The Course is divided into two parts: the first focus is on the main topics of general history, both European and non-European, and on the themes of identity in a world increasingly characterized by mutual connections and interdependencies between the components.
The ‘broad view of history’ will be the primary objective of the lessons: themes concerning the role of public institutions and the struggles for power will be taken into consideration and explored in-depth. These themes will include: the decisions of sovereigns and rulers, the organization of society, military and religious conflicts; territorial disputes; political ideologies; but also the orientations of cultural elites and their implications in political and social life in different periods and in different contexts; the plurisecular dynamics and trends and the various conjunctures of the economic system.
Ample consideration will naturally be given to the epochal turning points such as the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, the characteristics of the modern State, the political and economic upheavals of seventeenth-century England, absolutism, the Age of Enlightenment, the Atlantic revolutions of the eighteenth century: the American and the French Revolutions; the industrial revolution and its effects on the entire European continent. These themes will be explored with an eye to maintaining the appropriate balance between the fundamental historical facts, the historiographical discussion, the moment of interpretation and a close analysis of key words and sources.
The first part will be completed with the in-depth study of some significant socio-economic and political-institutional topics related to the history of the Kingdom of Naples in the seventeenth century. The Kingdom was then a dominion of imperial Spain and subject to the control of the sovereign Philip IV, who belonged to the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty. For this reason it was part of the Italian subsystem and of the broader Spanish imperial system.
The second part of the teaching program concerns the study of one of the most representative figures of southern and national politics and culture. Francesco de Sanctis was several times Minister of the Kingdom of Italy in the first phase of the unitary period after 1861. Through the critical analysis of one of his most important biographical works, "La giovinezza", the path of his public life will be traced. A panoramic historical account of the "Neapolitan nation" during the Bourbon regime and of the Italian nation between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is the background to this biographical work.