Last Revision: Fall 2011-2012

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HIS 102

History of Western Civilization II

3 Semester Credit Hours A

3 Contact Hours

  1. Course Description

This course is a survey of social, cultural, economic, and political developments which have molded the modern Western world. It covers the development of the modern Western world from the era of the Renaissance and Reformation to the present.

  1. Prerequisite


  1. Course Textbook

Kishlansky, Mark, et al. A Brief History of Western Civilization: The Unfinished Legacy. 5th Edition. New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007.

  1. Course Learning Outcomes

    1. The student will be able to analyze the major causes, accomplishments, and significance of the Renaissance.

    2. The student will be able to explain the causes and impact of the Protestant Reformation, the Reformation in England, and the Catholic and Counter Reformations.

    3. The student will be able to explain the factors which led to the rise of the Age of Exploration, to identify the major explorers of the period, and to explain the significance of each explorer’s accomplishment(s).

    4. The student will be able to describe the background and outcomes of the Glorious Revolution and to compare it to the growth of absolutism in France.

    5. The student will be able to describe the growth of absolute monarchy in Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

    6. The student will be able to identify the main ideas and individuals of the Scientific Revolution and the Age of Reason or the Enlightenment.

    7. The student will be able to describe the changes in European society in the 18th century.

    8. The student will be able to discuss the background to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the War for Independence, the peace, the drafting of the U. S. Constitution, and the individuals associated with these events.

    9. The student will be able to discuss the background to the French Revolution, the various phases of the French Revolution, the principal individuals associated with each phase, and the effects of the French Revolution.

    10. The student will be able to describe the early Industrial Revolution and its economic, social, and political effects.

    11. The student will be able to describe the major events of the Napoleonic Era and its impact on European civilization.

    12. The student will be able to describe the Congress of Vienna settlement and to give a brief history of concert diplomacy.

    13. The student will be able to trace the growth of nationalism, liberalism, socialism, and Marxism in the 19th century.

    14. The student will be able to contrast the rise of increasing liberalism in Britain and France with the increasing autocracy in Russia in the 19th century.

    15. The student will be able to describe the drive for national unification and hegemony in Italy and Germany and to discuss their consequences.

    16. The student will be able to describe the growth of imperialism and its results.

    17. The student will be able to describe the causes, conduct, and consequences of World War I.

    18. The student will be able to describe the causes, conduct, and consequences of the Russian Revolution.

    19. The student will be able to explain how and why the European economy did not recover from World War I and what resulted from this situation.

    20. The student will be able to discuss the causes, conduct, and results of World War II.

    21. The student will be able to describe the revival of Europe after World War II in the context of the growth of the Cold War.

    22. The student will describe the end of imperialism and its impact on European politics and society.

    23. The student will be able to describe the impact the fall of communism had on European politics and society.

    24. The student will be able to describe the impact of terrorism on society.

  1. Outline of Course Topics

    1. The Italian Renaissance

      1. Renaissance Society

      2. Renaissance Art

      3. Renaissance Ideals

      4. The politics of the Italian city-states

    2. The European empires

      1. European encounters

      2. The formation of states

      3. The dynastic struggles

    3. The reform of religion

      1. The intellectual reformation

      2. The Lutheran Reformation

      3. The Protestant Reformation

      4. The Catholic and Counter-Reformations

    4. Europe at War, 1555-1648

      1. The crises of the Western states

      2. The struggles in Eastern Europe

      3. The Thirty Years War, 1618-1648

    5. The experiences of life in early modern Europe, 1500-1650

      1. Economic life

      2. Social life

      3. Private and community life

    6. The royal state in the seventeenth century

      1. The rise of the royal state

      2. The crises of the royal state

      3. The zenith of the royal state

    7. Science and commerce in early modern Europe

      1. The new science

      2. The wars of commerce

    8. The balance of power in eighteenth century Europe

      1. The rise of Russia

      2. The two Germanies

      3. The greatness of Great Britain

    9. Culture and society in eighteenth century Europe

      1. The Age of Reason or the Enlightenment

      2. Eighteenth century society

    10. The American experience

      1. The Revolutionary War

      2. The Constitution

    11. The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era, 1789-1815

      1. The crisis of the Old Regime in France, 1715-1788

      2. The first stage of the French Revolution, 1789-1792

      3. Experimenting with democracy, 1792-1799

      4. The reign of Napoleon, 1799-1815

    12. Industrial Europe

      1. The traditional economy

      2. The Industrial Revolution in Britain

      3. The industrialization of the continent

    13. Political upheavals and social transformations, 1815-1850

      1. The new ideologies

      2. Protest and revolution

    14. State building and social change in Europe, 1850-1871

      1. The politics of unification

      2. Reforming European society

      3. Changing values and the force of new ideas

    15. The crisis of European culture, 1871-1914

      1. European economy and the politics of mass society

      2. Outsiders in mass politics

      3. Shaping the new consciousness

    16. Europe and the world, 1870-1914

      1. The European balance of power, 1870-1914

      2. The new imperialism

      3. The European search for territory and markets

      4. The results of a European-dominated world

    17. War and revolution, 1914-1920

      1. The war Europe expected

      2. A new kind of warfare

      3. Adjusting to the unexpected: total war

      4. Reshaping Europe: after war and revolution

    18. The European search for stability, 1920-1939

      1. Crisis and collapse in a world economy

      2. The Soviet Union’s separate path

      3. The rise of fascist dictatorship in Italy

      4. Hitler and the Third Reich

      5. Democracies in crisis

    19. Global conflagration: hot war and Cold War

      1. Aggression and conquest

      2. Racism and destruction

      3. Allied victory

      4. Regulating the Cold War

    20. Postwar recovery and the new Europe to 1989

      1. Reconstructing Europe

      2. Creating the welfare state

      3. Youth culture and the “generation gap”

      4. Toppling communism in the Soviet Union

    21. Facing the new century, 1989 to the present

      1. Reshaping Europe

      2. War in the Balkans

      3. The West in the global community

      4. Terrorism: the “new kind of war”

  1. Methods of Instruction

    1. Lectures

    2. Class discussion

    3. Textbook and supplemental reading assignments

    4. Audiovisuals

    5. Research assignments

    6. Companion website for students (

  1. Evaluation and Assessment

Procedures for the Assessment of Student Learning

    1. Written exams

    2. Written/oral quizzes

    3. Written book reviews

    4. Oral presentations (individual and/or group)

    5. Class participation

    6. Research assignments

    7. Homework

    8. Grades will be given based upon A = 90 – 100%, B = 80 – 89%, C = 70 – 79%, D = 60 – 69%, and F = below 60%.

  1. Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes for which they are registered. Students who are unable to attend class regularly, regardless of the reason or circumstance, should withdraw from that class before poor attendance interferes with the student’s ability to achieve the objectives required in the course. Withdrawal from class can affect eligibility for federal financial aid.

  1. Statement on Discrimination/Harassment

NACC and the Alabama State Board of Education are committed to providing both employment and educational environments free of harassment or discrimination related to an individual’s race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Such harassment is a violation of State Board of Education policy. Any policy or behavior that constitutes harassment or discrimination will not be tolerated.

  1. Statement of Adherence to ADA Guidelines

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 state that qualified students with disabilities who meet the essential functions and academic requirements are entitled to reasonable accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to provide appropriate disability documentation to the College.

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