History 5 has proceeded past the mid-term exam and still I haven't caught up. so I'll give you a quick pointer to three lectures.
Lecture 11: The Enlightenment (audio, video)
The enlightenment as I recall it from my school times, was all about the shift in the philosophical and scientific outlook on life. This lecture adds to it how during the same time economic and political strength of Europe have increased to a level it changes outlook on the world no less. And where I thought Enlightenment was directly leading to democracy by means of the French revolution, this lecture shows the enlightened absolute monarchs Frederick of Prussia and Peter and Catherine in Russia.
Lecture 12: French revolution (audio, video)
France of course had already its absolutism with Louis XIV and his successors, but France inherited from this line also a deficit it couldn't handle without opening itself up to political change. Once the powers started shifting, it never stopped and the revolution spun right into the next.
Lecture 13: Napoleon (audio, video)
The chaos of the French revolution allowed the rise to power of a man, who would normally not even have been a Frenchman: Napoleone Buonoparte. Pictures of Napoleon, not only this one, but also in other podcasts, are always mixed. There is the tale on the heroic achievements, but there are also the failures and possibly the built in downfall. No matter what, Napoleon left a lasting mark on Europe.
More History 5:
Absolutism and Science,
Witches, plague, war and Hobbes,
Europe and 1492,
The making of Europe in 1453.