Hist 102: World Civilization Dr. Roxanne Easley Fall 2009 LL 100-I; 963-1877

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HIST 102: World Civilization Dr. Roxanne Easley

Fall 2009 LL 100-I; 963-1877

LANG 354 easleyr@cwu.edu

M-F 9:00 – 9:50 Office Hrs: M-H 10-11



Between 1500 and 1800, the cultural regions of the world were drawn into more frequent and intense contact, resulting in a new era of commercial, cultural, technological, and biological exchanges. This contact enriched some peoples, devastated others, and left yet others relatively insulated, to develop mainly from within. However diverse and splendorous the individual cultures of the world remained, the early modern period accelerated the process of cultural syncretism, by which every cultural region reshaped and redefined the ideas of others, assimilating and domesticating these elements for use in a different environment. The world network expanded to literally global proportions, introducing the Americas and most of Africa to the world stage for the first time. More ominously, the age saw the establishment of definite and highly unequal relationships, resulting in the pronounced dependence and subordination of entire cultural regions in the international economy. The result was a world in which isolation was no longer possible, but neither was any one civilization yet prepared to assume a dominant role in world affairs.

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify key events, persons, and places in modern world history on exams

  • Isolate and analyze significant issues in world history in written analyses and presentations

  • Compare opposing interpretations and opinions on exams and in written analyses

  • Recognize and appreciate global diversity and interdependence in discussion, presentations and written work

  • Understand the relationship between the past and contemporary events and problems in discussion, presentations and written work

  • Critically analyze primary and secondary sources in written analyses

  • Organize and present ideas clearly in writing and speaking in discussion, presentations and written work


(Available at CWU bookstore and Jerrol's):

1. Strayer, Ways of the World, Vol. 2.
2. Andrea and Overfield, The Human Record, 6th ed., vol. 2.
2. Purchase ONE of the following four regional accounts, after attending class:

Cabeza de Vaca, Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America.

Olaudah Equiano, The Life of Olaudah Equiano.

Stephen Ozment, Magdalena and Balthasar.

Jonathan Spence, Emperor of China.


Late assignments will adversely affect the attendance and participation percentage of the course grade. No late assignment will be accepted after the assignment is graded and returned to the rest of the class, except by my special permission.


Students who have special needs or disabilities that may affect their ability to access information or material presented in this course a re encouraged to contact me or the office of Disability Support Services at (509) 963-2171 for additional disability-related educational accommodations.


Writing Consultants offer free, one-on-one sessions to all CWU students, of all disciplines and levels. Students can brainstorm ideas, find research, and revise their drafts for organization, citation style, and grammar, learning how to edit their own papers. You can drop in or make an appointment for an in-person session or request a live, interactive, online session. There are three campus locations: Hertz 103, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday; library Fishbowl, 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday; and SURC 273, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Please call 963-1296/1270. Also available are grammar handouts and other writing resources at www.cwu.edu/~writingcenter


Using others’ words and ideas without proper attribution will result in automatic course failure and full prosecution according to University procedure.

40% Primary Source Analyses

20% Midterm

20% Final

10% Presentation

10% Discussion


Attendance, Preparation, and Participation: Given the complexities of our topic and the relatively short period of time to cover them, daily attendance is assumed. More than ten absences will automatically result in a failing grade for the course. Preparation for and participation in all class discussions are absolutely essential, and may be assessed by regular quizzes and short writing assignments.
Reading: The study of history requires frequent and considerable reading. In a ten-week course it is crucial that you stay on top of the assigned reading schedule. All of our texts are required for the course, and you will be responsible for reading assigned portions of these fully, thoughtfully, and on time.
Examinations. There will be two in-class, closed-book exams, both of which will combine essays and identifications. You will receive study sheets a week ahead of time from which questions and terms will be chosen. See course calendar for dates.
Primary Source Analyses:

NOTE that a primary source is a work that was written or created at a time that is contemporary or nearly contemporary with the period or subject being studied (a secondary source, by contrast, is one that is written about the subject but is written after the time contemporary with it). Ask yourself: Did this author personally experience the events or conditions that he/she is describing? If so, the work is a primary source. The Andrea documents (not introductions) and the four regional accounts are all primary. Strayer is secondary, as are Andrea’s document introductions.
Preparation: Each week, skim all of the assigned pages in the Strayer text for the following week. Make notes on key events, ideas, and individuals. This will serve as supporting background material for class lectures and discussions, your primary source analyses, and exams. Study the maps and illustrations in the text. Next, read all of the assigned primary documents in the Andrea text, taking notes and recording your questions (you will write about some of the documents, and discuss others in class).

Writing: With the boldface study question on the course calendar in mind, write a three-to four- page essay (double spaced, 12 pt. font, one-inch margins) analyzing the assigned primary source documents (from Andrea). Our job is to "get inside the authors' heads"--to understand what larger historical themes the sources reflect. Do not concern yourself with whether or not you personally agree with the sources, but with the reasons the authors had for believing in what they were writing. Always consider the time and conditions in which the sources were written, so as not to unfairly judge them by present-day standards.
Each essay must consist of an introduction, a thesis statement, document summaries, an analysis, and a conclusion. See the attached "Primary Source Analysis Evaluation Checklist" for details on each of these elements. We will discuss them at length in class.
Use a formal, clear writing style, and proofread your entries for errors in grammar or spelling.
Submission. You must submit three primary source analysis essays on time (due dates as announced in class) to receive full credit for the primary source analysis assignment, so be sure to keep on top of the reading and writing schedule. If you would like extra credit, you may choose to do more than three of the assigned analyses. The extra grade will be averaged into the total primary source analysis grade.
The overall primary source analysis grade is based on progress. For this reason, submit ALL previous analyses together with the current essay.

Regional Account Analysis and Presentation:

Regional primary sources afford the historian one of the best means of understanding the daily life and thoughts of individuals in history. They also allow us to assess the impact that "big events" had on the experience of individuals. Regional evidence engages the imagination and empathy of the reader in a way that no textbook or "big picture" study can do.

Your job is to read one of the four assigned regional accounts for the course. Based on the account, you will participate in a group presentation, according to the following ground rules:
1. If you need advice or audiovisual equipment, or if you would like to assign supplementary reading, you should make an appointment with me before the presentation.

2. You must use the full class period.

3. You must briefly summarize the characters and plot of the book (five minutes or less).

4. You must spend the bulk of the class period assessing how the book reflects historical themes we’ve discussed in class (see also the study questions below). Draw on the common base of knowledge that the whole class shares by relating the specific events/ideas of the book to topics raised in lecture and discussion.

5. You must engage the audience by means of organized discussion, visual aids, provocative questions, skits, "game shows," or in any other fashion you like.

6. Though you may divide up individual responsibilities as you wish (researchers, a/v technicians, administrators, presenters, etc.), each member of the group must participate equally.

7. Grades for the presentation are generally assigned to the group as a whole, not to individuals.

8. Answer the following “Presentation Self-Evaluation" questions on a separate sheet of paper and submit it to me on the day following the presentation. The group will not receive a grade until all self-evaluations have been submitted.

a. List your name and group.
b. What specifically did you do to prepare for or participate in the group presentation? On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being low), how would you rate your level of participation and effort in the group presentation?
c. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being low), how would you rate the group’s organizational efforts as a whole? Why? Were there group members who contributed more or less to the group than others?
d. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being low), how would you rate the overall success of the group presentation? Why?
Questions you may want to consider (all or some):
1. What does the account suggest about the social structure of the culture it portrays? Is there a class hierarchy? Do you get a sense of family or gender structures?

2. What does the account reveal about political structures and events? Who exercises political power? Are military structures evident? Can you date the work to a particular reign or era, and on the basis of what evidence?

3. What does the account indicate about regional religious or intellectual currents? Is there a "moral" to the story that historical peoples would have understood? Is the work itself written in a particular style or genre?

4. What does the account suggest about daily life in the region? What do the characters eat, drink, wear, and live in? How do they make a living?

5. Finally, how does the account reflect the unique historical development 1of the region? Remember to specifically draw on your text and lectures for context.

WEEK 1: 9/23-9/25

Introduction: The Puzzle of Early Modern World History

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, Prologue; for discussion, draw up a list of five concepts, impressions, individuals, or events that you associate with the period 1500 to 1800. Look over the “Primary Source Analysis Checklist.”
WEEK 2: 9/28-10/2

Traditional Europe in Transition

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, ch. 13; Andrea, P1-P15; Primary Source Analysis Checklist
WEEK 3: 10/5-10/9

Cultural Flowering and Divisiveness: The Renaissance and Reformation

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, chs. 15, 16; Andrea docs. 1, 2, website docs. “Council of Trent” and “Acts of Supremacy”
ANALYSIS 1 (REQUIRED): Using Andrea docs. 1, 2, and the two website sources (“Council of Trent” and “Acts of Supremacy”), what problems did the Catholic Church face in the sixteenth century? On what specific points did the Protestants and Catholics disagree? Were there any points of agreement? Why were the two faiths unable to compromise, and with what effects?
WEEK 4: 10/12-10/16

Culture and Society in Early Modern Europe

Overseas Exploration and the Columbian Exchange
READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, ch. 14; Andrea, Multiple Voices I (pp. 37-43), doc. 22

ANALYSIS 2: Using Andrea, Multiple Voices I (pp. 37-43), and docs. 19 and 22, how would you categorize European motives for the “discovery” of New World peoples? How did these writers and artists characterize Native Americans? What treatment did these different views seem to recommend? How did Native American views of contact differ?
WEEK 5: 10/19 – 10/23


The Colonial Americas

Kingdoms and City-States in Africa
READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, chs. 14, 15; Andrea, docs. 20, 21, 24, 25

WEEK 6: 10/26-10/30

Africa and the Transatlantic Trade

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, ch. 15; Andrea docs. 20, 21, 36, 37, and Multiple Voices III (pp. 170-176)


ANALYSIS 3: Using Andrea docs. 20, 21, 36, 37, and Multiple Voices III (pp. 170-176), how did Europeans and Africans view one another? How did trade with Europeans enhance or disrupt African personal, economic, political, and social systems? In what various ways did Africans respond? What arguments were made for and against the slave trade, and why do you think the abolitionists’ arguments were successful?
WEEK 7: 11/2-11/6

The Islamic Empires

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, chs. 13, 14, 16; Andrea docs. 8(?), 9, 10, 11, 38, and 39

ANALYSIS 4: Using Andrea docs. 8(?), 9, 10, 11, 38, and 39, what similarities do you find in the exercise of power in the Muslim empires? What special problems did each ruler face, and how did he fail or succeed in overcoming them? What role did European incursions play in the ability to solve these problems?

WEEK 8: 11/9-11/13 (NO CLASS 11/11)

Ming and Ching China

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, chs. 13, 14, 16, 19; Andrea docs. 15, 17, 18, 43, and 44

ANALYSIS 5: Using Andrea docs. 15, 17, 18, 43, and 44, what were the advantages and disadvantages of the Chinese imperial system? What was the Confucian social hierarchy, and what were the values of its elites? How do you compare these values with European ones, and how did the differences affect China’s place in world affairs?
WEEK 9: 11/16-11/20

The Spread of Chinese Civilization: Japan, to 1600

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, ch. 16; Andrea docs. 16, 19, Multiple Voices II (pp. 93-98)
WEEK 10: 11/23-11/24 (NO CLASS 11/25, 11/26, 11/27)

Europe on the Eve of Modernity

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, ch 16; Andrea docs. 7, 8, 29, 30, 31, and website doc. “Condorcet”
WEEK 11: 11/30-12/4

The English, American and French Revolutions

READ AND DISCUSS: Strayer, ch. 17; Andrea docs. 42, 43, 44, 45


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