Foundations of the Modern Age
Fall Semester 2004
113 Classic Hall
M W F: 8:00-9:00 and by appointment
Course Description and Objectives
Foundations of the Modern Age is a historical introduction to the ideas, institutions, and events that shaped modern Western civilization. The course is designed both to develop essential knowledge of the origins and evolution of the modern world and to encourage a basic understanding of historical perspective and context. It also seeks to promote the skills essential to historical inquiry, including the capacity to define historical questions, analyze primary documents carefully, evaluate alternative interpretations critically, develop original arguments, and write essays clearly and effectively.
1. Thomas Greer and Gavin Lewis, A Brief History of the Western World, 8th edition, vol. 2
2. Robert Strayer, et al, The Making of the Modern World (on reserve in the Duggan Library)
3. Electronic Texts from the Internet
Final grades will be based on an evaluation of the following.
1. Three exams (20% each)
The exams will consist of multiple choice and essay questions. Links to potential essay questions can be found below under the date of the exam.
2. Research paper (20%)
Your paper may be on any topic in European or American history since 1400. The paper is to be analytical and interpretive, not simply descriptive. It should present a thesis and develop an argument (and include potential counter-arguments). It is incumbent upon you to define and develop a thesis. The length of the paper should be 3-6 pages.
3. In-class presentation (5%)
Secondary sources should consist mostly of scholarly articles and books, not simply reference material and textbooks. You are expected to use Interlibrary Loan to obtain sources.
The grade will be based on the quality of the thesis and argument, the quality of the evidence and logic, and the quality of the writing.
The five-minute presentation functions as a first draft of the research paper. It should identify the problem addressed in the paper, develop a thesis and argument, and entertain counter-arguments.
4. Prospectus (5%)
The prospectus should include (1) a draft of the first paragraph of the research paper (including the thesis statement), (2) an outline of the entire research paper (no more than one page), and (3) a bibliography of the research paper consisting of at least five substantive sources (this may vary depending on the topic).
5. Class participation (10%)
The success of this class depends upon the quality of the dialogue in class. It is expected that you will attend every class and that you will be fully prepared to discuss the material assigned for that day. Class participation grades will reflect your attendance record, the frequency of your contributions to class discussions, and the quality of your questions, observations, and conclusions. Commentary on the presentations of others is included in the class participation grade.
Please note that Tuesdays are reserved for exams, writing and speaking workshops (as needed), and presentations.
Sept. 8: The Renaissance: Greer and Lewis, 320-321, 371-380; Vergerius
Sept. 10: The Reniassance: Machiavelli
Sept. 13: The Reformation: Greer and Lewis, 405-424, 430-435
Sept. 15: Absolutism: Greer and Lewis, 451-463; Bossuet
Sept. 17: The English Revolution and Political Theory: Greer and Lewis, 498-503; Locke 1
Sept. 20: The English Revolution and Political Theory: Greer and Lewis, 498-503; Locke 2
Sept. 22: The Scientific Revolution: Greer and Lewis, 463-472; Galileo
Sept. 24: The Enlightenment: Greer and Lewis, 448-451, 472-479; Hume
Sept. 27: Early Modern Imperialism: Greer and Lewis, 354-370; Equiano
Sept. 29: The North American Colonies: Greer and Lewis, 504-505; Strayer, 138-142
Oct. 1: The American Revolution: Greer and Lewis, 505-509; Strayer, 142-143; Federalist Papers
Oct. 4: The French Revolution: Greer and Lewis, 494-498, 510-521; Robespierre
Oct. 5: Exam 1
Oct. 6: Conservatism, Liberalism, and Nationalism: Greer and Lewis, 521-526, 539-550; Burke
Oct. 8: No class
Oct. 11: The U.S. in the 19th Century: Strayer, 144-147; South Carolina
Oct. 13: The U.S. in the 19th Century: Lincoln; Lincoln
Oct. 15: Industrialization: Greer and Lewis, 551-567; Sadler Report
Oct. 18: Marxism: Greer and Lewis, 567-573; Marx and Engels 1
Oct. 20: Marxism: Marx and Engels 2
Oct. 22: Mature Industrial Society and Politics: Greer and Lewis, 573-576; Bernstein; Webb
Oct. 27: Mature Industrial Society and Politics: Green; Spencer; Hearing
Oct. 29: The United States in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries: Strayer, 147-149; Carnegie; Populist; Washington; Du Bois
Nov. 1: Social Darwinism and the New Imperialism: Greer and Lewis, 580-584, 601-611; Strayer, 149-150; Lin Cixu; Naoroji; Kipling
Nov. 2: Exam 2
Nov. 3: World War I: Greer and Lewis, 611-624; WWI Poetry
Nov. 5: Presentations
Nov. 10: Presentations
Nov. 12: Presentations
Nov. 15: Presentations
Nov. 17: Presentations
Nov. 19: No Class
Nov. 22: The Russian Revolution and Communism: Greer and Lewis, 624-634; Lenin; Prospectus Due
Nov. 29: No Class
Dec. 1: The Russian Revolution and Communism: Stalin; Famine
Dec. 3: Fascism: Greer and Lewis, 634-642; Mussolini
Dec. 6: The West and World War II: Greer and Lewis, 642-645; 652-658; Strayer, 150-152; Himmler
Dec. 8: Post-War Society: Greer and Lewis, 682-86, 731-739; Strayer, 154-156; Martin Luther King Jr; ; The Black Panther Party Platform; The Port Huron Statement; NOW
Dec. 10: The Late 20th Century: Greer and Lewis, 691-710; Strayer, 156-158; Reagan; Research Papers Due
Exam Week: Exam 3
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