Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Professor David Garrioch


The debate over the slave trade was one of the key issues of the Enlightenment and was closely linked to debates about freedom and despotism in Europe itself. This unit follows changing ideas about slavery and freedom from the mid eighteenth century into the French Revolution and through to the rule of Napoleon. It will use case studies to explore the intellectual and social conflicts of the period and the way European society, culture, and politics were changing. Students will choose their group presentations from a range of topics linked to religious, political, scientific and literary debates and conflicts of the period.


Students successfully completing this subject should have gained knowledge of the political and social systems and ideologies of eighteenth and early nineteenth century Europe and a familiarity with some of the principal historiographical debates relevant to Europe during this period, in particular debates about slavery, despotism, and freedom, class formation, the state, secularisation, gender relations and the French Revolution and Empire. Students should have also gained understanding of some of the major philosophical and scientific debates of the period, in addition to comprehending the social and economic impact of further exploration of the globe, particularly of the Pacific and America. Through this unit students should have attained an understanding of the origins of many institutions, structures and thought in existence today; witnessing the transformation of the medieval era into the foundations of modern Europe.

In addition to acquiring the subject specific knowledge, students who successfully complete this unit will also attain the skills specific to second and third year study in the School of Historical Studies.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.