the colonial empires and the first globalization (features and problems); III.Printing and culture in Europe between XV and XVI centuries (1 CFU: 7 hours); IV. the Society of Jesus in Early Modern age (1 CFU: 7 hours).
The partition of course’s topics is only orientative: it may be subject to changes according to the students’ feedbacks.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures with the support of audiovisual tools (power point). Textual documents, maps, llustrations and audiovisual equipment will be presented to make students aware of the typological diversity of the main historiographical currents, breadth of documentary sources and different methods in teaching practice. Attendance is not compulsory, although it is highly recommended. Non-attending students are invited to talk to the lecturer before the examination. Some Italian and foreign professors, specialists in course topics, could be invited to participate with dedicated lessons in the course. The course is given in Italian.

Assessment methods

The oral examination is strictly related to the program (texts and frontal lectures); the exam questions will concern the main events, problems and debates concerning the Early Modern Age in order to provide students the expected learning outcomes and a deep awareness regarding the core elements of Early Modern Age in from a content, historiographical and epistemological point of view. On demand DSA and special needs students will be able to take the exam in written form. Examination procedure: oral examination; Timescale: 3 questions; Lenght: 15 minutes approximately; Typology: interview; Kind of assessment: evaluation of the interview; Grading scale: from 18 (sufficient) to 30 with honors (excellent).

Learning outcomes

Students are required:
1) knowledge and understanding
a) to know and understand the specific context of Early Modern age in relation to the kindergarten and primary school curricula;
b) to know and understand the epistemological foundations of historical research, and its scientific language, especially in relation to the Early Modern age;
c) to be acquainted and to understand critically the main knowledge concerning the Early Modern History;
d) to know and understand the methodological foundations of Early Modern History in researching and teaching fields;
2) applying knowledge and understanding
a) to learn how to manage the theoretical and empirical co-ordinates in the field oh Historical discipline, beginning from Early Modern History, in order to manage the didactic syllabus and programs, also with the aim of shaping a positive attitude from the pupils;
b) to master an accurate terminology connected to the Early Modern History’s specific epistemological co-ordinates according to the to the kindergarten and primary school curricula;
c) to achieve the capacity of understanding and applying the historical knowledge, especially the main issues of Early Modern history, in a historical-cultural perspective;
d) to konw how to apply research and practical methods, strategies and tools regarding the Early Modern History in the school context.
3) making judgements
a) to check their own level of learning and understanding of concepts explained in class;
b) to ripen good critical and understanding skills, rolling out their own evaluation capacity;
4) communication skills
a) to achieve a convenient expertise in communicating verbally and in a correct logic order, especially while examining;
b) to develop and process the main historiographical categories connected to the Early Modern History as a discipline;
5) learning skills
a) to delve into the historical and historiographical concepts/terminology in order to pursue their own university career with support from the terminology, conceptual schemes and teaching practice taken from Early Modern History as a discipline;
b) to get acquainted with some expressive forms linked with the main historical events, problems, sources and historiographical debates with regard to the Early Modern History (class discussion, handbooks, monographs, journal essays, power point).


L’accertamento didattico sarà svolto sugli appunti delle lezioni e sui seguenti testi:
1) C. Capra, Storia moderna, 1492-1848, Firenze, Le Monnier, 2021 (quarta edizione), esclusi i capitoli 28-30; 2) L. Braida, Stampa e cultura in Europa tra XV e XVI secolo, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2021 (o edizioni precedenti); 3) S. Pavone, I gesuiti dalle origini alla soppressione, 1540-1773, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2021 (seconda edizione).