This course explores the history of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, from the Age of Absolutism to the eve of WWI. This extraordinary era witnessed fundamental change across the European continent. From the rise of mass politics to new patterns of labor and consumption to major scientific advances, Europe was forced to rethink its identity. Activists challenged accepted norms of class, gender, citizenship, and nation, while imperialism brought issues of race and “civilization” to the fore. Philosophers, scientists, and artists sought in different ways to define the human condition and discover underlying truths about what makes us who we are. The Europe that emerged from this turmoil was substantially different, yet Europeans were no closer to agreeing on a unified identity and ideals. By exploring the conflicts, triumphs, and tragedies of the 18th and 19th centuries, we will develop our knowledge of Europe past and present and gain a deeper understanding of the issues that continue to shape Europe and the global space today.