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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 112
Course Title: World History 1500 to the Present
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

This course surveys the major developments that have shaped the human experience since 1500 CE. The course will examine overall patterns of global history, characteristics of the world’s major modern civilizations, and the relationships and exchanges among these societies. Major themes include humans and their environment, culture, politics and government, economics, and social structures.  Students will also gain insight into the historical roots of many of the world’s major cultural traditions. Offered Spring semesters.  G.E.  Course meets multicultural graduation requirement.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

A textbook and the use of primary sources are both required.

- Main textbook:  Choose one from texts 1-3 below.
  -- Note:  Text 1 does not require a separate collection of primary sources as each chapter in the text contains significant primary source material.
- Primary sources:  Choose one from texts 4-7 below or build primary sources from online material.
  -- A recommended site:  World History Sources at George Mason University (

Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, Volume II
By Strayer, Robert W. (Bedford St. Martin)
Category/Comments - MAIN TEXT
Traditions & Encounters: A Brief Global History, Volume II
By Bentley, Zeigler, and Streets (McGraw-Hill)
Category/Comments - MAIN TEXT
The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Vol. II, Since 1400
By Bulliet, Crossley, Headrick, Hirsch, Johnson, and Northrup (Houghton Mifflin)
Category/Comments - MAIN TEXT
World History, Volume II Since 1500
By Duiker and Spielvogel (Cengage Publishers)
Category/Comments - PRIMARY SOURCE
Sources of World Civilization: Connections and Conflict, Volume II
By Johnson and Halverson (Pearson)
Category/Comments - PRIMARY SOURCE
Documents in World History, Volume II: Since 1400
By Stearns, et al. (Pearson)
Category/Comments - PRIMARY SOURCE
Discovering the Global Past: A Look at the Evidence, Volume II: Since 1400
By Weisner-Hanks, Wheeler, Doeringer, and Curtis (Wadsworth)
Category/Comments - PRIMARY SOURCE
A Pocket Guide to Writing in History
By Rampolla, Mary Lynn (Bedford/St. Martins)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Analyze and interpret primary sources from the period between 1500 CE and the present and use them as evidence to support historical arguments.
  2. Identify and describe the context and significance of major figures, ideas, and events of world history since 1500CE.
  3. Construct an historical essay based on primary documents.
  4. Analyze other time periods and cultures since 1500CE with little or no ethnocentrism or modern bias.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

The course should provide chronological coverage of the following topics and require students to read, to write, and to speak about them:

  • Empires and Encounters, 1450-1750:  European empires in the Americas; Colonial Societies; Russian Empire; Asian Empires
  • Global Commerce, 1450-1750:  Europeans and Asian Commerce; Silver and Fur in Global Commerce; the Atlantic Slave trade
  • Religion and Science, 1450-1750:  Globalization of Christianity; Persistence and change in Afro-Asian Cultural traditions; Scientific Revolution
  • Revolutions, 1750-1914: Atlantic Revolutions; Impact of Atlantic revolutions
  • Industrialization, 1750-1914
  • China, the Ottoman Empire, and Japan, 1800-1914: External challenges, China in Crisis; Ottoman Empire and the West; Rise of Japan
  • Colonial Encounters, 1750-1914: The New Imperialism
  • Collapse and Recovery of Europe, 1914-1950:  World War I; worldwide economic depression; rise of fascism; World War II;
  • Rise and Fall of World Communism, 1917-Present:  Global Communism, Revolutions; Cold War and the Global Divide; decline of communist states
  • Independence and Development in the Global South, 1914-Present:  Decolonization and independence movements in Africa and Asia; rise of the modern Jewish state
  • Global Interactions in the Present Age: 1945 to Present:  transformed world economy; global movements--women’s liberation, environmentalism, religion

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

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

Prepared by: David Karr Date: August 18, 2016
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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