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World History at

Term Paper Topics 14th Waves 2009 Fall

         European History

History is often written from the perspective of hindsight - we know what happened next, and next, and how things ended. However, Martin Luther was not that sure what would happen after he nailed the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Columbus did neither know what he would find, and if and when he would return when he sailed out from Palos in 1492, and you neither know which grade you will get at the end of this course, nor what college will accept you once you have completed your studies at KMLA.
In this semester I want students to use secondary sources (usually written with hindsight) as well as primary sources (sources written during or shortly after the events they describe). Students are supposed to compare both.
When doing so, students will experience that the sources are not entirely objective; all historians claim to try be objective, but it is close to impossible to achieve absolute objectivity. Students are expected to learn source criticism, to learn read between the lines, identify the bias inherent in this or that source.
When looking into historical primnary sources, in our case encyclopedia articles from the 19th or early twentieth century, students will find many terms they may find difficult to comprehend, be it Kulturkampf, the Zollverein, the May Laws, the Vatican Council etc. etc. Students are to establish a glossary.

Biographies of Personalities of 1815-1914, from Historical Encyclopedias

Austria-Hungary Regions Banat, Bohemia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bukovina, Carinthia, Carniola, Croatia, Dalmatia, Galicia, Gorizia and Gradisca, Hungary, Istria, Lower Austria, Moravia, Salzburg, (Austrian) Silesia, Styria, Transylvania, Tyrol, Upper Austria
Austria-Hungary Royal Family Franz Joseph II., Elisabeth of Austria, Rudolf von Habsburg
Austria-Hungary Politicians Auersperg (1), Auersperg (2), Bach, Badeni, Belcredi, Berger, Beust, Bruck, Buol-Schauenstein, Clary von Aldringen, Doblhoff, Eynatten, Gaj, Gautsch von Frankenthurn, Giskra, Goluchowski (1), Goluchowski (2), Habietinek, Hasner, Hohenwart, Jelacic, Jirecek, Khuen-Hedervary, Kielmannsegg, Koller, Körber, Kudlich, Latour, Lobkowitz, Lueger, Masaryk, Messenhauser, Palacky, Pillersdorf, Plener (1), Plener (2), Potocki, Radetzky, Rieger, Rodich, Schmerling, Schmeykal, Schwarzenberg (1), Schwarzenberg (2), Stadion, Starcevic, Stremayr, Strossmayer, Taaffe, Thun und Hohenstein, Wessenberg, Windisch-Grätz (1), Windisch-Grätz (2), Wittek, Metternich
Belgium Royal Family Leopold II.
France Royal Family Napoleon III., Eugenie, Chambord (Henri V.)
France Politicians Boulanger, Brisson, Broglie, Casimir-Perier, Cavaignac, Clemenceau, Combes, Constans, Delcasse, Dufaure, Dupuy, Faure, Ferry, Freycinet, Gallifet, Gambetta, Grevy, Haussmann, Jaures, Loubet, Mac Mahon, Meline, Millerand, Ollivier, Palikao, Remusat, Ribot, Rouvier, Sadi Carnot, Simon, Thiers, Tirard, Waddington, Waldeck-Rousseau, Wilson
France Businessmen The French Rothschilds, Ferdinand de Lesseps, Cornelius Herz
France Intellectuals Emile Zola, Gustave Eiffel
Germany Royal Families Wilhelm I., Wilhelm II., Ludwig II.
Germany Politicians Bebel, Otto von Bismarck, Liebknecht
Germany Intellectuals Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Richard Wagner
Greece Politicians Eleftherios Venizelos
Italy States Modena, Papal State, Parma 1815-1860, Sardinia 1815-1860, Sicily, Tuscany 1815-1860, Two Sicilies 1815-1860,
Italy Royal Family Carlo Alberto, Carlo II. of Parma, Carlo III. of Parma, Francesco IV. of Modena, Francesco V. of Modena, Francesco I. of Two Sicilies, Ferdinando II. of Two Sicilies, Francesco II. of Two Sicilies, Leopoldo II. of Tuscany, Marie Luise of Parma, Umberto, Vittorio Emmanuele II.
Italy Politicians Azeglio, Baccarini, Cairoli, Capponi, Cavour, Crispi, Depretis, Farini, Filangieri, Fossombroni, Garibaldi, Giolitti, Guerrazzi, La Marmora, Lanza, Mancini, Mazzini, Menabrea, Minghetti, Montanelli, Nicotera, Pelloux, Rattazzi, Ricasoli, Rudini, Sella, Siccardi, Sonnino, Visconti-Venosta, Zanardelli
Ottoman Empire Sultans Abdulmejid, Abdulaziz, Abdulhamid II.
Ottoman Empire Politicians Midhat Pasha, Mahmud Nedim Pasha, Fuad Pasha, Ali Pasha, Reshid Pasha
Papal State Popes Pius IX., Leo XIII.
Papal State Politicians Cardinal Antonelli
Romania Regions Moldavia, Wallachia
Russian Empire Regions Finland, Congress Poland, Russia
Russian Empire Peoples Belarussians, Cossacks, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Little Russians, Tatars
Russian Empire Royal Family Alexander I., Alexander II., Alexander III., Constantine Pavlovich, Constantine Nikolaevich, Nicholas I., Nicholas II.
Russian Empire Politicians Abasa, Bludov, Bunge, Durnovo, I.N., Durnovo, P.N., Giers, Gorchakov, Goremykin, Ignatyev, Katkov, Lanskoy, Loris-Melikov, Milyutin, D., Milyutin, N., Perovskiy, Plehve, Reutern, Sipyagin, Stolypin, Tolstoy, Valuev, Witte
Spain Royal Family Maria Christina, and Isabella II., Don Carlos
Spain Politicians Canovas, Sagasta, Narvaez, Espartero
Sweden and Norway Intellectuals Henrik Ibsen
United Kingdom Politicians Charles Stewart Parnell, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, Disraeli, Gladstone, Lord Palmerston
United Kingdom Businessmen The British Rothschilds
United Kingdom Intellectuals Oscar Wilde

Essay Topics

(1)      Troll      Encyclopedic Biographies on the Youth of Monarchs
(2)           Encyclopedic Biographies on Assassinations
(2a)      Newbie      Assassinations and Assassination Attempts in Russian History
(2b)           Assassinations and Assassination Attempts in French History
(2c)           Assassinations and Assassination Attempts in Italian History
(3)           Encyclopedic Biographies on First Ladies
(4)           Encyclopedic Biographies on Scandals
(4a)      Nemesis      Scandals in French History
(4b)           Scandals in German History
(4c)           Scandals in Austrian History
(4d)           Scandals in Italian History
(5)           Encyclopedic Biographies on Coups d'Etat
(5a)      Minstrel      Coups d'Etat in French History
(5b)           Coups d'Etat in Spanish History
(6)           Encyclopedic Biographies on Character Development
(6a)      Prospective Saint      Napoleon III.
(6b)           Bismarck and Wilhelm I.
(6c)      Martian      Vittorio Emmanuele II. and Garibaldi
(6d)      Anarchist      Russian Czars
(6e)           Popes
(6f)           French Presidents
(7)           Defining Moments
(7a)      Genghis Khan      in the History of France 1815-1914
(7b)      Gatekeeper      in the History of Russia 1815-1914
(7c)           in the History of Germany 1815-1914
(7d)           in the History of Austria 1815-1914
(7e)           in the History of Hungary 1815-1914
(7f)           in the History of Italy 1815-1914
(7g)           in the History of Poland 1815-1914
(7h)           in the History of Norway 1815-1914
(7i)           in the History of Spain 1815-1914
(7j)           World Exhibitions
(8)           Encyclopedic Biographies on Policies
(8a)           Mandatory Elementary School Education
(8b)           Nationalization of the Railroads
(8c)           Mandatory Military Service
(8d)           Universal Adult Manhood Suffrage
(8e)           Colonial Policy
(8f)           Women's Right to Vote
(8g)           Labour Conflicts
(8h)      Tailor      Suez and Panama Canal
(8i)           The Concert of Europe
(8j)      Knight in Shining Armor      Anti-Clericalism
(9)           Enciclopedia Moderna Vallardi
(9a)           The Topic of Italian Emigration as Covered by Enciclopedia Moderna Vallardi
(9b)           The Topic of Italian Irredenta as Covered by Enciclopedia Moderna Vallardi
(9c)           The Topic of Pacifism as Covered by Enciclopedia Moderna Vallardi
(9d)           The Topic of Socialism as Covered by Enciclopedia Moderna Vallardi
(9e)           State-Church Relations in Italy as Covered by Enciclopedia Moderna Vallardi

First claim, by email, gets the topic; every topic only once.


Students will work on their paper in stages :
Step I : create a reference list (use translated articles, links given there = primary sources; establish a list of secondary sources)
also create a glossary ;     due October 1st
Step II : examine every primary source for omissions, mistakes, distortions, exaggerations, biased judgments
in order to get a better overview establish a detailed timeline; ;     due November 1st
Step III : describe the bias of your individual primary sources. Can you give a reason why source A omitted this piece of information, exaggerated that piece, and downplayed a third one ?;     due December 1st

every stage will be graded; revisions are possible; first draft max. 100 points, 2nd draft 95, 3rd draft 90 etc.
average of the three stage grades will be taken to calculate overall paper score

Historical Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias, Actual and Historical Issues :
IN ENGLISH : Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1st edition 1768-1771 (Reprint 1968) [G]; Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1902 edition (10th edition), posted by; under construction; Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911 edition, posted as Classic Encyclopedia; 1911 edition (11th edition), posted by Online Encyclopedia; Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition (KMLA Library); Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907-1914 edition; Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-1906 edition; Funk & Wagnalls, New Standard Encyclopedia, 25 volumes + index, NY & London 1931-1936 [G]
IN GERMAN : Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1885-1892 edition; 1902-1909 edition, in German; use search option "Nur in Meyers-1905"
Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811; use search option "Nur in Brockhaus-1809"; Brockhaus Bilder-Conversations-Lexikon 1837-1841; use search option "Nur in Brockhaus-1837"; Brockhaus Konversationslexikon, 1894-1896 edition; Herders Conversations-Lexikon 1854-1857; use search option "Nur in Herder-1854"; Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 4th ed. 1857-1865; use search option "Nur in Pierer-1857"; J.G. Krünitz' Oekonomische Encyclopädie 1773-1858 posted by Univ. Trier, 242 vols.
IN SWEDISH : Nordisk Familje-Bok 1st ed. 1876-1899, 2nd ed. 1904-1926, posted by Project Runeberg
IN DANISH : Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog ed. by Stefan Anskjaer, 2 viols. 1858-1865, posted by Project Runeberg; Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930, posted by Project Runeberg,
IN ITALIAN : Piccolo Lexicon Vallardi. Enciclopedia Moderna Illustrata c. 1905 [G]
Check also Internet Archive for historic encyclopedias; publication dates prior to 1920 (in any language)

The usage as primary source of any encyclopedia published prior to 1920 is permitted; if you find such encyclopedias online or in a library, go ahead and use it.

Corresponding WHKMLA Index Pages

States existing in 19th century Europe : fully independent for the period 1815-1914 : United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Russian Empire, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria (Austria-Hungary), the Ottoman Empire. Gained full independence before 1914 : Belgium 1830, Serbia 1830, Greece 1830, Italy (unified 1861), Germany (unified 1871), Montenegro 1878, Romania 1878, Norway 1905, Bulgaria 1908, Albania 1913. Lost their independence before 1914 : Piemont (Sardinia), Modena, Parma, Tuscany, Two Sicilies 1861, Circassia 1864, Prussia, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Anhalt, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, Sachsen-Meiningen, Sachsen-Altenburg, Reuss Elder Line, Reuss Younger Line, Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck, Oldenburg, Braunschweig, Schaumburg-Lippe, Lippe, Waldeck, Hessen-Darmstadt, Baden, Württemberg, Bavaria 1871, Hannover, Hessen-Kassel, Hessen-Homburg, Nassau, Frankfurt 1866. Papal State 1870. Areas not listed above which enjoyed a degree of autonomy in 1815-1914 or in at least part of that period : Finland, Congress Poland, Estonia, Livonia, Kingdom of Hungary, Galicia, Dalmatia, Crete, Samos, Ionian Islands.

Image File Gothic Font, Sample File Gothic Text (English)

For Historic Maps see : History Atlas of Europe in 1800, 1900 from
Series of Maps on the History of Europe, 1789-2008, Selected Regions in Europe 1789-2003, from IEG Maps; Digital Atlas on the History of Europe since 1500, from IEG Maps; Prussia Administrative 1818-1938, from IEG Maps
M. Witkam's Page of Scanned Photographs of Historical Atlasses
Maps from WHKMLA : European Russia, Gubernias in 1840, 1916, Congress Poland, Rumelia
Plus many historical atlasses in print in Mr. Ganse's office

         June 3rd 2009          Alexander Ganse

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