2023-2024 / HIST0039-1

Modern history


45h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in ancient and modern languages and literatures5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : classics5 crédits 
 Bachelor in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history5 crédits 
 Bachelor in modern languages and literatures : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : musicology5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : Oriental studies (Registrations are closed)5 crédits 
 Bachelor in philosophy5 crédits 
 Bachelor in French and Romance languages and literatures : general5 crédits 


Annick Delfosse

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course presents a synthesis of Early Modern History (15th-18th Century), mainly in Europe, taking into account its political, cultural, social, religious and economic dimensions. It will give the opportunity to understand the main stakes of the modernity from the Italian Renaissance to the European Enlightenment.

The goal of the first year of Bachelor in History is to gain useful basic knowledge for your future training. Therefore, this course is foremost a structuring course, intended to fix and to capitalize the knowledge. Its other goal is to introduce you to the understanding of historical phenomena (explanation, links, classification...). For these two reasons, the course is also open to the other students of the Faculty: everybody will find here the opportunity to organize and complete his/her knowledge about the early modern period and to improve his/her approach of history.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

With this course, you will gain knowledge with :

  • characteristic doctrines and concepts of the Early Modern period (Humanism, Renaissance, Enlightenment, tyrannicide, despotism, mercantilism...)
  • definite chronology and geography of the Early Modern period
  • European - and sometimes worldwide - approach of the Early Modern period.
At the end, you will get a general mastery of the Early Modern History, necessary precondition to continue your history training. You will be able to define precisely the main intellectual, cultural, religious, social, economical and political movements of this period. You will be able to place on a European map the main states and cities of this period. You will be able to explain the causes and consequences of the main events of this period. You will be able to link these events between each other and to underline the main stakes of Modernity.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

No prerequisites are required. However, a good command of the French language is essential. It is therefore strongly advised that students who are unsure of their language skills contact the teaching assistant of the programme  who will help them to overcome any weaknesses. E-mail and telephone number below.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods


Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:


Recommended or required readings

Useful reading

You can help yourself to a better understanding of the subject thanks to Jérôme Hélie, Petit Atlas historique des Temps modernes, Armand Colin (latest edition available). Despite its title, this book is not strictly speaking a historical atlas but a manual, enriched with maps and tables. It offers a clear and precise synthesis of modern history. Its structure, its accessible vocabulary and its many visual elements should enable you to organise your notes and check your understanding of the course.

For all those who wish to acquire a classic historical atlas, I recommend (without imposing it) the Atlas d'Histoire of Hayt, Brussels, De Boeck, latest edition available. 

These textbooks and atlases are available in bookshops in the city centre. You can also borrow them from the Historical Sciences Library. 


Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

January session

Written exam (MCQ) on the subject matter of the ex cathedra course. Knowledge (chronology, geography, events...) and understanding (causes, consequences, issues...) will be assessed equally.

The exam will be divided into two parts: the first part will test your knowledge through a series of MCQs, the second part will consist of an open question. 

Bac 1 students who have failed have the right to represent him in the May-June session. All the others will have to wait until the August-September session.


May-June session

Written exam on the same subject as in January and organised in the same way (MCQ + open question).

This session is only available to students in the first year of the Bachelor's degree (Bloc 1).


August-September session

Written exam on the same subject as in January and organised in the same way (MCQ + open question) for all students who failed in January or May/June. 

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


The course is only organised in the first quarter. It will be held every Thursday from 9 to 12 a.m. in the Salle Grand Physique (Aile des Jésuites, niv. +1).

ATTENTION: the first course will take place on Thursday 15 September 2022 and will start exceptionally at 8.30 am. It will consist of a general introduction to the course (presentation of the teacher, pedagogical commitments, online course, general introduction to the subject...). 



I would like all questions about the course to be asked via the online course forum. I will answer them not on a daily basis, but at least once a week. For any other question, I would like students to write to me via their "ULiège" address and not another one. I also expect students to comply with the basic rules of politeness. Any mail that does not meet these criteria will be left without further action.


General remark

This course is given and assessed in the very short space (1 quadrimester). However, the subject matter is massive. In addition, for most of you, the exam will be one of your first university exams. It will therefore be necessary to start studying early! Don't wait until the Christmas holidays to get started: fixing such a large amount of new knowledge takes time! The sooner you start, the more likely you are to master this material in the long term.



Tenured lecturer :

Annick Delfosse,

Département des Sciences historiques

Quai Roosevelt, 1b - Bât. A4, 1/06.

Tél : 04/3665455


Teaching assistant

Cécile Gorré


Secretary :

Corinne Bolsée,

Département des Sciences historiques,


Quai Roosevelt, 1b - Bât. A4, niveau 0

Tél : +32 4 366 5875

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

eCampus (online course)
This online course is an important complement to my lecture course. You will find all the slideshows shown in the course, the weekly recordings of the lectures (podcasts) and a detailed table of contents. A toolbox will give you access to a glossary, a collection of maps and timelines. You will also be able to practice your knowledge with practice tests. A forum will allow you to discuss the material with each other and with me. Any question or remark on the forum is welcome.  Finally, to go further, you will find a series of podcasts or videos of lectures or interviews given by contemporary historians as well as some articles that might interest you.