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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 101
Course Title: Western Civilization I
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

European History from the Ancient Near East to 1715. G.E. Offered Fall and Spring.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Choose a main textbook from among the most current editions of the following.

Consider choosing a supplementary reading:

  • A primary source reader keyed to main textbook selected above.
  • Aristophanes, Lysistrata (Signet Classics or Hackett)
  • Natalie Zermon Davis, The Return of MArtin Guerre (Harvard UP)
  • The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico, ed. Miguel Leon-Portillo (Beacon)
  • Jonathan Lyons, The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization (Bloomsbury)
  • Machiavelli, The Prince (Penguin)
  • Montaigne, An Apology for Raymond Sebond (Penguin)

Western Civilization: A Brief History
By Perry, Marvin (Wadsworth)
A History of Civilization to 1715
By Winks, Robin (Prentice Hall)
The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures: A Concise History, Volume 1
By Lynn Hunt, et al. (Bedford St. Martins)
Western Civilization, Volume I: To 1715
By Jackson J. Spielvogel (Cengage)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify and describe the major political concepts and systems of Western Civilization.
  2. Identify and describe the role of major religions of Western Civilization.
  3. Identify and describe the role of wars and conflict in forging Western Civilization
  4. Identify and describe the contributions of women to Western Civilization.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Identify key characteristics of early civilization and the civilizations of the Ancient Near East
  • Explain the role played by ancient Greece and Rome, including the development of early Christianity.
  • Describe the key events of late antiquity and the Middle Ages until 1000, including the impact of Islam.
  • Describe religious political and economic expansion of Europe from 1000 to 1350
  • Define and explain the role the Renaissance played in the transformation of Europe.
  • Define the Reformation and its impact on religion, politics, and economics
  • Describe state building and absolute monarchy from 1603 to 1715
Culminating Experience Statement:

Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Michael Polley Date: September 3, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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