Hist 111 Syllabus Instructor

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HIST 111 Syllabus

Instructor: Priscilla Starratt
Office: Swenson Hall 3085
email: pstarrat@uwsuper.edu 
Phone: (715) 394-8510 (until mid-June when I will be in NH for the rest of the summer)

Welcome to HIST 111 History of the Modern World

Our Focus will be on "Applying World Systems Theory & the Pace of Globalization" As you might imagine, the topic of the history of the world in the modern period [since 1400] is quite vast. It needs a focus and goals and outcomes to be manageable. Other faculty may teach it with other foci and emphases, but what all  sections of HIST 111 have in common are a common course description and common learning goals.

The Course Catalog Description:

Focuses on themes rather than chronology. Students follow the growing globalization  of the world though the study of themes like nationalism, industrialization, imperialism, capitalism, decolonization, technologies, gender, race, everyday lives, world systems, migration and diaspora. Will employ analysis of primary documents, photographs, maps, music, films or other sources of history and build skills of effective writing, clear presentations, use of convincing evidence, increasing geographic literacy and placing the history of specific regions in a global context.  Aims to provide an introduction to the discipline of history and its methods. Emphasis on learning to think globally. Code 7. General Education: Humanities-History

The Common Learning Goals:

Course Learning Goals are set by the Department of History and will apply whenever HIST 111 is taught. They are:

1. Clear and effective expository writing, including the ability to construct an effective analytical essay

2. Ability to evaluate arguments on the basis of evidence and to support one’s own arguments with evidence 

3.  The ability to make sense of particular world regions while simultaneously seeing global connections. 

Course learning Objectives

Students will

1. learn the theory of world systems  analysis and the role of ideology to justify the power and extraction of wealth by the core

2. apply world systems analysis to modern world history to explain the period of the super powers of: China and the Islamic empires, the Aztecs, Spain and Portugal, the Netherlands, Britain and France, the USA and the USSR, etc. etc.

3. will demonstrate understanding of what makes the core of world systems strong be it military, economic or political strength

4. will understand the role of slavery and the slave trade in capital formation and labor exploitation for European countries

5. will see that in modern history as in ancient history there were both contiguous and non-contiguous, overseas empires

6. will demonstrate the understanding of the relationship between empires and industrialization in the provision of raw materials and markets and be familiar with the concept and goals of colonization and nationalism

7. will demonstrate an understanding of the origins of conflicts over resources and territory that are justified by ideology

8. will learn what anti-colonialism and socialism contributed to the modern history of resistance to oppression of empires and ruling powers and classes

9. will express understanding of the polysemic nature of history- that history has many voices and many views that all share part of the truth

10. will use written documents, book page citations and film scenes as evidence in  

Why? [This is called Transparency- it means the reasons for assignments are being shared with you.] These abilities are sought after by American employers. You are being prepared as a university graduate to take a role in community and national leadership and to assume professional responsibility in your place of work. Employers are looking for workers who can think outside the box, who can see the global, environmental, ethical, and gender implications of company or agency policies, who know how to work with and welcome people from different cultures and religions, who can extract relevant data and ideas from multiple sources of information: web based blogs, news casts, written reports, personal testimonies, and weave these into reports and discussions that will shape policies. Those may be policies of your school board, the PTA, the Rotary Club, your faith organization, your place of work, city or town government, an environmental protection policy, a trade mission to another state or country or a transportation feasibility study. Learning how to think, to learn, and to evaluate many sources of information is an essential skill for a professional. Having reached a conclusion, then  you need to know how to present it convincingly with proper citation of your sources of evidence.  And to be effective as a 21st century global citizen, you need to know how the world works and the patterns of human interaction. Many of you are planning to be teachers. If you live in a small town, your students will need you to help them to become global citizens. You may live in a region with newer immigrants. Your students need you to help them appreciate the immigrant experience in a transnational context. As a professional, you need to be able to reach out across borders of race, gender, national origin and religion to work with people of all kinds of backgrounds. Taking World History helps us appreciate the diversity of those backgrounds and the patterns of human interaction. The skills of the history learning goals are important professional skills.

The Importance of  a Liberal Arts Education

What? You don't believe me? I recently did a phone reference for a UWS graduate to work in a Duluth company that involves the shipping and moving of large equipment. Among the questions the employer had for me were: "Do you think this person can work and think ethically?" and "Do you believe this person is ready to work with people of other cultures and backgrounds?" This is what a liberal arts education does for you. It puts your technical skills into the big picture. We have many international students and faculty of international backgrounds and courses that stress multicultural and diversity building skills. This course is one of them. That student got the job. Among the reasons I could recommend him so highly was a conversation I had with him in which I asked how a certain IT course was going with a highly accented  female international faculty member. He told me he though it was the best class he had ever had at the university. His response told me that the student was ready to bend his ear to hear other types of English and that he  was willing to work with and learn from people of different genders and  ethnic backgrounds and national origins. I was also aware that one of this students' good friends growing up was African American and said so. It let the company know that  he was ready to work in the 21st century work environment. The student had a BSc in business, got bored in marketing retail and returned to UWS to complete a 2nd degree in Transportation and Logistics Management.  This showed that he was open to retraining to get desired professional skills. I hope you understand now how a liberal arts education and exposure to global and multicultural education opportunities enhances your marketability and civic potential. The country needs educated citizens to shape its policies and make its decisions. That why we ask you to master communications and skills of human interaction. We are not educating  you to keep your wise thoughts to yourself. We are educating you to share them and to exhibit leadership in your community and nation.

Required Text

Image Courtesy of Amazon.com

The text book Worlds Together, Worlds Apart by 7 different authors: Robert Tignor et. al is the usual way this is expressed. The ISBN is   978-0-393-97746-2 and the publisher is W.W. Norton  I have indicated the 2002 edition.

There are lots of used copies cheaply available, You do not need the latest edition. It should not cost you more than $15 including postage. There are 18 copies at Amazon.com for less that $5.00. Many of them are available for only the postage. Beware that there are many other editions out there of this title. We will start with the Chapter 2: Crises and Recovery in Eurasia, 1300's-1500s. If your book doesn't have this chapter, it's the wrong book.

What you need for the course

  • A notebook with pockets for materials you may print off or a notebook and a  file folder

  • A computer with internet connections at home or a convenient library, or a lap top with a near by internet service like a coffee shop that allows customers to stay and use the web for extended periods

  • 13 hours a week. Students are required to spend 135 hours  for 3 credits of University coursework at a minimum- on average. Maybe a bit more some weeks or a bit less on others. This is  more than the 9 hours expected in the fall or spring term because the summer term is only 10.5 weeks and the other terms are 15 weeks.

  • Ambition to become a professional worker or to put your current job or status into a larger framework of understanding. Reasonable skills in college level reading and writing. No prior knowledge is expected. Remember that the services of the UWS Writing Center are available to you to help with essays.

  • A planner in which to write down due dates... could be electronic or paper.  The British call them diaries.

Required Technical Skills

This course uses electronically distributed materials, e-mail, and threaded discussions (See Discussion Board guidelines below). All assignments must be submitted via the Dropbox. You are expected to check your UW-Superior e-mail daily and your course homepage regularly. If at any time you have technical problems using these resources, please contact the university technology helpdesk (telephone: 715-394-8300 or email: helpdesk@uwsuper.edu) for help with your account.

Summary of course work

In the future, each week, there will be a graded assignment in the discussion board based on the course materials.  Often  it will be a group activity, or occasionally an individual presentation. Each week, there will be work to do at the drop box. Many of these are study questions or film guides. Others are essays.  There is one student research project  to do as well. 

Discussion Board Assignments: Part of getting an education is  learning to work well  with others. So part of your grade will come from working with a group. You will be placed in a group after the first week of class is complete. Group work will take place on the discussion board. It will be graded according to the following rubric:








The  discussion does not follow the instructions and shows inadequate connection to the course materials. It is not serious or presented in a sufficiently professional manner. The

Response to others  is  weak or inconsiderate.

 The discussion is serious and shows some connection to the course materials.

The student makes some use of the course materials to prove assertions in the discussion which is adequately written. The comments on the postings of others shows  less carefully thought out response.

Care has been taken to craft a serious discussion and to use the course materials as evidence in making assertions in the discussions. The postings are well written and expressed, but the  responses to the work of others  is not thoughtful or sufficiently constructive.

The original posting is well done, based  on the readings and well written. The responses to others postings are serious and polite and  appropriately constructive . Compliments are given first and then constructive criticism if  appropriate. Reasons are provided.

Part of your participation portion of the grade for the class comes from  the helpful, constructive and positive comments you make to one another each week on the discussion board.  Each original post should be done by Friday and on Sunday you should respond to at least two posts of classmates. Look for posts that no one else has responded to for at least one of your short responses, until everyone has been responded to, OK? Start off with a phrase like... Your posting taught me that... Or that was a different viewpoint that I'll need to consider... Have you ever thought of ....??

What is Netiquette? 

Nettiquette requires that we are considerate of each other's feelings and backgrounds in what we write and say to make this online course a positive learning environment for all students. We need to respect each other's views and opinions, political, religious, ethnic, national and gender backgrounds and show respect for diversity in all that we say and do in this course. Where the line is between expressing  your own opinion and not engaging in hurtful or biased speech is an ethical and affective judgment. If I see any discussion that I deem hurtful on a discussion board, I will remove it and explain why I did so  to the author. In a university we may discuss virtually  anything. Unlike most places of work, you are not asked to refrain from discussing sex, politics or religion. BUT, how you discuss them is the key issue. It must be done carefully and thoughtfully.   In fact, this is one of the few places  in touchy, litigeous America where you actually CAN discuss these and other controversial issues. But we must do it in a careful and considerate way. Especially, where you can not see a person's smile, or hear the tone of voice, we need to be even more careful about how we express ourselves electronically. Please be extra considerate of others who are also, like you, paying tuition to learn.

The Research Papar. Each Student will do  short research paper with which to educate the class and themselves. It is on the history of a commodity. See the discussion board where you can choose a commodity to research.

Here's the summary of assignments and grades. Now that the D2L has been adjusted, we can get the grade box set up for you to follow along.


Long Assignments

110 points total or 44.7% of grade

Ming China World System


Islamic Empires World System


Spain and Portugal World Systems


Northern Europe World Systems


First Draft of Q#1 Commodity Essay


Voices of the French Revolution


First Draft of Q#2 of Commodity Essay


First Draft of Q#3 of Commodity Essay


First Draft of Q#4 of Commodity Essay


My Final Research Commodity Essay


Discussion Board Assignments

66 points total or 26.8% of grade

Scholars vs. Eunuchs in Ming China


Islamic Empire Power and   Prestige


Judging Cortés at the   Pearly Gates


Uses of Protestant Ideology


Black in Latin America


Shogun and Son of Heaven   Power








Contemporary History Will Be


My Commodity


Short Drop Box Assignments

70 points total or 28.5 % of grade

Syllabus Quiz


World Systems Theory


1421 Film


Islam as a World System


The Ottomans


500 Nations the Aztecs


Renaissance, Reformation and Beyond


The Way of the Samurai


The Will of the Shogun


The Forbidden City


Black in Latin America


This Magnificent Cake


Total War


Freedom Now


Extra Credit Films

Do up to 5 of these for an added 10% of grade



A Tale of Two Cities


The Scarlet Pimpernel




5 Broken Cameras


 Unit 1 May 27-June 1st

Learning Objectives

Objectives will be established for each unit of study which are measurable and assessable. The teacher will be transparent about why you should learn these skills and acquire this knowledge in the commentary section of the web site for the course.

At the end of  Unit 1 students will:

  • Have met the faculty instructor and fellow classmates through introductions

  • Know the course materials necessary to complete the course

  • Study the course syllabus and take a quiz on it . 

  • Locate the course text book by purchase, rental or borrowing it

  • Read the supplementary text on World Systems Theory and Analysis and answer the questions on it in the drop box

  • Buy a notebook for notetaking with pockets  or a file folder for materials you print off for the course

  • Enter due dates in a paper planner or an electronic planner ( in your cell phone) from the syllabus

  • Be ready to start this class on June 1st with the text book and necessary equipment and awareness of the nature of the commitment in order to succeed in HIST 111. Be sure you have allocated 13 hours a week for the next 10.5 weeks for this class.

  • Learning Activities

  • So to get going please proceed to:

  • 1. Introduce yourself on the discussion board  answering as many questions as you can after reading the faculy instructor's own  introduction and seeing the questions on the discussion board.  Upload a picture of your self with your family, your dog, your art work...or something that symbolizes you. Due by Friday the 30th of May.

  • 2. Read the Unit 1 Commentary and the supplementary reading on World Systems Theory and Analysis 

  • 3. Study the course syllabus. You copy it and put it on your desktop  and refer to it while you  take the quiz on the syllabus in the drop box. Due Sunday  June 1st.

  • 4. Read the World System Theory (Synopsis and Analysis) online at: http://sociology.emory.edu/faculty/globalization/theories01.html

  • Then  answer the questions in the drop box. They are already there  in the drop box but they are also here so you can copy them to a word document and answer them as you read along. Due Sunday June 1st.

  • Unit 2 Ming China June 2-June 8

  • Learning Objectives:

  • To explain how the Ming dynasty of China was one of two super powers of the day based on  world systems theory. 

  • To illustrate the role of ideology in holding together a Chinese world system of many peoples and nations.

  • To explain the internal and regional sources of strength of the Ming dynasty.

  • To demonstrate an understanding of internal factions at the Ming court who appreciated and opposed the Ming voyages of the Treasure Fleet.

  • To use several sources of information to assemble an accurate  picture of the power of Ming China

  • Learning Activities 

  • 1. Watch the film 1421 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgIubDAc06k and do the study guide below. It  only covers Part I. When you have aswered the questions, put the guide in the dropbox. Since the film is on UTUBE, you can watch it in 3 or 4 segments if you like or go back and watch it twice.  Link to 1421 YOUTUBE here

  • 2. Next, read the text book Worlds Together;  Worlds Apart by  Robert Tignor et. al. [The et. al. means there is a whole list of authors.] The sections on China during this early modern period are: background: Chapter 1 the World of 1300:The Middle Kingdom  26—34,  and Mongol Conquests and Connections: 34-40, Chapter 2 Crises and Recovery in Eurasia: Ming China 59-66, Chapter 3 Contact, Commerce and Colonization 1450's -1600: The Revival of the Chinese Economy, 80- 83, and Prosperity in Ming China 115-116, Chapter 4 Worlds Entangled: Asia  in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries:   From Ming to Ching in China 141-146, and   Chapter 5 Cultures of Splendor and Power: Culture and Politics in East Asia 171-3 China: The Challenge of Expansion and Diversity 173-176

  • As you read, make a list of factors that made China strong and a core power ( in terms of World Systems analysis).  Strong economically, politically, regionally, ideologically, militarily... with the page numbers on which you found this information. 

  • 3. Third  read the selections from When China Ruled the Seas by Louise Levathes.  Look for answers to How was China a world power. Which factions at court favored the trade enterprise and which opposed it and why? and How was the Fragmentation of the Barbarian policy put into practice?  How was wealth extracted? What was the ideology under which tribute was extracted? Note the page numbers where  you find these answers. You will find them at the hyperlinks below:

  • Scholars vs. Eunuchs                 Extracting Wealth.pdf          Fragmenting Barbarians.pdf              Ideology of Tribute.pdf

  • 4. Work with your group on the discussion  board question. Have some fun arguing whether the scholars or the eunuchs at the court of the Ming emperor were correct. Should the voyages of the Treasure Fleet have continued?  First talk about your strategies with your group members. Then do your group  posting by Friday evening June  6th. Finally on Sunday June 8th respond individually to others' posts. Can you compliment the skills of your rivals? Do you see any holes in the arguments of  your opponents?  Suggest their strengths and weaknesses  in your later responses to their postings. Exhibit courtly politeness.

  • 5.  After pondering this  great Chinese venture and studying world systems theory for the better part of two weeks,  do the essay question which asks you How did Ming China [1368-1644] become a super power and   operate a world system run by the Ming dynasty? 2-3 pages with page references to the books and scene references to the films. Give adequate attention to both types of sources  please. Due June 8th

  • Islamic Empires and World Systems Theory June 9-June 15

  • 1. Learning Objectives

  • 1. To be familiar with the ways in which the Islamic empires of the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals were the other major world system in Afric- Eur-Asia in the early modern period 1500-1750

  • 2. To demonstrate knowledge of  the sources of military, political, social, economic, cultural and religious strengths that accounted for this.

  • 3. To demonstrate knowledge of factors that impressed and attracted as well as horrified and sowed fear in Europeans at the hands of these empires, especially the Ottomans.

  • 4. To successfully apply world systems theory again, in writing your essay on  the Islamic empires of the Ottomans, the Safavids and the  Mughals. 

4. Learning Activities

1. watch the films on the Ottoman Empire The Ottomans: Europe's Muslim Emperors Episode I and the first half of Episode II dir. Gillian Bancroft. BBC REligion and Ethics Production 2013. They can be found at Films on Demand at the UWS Jim Dan Hill Library Item nos. 55742 & 55743. If you have a Mac computer, the live link will download the questions in your downloads box. You will have to click to open it.   The questions are also in your drop box. You will need to type the answers in the drop box after each question.

  the Ottomans- Europe’s Muslim Emperors .docx

2. Read the text book WTWA  and look for sources of strength at home and regionally  of the Islamic empires of the early modern period 1500-1750. Background:Chapter 1 the Worlds of 1300:The four Major Ccultural Areas of Eurasia: The House of Islam 13-21,  Chapter Two Crises and Recovery in Eurasia 1300's-1500's: Islamic Dynasties 48-58, Chapter 3 Contact, Commerce and Colonization: 1450's-1600: Revival of Trade in the Indian Ocean and Overland Commerce and Ottoman Expansion 83-86, and Mughal India and Commerce 112-115, Chapter  Four: Worlds Entangled: 1600-1750 The Safavid Empire Under Assault,  the Transformation of the Ottoman Empire and the Zenith and Decline of the Mughal Empire 139-141 and Chapter 5: Cultures of Splendor and Power, Culture in the Islamic World, on Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal cultures, 165-171.

  • 3. Read the  supplementary texts: selections from  Islamic History as Global History 43-46 and answer the questions in the drop box on it by Friday June 13th.

  • and  read  The Gardens of Babur.pdf  in the Baburnama, p.156-7 and 349-350 ,  Nur Jahan Mughal Empress.pdf Women in World History p. 62-69,  The Bridge on the  Drina.pdf  p. 22-27 and Ottoman Tiles and Silk.pdf in Treasures of Islam, 172-173. What kinds of strengths and utilization of talents do these suggest?

  • the Gardens of Babur.pdf             Nur Jahan Mughal Empress.pdf  

  • The Bridge on the Drina.pdf        Ottoman Tiles and Silk.pdf 


  • 4. Make a posting on the  discussion board where you write  at least 1 page (200 words)  about what you learned about one of the above sources of Ottoman  or Mughal power and prestige and then what you learned about Islam that surprised you. Choose from among the suggested topics in the instructions. The first posting must be by Friday  June 13th. Then write a response to  two  classmates thanking  them for what you learned from a different topic from yours by Sunday June 15th.


  • 5. Write 2-3 pages in the drop box explaining the economic, political, military, religious and social strengths of the Islamic empires in the early modern period and  how they became a world system, drawing in wealth and talent to the core. Due Sunday June 15th

Unit 4 Spain and Portugal Emerge from the periphery June 16-22

1. Learning Objectives

Students  will learn the sequence of how Spain and Portugal created compact and efficient modern nation states in the 15th century, that enabled them to reconquer the Iberian peninsula and  undertake voyages to evade the Ottoman bottleneck on E-W trade in Afric-Eur-Asia.

Student will appreciate how man different ways there are to viewing the same events in history when they examine the conquest period of  Hispaniola, Mexico and Peru.

  • World systems theory will be applied to the shift of wealth and power from the eastern Mediterranean to be shared with the Atlantic World and western Europe.

  • 4. Learning Activities

  • 1. First Read WTWA   background: Chapter 1 The Worlds of 1300, the Four Major Cultural Areas of Eurasia,  The Domain of Christendom 21-26; Chapter 2 Crises and Recovery in Eurasia, 1300's-1500's  Western Christendom 66-76; Chapter 3 Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450's-1600,  European Exploration and Expansion and The Atlantic World, 86-105 and The Growth of Trade in Asia,   Changing European Relations in Asia. 110-112. Chapter 5 Cultures of Splendor and Power: Hybrid Cultures  in the Americas 186-188.

  • 2.  Then Read Worldly Goods by Lisa Jardine: selection 288-298 It explains very well why Portugal set out to get to India around South Africa and what the economic impact of this would have for their rivals in Venice, [now in  Italy] . Spice Trade rotated(1).pdf

  • 3. Watch the movie from the Kevin Costner series 500 Nations called Mexico: The Rise and Fall of the Aztecs and put the answers to the study guide in the drop box. You can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l1X9lyZV_M  or go to Go to YOUTUBE to 500 Nations Part 1 to 45:10 where Kevin Costner the narrator is talking about the desert that separates the US from Mexico. It  moves on to the Aztecs.  The film guide is in the drop box. But I'll put it here too:

  • 111 The Aztecs in 500 Nations .docx

  • 4. Next Read  selections from    Malinche's Conquest by Anna Lanyon,  The Spanish Conquest of Mexico by William Prescott  Broken Spears, by Miguel Leon-Portilla A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolomé de las Casas and The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Díaz del Castillo and Cortés himself in Aztecs.  How many different opinions  about the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola and Mexico can you find here? ( Actually the first half of the entry marked Cortés is written by Diego Duran, The Aztecs: History of the Indies of New Spain, 1581)

  • Bartolomé de Las Casas .pdf                                             Malinche and Cortés.pdf                                           Mexico Aztecs .pdf

  • Bernal Diaz .pdf                                 Cortés .pdf                  Malinche's Jobs.pdf            Mexico Tlaxcala .pdf            Prescott's Conquest.pdf                                                                                 

  • Discussion Board:

  • You are called to the Judgment Day where  complaints against  Cortés  and the Spanish have been lodged on behalf of Native Mexican  people against the Spaniards for their behavior in the New World.  Take on the role of one of these individuals and lodge either a complaint or a defense of Spain and Spaniards. Speak in the voice of one of the people you read about: Malinché,  Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Anna Lanyon, Cortés himself , Diego Munoz Carmago, a mixed race Mexican for  Tlaxcala, the Aztec informants for the Codex Florentino from Tlatelolco and others of the Aztec alliance, and the 19th C American historian William Prescott.  Give voice to the role assigned to you by Friday the 20th of June.  By the end of the week on Sunday the 22nd of June,  go back and read the others' entries. Tell them how their representation has enriched your understanding of the complexity of how Mexico was conquered, and enabled you to hear their voices empathetically. Look for individual voices. Bur first read the more commentary below:

  • Unit V  Renaissance and Reformation: Humanism spreads from the Italian city states  to Northern Europe and Northern  Europe Catches Up   June 23-June 29

  •  1. Learning Objectives:

  • Students demonstrate understanding of the relationship of the values of the humanism of the  Renaissance and the  the Protestant  Reformation

  • The students follow the expansion of the worlds of northern Europeans as they remove themselves from the periphery of southern Europe and seek to create a mercantile core of their own.

  • As northern Europe sought to become a core economy, students see how this  led to rivalry with Spain and Portugal that was combined with the  religious ideology of the rivalry between Catholics and Protestants. However, when they moved into competition in areas like the Americas or the Spice islands or East Asia the also became rivals with one another.

  • They will show they see how this happened in the struggle to enter the spice trade in the Moluccas.

  • 3. Learning Activities:

  • Read the Commentary  for Unit 5 Northern Europe Catches Up:

1. Read WTWA Chapter 2 Crises and Recovery in Eurasia, 1300's-1500's 70-76, Chapter 3 Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450's-1600  The Transformation of Europe:106-110,  Chapter 4 Worlds Entangled, 1600-1750 Increasing Economic Linkages:120-124  and Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, The Dutch  in SE Asia 136-138. Chaptr 5 Cultures of Splendor and Power 1600-1750 The Enlightenment in Europe 179-186.

2. Read Worldly Goods selections 370-376  Protestantism Affects Trade .pdf

3. Read Nathaniel’s Nutmeg selection p. 16-31 and 252-261.  Competing with Portugal .pdf    Dutch vs English .pdf

Did we know that Magellan sailed to find a western route to the spices for Spain?  Somehow in the "explorers literature" of elementary school, I got the impression he sailed to figure out how to circumnavigate the world.  I guess I was naive... How soon does the competition between northern and southern Europe, between Protestant and Catholic nations turn into a competition between the Netherlands and England??

4. Read A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World  p. 228-240  VOC vs EIC .pdf

5. Watch the film: in the Films on Demand Library Collection The Europeans” The Renaissance, Reformation and Beyond-Towards a Modern Europe and put the study guide in the drop box. Here's how to find the film:

Go to UWS website>current students> Jim Dan Hill Library>How Do I Students> Streaming Videos> Films on Demand> History> type in The Renaissance, Reformation and Beyond. 

Here's the film study guide:  The Renaissance Reformation and Beyond.docx

6. Discussion Board:   Explain the use of Protestant ideology in one of the following:  After two initial posts have been made, please choose another topic. Due Friday June 27th

justification of lending money at interest to facilitate trade

justification of trade with the Ottoman Turks in metal that could be turned into canons and weapons to be used to advance the Islamic empire a the expense of the Austrians, Hungarians and Poles.

justification of  English or Dutch attacks on Spanish and Portuguese ships and the seizing of the  fortresses in the Indian Ocean or their islands in the Caribbean or their coastlines in South America.

justification of the war for Independence of the Dutch against Spain

  • Essay: Explain how  northern Europe  competed  for empire and trade with Spain and Portugal. Incorporate the role  Protestantism played as the ideology for this and how was it useful for northern Europeans to gain advantage over southern Europe? Use the examples from your readings with page references and  and your film. Due Sunday June 29th. 3-4 pages.

  • Unit 6  The Consolidation of  Japan and the Resistance of China June 30-July 6th

  • Learning Objectives:

  • Students will  gain an  understanding of the unification process of the Japanese islands.

  • They will demonstrate that they know the process by which the threat of Portuguese or Spanish domination was avoided as Japan played off Catholic Europeans against Protestant Europeans and escaped European colonization.

  • Likewise students will see the strengths of the Ching Chinese system and it's awareness of European ambitions.

 Learning Activities

1. Read Commentary on Unit 6

2. Watch 3 films:

 a. the Forbidden City-the Great Within  by Francis Gerard 1995 Discovery Channel  The Forbidden City.doc  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4ZjvJLm32c

on the Strength of the early  Ch'ing /Qing emperors, and how Europeans were controlled.

 b. Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire: The Way of the Samurai.  2004.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmJwBV_iJRQ or Films on Demand at the UWS Library # 41008 The Way of the Samurai.docx

it tells the story of the consolidation of power by the Daimyo Tokugawa Ieyasu and how he became shogun in 1603 after the battle of Seikigahara of 1600 in which Tokugawa Ieyeasu defeated his enemies. 

and  c.  Memoirs of a Secret Empire: The Will of the Shogun 2004  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KljfHk39FQs also at Films on Demand in the UWS Library # 41009 The Will of the Shogun.docx

it tells the story of how the Shogun Iemitsu decided to expel all European Christians but the Dutch and eliminate Japanese Christianity from the land

Extra credit:

Kagemusha the feature film by Kurosawa which is magnificent but not on YOUTUBE,   sigh. It is in the UWS library, but not the digital collection. This is a magnificent film- dramatic, colorful, beautiful music, stirring. A masterful historical saga.  It tells the story of how Oda Nobunaga defeated  the Takeda clan at the battle of Nagashino in 1575,  only to be later assassinated by one of his own generals in 1582.  So if you live in Duluth/Superior, you can get it at the UWS Library. Many well stocked public libraries will have it, because the director was so famous.  If you are a UWS student you can automatically borrow from the UMD Library too. Otherwise, it's worth getting on Netflicks. It is one of the most splendid epic films from Japan. Kagemusha.doc

3. Read WTWA Chapter 4 Worlds Entangled 1600-1750  144-149, 173-179 on Japan and China  and Chapter 6 Reordering theWorld 1750-1850 230-231 on Ching China. 

4. Read selection Giles Milton’s Samurai William: The Englishman who Opened Japan  96-101, 110-113, & 122-131.  What do Portuguese and the Spaniards do to infuriate the Japanese Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu? What actions did he take?  Staying Independent .pdf

5. Read The Death of Woman Wang  by Jonathan D. Spence p. 1-3. Why was the refusal of the former magistrate of T'an-ch'en county in Shantung province,  Feng K'o-ts'an to serve as an official in the rebel government of his home region in Fukien so remarkable? He served for only 2 years from 1668-1670.  Why is he so loyal to the Emperor who fired him for refusing to excessively tax really poor people who had suffered the Manchu invasion, earthquakes and floods. Note that one of the strengths of the Chinese system under the Qing was that no magistrate could govern in his own province. This would reduce the temptation for corruption. Mr. Feng ruled a county far to the north but was from Fukien in the southern coastal area (usually now called Fujian).  Loyalty to the Emperor .pdf

6. Read  Emperor of China: Self Portrait of K'ang-Hsi edited by Jonathan Spence pages 36-37 and 88-89.  Those rebels that Feng K'o-ts'an refused to serve led the San-Fan war that lasted from 1673- 1681.  Emperor K'ang-hsi refused to take an honorific title when they are defeated. Why?  Whom does he blame for the sufferings caused by this war?  What does he caution the historians about  in their writing and how does he say the people will treat just and unjust rulers? Remember that the Emperor K'ang-hsi is about the most powerful human being in the world. Does it surprise you?  However, Emperor K'ang Hsi was 7 when he became the ruler in 1661. When the war broke out, he was 19 and when it ended he was 27.  What does Magistrate Feng's loyalty to this system, and the very young Emperor teach us about the strength of the Chinese system of government?  Humility of the Ruler .pdf  Emperor K'ang Hsi was to rule the longest of any of the Chinese emperors up until that date: 62 years. 1661-1722!

7. Discussion board:  

 Role play a Tokugawa Shogun or Chinese Emperor. It does not have to be a specific ruler. You can make  up a name like  the Jade Swallow Emperor or the Silver Sword Shogun.  How will you keep the Europeans from  entering your kingdom and controlling the trade and perhaps eventually your country, like they did in the Philippines. Use the strategies of the Chinese and the Japanese to keep the foreigners at bay.    Do you think you will be successful in the long run? Why? After you have put in your role play, choose two who chose the other country and comment on them. After 5 have done one country, please do the other.

8.  Post in the drop box the part #1 of your  commodity research essay:

#1. When did humans begin to exploit this commodity? Where? How?

  • Write the first two (full) pages of your essay on your commodity. Be sure to include the origin of the crop or the places your commodity is commonly found in the world. How was it exploited in ancient  times before c. 1300? What kind of labor was used to grow, harvest or mine it. Was it associated with any religious practices? Are there legends about its origins? Try to locate access to at least one book and at least one scholarly article on your commodity. You do not have to use them for this part of the essay, but you may. I will try to help you but the reference librarian at the UWS library will also be of assistance.  Use double spacing and font 12.  due Sunday July 6th or soon thereafter.

  • Learning Activities

  • 1. read the Commentary for Unit 7

  • 2. Read WTWA Chapter 3 Contact, Commerce ad Colonization 1450's-1600  105-106, Chapter 4 Worlds Entangled 1600-1750  120-136   and Chapter 6 Reordering the World 1750-1850  200-213. 

3. Loewen:  The Truth about Columbus. selection p. 24-25  4. Watch one of the videos by Henry Louis "Skip" Gates  from 1. Brazil, 2. Cuba, 3. Mexico and Peru or 4. Haiti and the Dominican Republic, remembering that 95 % of the slaves in the Atlantic crossing went to the  Caribbean, Spanish Americas and Brazil and not French and English north America or the USA. they are available at the UWS JDH Library films on demand and at Youtube and at the pbs Black in Latin America site:

  • http://www.pbs.org/wnet/black-in-latin-america/category/video/ or

  • Haiti and Dominical Republic        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RlG4b3LV9o

  • Mexico and Peru     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYeaIN6MZ4Q

  • Cuba    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygms7GCXIKY

  • Brazil  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SqubC7jIH4


  • 5. Based on one film of Henry Louis Gates, post on the discussion board: What was slavery and its aftermath like in your film?  it may be 1 or 2 countries, depending on the film. And what did you learn about slavery in the Americas that surprised you?   post by Friday.   Really try to educate your classmates on the slavery from this region, as they will be watching a different film from yours. By Friday July 11th do your post and then by Sunday July 13th read two of the other posts and comment on what you learned form them, surprised you about the content of this posting, how it differed from your own. Each person should sign up for one film of the four in the series Black in Latin America  by Henry Louis Gates. We will insure that roughly equal numbers study each area, if no more than 3 people choose any one film. Look for answers to: How was slavery practiced in that region. What did slaves do for work? How  did slavery in that country or those countries  differ from the United States? What surprised you in that film? 

  • 6. Read the selections from the novels A Tale of Two Cities and the Scarlet Pimernel and about their authors:

  • Dickens .pdf              A Tale of Two Cities .pdf              Orczy .pdf               The Scarlet Pimpernel .pdf

  •  7.   For extra credit you can  watch on YouTUBE and do the study guides for 

  •  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pO2DnAMzos       a Tale of Two Cities 1989  A Tale of Two Cities.docx

  •                                                                       and

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeajGFRjhwI     the Scarlet Pimpernel 1934  The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.docx

  • The guides are posted in the Extra Credit section of the   Course Home page

  • Essay: After reading the text book on the French revolution and the selections from A Tale of Two Cities and the Scarlet Pimpernel, what does the author’s life have to do with the way the French Revolution is portrayed  in their writings?  With which class of people does the author identify? Why? Why are they different? Why are they both true? Write  2-4 pages in the drop box. Refer to both the reading selections with page references and  lives of the authors and put these together to show their relationship. 

 Unit VIII the "New" Imperialism, Industrialization and Nationalism July 14-20

Overseas empire and industrialization: France, England, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, the USA, the USSR 

1. Learning Objectives:

Students will understand the terms empire and  imperialism and the  goals and methods of colonization.

  • Students will demonstrate their mastery of the connection between 19th and 20th century imperialism and industrialization, whether by the Belgians in the Congo, the French in Indochina, Japan in Taiwan, Korea and SE Asia, the USA in  the Philippines and Hawaii, Cuba or Puerto Rico   the USSR in Siberia and Central Asia, or China in Tibet and Xinjiang. 

2.Watch: by Basil Davidson: Africa: A Voyage of Discovery Episode 6 This Magnificent African Cake: at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irDWdqOvjVA  use this slightly longer version 54 mins and 25 secs. Although it has a weird break in the middle with a lot of gobbledygook, it's better quality than the other youtube recording.  This Magnificent African Cake by Basil Davidson.docx  is the study guide.

Read WTWA: Chapter 6 Reordering the World, 1750-1850, Abolition of Slavery 213-216, Economic Reordering 217-223,   Persistence and Change in Eurasia 223-230, China Problems of Empire and the Opening  231-237.  Chapter 8 Nations and Empires 1850-1914: 271-273, Nation Building in the Americas 273-279, Nation Building in Europe 280-283, and especially, Imperialism 286-306.

Then choose one of these countries to study the imperialism of its history: British, American, Belgian, Japanese, Chinese, or Russians. 

On Belgium: Read selections from King Leopold’s Ghost on the colonial exploitation of the Belgian Congo

   158-163& 200-203  Belgium I.pdf   and  232-233 & 275-279  Belgium II.pdf

or  from An Imperial World: Empires and Colonies since 1750 by David Northrup 

On Japan: 168-183    Japanese I .pdf   and  193-198   Japanese II .pdf

On the USA:  137-146  American I .pdf   and  163-168 & 187-193 American II .pdf

On Britain: 54-64  British .pdf

On the Russians/USSR: 153-163  Russian .pdf

On the Chinese   204-215  Chinese .pdf

3. Applying the principles learned from watching This Magnificent  African Cake, how many ways did the imperial country you chose to study extract wealth, power, and prestige from the regions they colonized?  Combine information from the text book and the selected readigs above. Teach the class in the discussion box about the country you chose. After 3 have chosen any country, please choose another. Try to insure that all are selected so you get a broad education on imperialism. As you can see, just as we would do in an on campus class, I am gradually shifting the responsibility for some of the class teaching to you. Choose from American, British, Russian, Japanese, Belgian or Chinese imperialism to teach about.

4. Post Part #2 of your essay in the drop box: 2. How has this commodity or its exploitation spread around the world?

  • Is it found evenly around the world or is it found or grown in particular places  and then transported around the world? For example,  The Spanish and Portuguese and Sicilians grew sugar on plantations using slave labor. The French also grew sugar with slave labor on Reunion and Mauritius to the east of Madagascar.  In 1493, Columbus brought sugar cane cuttings to Hispaniola. Soon slave labor was being brought from Africa to the Caribbean and Brazil to grow sugar cane. The French and the British, the Dutch and even the Swedes were involved in aspects of these trades. So were  American founding fathers who were deeply involved in the slave trade and the manufacturing of rum in New England. Perhaps no other crop was so deeply intertwined with slavery as sugar and rum? (Cotton? tobacco? palm oil? maybe the same claim can be made for many other cash crops??).

  • Unit IX Competitions for Markets and the New Nationalisms lead to WWI, WWII , the Arab- Israeli War, and the Cold War July 21-July 272nd. Watch: The People’s Century Part 10: 1939 Total War . Here is the study guide:  People’s Century Part 10 1939 Total War.docx   it is  in the drop box as well.

  • The film is  on youtube at    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wVRoHKG5UI 

  • 3rd. Reading selectively in WTWA choose a war with which to become familiar and teach the rest of the class , on the discussion board, what caused it, what its results were and whether or not genocide and ethnic cleansing were involved? If so, how and why?  Choose from:  When you see 3 people have chosen one war, choose another please.

  • 1. WWI:  Chapter 10 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern 1910-1939 349-356

  • 2. WWII: Chapter 10 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern 1910-1939 366-372 Chapter 11  The Three-World Order, 1940-1975 385-392

  • 3. The Cold War: Chapter 11 The Three World Order 1940-1975 393-396 with Vietnam War(s)  419-423 and the Korean War  394-6 and 411

  • 4. Israel/Palestine Conflict: Chapter 11 The Three World Order 1940-1975 406-407 and the Commentary for this week.


  • 4th. Drop box #3, Was your commodity exploited in a colonial situation? For example, bananas played an important role in the colonial history of Somalia,  where Italian colonizers forced former slaves to work on their banana plantations. Diamonds were deeply involved in the colonial histories of Brazil and South Africa, but not Botswana.

  • Unit 10  July 28-August 3 Anti Colonial and Socialist Revolutions


  • Learning objectives:

  • Students will demonstrate  knowledge of the origins of socialism and its principles as a world shaping ideology. 

  • Students will  explain how colonialism produced nationalist movements and imperialism produced anti- imperialism both nationalist, socialist and Islamist.

  • Students will form their own conclusions about the ability of societies to resist oppression using revolution or non-violent protest

Do the class Readings in  WTWA Chapter 7 Alternative visions of the Nineteenth Century, 239-269 and Chapter 9 An Unsettled World, 1890-1914, Progress and Upheaval and Discontent with Imperialism 309-344 and Chapter 10 Masses and Visions of the modern 1910-1939 Mass Politics: Competing Visions of Becoming Modern 361-366 and Anti-Colonial Visions of Modern Life 374-383 and Chapter 11 Decolonization 397-410 and the Third World 414-423 

4. Watch the film: The People's Century  Freedom Now on the Anti-Colonial Movements 1947 Freedom Now .docx  It is also in the drop box. 

 5. Discussion box. Choose one of the following liberation struggles to teach your classmates about  from the topics below  one of these struggles for sovereignty, independence or freedom from oppressions. Was it nationalist, socialist or Islamist? Become an authority on this topic and post a discussion on the discussion board to that effect. Write 2-3 paragraphs. Due Friday August 1. Then by Sunday August 3rd  read the posting of at least one classmate  and comment on it. 

Russia 1917, China 1949,  Cuba 1958,  Vietnam 1975, Iran 1979, South Africa 1994, Palestine 20??: Look up the relevant pages in your text book from the index and if you have time, watch a film from this list that corresponds with the topic you chose:

Havana 1990 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aft4MD6Ygdo on the Cuban Revolution of 1958

The People’s Century: 1979  God  Fights  Back  The Iranian Revolution of 1979  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoNC6iQa-Xs

Mahatma A Great Soul of the 20th Century  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7aMhaFFa6cor  Or, the feature film Gandhi  (sorry, that's been removed for copyright. But  you could rent it.)  Or, the BBC In Search of Gandhi 2007 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itBdUthGEXA for The Nationalist Revolution in India

The People’s Century  1949 The Great Leap  the Chinese Revolution of 1949 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4srwSkD05ws  ( it has a wee bit of rock star at the beginning)

The People’s Century 1917 Red Flag  The Russian Revolution of 1917  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZDXZBnsKRQ

The People's Century 1975  War of the Flea explores asymetrical warfare of small groups of nationalists against imperialist or  government forces:  Cuba, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-b2fkR9BHk  This is also under another name and date with an American narrator as 1973 Guerilla Wars: Communism, the promise and the realities. Content appears the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf7fJeu6Jns&list=PLC03462D5A2A2BE34

 Two of the longer films are also extra credit options for this unit:

Amandla! 2003 Music and the Liberation of South Africa ( great music!!) but it's not available free- sorry.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENEiACqtHq4 Amandla.docx

Five  Broken Cameras: the Struggle for the Liberation of Palestine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K-mGWy9iUg   5 Broken Cameras by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi 2011.docx

6. Post the draft of your last question #4 for your Commodity  Essay  in the drop box by August 8th Friday at Midnight:

  • 4. What is the role of your commodity in the global economy. Does it have an environmental impact? How is its distribution controlled? How has it affected world history and how have the themes of world history that we studied affected it?

  • Unit 11 Globalization and its Discontents

1. Skim Chapter 12 in the class textbook WTWA Globalization 425-461.  Compare it to the commentary above.

2. Discussion box: What do you think are the major issues of your period of contemporary history: Climate Change, Jihadism, Human Rights, Immigration, Nuclear Proliferation, Global Population, Full Employment in a Global Economy, Any Other Issue: Animal Rights, Religious Intolerance, ...  ...  . Make a case for 2-3 of these, or any others. Refering to the contemporary readings is good too.  Due Wednesday August 6th. After you add your ideas to the thread, comment on two classmates who had different ideas from your own. Have they convinced you that their issues will make it in the history books of the future? Make your comments by August 8th.

3. Deposit your reedited research paper in 2 places: the drop box and the discussion board by Wednesday August 6th. By Friday August 8th comment on what you learned by reading the work of at least two others' papers


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