This course has two goals: 1) to introduce students to major topics in the history of the world from the 1300s through the 1900s, including revolution, imperialism, war, decolonization, and globalization, and to ask students to consider the history of the world from a non-Western perspective 2) to ask students to become historians and to engage in the interpretation of primary and secondary sources. Through a combination of lectures and classroom discussion, we will explore not only the history of the world but also the world of history. Each week is devoted to the exploration of a particular historical topic and is often divided between two days of lecture and one day of discussion. In our efforts to explore the past, we will rely upon a wide variety of materials, including historical sources, literature, and film.
De Brunhoff, Jean. The Story of Babar. New York : Random House, 1933.
Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. New York:
Houghton Mifflin, 1998.
Reilly, Kevin. Worlds of History: A Comparative Reader Volume 2: Since 1400. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis : The Story of a Childhood. New York: Pantheon, 2003.
Tignor, Robert et al. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart. New York: WW Norton and Company, 2002.
First, you are required to attend all classes, complete all reading assignments on time, and to participate actively and constructively in class discussion. (Note: Please make sure that you have completed the assigned textbook reading by the day on which that chapter will be covered in class.) Second, you are required to complete chapter worksheets and submit them to the professor on the days indicated in the syllabus. Third, there will be two “pop quizzes” during the semester. They will occur on a class day designated for discussion (not lecture) and are intended to insure that you have done the reading for that day. Finally, there will be a take-home midterm examination and a final examination to be scheduled by the registrar.
Attendance and Participation – 20%
Chapter Worksheets– 20%
Pop Quizzes – 10%
Take-Home Midterm Examination – 20%
Final Examination – 30%
- You are expected to attend every class. Attendance will be taken at every class. If you have more than three unexcused absences, you will receive zero points for your attendance grade. Absences will be excused only for medical reasons (with a doctor’s note) or for family emergencies. If you have a family emergency, please e-mail me, preferably before the class, to inform me of your absence.
- You are expected to complete all assigned reading before the scheduled class. Your ability to analyze those readings in class discussion will be used to determine your participation grade.
- You are expected to submit all assignments on time. Late assignments will be penalized 1/3 of a letter grade for every class that they are late.
- All assignments must be typewritten. Furthermore, assignments may not be submitted via e-mail without the instructor’s permission.
- Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you plagiarize any part of any assignment, you will receive a grade of “F” for the course.
The chapter writing assignments are intended to help you interpret the past in your own words and to help you practice the skill of college-level writing. As such, they will be graded for both content and style. I am happy to speak with you during my office hours about your writing. When writing your chapter writing assignments, I encourage you to pay attention to the following areas:
- Topic sentences-The sentence or sentences that begin a paragraph and state clearly the argument of that paragraph. Make sure your first sentences are a statement of argument, not fact.
- Logical Flow of Sentences – Make sure that each sentences follows logically from the previous one. In other words, make it clear to the general reader why you are moving from one topic to the next. If your sentences do not flow logically, I will write “Logical Gap” between the sentences.
- Word Choice – Make sure to choose the words that best capture what you are trying to say. Use specific nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Don’t write, “Christopher Columbus went sailing to look for money.” Instead, write, “Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in search of fame and fortune, both for himself and his patrons.” If all or part of your sentence is in need of better word choices, I will indicate so with the words “Word Choice.”
The weekly writing assignment should conform to the following specifications:
- Exactly one-page in length, no shorter and no longer
- Be more than one paragraph
- Written in 12-point Times font
- Written with line spacing of 1.5 (between single space and double space)
- Written ENTIRELY in your own words. Do not “borrow” words or quotations from the textbook.
- Written entirely by you. Do not work on these assignments with friends or classmates.
- Submitted to me in a folder that contains all previous chapter-writing assignments. Put your name on the folder.
Here are the questions and the due dates for all chapter-writing assignments:
- Chapter 1 - To what degree were the worlds of 1300 integrated? Due September 8th
- Chapter 2 – What were the major differences among the three Islamic dynasties? Due September 8th
- Chapter 3 – Why was silver crucial to revitalizing 16 th century world trade? Due September 8th
- Chapter 4 - How did European mercantilism and colonialism transform the Americas? Due September 15th
- Chapter 5 – How did the Chinese and Japanese governments control culture and knowledge? Due September 27 th
- Chapter 6 – Why did the abolition of the slave trade have unintended effects on African society? Due September 29 th
- Chapter 7 – How did expansionism affect Japan, Russia, and China? Due October 13th
- Chapter 8 – How did prophets and big men tap into Islamic and African traditions? Due October 22nd
- Chapter 9 – How did Africans and Chinese show their opposition to imperialism? Due October 27th
- Chapter 10 – In what ways did the Great War change the world? Due October 27th
- Chapter 11 – What were the major fissures that developed in the three-world order? Due November 12th
- Chapter 12 – How has citizenship in the global world created new problems and responses? Due December 3rd
Section 1: The Shrinking World: An Entangled Web of People, Products, and Power, 1300-1750
Week# 1 – The World Before the Rise of the West
August 30 – Introduction to the Course
September 1 –Lecture: Before the Dawn of Western Expansion – Overview of Ch. 1
Read Ch. 1 “The Worlds of 1300”
September 3 – Discussion: Is Expansion Inevitable
Read Reilly, pp. 1-16
Week #2 - Explaining the Rise of the West (and the Decline of the Rest)
September 8 – Lecture: Death, Rebuilding, Contact, and Conquest: Overview of Chs. 2 and 3
Read Ch. 2 “Crises and Recovery in Eurasia, 1300s-1500s” and Ch. 3 “Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450s-1600”
September 10 – Lecture: Technology vs. Ecological Imperialism: Explaining European Power
September 13 – Discussion: Understanding European Expansion
Read Reilly, 28-46
Week #3 - The New Atlantic World
September 15 –Lecture: Worlds Entangled (1600-1750): Overview of Ch. 4
Read Ch. 4 “Worlds Entangled, 1600-1750”
September 17 – Lecture: Native Americans and New Americans: Cultural Encounters
September 20 – Lecture: The Atlantic Slave Trade
September 22 - Discussion: Understanding the Atlantic Slave Trade
Read Reilly, 48-51, 73-88
Week #4 – A Rising West and A Still Powerful Non-West
September 24 – Lecture: Sea Empire: England, Barbados, and Sugar
September 27 –Lecture: The Splendors of the Non-Western World: Overview of Ch. 5
Read Ch. 5 “Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1600-1780”
Section 2: Imperialism and the 19 th Century
Week #5 - Western Revolutions, Non-Western Revolts
September 29 - Lecture: Reordering the World: Overview of Ch. 6
Read Ch. 6 “Reordering the World, 1750-1850”
October 1 – Lecture: Revolutions Elsewhere: The Case of the Black Jacobins
October 4 – Discussion: Western-Inspired Revolutions in the Non-Western World
Read Reilly, 225-230 and “Haitian Constitution” Handout
Week #6 - A Clash of Two Empires: China and Britain
October 6 – Lecture: A Clash of Two Worldviews: The Macartney Mission
October 8 - Lecture: The Opium War and The Shrinking Globe
October 11 - Discussion: A Clash of Two Worldviews
Read Handouts: “Free Trade and Opium War”
Week #7 - Imperialism
October 13 – Lecture: Nations and Empire, 1850-1914 – Overview of Ch. 8
Read Ch. 8 “Nations and Empire, 1850-1914”
October 15 – Lecture: Tools of British Imperialism
October 18 – Discussion: Western Views of the Non-West
Read Babar and Reilly, 283-291
Week #8 – Imperialism, Continued
October 20 – Discussion: Imperialism At Work
Read King Leopold’s Ghost, 1-100
October 22 – Lecture: Imagining a World Without The West: Overview of Ch. 7
Read Ch. 7 “Alternative Visions of the 19 th Century”
October 25 – Discussion: Imperialism At Work
Read King Leopold’s Ghost, 101-181
Section #3 – Non-Western Resistance and the 20 th Century World
Weeks #9 and 10 – The Case of Japan: The “Western” Non-Western Nation
October 27 –An Unsettled World, A World at War: Overview of Chs. 9 and 10
Read Ch. 9 “An Unsettled World, 1890-1914” and Ch. 10 “Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910-1939”
October 29 – Lecture: Westernization and the Problem of Japanese Cultural Identity
November 1 - Lecture: A Return to the East and the Rise of Japanese Nationalism
*Take-Home Midterm Examination Due*
November 3 – Lecture: War with the West: The Pacific War
November 5 – Discussion: Westernization: Its Costs and Benefits
Read Reilly, 313-322, 326-330
Weeks #10,11, and 12 – Other Non-Western Responses
November 8 – Lecture: Gandhi and Non-Violent Resistance to Imperialism
November 10 – Lecture: China and the Communist Solution
November 12 – Lecture: The Three World Order, 1940-1975: Overview of Ch. 11
Read Ch. 11 “The Three-World Order, 1940-1975”
November 15 – Violence as Resistance
Film “ Battle of Algiers”
November 17 – Violence as Resistance
Film “ Battle of Algiers”
November 19 – Violence as Resistance
Film “ Battle of Algiers”
November 22 – Discussion: Understanding Decolonization
Read Reilly, 466-469 and Fanon, “Concerning Violence” Handout
November 29 – Lecture: The Islamic Revolution: Non-Western Morality and the Question of the Veil
December 1 – Discussion: Understanding the Other
Read Satrapi, Persepolis : The Story of a Childhood
Week # 13 – Globalization
December 3 – Globalization and Its Discontents: Overview of Ch. 12
Read Ch. 12 “Globalization”
December 6 – Documentary: “The Other Side of Outsourcing”
December 8 – Discussion – Understanding Globalization
Read Reilly, 516-518, 520-528, 545-553