Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: UCHUMHIS35
The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers in the Modern World
Course info
Course codeUCHUMHIS35
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level3 (3 (Bachelor Advanced))
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byUniversity College; Humanities;
Contact persondr. A.A.M. van der Linden
Telephone+31 30 2539506
dr. A.A.M. van der Linden
Other courses by this lecturer
Course contact
dr. A.A.M. van der Linden
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
SEM1  (02/09/2019 to 20/12/2019)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slot-: Timeslot not applicable
UCU-C2: UCU-C2 MO.15.45-17.30 and TH.11.00-12.45
Study mode
Course application processTutor / Education and Student Office
Enrolling through OSIRISNo
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listNo
Course placement processEducation&Student office
Additional informationThe Education&Student office places students based on level of studies, graduation requirements, maximum class size and time slot feasibility.
Course goals
Ater completing the course studentsare able to:
1. Acquire insight into the main forces that shaped the history of the great powers in the modern world. 
2. Understand the central importance of great power rivalry for the course of modern history. 
3. Understand the major debates concerning the nature of power in international affairs, understand the different manifestations of power and the impact this has had on the history of individual great powers.

 In this course the final grade is based on four elements: 
1. The exam tests your knowledge and insight on learning objectives1 until 3.
2. The presentation and the two essays also test your knowledge and insight on learning objectives 1 until 3.
This course has as its subject Paul Kennedy’s stimulating thesis on the rise and fall of the great powers and the extensive criticism which arose. The focus will be on the history of the great powers - their strengths and weaknesses - since 1500: the Habsburg Empire, the France of Louis XIV and of Napoleon, the British Empire, the German bid for mastery in the 20th century, the fate of Japan, the rise and demise of the Soviet Union, and the fall and subsequent rise of China in the 19th and 20th centuries. Special attention will be paid to the United States, which played a crucial role in the history of the twentieth century and was after 1991 the only remaining superpower. Since the publication of Kennedy’s study the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the rise of China and the seeming decline of the United States have given the debate a sense of immediacy. In addition, the conflicts among the great powers – such as the Napoleonic wars, the world wars and the Cold War - have fundamentally changed the course of history. The rivalry among great powers often also functioned as a powerful dynamo that spurred development and modernization.

Mostly debates in class on discussion topics, lectures, presentations, documentaries.
Entry requirements
You must meet the following requirements
  • At least 1 of the courses below must have been passed
    • The Transatlantic Cold War (UCHUMHIS21)
    • Nazi Germany (UCHUMHIS22)
    • Cultural History of Magic and Science (UCHUMHIS24)
    • Love and Friendship in Antiquity (UCHUMHIS26)
    • History of Economic Thought (UCHUMHIS27)
    • Understanding Conflict (UCINTHIS21)
    • Political Science: State of the Art (UCSSCPOL21)
    • International Relations (UCSSCPOL23)
Prerequisite knowledge
Other possible prerequisite course is UCINTLAT21+ UCHUMHIS13/14
Required materials
Paul Kennedy, The rise and fall of the great powers. Economic change and military conflict from 1500 to 2000 (1989) ISBN: 0-679-72019-7 (pbk.)
Michael Hunt, The American ascendancy. How the United States gained & wielded global dominance (2008) ISBN: 0-807-85963-x (pbk)
A selection of digitalized articles
Instructional formats
UCU hum 3 course

Essay 1
Test weight20
Minimum grade-

Essay 2
Test weight40
Minimum grade-

Test weight10
Minimum grade-

*midterm FEEDBACK*
Test weight0
Minimum grade-

Take Home Exam
Test weight30
Minimum grade-

Kies de Nederlandse taal