World History Syllabus Ness City High School Mrs. Flax

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2014-2015 World History Syllabus
Ness City High School – Mrs. Flax

In World History you will develop a greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts including interactions over time. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among other societies. The course will give a broad overview of World Religions and Ancient/Medieval influences over the modern world and then focus on modern history from 1500 to the present.


  1. Textbook: Goldburg, Susan Ramirez, Peter Starns, Sam Wineburg; World History Human Legacy; Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 2008.

  2. Primary sources: textual (writings from the time period we are studying, visual (works of art or artifacts from the time period being studied), quantitative (tables and graphs from the textbook)

Course Schedule

Renaissance, Reformation, and the Age of Exploration, 1300-1700

  • Textbook Chapter 15 & 16

  • Topics:

    • Renaissance politics: Machiavelli

    • Renaissance artists: Michelangelo, da Vinci, etc.

    • Theological movements: The Protestant Reformation Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox, Anglicanism,
      Puritanism, Anabaptist movements (Mennonites)

    • The Age of Exploration, Columbian Exchange, and the Atlantic Slave Trade

Absolutism and Revolutions, 1500-1900

  • Textbook chapters 18 – 20

  • Topics:

    • Absolutism in France, Prussia and Russia

    • Scientific Revolution and its Impact

    • Causes and lasting impact of major revolutions: Glorious Revolution, American Revolution, French Revolution, Revolutions of 1830 and 1848

Industrial Revolution through World War II and the beginning of the Cold War

  • Textbook chapters 21, 23, 25 – 27

  • Topics

    • Impact of industrialization and Marxist critique

    • Imperialism, colonialism, and exploitation of resources and people

    • Analysis of socialism, communism, and Bolshevik Revolution

    • Nationalism, militarism, system of alliances, and causes of World War I

    • Causes of World War II, failure of Treaty of Versailles, rise of totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union, Germany, and Japan

    • Origins and points of view about the Holocaust, and world reactions to the Nuremburg Trials

    • Effects of World War II: military, economic power shifts, United Nations and NATO, origin and escalations of the Cold War

Post World War II Transformations

  • Textbook chapters 29 - 31

  • Topics:

    • Creation of the modern state of Israel, Arab-Israeli Conflict, Iran-Iraq War, impact of significant leaders of that region

    • Chinese Communist Revolution, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, attempts at democratic reform and Tiananmen Square demonstrations

    • India as a modern world power and independence from the U.K., Mohandas K. Gandhi’s role, hostilities between India and Pakistan

    • Collapse of Communism and breakup of the Soviet Union, fall of the Berlin Wall, reunification of Germany, Poland’s Solidarity movement, and Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika.

    • African independence movements, Pan-Africanism, self-government of Ghana, end of Apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu

Globalism, Terrorism, and Contemporary Issues

  • Textbook chapter 33

  • Topics:

    • Impact of interdependence on the world’s economies, impact of multinational corporations, the EEC, OPEC, Pacific Rim economy, role of the World Bank.

    • Changing patterns of population growth, the Green Revolution, status of women in developing regions.

    • Impact of ongoing cultural diffusion as a result of mass communication, social media, transportation, and global trade

    • The rise of international terrorism, causes and effects of specific terrorist attacks like: World Trade Center (1993), 9/11/2001, other attacks in London, Madrid, and Mumbai

    • Efforts to combat terrorism through actions in Iraq and Afghanistan


GRADING SCALE: 90+ A, 80+B, 70+C, 60+D, Below 60 F

GRADE CATEGORIES AND CALCULATION: Raw points will be used when calculating your grade. Tests, quizzes, and projects will have more points per assignment than daily assignments; however, lost points on daily assignments will negatively affect your grade.


The topics discussed in class are for purposes of understanding world history on an academic level, not to promote or belittle specific political or religious viewpoints. Examples of topics in this course will include, but are not limited to:

  • Influence of the major world religions on world history.

  • Discussion of intellectual and philosophical developments

  • Discussion of contact between various cultures that often resulted in subjugation of peoples, imperialistic policies, and incidents of xenophobia and racism. History is full of examples of evil actions some human beings have committed against other human beings. Studying these things does not mean we are promoting them, nor trying to promote hatred in retaliation. We are only trying to understand why these things happened.

  • Discussion of various economic and political systems and ideologies such as feudalism, capitalism, communism, socialism, and fascism

  • Discussion of the rise of terrorism in the United States and around the world, and the causes and consequences of the U.S. led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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