Next term marks my graduation and issuance of my A.S. in General Education with a History Focus. Hopefully the plaque says it in a better way. O.o My class for the up coming term is Age of Reason, I’ve not gotten access to it yet so I don’t really know what my paper will be on. When I do I’ll have another request but first: Are there any really good works I should get for Europe in the Eighteenth Century?
My text is Eighteenth-Century Europe: Tradition and Progress, 1715-1789; I’ve already given it a ‘Inspectional Reading’ and was underwhelmed. Your introduction to Lecture 10: Absolutism and Mercantilism pretty much covered most of the main points the book seems to be making.
Daniel, I actually like that Woloch book in some ways. The chapter on statebuilding says that the State came to be viewed as a “vehicle of salvation” in the 18th century. That’s about as good as you can hope to see from a mainstream survey. I don’t know of another general treatment of the period that would be obviously better than that one.
Thanks, Dan. On the paper topic, if your instructor wants you to use primary sources, you should look for a translation of something by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as an exposition of the mercantilist position. Richard Cantillon and Adam Smith are the obvious choices for the anti-mercantilist position . . . maybe Quesnay as well. You should also look for the text of legislation like Cromwell’s 1651 Navigation Act to show mercantilism in action and the repeal of the Corn Laws in the 1840s to show the opposite.
Your paper should probably discuss the tendency of mercantilist policies to lead to war as well. There’s plenty of fodder there.