The European World 1500–1800 : An Introduction to Early Modern History book cover
3rd Edition

The European World 1500–1800
An Introduction to Early Modern History

Edited By

Beat Kümin

ISBN 9781138119154
Published February 1, 2018 by Routledge
464 Pages 73 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The European World 1500-1800 provides a concise and authoritative textbook for the centuries between the Renaissance and the French Revolution. It presents early modern Europe not as a mere transition phase, but a dynamic period worth studying in its own right. Written by an experienced team of specialists, and derived from a successful undergraduate course, it offers a student-friendly introduction to all major themes and processes of early modern history.

This third edition features greatly expanded coverage of ‘The Wider World’, with added chapters on relations with the Ottoman empire, European settlement overseas and the global exchange of goods. Other new content includes an overview of early modern medicine and comprehensive timelines for each of the thematic parts.

Specially designed to assist learning, The European World 1500-1800 features:

  • expert surveys of key topics written by an international group of historians
  • suggestions for seminar discussion and further reading
  • extracts from primary sources and generous illustrations, including maps
  • a glossary of key terms and concepts
  • a full index of persons, places and subjects
  • and a much enhanced companion website, offering colour images, direct access to primary materials, and interactive features which highlight key events and locations discussed in the volume.

The European World 1500-1800 will be essential reading for all students embarking on the discovery of the early modern period.  


For support with the early modern historiographical debates see the partnering volume Interpreting Early Modern Europe Edited by C. Scott Dixon and Beat Kumin -

Table of Contents

Figures and Acknowledgements


Notes on Contributors

Preface to the First Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the Third Edition

Abbreviations and Symbols

Part I: Starting Points

I.1 Introduction: Beat Kümin

1.2 Europe in 1500: Humfrey Butters


Part II: Society and Economy

II. 1 Gender and Family: Bernard Capp

II.2 Rural Society: Steve Hindle

II.3 Urban Society: Penny Roberts

II.4 Marginals and Deviants: Penny Roberts

II.5 Sickness and Health: Claudia Stein

II.6 The Early Modern Economy: Steve Hindle


 Part III: Religion

III.1 Church and People at the Close of the Middle Ages: Beat Kümin and Peter Marshall

III.2 The Long Reformation – Lutheran: Henry J. Cohn

III.3 The Long Reformation – Reformed: Penny Roberts

III.4 The Long Reformation – Catholic: Anne Gerritsen, Kevin Gould and Peter Marshall

III.5 Religious Culture: Peter Marshall

III.6 Jews and Muslims: Henry J. Cohn


Part IV: The Wider World

IV.1 Beyond Europe c. 1500: Anne Gerritsen and Anthony McFarlane

IV.2 European Relations with the Ottoman World: James Baldwin

IV.3 Expanding Horizons: Anne Gerritsen and Anthony McFarlane

IV.4 Europe Overseas: Anthony McFarlane

IV.5 The Global Exchange of Goods: Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello

IV.6 Europe and the World c. 1800: Anne Gerritsen and Anthony McFarlane


Part V: Culture

V.1 Renaissance: Humfrey Butters

V.2 Arts and Society: Luca Molà

V.3 From Pen to Print: Mark Knights and Angela McShane 

V.4 The Scientific Revolution: Claudia Stein

V.5 Witchcraft and Magic: Penny Roberts

V.6 Popular Culture(s): Bernard Capp

V.7 Enlightenment: Colin Jones


Part VI: Politics

A) Surveys

VI.1 The Theory and Practice of Politics and Government: Humfrey Butters

VI.2 Dynastic Politics, Religious Conflict and Reason of State c.1500-1650:
Humfrey Butters and Henry J. Cohn

VI.3 European Politics from the Peace of Westphalia to the French Revolution c.1650-1800:
Colin Jones and Mark Knights

B) Themes

VI. 4 Courts and Centres: Stéphane van Damme and Janet Dickinson

VI.5 Centre and Periphery: Steve Hindle and Beat Kümin

VI.6 The Impact of War: Jonathan Davies

VI.7 Riot and Rebellion: Bernard Capp

VI.8 Revolution: Bernard Capp and Colin Jones



Europe in 1800: Humfrey Butters






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Beat Kümin is Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Warwick


Praise for this edition:

'This is one of the only textbooks to portray the early modern period as a distinctive era in its own right and to fully explore its richness and diversity. The European World provides an authoritative survey of the period's characteristic developments, an overview of the latest scholarly perspectives and an original selection of easily accessible source fragments.'

Bart Lambert, University of York, UK


Praise for previous editions:

‘An informative, synthetic account of the major themes in early modern European history. The authors introduce readers to an array of "histories" (social, economic, religious, etc.) which they may not have encountered before and encourage further specialised reading . . . the illustrative examples are useful and pertinent.’
Stephen Bowd, University of Edinburgh

‘This impressive textbook provides a firm basis for any further student research. Easy to read, it delivers in-depth considerations of the most important developments of the European early modern period.’
Renate Dürr, University of Tübingen

‘Didactically, it is all brilliantly executed, especially compared to some German textbooks and it is easy to read, without being simplistic.’
Wolfgang Reinhard, Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung

‘One of the best introductions to this period I have seen.'
Retha Warnicke, Arizona State University

'A student-friendly text, well written by excellent scholars who make the reader want to turn the page. The European World, 1500-1800, contains analytical chapters on a variety of both traditional and recent historical topics while excelling in comparative descriptions of life throughout Europe, between different centuries, and between Europe and the wider world.'
Richard M. Golden, University of North Texas

This is a well-organized, thoughtful and thought-provoking survey of a seminal period in the history of Europe. It draws upon current scholarship to provide a useful overview the major themes of early modern European history. Its thematic approach is especially helpful in getting students to think about the past in new and fruitful ways.
Christine Kooi, Louisiana State University.