Professor of History (PhD, Pennsylvania 1995)

17th-and 18th-Century France
Office: 3735 Coleman Hall
Office Hours: T,Th 8:45-11:00; 12:15-12:30 and by appointment
Telephone: (217) 581-7142 E-mail:







All of my courses are managed

through Web CT.

Click Here to access Web CT.



My SFHS 2010 Plenary presentation

can be view by clicking here



Welcome to my web page. I came to EIU in 1997, having the good fortune to join an exceptional group of colleagues, including my wife, Joy Kammerling. I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995, specializing in seventeenth- and eighteenth- century French history. At Eastern, I teach courses on the political, intellectual, and economic history of Europe and France, including France in the Age of Absolutism, the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution.

I have published, with Richard Lim of Smith College, a two-volume document collection entitled The West in the Wider World (Bedford Books, 2003). This interest in the interconnections between Europe and the world is brought into many of my courses, such as HIS 1500 World History: Slavery and Freedom, which focuses on slavery around the world between 1500 and 1900. In this course we give particular attention to the Atlantic slave trade and the


creation of slavery in the Americas. Also, HIS 3405 Absolutist France and the Wider World seeks to merge a national narrative of French history with a world history perspective that emphasizes France's influence on the wider world and the wider world's influence on seventeenth-century France.

As a historian, my research focuses on the development of French political economy and political structure in the first half of the eighteenth century. Specifically, I am interested in the transition from the politics of seventeenth-century absolutism to the politics of the administrative state and the relationship between this development and the emergence of capitalist thought and language in France. I have published some of this research in journals such as the Journal of Modern History and French Historical Studies.

Since 1997, I have been an editor for H-France, a web-based organization supporting the scholarly study of French history and culture on-line. H-France has over 2700 subscribers from 40 nations. Currently, I am Editor-in-Chief for H-France, having responsibility to direct its general organization and plan and prepare future initiatives. In addition, I serve several roles in the H-France Review program, which produces annually about 160 reviews of books, documentaries, and new media resources.


Everything Copyright 2010 by David Kammerling Smith -