At its core, this course is about the French Revolution, which overthrew an ancient monarchy and opened the crisis of the European old regime. However, the Revolution also set loose forces whose impact was felt far beyond Europe. It prompted slave revolt in the Caribbean, weakened the hold of Europe on the Americas, and shook the status quo in Russia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Feminism, secularism, political terror, conservativism, and human rights were founded or sharply inflected by the Revolution. If you want to understand contemporary politics, this is the place to begin. In almost every sense that matters, political modernity begins in 1789.