MS125 Eurasia: Modern Society
Fall Semester 2006

Xi Lian
104 Classic Hall 7202

Frank Luttmer
113 Classic Hall 7205

Course Description and Objectives

Eurasia: Modern Society is a two-semester, multi-disciplinary course in history and the social sciences. Its purpose is to explain the origins and evolution of modern civilizations in Europe and Asia, with special emphasis on West Europe and East Asia. The first semester extends from the early modern era through the mid-nineteenth century, treating the themes of continuity and change in Eurasian civilizations, the foundations of modernity in the West, and the emergence of global economic and political systems. The course seeks to promote an understanding of historical and social scientific perspectives and to encourage the skills essential to historical and social scientific inquiry, including the capacity to analyze primary documents, evaluate interpretive theory, develop coherent arguments, and write and speak clearly and effectively.

Required Readings

1. William Duiker and Jackson Spielvogel, World History 4th edition
2. Jonathan Spence, Emperor of China
3. Primary sources, distributed in class


Final grades will be based on an evaluation of the following.

1. Two exams (25% each)
2. Research paper (25%)
3. Prospectus and class presentation (15%)
5. Class participation (10%)


Capitalism, Imperialism, and the Modern State
Sept. 4 Lec
Sept. 6 Disc: Duiker, 368-375, 387-399; Hobbes 1
Sept. 8 Disc: Hobbes 2

The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment
Sept. 11 Lec: Duiker, 378-383, 470-481; Newton
Sept. 13 Disc: Galileo; Hume 1
Sept. 15 Disc: Hume 2; Voltaire; Smith

China from Song to Ming Dynasties
Sept. 18 Lec: Duiker, 262-275
Sept. 20 Disc: Duiker, 275-287
Sept. 22 Disc: Duiker, 442-446; Chu Yuan-Chang (Zhu Yuanzhang); Pere du Halde; Hsu Kuang-chi (Xu Guangqi)

Medieval Japan
Sept. 25 Lec: Duiker, 296-306; Film "Ran"
Sept. 27 Film: "Ran"
Sept. 29 Disc: Duiker, 456-467; Xavier

Liberalism and Revolution in West Europe
Oct. 2 Lec: Duiker, 375-377, 488-501
Oct. 4 Disc: Locke 1
Oct. 6 Disc: Locke 2; Robespierre

Industrialization, Ideology, and Nation-Building in West Europe
Oct. 9 Lec: Duiker, 510-534
Oct. 11 Disc: Burke; Sadler Report
Oct. 13 Disc: Mazzini; Bismarck

Socialism in West Europe
Oct. 16 Mid-Term Exam
Oct. 18 Lec: Duiker, 547-548; Marx 1
Oct. 20 Disc: Marx 2

Oct. 23 No class
Oct. 25 Disc: Marx 3
Oct. 27 No class

Islam and India
Oct. 30 No class
Nov. 1 Disc: Duiker, 414-428; Abdullah Wahhab; Jamal al Din
Nov. 3 Disc: Duiker, 428-440, 587-590, 595-99; Bernier; "England, India, and the East Indies"; Macauley

Qing: the Last Dynasty of China
Nov. 6 Lec: Duiker, 446-456
Nov. 8 Disc: Spence, xi-xvi, 1-59
Nov. 10 Disc: Spence, 61-112

Nov. 13 Disc: Spence, 115-175
Nov. 15 Presentations
Nov. 17 Presentations

Nov. 20 Presentations
Nov. 22 No class
Nov. 24 No class

China in the Age of Western Expansion
Nov. 27 Lec: Duiker, 602-605
Nov. 29 Disc: Reception of the First English Ambassador; Emperor Qian Long; Commisioner Lin
Dec. 1 Disc: Treaty of Nanjing; Film: The Pacific Century

Japan: the Fall of the Shogunate and the Beginning of Modern Japan
Dec. 4 Lec: Duiker, 615-618; Honda Toshiaki
Dec. 6 Disc: Commodore Perry; Francis Adams
Dec. 8 Disc: Kanagawa Treaty; Yoshida Shoin; Film "Pacific Century"; Research Papers Due

Dec. 11-15 Final Exam