Note: This proposal is being submitted jointly by Sam Pryor and Alice Lewis ... we will coordinate it together.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, western thinkers transformed the world of ideas, sending astonishing ideas across Europe and the New World. Governments were overthrown and radical new political experiments flourished, driven by those armed with a new sense of human possibility and a passion for change. Out of this "age of revolutions", which were the "best of times and the worst of times", "the birth of the modern" took place amid this "great upheaval" that laid the foundation for our world today.
The ideologies that animate our own times emerged from these tumultuous decades: liberalism, democracy, capitalism, and nationalism, in addition to revolutionary authoritarianism. Taking a global approach, this SDG will explore the interrelated intellectual, political, economic and social changes within Britain, France, the US, Russia, and beyond. We will see that Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin worked in a social, political, and intellectual world that also contained Robespierre, Catherine the Great, Napoleon, and Toussaint L'Ouverture.