HIS31250 Dynastic Politics, Culture & Diplomacy in Post-Westphalian Germany

Academic Year 2023/2024

It is not without significance that after 1945 the founding fathers of the movement for European Union looked to the supra-national federative structures and institutions of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation for inspiration as a role model or precursor. This module will examine the constitutional, political and cultural natures of the Empire and the historiographical debates concerning its viability. Within this context, the module will analyse the rise of ‘imperial patriotism’ and early German national consciousness, the emergence of the ‘balance of power‘ in International Relations after 1648, the German Enlightenment and Cultural Renaissance in the princely courts, the rise of Brandenburg-Prussia, the evolution of Austro-Prussian Dualism and the bi-polarisation of the German world between Vienna and Berlin.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the History of Habsburg dynastic power and strategy in early modern Europe with specific reference to Austria, Spain, Flanders and Germany.

Assess individual aspects of Habsburg European History and Culture in their broader context

Present aspects of the historical debates on the political, cultural and military-strategic aspirations of the Austrian and Spanish branches of the Habsburg dynasty and their mutual vision for mastery of Europe and for universal monarchy.

Write a scholarly mid-term essay appropriate for a Level Three student of History.

Obtain a good grade in the module's end-of-trimester 2 hours examination.

Indicative Module Content:

The Module Handbook contains all the necessary information pertaining to the content and teaching for this course, and the expectations concerning student participation and learning for this module.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will be delivered in lectures and seminars. Students will be advised on the recommended reading for each topic, and on how to use the Module Handbook and its extensive bibliography to assist them in their engagement with this course. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Attendance: Attendance includes active engagement and participation in seminars. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded Yes


Assignment: A Mid-Term Oral Presentation (2,000 to 3,000 words), and of 10 minutes duration in class, will form part of the assessment. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded Yes


Examination: The Examination Paper contains questions related to topics covered in the course. The Paper is divided in two sections, students are required to answer two questions, one from each section. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students may obtain my advice by appointment regarding the research and drafting of their mid-term essays, feedback on their mid-term assessments, as well as revision for their examinations. Post-Examination feedback will be provided to students on request.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Tues 09:00 - 10:50