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Modern World History



This class is designed to allow you to understand World History. We will use this course as a tool for learning what history is, how it was established, how it has changed throughout its history, and how it affects your daily life. World History and Global Issues on all levels influence your daily life. Understanding this history, and how its causes and influences, will better enable you to influence its future. Each chapter will introduce you to a new topic or extend your knowledge of a previous topic. 

Please see syllabus, to the right, for materials needed for class.         

Topic 1: Historical Thinking and Skills: Students apply skills by using a variety of resources to construct these and support or refute contentions made by others. Alternative explanations of historical events are analyzed and questions of historical inevitability are explored. 

1. Historical events provide opportunities to examine alternative courses of action. 

2. The use of primary and secondary sources of information includes an examination of the credibility of each source. 

3. The use of primary and secondary sources of information includes an examination of the credibility of each source. 

4. Historians analyze cause, effect, sequence and correlation in historical events, including multiple causation and long- and short-term causal relations. 

Topic 2: Age of Enlightenment (1600-1800): The Age of Enlightenment developed from the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries. A new focus on reasoning was used to understand social, political, and economic institutions. 

5. The Scientific Revolution impacted religious, political and cultural institutions by challenging how people viewed the world. 

6. Enlightenment thinkers applied reason to discover natural laws guiding human nature in social, political, and economic systems and institutions. 

7. Enlightenment ideas challenged practices related to religious authority, absolute rule and mercantilism. 

Topic 3: Age of Revolutions (1750-1914): The Age of Revolutions was a period of two world-encompassing and interrelated developments: the democratic revolution and the industrial revolution. Both had political, economic, and social consequences on a global scale. 

8. Enlightenment ideas on the relationship of the individual and the government influenced the American Revolution, French Revolution, and Latin American wars for independence. 

9. Industrialization had social, political, and economic effects on Western Europe and the world. 

Topic 4: Imperialism (1800-1914): The industrialized nations embarked upon a competition for overseas empires that had profound implications for the entire world. This "new imperialism" focused on the underdeveloped world and led to the domination and exploitation of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. 

10. Imperial expansion had political, economic, and social roots. 

11. Imperialism involved land acquisition, extraction of raw materials, spread of Western values and maintenance of political control. 

12. The consequences of imperialism were viewed differently by the colonizers and the colonized. 

Topic 5: Achievements and Crises (1900-1945): The first half of the 20th century was one of rapid technological advances. It was a period when the tensions between industrialized nations resulted in World War I and set the stage for World War II. World War II transformed the balance of world power. It was the most destructive and costly war in terms of human casualties and material resources expended. 

13. Advances in technology, communication, and transportation improved lives, but also had negative consequences. 

14. The causes of World War I included militarism, imperialism, nationalism, and alliances. 

15. The consequences of World War I and the worldwide depression set the stage for the Russian Revolution, the rise of totalitarianism, aggressive Axis expansion and the policy of appeasement, which in turn led to World War II. 

16. Oppression and discrimination resulted in the Armenian Genocide during World War I and the Holocaust, the state-sponsored mass murder of Jews and other groups, during World War II. 

17. World War II devastated most of Europe and Asia, led to occupation of Eastern Europe and Japan, and began the atomic age. 

Topic 6: The Cold War (1945-1991): Conflicting political and economic ideologies after World War II, resulted in the Cold War. The Cold War overlapped with the era of decolonization and national liberation. 

18. The United States and the Soviet Union became superpowers and competed for global influence. 

19. Treaties and agreements at the end of World War II changed national boundaries and created multinational organizations. 

20. Religious diversity, the end of colonial rule and rising nationalism have led to regional conflicts in the Middle East. 

21. Postwar global politics led to the rise of nationalist movement in Africa and Southeast Asia. 

22. Political and social struggles have resulted in expanded rights and freedoms for women and indigenous peoples. 

Topic 7: Globalization (1991-present): The global balance of power shifted with the end of the Cold war. Wars, territorial disputes, ethnic and cultural conflicts, acts of terrorism, advances in technology, expansion of human rights, and changes in the global economy present new challenges. 

23. The breakup of the Soviet Union ended the Cold War and created challenges for its former allies, the former Soviet republics, Europe, the United States and the non-aligned world. 

24. Regional and ethnic conflicts in the post-Cold War era have resulted in acts of terrorism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. 

25. Political and cultural groups have struggled to achieve self-governance and self-determination. 

26. Emerging economic powers and improvements in technology have created a more interdependent global economy. 

27. Proliferation of nuclear weapons has created a challenge to world peace. 

28. The rapid increase of global population coupled with an increase in life expectancy and mass migrations have created societal and governmental challenges. 

29. Environmental concerns, impacted by population growth and heightened by international competition for the world's energy supplies, have resulted in new environmental consciousness and a movement for the sustainability of the world's resources. 

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