A History of Western Society, Volume B From the Later middle Ages to 1815

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-09-20
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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Long praised by instructors and students alike for its readability and attention to everyday life, the eleventh edition of A History of Western Society includes even more built-in tools to engage today's students and save instructors time. This edition features a brand-new, comprehensive primary source program in-text and online, expanded chapters devoted to the lives of ordinary people that make the past real and relevant, and the best and latest scholarship throughout. Enhanced with a wealth of digital content—including carefully developed online document assignments for each chapter with auto-graded exercises—the eleventh edition provides easily assignable options for instructors and novel ways for students to master the content. Now integrated with LearningCurve, an adaptive online resource that helps students retain the material and come to class prepared.

What's in the LaunchPad

Author Biography

John P. McKay (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is professor emeritus at the University of Illinois. He has written or edited numerous works, including the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize-winning book Pioneers for Profit: Foreign Entrepreneurship and Russian Industrialization, 1885-1913.
Clare Haru Crowston (Ph.D., Cornell University) teaches at the University of Illinois, where she is currently associate professor of history. She is the author of Fabricating Women: The Seamstresses of Old Regime France, 1675-1791, which won the Berkshire and Hagley Prizes. She edited two special issues of the Journal of Women's History, has published numerous journal articles and reviews, and is a past president of the Society for French Historical Studies.
Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) taught first at Augustana College in Illinois, and since 1985 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is currently UWM Distinguished Professor in the department of history. She is the coeditor of the Sixteenth Century Journal and the author or editor of more than twenty books, most recently The Marvelous Hairy Girls: The Gonzales Sisters and Their Worlds and Gender in History. She is the former Chief Reader for Advanced Placement World History.
Joe Perry (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is Associate Professor of modern German and European history at Georgia State University. He has published numerous articles and is author of Christmas in Germany: A Cultural History (2010). His current research interests focus on issues of consumption, gender, and popular culture in West Germany and Western Europe after World War II.

Table of Contents

Chapter 11: The Later Middle Ages, 1300–1450

Prelude to Disaster

     Climate Change and Famine

     Social Consequences

The Black Death


     Spread of the Disease

     Care of the Sick

     Economic, Religious, and Cultural Effects

     Primary Source 11.1: Dance of Death

The Hundred Years’ War


     English Successes

     Joan of Arc and France’s Victory


     Primary Source 11.2: The Trial of Joan of Arc

Challenges to the Church

     The Babylonian Captivity and Great Schism

     Critiques, Divisions, and Councils

     Lay Piety and Mysticism

     Primary Source 11.3: Raimon de Cornet on the Avignon Papacy

Social Unrest in a Changing Society

     Peasant Revolts

     Urban Conflicts

     Sex in the City

     Fur-Collar Crime

     Ethnic Tensions and Restrictions

     Literacy and Vernacular Literature

     Primary Source 11.4: The Statute of Laborers

     Primary Source 11.5: Christine de Pizan, Advice to the Wives of Artisans

Review and Explore — LearningCurve

Meister Eckhart

Mapping the Past: The Course of the Black Death in Fourteenth-Century Europe

Living in the Past: Treating the Plague

Chapter 12: European Society in the Age of the Renaissance, 1350–1550

Wealth and Power in Renaissance Italy

     Trade and Prosperity

     Communes and Republics of Northern Italy

     City-States and the Balance of Power

     Primary Source 12.1: A Sermon of Savonarola

Intellectual Change



     Political Thought

     Christian Humanism

     The Printed Word

     Primary Source 12.2: Cassandra Fedele on Humanist Learning

     Primary Source 12.3: Pico della Mirandola, "On the Dignity of Man"

     Primary Source 12.4: Thomas More, Utopia

Art and the Artist

     Patronage and Power

     Changing Artistic Styles

     The Renaissance Artist

Social Hierarchies

     Race and Slavery

     Wealth and the Nobility

     Gender Roles

Politics and the State in Western Europe




     Primary Source 12.5: Tax Collectors

Review and Explore — LearningCurve

ONLINE DOCUMENT ASSIGNMENT Individuals in Society: Leonardo da Vinci

Mapping the Past: The Growth of Printing in Europe, 1448–1552

Living in the Past: Male Clothing and Masculinity

Chapter 13: Reformations and Religious Wars, 1500–1600

The Early Reformation

     The Christian Church in the Early Sixteenth Century

     Martin Luther

     Protestant Thought

     The Appeal of Protestant Ideas

     The Radical Reformation and the German Peasants’ War

     Marriage, Sexuality, and the Role of Women

     Primary Source 13.1: Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty

     Primary Source 13.2: Domestic Scene

The Reformation and German Politics

     The Rise of the Habsburg Dynasty

     Religious Wars in Switzerland and Germany

The Spread of Protestant Ideas


     Henry VIII and the Reformation in England

     Upholding Protestantism in England


     The Reformation in Eastern Europe

     Primary Source 13.3: Elizabethan Injunctions About Religion

     Primary Source 13.4: 1547 Ordinances in Calvin’s Geneva

The Catholic Reformation

     Papal Reform and the Council of Trent

     New and Reformed Religious Orders

     Primary Source 13.5: Saint Teresa of Ávila, The Life

Religious Violence

     French Religious Wars

     The Netherlands Under Charles V

     The Great European Witch-Hunt

Review and Explore — LearningCurve

Individuals in Society: Anna Jansz of Rotterdam

Living in the Past: Uses of Art in the Reformation

Mapping the Past: Religious Divisions in Europe, ca. 1555

Chapter 14: European Exploration and Conquest, 1450–1650

World Contacts Before Columbus

     The Trade World of the Indian Ocean

     The Trading States of Africa

     The Ottoman and Persian Empires

     Genoese and Venetian Middlemen

The European Voyages of Discovery

     Causes of European Expansion

     Technology and the Rise of Exploration

     The Portuguese Overseas Empire

     The Problem of Christopher Columbus

     Later Explorers

     Spanish Conquest in the New World

     Early French and English Settlement in the New World

     Primary Source 14.1: A Portuguese Traveler Describes Swahili City-States of East Africa

     Primary Source 14.2: Columbus Describes His First Voyage

     Primary Source 14.3: Doña Marina Translating for Hernando Cortés During His Meeting with Montezuma

     Primary Source 14.4: Interpreting the Spread of Disease Among Natives

The Impact of Conquest

     Colonial Administration

     Impact of European

     Settlement on Indigenous Peoples

     Life in the Colonies

     The Columbian Exchange

     Primary Source 14.5: Tenochtitlán Leaders Respond to Spanish Missionaries

Europe and the World After Columbus

     Sugar and Slavery

     Spanish Silver and Its Economic Effects

     The Birth of the Global Economy

Changing Attitudes and Beliefs

     New Ideas About Race

     Michel de Montaigne and Cultural Curiosity

     William Shakespeare and His Influence

Review and Explore — LearningCurve

Juan de Pareja

Mapping the Past: Overseas Exploration and Conquest in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

Living in the Past: Foods of the Columbian Exchange

Chapter 15: Absolutism and Constitutionalism, ca. 1589–1725

Seventeenth-Century Crisis and Rebuilding

     The Social Order and Peasant Life

     Famine and Economic Crisis

     The Thirty Years’ War

     Achievements in State-Building

     Warfare and the Growth of Army Size

     Popular Political Action

Absolutism in France and Spain

     The Foundations of Absolutism

     Louis XIV and Absolutism

     Life at Versailles

     French Financial Management Under Colbert

     Louis XIV’s Wars

     The Decline of Absolutist Spain in the Seventeenth Century

     Primary Source 15.1: Louis XIV, King of France and Navarre, 1701

     Primary Source 15.2: Letter from Versailles

Absolutism in Austria and Prussia

     The Return of Serfdom in the East

     The Austrian Habsburgs

     Prussia in the Seventeenth Century

     The Consolidation of Prussian Absolutism

The Development of Russia and the Ottoman Empire

     The Mongol Yoke and the Rise of Moscow

     The Tsar and His People

     The Reforms of Peter the Great

     The Growth of the Ottoman Empire

     Primary Source 15.3: A German Account of Russian Life

Alternatives to Absolutism in England and the Dutch Republic

     Absolutist Claims in England

     Religious Divides and the English Civil War

     Cromwell and Puritanical Absolutism in England

     The Restoration of the English Monarchy

     Constitutional Monarchy and Cabinet Government

     The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century

     Primary Source 15.4: Diary of an English Villager

     Primary Source 15.5: John Locke, Two Treatises of Government

Baroque Art and Music

Review and Explore — LearningCurve


Living in the Past: The Absolutist Palace

Mapping the Past: Europe After the Peace of Utrecht, 1715

Chapter 16: Toward a New Worldview, 1540–1789

Major Breakthroughs of the Scientific Revolution

     Scientific Thought in 1500

     Origins of the Scientific Revolution

     The Copernican Hypothesis

     Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo: Proving Copernicus Right

     Newton’s Synthesis

     Primary Source 16.1: Galileo Galilei, The Sidereal Messenger

Important Changes in Scientific Thinking

     Bacon, Descartes, and the Scientific Method

     Medicine, the Body, and Chemistry

     Empire and Natural History

     Science and Society

     Primary Source 16.2: "An Account of a Particular Species of Cocoon"

The Enlightenment

     The Emergence of the Enlightenment

     The Influence of the Philosophes

     Jean-Jacques Rousseau

     The International Enlightenment

     Urban Culture and Life in the Public Sphere

     Race and the Enlightenment

     Primary Source 16.3: Du Châtelet, Foundations of Physics

     Primary Source 16.4: Enlightenment Culture

     Primary Source 16.5: Denis Diderot, "Supplement to Bougainville’s Voyage"

Enlightened Absolutism

     Frederick the Great of Prussia

     Catherine the Great of Russia

     The Austrian Habsburgs

     Jewish Life and the Limits of Enlightened Absolutism

Review and Explore — LearningCurve

Moses Mendelssohn and the Jewish Enlightenment

Living in the Past: Coffeehouse Culture

Mapping the Past: The Partition of Poland, 1772–1795

Chapter 17: The Expansion of Europe, 1650–1800

Working the Land

     The Legacy of the Open-Field System

     New Methods of Agriculture

     The Leadership of the Low Countries and England

     Primary Source 17.1: Arthur Young on the Benefits of Enclosure

The Beginning of the Population Explosion

     Long-Standing Obstacles to Population Growth

     The New Pattern of the Eighteenth Century

The Growth of Rural Industry

     The Putting-Out System

     The Lives of Rural Textile Workers

     The Industrious Revolution

     Primary Source 17.2: Contrasting Views on the Effects of Rural Industry

The Debate over Urban Guilds

     Urban Guilds

     Adam Smith and Economic Liberalism

     Primary Source 17.3: Adam Smith on the Division of Labor

The Atlantic World and Global Trade

     Mercantilism and Colonial Competition

     The Atlantic Economy

     The Atlantic Slave Trade

     Identities and Communities of the Atlantic World

     The Colonial Enlightenment

     Trade and Empire in Asia and the Pacific

     Primary Source 17.4: Olaudah Equiano’s Economic Arguments for Ending Slavery

     Primary Source 17.5: Mulatto Painting

Review and Explore — LearningCurve

Rebecca Protten

Mapping the Past: Industry and Population in Eighteenth-Century Europe

Living in the Past: The Remaking of London

Chapter 18: Life in the Era of Expansion, 1650–1800

Marriage and the Family

     Late Marriage and Nuclear Families

     Work Away from Home

     Premarital Sex and Community Controls

     New Patterns of Marriage and Illegitimacy

     Sex on the Margins of Society

Children and Education

     Child Care and Nursing

     Foundlings and Infanticide

     Attitudes Toward Children

     The Spread of Elementary Schools

     Primary Source 18.1: Parisian Boyhood

     Primary Source 18.2: The Catechism of Health

Popular Culture and Consumerism

     Popular Literature

     Leisure and Recreation

     New Foods and Appetites

     Toward a Consumer Society

     Primary Source 18.3: A Day in the Life of Paris

     Primary Source 18.4: The Fashion Merchant

Religious Authority and Beliefs

     Church Hierarchy

     Protestant Revival

     Catholic Piety

     Marginal Beliefs and Practices

     Primary Source 18.5: Advice to Methodists

Medical Practice

     Faith Healing and General Practice

     Improvements in Surgery


     The Conquest of Smallpox

Review and Explore — LearningCurve

ONLINE DOCUMENT ASSIGNMENT The Inner Life of the Individual

Mapping the Past: Literacy in France, ca. 1789

The Past Living Now: The Commercialization of Sports

Individuals in Society: Rose Bertin, "Minister of Fashion"

Living in the Past: Improvements in Childbirth

Chapter 19: Revolutions in Politics, 1775–1815

Background to Revolution

     Social Change

     Growing Demands for Liberty and Equality

     The Seven Years’ War

The American Revolutionary Era, 1775–1789

     The Origins of the Revolution

     Independence from Britain

     Framing the Constitution

     Limitations of Liberty and Equality

     Primary Source 19.1: Abigail Adams, "Remember the Ladies"

Revolution in France, 1789–1791

     Breakdown of the Old Order

     The Formation of the National Assembly

     Popular Uprising and the Rights of Man

     A Constitutional Monarchy and Its Challenges

     Primary Source 19.2: Abbé Sieyès, What Is the Third Estate?

     Primary Source 19.3: Petition of the French Jews

World War and Republican France, 1791–1799

     The International Response

     The Second Revolution and the New Republic

     Total War and the Terror

     The Thermidorian Reaction and the Directory

     Primary Source 19.4: Contrasting Visions of the Sans‑Culottes

The Napoleonic Era, 1799–1815

     Napoleon’s Rule of France

     Napoleon’s Expansion in Europe

     The Grand Empire and Its End

     Primary Source 19.5: Napoleon’s Proclamation to the French People

The Haitian Revolution, 1791–1804

     Revolutionary Aspirations in Saint-Domingue

     The Outbreak of Revolt

     The War of Haitian Independence

Review and Explore — LearningCurve

Toussaint L’Ouverture

Living in the Past: A Revolution of Culture and Daily Life

Mapping the Past: Napoleonic Europe in 1812

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