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General Information
Brookdale Community College is special in that it offers a variety of student assistance programs to make your learning experience more successful. Among these are learning assistants who are available to tutor students and to answer questions about the course when the instructor is not available. There are also writing and reading labs, available upon appointment, to aid students in preparing assignments. These and other support services will be discussed in more detail at the orientation session.

Students are encouraged to read the college catalog and the schedule published by the Registrar's Office. These contain college policies about fees, dates, reimbursements and credit information. They are the contract between the student and the administration.

Telecourse Information
An orientation session will be held on Wednesday, January 28th from 7:30 PM in the Student Life Center, Navesink Room. Attendance is mandatory. Course schedules will be available and course requirements will be explained. Lines of communication will be set up between students and the instructor.

The instructor for the course is Sherri West (732) 224-2410. You may reach her during the semester in the following ways:

1. Email

The use of email is required in this course. You have been assigned a web-based email address, which can be accessed through any computer. Check the Webadvisor instructions for forwarding all Brookdale email to your personal email account, should you prefer to do this. Assignments will be submitted through email and contact with the professor will be maintained through email as well.

Sherri West- Office - MAN 117b email:

History Department Division Mailbox – MAN 111

Brookdale Community College

Newman Springs Road Fax #: (732) 224-2182

Lincroft, NJ 07738

2. Office and Appointments

Prof. West’s office is in MAN 117b. A schedule of office hours will be given at the orientation session, and you are encouraged to make appointments to discuss assignments or other aspects of the course. The History Department office is located in the first floor of the MAN building. Prof. West’s mailbox is located in the division office, MAN 111.

3. Learning Assistant/Student Assistants

The History Learning Assistant is Karen Sieben. If you are unable to reach Prof. West, Ms. Sieben is available to answer your questions, take assignments and relay messages. You may reach her by telephone at 224-2533 (Email: Information on Student Assistants will be provided at orientation.

Course Information

The World Civilization course is divided into two parts. Part 1, The Ancient World, covers the agriculture evolution, the rise of civilizations, and the development of the world religion (Topics 1-7). Part II, The Middle Millennium, discusses some of the leading traditional civilizations in China and Europe, the rise of Islam, and the expansion of Europe (Topics 8-13). The Course Calendar provides a schedule indicating the date that each topic will be covered, readings assignments and due dates for written work.

A variety of resources are available to help you master the information in this course. They are as follows:

1. Textbook

Traditions & Encounters 2nd Edition, by Jerry Bentley & Herbert Ziegler. The readings that you will be assigned each week are designed to enable you to complete the writing assignments that will be required, as well as to provide you with the additional background that will supplement the viewing of the videotapes. See the Study Suggestions in this guide for tips on how to get the most out of the text readings.

Online Support - The publisher of this textbook, McGraw Hill, has a useful website for this textbook with a Student Study Guide online. Please use it! The website is (There is also a PowerWeb feature that will be used for extra-credit, so keep the card with your individual password for future use).

The book does not match the video package. There will be weeks where the book will not perfectly complement the video.

2. Readings Book

Readings in Global History, Volume 1, Anthony Snyder and Sherri West, eds., provides additional readings which will be assigned along with your text assignments. These readings are intended to clarify the main themes discussed in a particular week, to provide additional background information, or to provoke you to think about the topic in a different way. You can purchase this book in the College Book Store.

3. Videotapes

There are thirteen half-hour videotapes, with one shown each week, that are designed to introduce you to the broad sweep of human history in a dramatic way. While each videotape can no more than provide an overview of the important events and developments, it serves as a constant reminder of the cultural interactions that had far-reaching impact on the history of a particular period, with lasting repercussions into the present day. These tapes should be viewed as an important complement to the text and other reading.

Combining the viewing of the video programs with thoughtful reading will enhance your overall understanding of the period. The video programs are scheduled to be shown at the following times:

Preview Week: starts January 19, 2004

Cablevision of Monmouth (Ch. 67 or 78) and Comcast (Ch 21) - Tues 9:00-9:30 AM

Brookdale owns a complete set of the videotapes. You may view or review any segment in the series in the Audiovisual Department of the Library. Contact them for available hours.

If you have any difficulties in viewing the videotapes, contact the Telecourse Office at 224-2180.

Course Requirements

Students will achieve grades of A, B, C, D, or F in the course by accumulating enough points for the grade they are seeking by the end of the semester. The total minimum number of points available during the semester is 300. The minimum number of points required for each grade is:

A=255 points D=165 points

B=225 points F=164 or fewer points

C=195 points
Students taking the course on a Pass/Fail basis need to achieve 195 points to pass the course.
Points are accumulated in the following ways:

1. TESTS (Mandatory)

a. Test, Part I (Topics 1-7) 50 points maximum

b. Test, Part II (Topics 8-13) 50 points maximum

2. TOPIC ESSAYS (Mandatory) - 1-12 points each

Students will select any 10 of 14 topic essays and complete the questions. The essay questions are located in this guide. Worksheets may be submitted via email, placed in faculty mailbox, or faxed. Check the Course Calendar for due dates. Put all of the essay answers in your own words. Do not use ANY information from another source without quoting it. Plagiarized papers are easy to detect through “cheaterbeaters,” and you will not be able to make up any plagiarized work for the first infraction, and if you should repeat the plagiarism you will fail the course.

3. QUIZZES (Mandatory) 1- 20 points each

Three objective quizzes will be available in the Testing Center. Quiz 1 (Topics 1-3); Quiz 2 (Topic 4-6B); Quiz 3 (Topics 8-13). Check the Course Calendar for due dates for each quiz. Review sheets for each quiz are in this syllabus, and should be used as a reading guide as well as a study guide for each quiz.

4. CLASS PARTICIPATION (Optional) There will be two optional class meetings during the semester. The major purpose of these meetings will be to review material in the Units and to prepare you for the test, which will be given the next week. Students are expected to inform the instructor in advance that they will attend. The dates of the meetings will appear on the Course Calendar (5 points per meeting will be awarded)

5. EXTRA CREDIT (Maximum points - 20) Students may submit video reviews, book reviews, attend campus presentations, or review articles on the PowerWeb.

Summary of the Point System

Test, Part I 50 points max.

Test, Part II 50 points max

Topic Questions (any 10 - 12 points each) 120 points max

Quizzes (2 @ 20 points each) 60 points max

Class Participation (Optional - 5 pts each) 10 points max

Extra Credit (Optional - 10 points) 20 points max

Total 310 points max.


An "Incomplete" designation is available to students who are unable to complete the requirements for the D grade by the end of the semester. In order to qualify for "Incomplete" the student must:

1. Have already completed 140 points in the course

2. Be able to achieve D in the course, and

3. Have the professor's approval

4. The student must complete an application for "Incomplete" before the end of the semester.

Communication Skills:

1.1 Communicate ideas clearly and effectively in written form.

1.5 Demonstrate effective listening skills.

1.6 Demonstrate effective reading skills.

Critical Thinking, Problem Solving:

2.1 Identify a problem and analyze it.

Historical Perspective:

3.1 Recognize the historical and political development of civilization.

3.2 Understand the influence and impact of historical and political events, ideas and cultures.

Societal Perspective:

6.3 Understand the workings of government

6.4 Think critically about controversial societal issues.

6.5 Understand the relationship between the individual and society.

Information and Technological Literacy:

7.1 Recognize the need for information.

Diversity and Global Perspective:

10.1Develop a global perspective concerning regional and political differences.

10.2 Appreciate diverse cultures and their languages.

10.3Link geography and regions of the world with various cultures.

10.5 Analyze the causes and consequences of their own and other’s prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory actions.
HIST 105 Learning Program

Each student will be give a copy of the Learning Program which contains additional study information, History Department services and policies, and a set of outlines for each topic. The students will find these outlines helpful as a study guide to their assigned reading for the course, though the topics will not coincide with the organization of the television course.

TOPIC ESSAYS (Select 10, and answer one from each of the selected topics in approx. 2-3 pages – 12 points each.)

Topic 1: Human Origins

1. What is Diane Gifford-Gonzalez's argument in the article"Drudge on the Hide"? Do you agree? Why or why not? Describe the role of women in early human societies.

2. Examine the map on page 10 of the textbook and go to the interactive version of the map at and describe the migration routes of hominids. What seem to be the earliest and latest continents inhabited, and why did the migrations occur in the first place?

3. If you were a member of the Kung people (RGH#3), what arguments could you make that your way of life was better than ours today, the “original affluent society?” Be sure to include a description of the lives of hunters and gatherers. What disadvantages would you cite?

4. According the article in the RGH entitled “Racial Odyssey”, what is race, and how has it been used to explain human development? What does “accessibility” have to do with human achievement, according to the author of “Races in History?”
Topic 2: The Agricultural Revolution
1. What was gained and what was lost by the agricultural transition that took place twelve thousand to five thousand years ago? Explain fully.

2. Examine the map on page 24 of the textbook and describe the spread of agriculture. What are the important crops? Does this map support or refute the theory of cultural diffusion? Why or why not?

3. What do the video and text suggest are the reason for the rise of agriculture? Where does agriculture first appear? How does the rise of agriculture transform society?

4. Consider the meaning of bloodletting and human sacrifice to the Mesoamericans. How do these practices make sense in the context of their belief systems? How did their societies evolve to support these beliefs and these practices?

5. How did the geography of America and Oceania contribute to their unique development? What are the similarities is in their patterns of development in spite of the geographical differences?

6. You work for a tour company and you are asked to design a tour of Mexico and Guatemala that focuses on early complex societies. Design a tour itinerary (using maps and avoiding much backtracking) that hits the highlights of the early societies in roughly chronological order.

Topic 3: The Birth of Civilization

1. How can the Biblical text of "Genesis" (RGH#5) be interpreted to explain the rise of civilization? What role do women play in the story?

2. What is the "Theory of the Retarding Lead"? Compare it to cultural diffusion as a possible model for historical analysis, and give specific examples from the cultures studied.

3. The view of Africa has been distorted in the Western mind. Using the RGH and the textbook, explain the "Myth of Africa" (RGH#58) and why Westerners have developed an incorrect view of Africa? Also include RGH #69, “Africa’s Storied Past,” in your discussion, along with text readings.

4. Imagine you are with a group of archaeologists excavating a site of a village in Africa. So far you have found several decorated pieces of pottery, cast copper knives and jewelry, sewing needles and what appears to be the foundation of a wall surrounding the settlement. What can you infer about this culture based on this information? What would be the earliest you can date it?

5. The textbook avoids the term "civilization" opting for the term "complex society" instead. Why? Compare the definition and use of "civilization" in the video to "complex society" in the text. Using specific references from Mesopotamia, describe the different characteristics of civilization.

6. The Code of Hammurabi (RGH#6) is an example of an early law code. Analyze the code and determine what early complex societies were most concerned with protecting and preserving. Give examples of at least five different types of laws in the document and explain why these laws were important to these societies. How do these laws differ from ours today?

Topic 4: The Age of Iron

1. The video narrator discusses the development of iron as one of the turning points in world history. Why, and give specific examples?

2. From the video and readings, why is Darius considered more important as an administrator than as a conqueror? In what ways did Darius promote communication and commerce throughout the empire, and what lasting impact did his achievements have for the Persians?

3. What aspects of Zoroastrianism seem like modern religions? What are the basic teachings of Zoroastrianism? How do you think the teachings of Zarathustra would influence the believers’ behavior and attitudes at the time?

4. The authors refer to the Persian Empire as “cosmopolitan”. What does this mean? In what ways did the rulers promote the cosmopolitanism?

5. The Persian Empires were noted for being part of a trade route critical to the economy of the classical world. What did the rulers do to facilitate trade? Why was Persia geographically so important?

6. What agricultural technologies and techniques did the Persians use to produce the large agricultural surpluses they needed to feed their huge population of nonfood producers?

Topic 5: Greece and Rome

1. What are the leading characteristics of Athens that Pericles mentions in the RGH reading? What is a polis? How does Pericles’ description in the RGH compare with that in the text?

2. What is the legacy of Alexander? What are his outstanding accomplishments? How do you explain Alexander of Macedon’s success as a conqueror in such a short period of time?

3. Do you see any surviving evidence of the influence of Greek and Roman civilization in modern Western society? Describe each briefly.

4. What do the readings and the video suggest are the reason for the decline of Greece and Rome? Are the reasons for their demise similar, or was each culture's decline the product of its unique circumstances?

5. Why were the Romans so successful at conquering and ruling such a large empire? What is the "Roman Legacy" (RGH#49)?

Topic 6A: World Religions - India and China

1. Why is so little known about the Harappan society? What is it that we do know about the nature of that society? How do historians explain the decline of the Harappan culture?

2. Discuss the teachings of the Upanishads. The selection from the Upanishads(RGH#39), "The Education of Svetaketu," which discusses the Hindu journey for salvation through the self and the absolute. Explore this story and how the Hindu understands the idea of God by using the seed and the salt as metaphors. In what ways did the religion of the Upanishads include an ethical system?

3. What was Siddhartha Gautama's search for Enlightenment like? What is the path to Enlightenment according to Buddha? How does “The Story of Kisagotami” teach one of the central concepts of Buddhism?

4. As a member of the Indian caste system asked to provide a brief explanation of the “what and why” of caste, what would you say? What role does pollution play in the caste system?

5. Who is Confucius and what were his teachings? How does he attempt to create a harmonious and moral society? (Be specific) What is filial piety and why is important in agricultural societies like China?

6. Taoism (Daoism) is China's other philosophy in balance with Confucianism. How is Taoism (Daoism) different than Confucianism? How does Taoism attempt to create harmony in society? Why is Winnie the Pooh is perfect example of the Taoist person? (RGH#23)

Topic 6B: World Religions - The Middle East

1. Who is Moses and what is his role in the historical development of Judaism? Explain the Hebrews early journey.

2. Explain the role of the Torah in the religion of Judaism, and along with RGH#45, identify some of the key beliefs and practices of the Hebrews.

3. After reading RGH#50 and textbook, what role did Jesus play in the origins, beliefs and development of the Christian religion as a world religion? What was the appeal of the early Christian teachings? What sorts of people were most attracted to it?

4. Trace the development of the Byzantine church to the schism. What caused the schism?

Topic 7: The End of the Ancient World

1. Identify the major empires of the Ancient World that are mentioned in the video and in the readings. Which was the most powerful? What kind of interaction took place among these empires?

2. The video narrator comments that by 100 AD there existed a "continuous chain of ordered societies from China to the Atlantic, yet four centuries later all these empires lay in ruins." What went wrong?

3. How did the nomadic peoples of Eurasia impede and/or contribute to the development of the silk roads?

4. In general what goods from what regions were traded along the silk roads? What were the long term effects of the spread of disease along the silk roads?

5. What elements did Byzantium inherit from the Roman Empire that helped it to survive? What economic advantages did the Byzantine Empire possess?

6. Of all the religions discussed in this chapter, Buddhism became the most popular along the silk roads. Discuss why this would be so: address the belief system, the people who converted to it and the people who did not (Hindus, Christians and Manichaeans).

Topic 8: Islam

1. Both the RGH readings and the video narrator portray Muhammad as "the most influential person that has ever lived" and as "unusual as a prophet". What was Muhammad's role, and do you agree?

2. From the video and the readings, what are the key beliefs and practices of Islam? Explain each briefly. Describe each in several sentences and include the role played by the Quran in defining these beliefs and practices.

3. The Western media has depicted Muslims negatively with images such as terrorists. Referring to RGH#54 discuss the misconceptions that many Westerners believe about Muslims. Why do think these negative stereotypes exist?

4. What is the Muslim Synthesis? What is its impact on world history and Western civilization? Be sure to include specific examples from RGH #56.

5. The textbook states that dar al-Islam became “probably the most prosperous and cosmopolitan society of the postclassical world”. What does that statement mean? What evidence is there for this statement? Do you agree or disagree?

6. How did Islam spread to sub-Saharan Africa? How was it different from North African and southwest Asian Islam? Why?

Topic 9: Europe Recovers

1. From the text and the video, what were the advantages and disadvantages of the highly decentralized political system that developed in Europe during the medieval period? What role did serfs play in early Medieval Europe? What was life like on the manor?

2. What was the role of Roman Christianity in early medieval Europe? Hoe did it shape society? What were the principal channels of influence? If you were a Crusader, why would you be risking your life and what would you hope to accomplish? Were your goals met?

3. Discuss the "Crisis and Recovery" (Traditions & Encounters). What crises does Europe suffer during the Later Middle Ages? How do they recover?

4. Make a list of the key reasons for why Europe seems so “backward” in the postclassical era compared to the other regions you have studied. See RGH #51 and RGH #61 as well as text assignments. Be sure to explain each reason clearly.

5. What do the journeys of Marco Polo represent about Europe during the High Middle Ages?

6. Some historians believe that the institutional foundations of modern Europe first appeared during this period. What political, economic, and social institutions can you see emerging during this period? Explain their beginnings?

Topic 10: Mongol Onslaught

1. If the Mongols were so "primitive" as the video narrator portrays them, how were they able to achieve the largest land empire of all time? Who is Chinggis (Genghis) Khan? Using RGH#66, evaluate the 13th century account of the Mongols (Tartars) by John of Plano Carpini. Do the Mongols deserve the reputation of “terror and conquest”? Were they good rulers over their territories?

2. How did the geography of central Asia affect the development of the nomadic cultures? How did these people adapt to their environment? What advantages did their adaptations give them?

3. What was the lasting impact of the Mongol invasions of Asia and Europe, particularly in China and in Russia? Include their contributions as well as their disruptions to societies. Through what means did the Mongols integrate Eurasian cultures?

4. Explain the process of "Southernization" (See RGH #57). Where does it begin? What is a "rich south and a poor north" mean? How does it lay the foundation for Westernization?

5. How did India manage to exert such a significant influence on other cultures in the Indian Ocean basin during this era without ever establishing any long term centralized political institutions?

6. How did Islam become so prevalent and entrenched in the Indian society during this period?

Topic 11: Expansion of Europe

1. What was the role of religion in the cultural interactions of the Renaissance era? What motivated the Europeans to engage in exploration, and who were the most important individuals involved?

2. What were the central features of the Mexica (Aztec) and Inca Empires? What distinctive agricultural developments made them so productive? What are some of the features of Inca society and religion? Were they the equals of their European counterparts, or more or less advanced?

3. What aspects of Mexico society made them vulnerable to attack with the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century?

4. What was the Columbian Exchange, and who benefited from it? What does the video Dark Passages (VT 6387) add anything to the discussion of the Columbian Exchange?

5. After reading "Columbus, the Indians and Human Progress" by Howard Zinn and viewing the video Christopher Columbus VT 6408, evaluate the meaning of Columbus in world history. Is Columbus a hero? A villain? Should the U.S. celebrate Columbus Day as a national holiday?

6. Discuss Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince" (RGH#62). What advice does he give a prince who wishes to be successful? Is this good advice? Does this advice reflect a pattern for modern Western politics up to today? Is Columbus "Machiavellian"?

Topic 12: China in Transition

1. Historians often speak of the Tang and Song dynasties as the "Golden Age of China" as "its most exciting period". What reasons can you cite to support this view? Compare and contrast these two dynasties.

2. How significant was the construction of the Grand Canal to China’s later prosperity? What agricultural developments helped to transform China? What important technological and industrial innovations occurred during this period?

3. Though the video narrator called the Chinese "xenophobic", other historians, including the Chinese themselves, thought they were the "Middle Kingdom", the only civilization in a world of barbarians. Were the Chinese justified in this view?

4. What is the Mandate of Heaven? What class holds the highest level of prestige in China? Why? Can you explain the stability of Chinese government by using the RGH readings on government?

5. Why doesn't China ever develop capitalism? Who are the most important people in Chinese society according to the Confucian social hierarchy? Can you offer any explanations for this?

Topic 13: China and Japan

1. What is the significance of foot binding in China? Use the RGH and textbook to answer, and be sure to place the practice within the context of Chinese history and social customs. Is there anything similar in present-day America?

2. What is the effect of isolation on the historical development of Japan? What are the main influences on Japan's culture? How is Japan unique, and how is it a product of borrowing?

3. How does RGH#15 "Group and Rank" relate to the samurai culture that arose in Japan during the period of the Shoguns?

4. Even though Japan borrowed much of its culture from China, it retained a sense of cultural uniqueness that persists into modern day. What were the most important differences between the two countries and what accounts for those differences?

5. Describe the relationship China has with Korea and Vietnam. How are they similar and how different?

Reading and Quiz Study Guides

Quiz 1 – Topics 1-3

Review the following for the quiz, which is in the Testing Center. You need your Brookdale ID in order to take the quiz.

1. What is cultural diffusion? Give some examples from the topics discussed.

2. What are the characteristics of Paleolithic (hunting and gathering) societies? Neolithic (agricultural societies)?

3. What is the name of the surviving human species today?

4. What was the role played by stone age women?

5. What is the retarding lead?

6. What were the earliest complex settlements in the Americas?

7. What are the characteristics of a complex society, like Egypt and Mesopotamia?

8. What were some of the key developments of the Mayan society?

9. What were the author’s conclusions regarding the Kung peoples profiled in the RGH reading?

10. What are the “myths of Africa” mentioned in RGH 58?

11. What principles were embodied in Hammurabi’s Code of Law?

12. What were the staple crops of societies in the Americas?

13. What was the role of the Egyptian pharaoh?

14. What kind of political organization characterized Mesopotamian society?

15. Pay particular attention to the following RGH readings--#3, 6, 7, 9, 58.

Quiz 2 (Topics 4, 5, 6A, 6B)
1. Make a list of the chief 3 or 4 characteristics of each of the world religions discussed in the readings: Confucianism, Daoism (Taoism), Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity. Be sure you understand these characteristics.

2. What are some of the chief characteristics of the Persians? Of Darius and Cyrus? How did the Persians unify much of the Middle East?

3. What advantages did iron give to peoples like the Hittites, the Persians?

4. What was the meaning and the value of the polis to the Hellenic Greeks?

5. What is the Pax Romana?

6. What did Rome and Greece have in common? Did they interact with each other, and, if so, in what ways?

7. How did the Hebrews view their God, Yahweh? What is the Torah?

8. What are the central characteristics of the Indian social structure, the caste system?

9. What are the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism?

10. What are some of the achievements of the Qin Dynasty and its emperor, Shihuangdi?

11. What is the meaning to the Chinese of “the Middle Kingdom?”

12. Who were the Aryans and why were they important in India’s early history? What were the accomplishments of the earliest civilization in India, situated along the Indus River?

13. What are the accomplishments of Ashoka, the noted Mauryan leader?

14. Pay particular attention to the following RGH readings: #22, 23, 34, 40, 45, 47, 50.

Quiz 3 (Topics 7, 8, 10)
1. Know the basic beliefs of Islam, and the basic practices, known as the Five Pillars.

2. What was the title of the successor to Muhammad?

3. What is the Muslim Synthesis—See RGH #56.

4. What is the role of Muhammad in the religion of Islam, and what is the Hejira?

5. How does the religion of Islam survive after Muhammad’s death?

6. What are the main misconceptions of Islam, as mentioned in RGH #54?

7. Why were the Silk Roads so important in the history of the world?

8. What is the Quran, and what is its role within the religion of Islam?

9. Why did the Roman Empire decline?

10. How would you describe the lifestyle of nomadic peoples, and what accounts for their important historical role across Eurasia? See RGH #66.

11. What is Southernization?

12. What were the reasons for the success of the Mongols, and what was their impact on China, Europe, Russia?

13. Who was the founder of the Mongol Empire, what was the Golden Horde

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