MS125 Eurasia: Modern Society
Fall Semester 2007

Larry Thornton
103 Classic Hall 7201

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 5th edition (Wadsworth 97804955050544)
2. Jonathan Spence, Emperor of China (Random 067972074X)
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. 3 Lec
Sept. 5 Disc: Duiker, 402-412, 362-377; Hobbes 1
Sept. 7 Disc: Hobbes 2

The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment
Sept. 10 Lec: Duiker, 476-486; Newton
Sept. 12 Disc: Galileo; Hume 1
Sept. 14 Disc: Hume 2; Voltaire; Smith

China from Song to Ming Dynasties
Sept. 17 Lec: Duiker, 269-282
Sept. 19 Disc: Duiker, 283-297
Sept. 21 Disc: Duiker, 448-451; Chu Yuan-Chang (Zhu Yuanzhang); Pere du Halde; Hsu Kuang-chi (Xu Guangqi)

Medieval Japan
Sept. 24 Lec: Duiker, 298-314; Film "Ran"
Sept. 26 Film "Ran"
Sept. 28 Disc: Duiker, 462-472; Xavier

Liberalism and Revolution in West Europe
Oct. 1 Lec: Duiker, 412-413, 495-507
Oct. 3 Disc: Locke 1
Oct. 5 Disc: Locke 2; Robespierre

Industrialization, Ideology, and Nation-Building in West Europe
Oct. 8 Lec: Duiker, 510-535
Oct. 10 Disc: Burke; Sadler Report
Oct. 12 Disc: Mazzini; Bismarck

Islam and the Ottoman and Safavid Empires
Oct. 15 Mid-Term Exam
Oct. 17 Lec: Duiker, 419-433
Oct. 19 Disc: Hadith; al-Ghazali; Abdullah Wahhab; Jamal al Din

India from Mughal Dynasty to British Raj
Oct. 22 Fall Break
Oct. 24 Lec: Duiker, 434-447
Oct. 26 Disc: Duiker, 581-584, 592-595; Bernier; "England, India, and the East Indies"; Macauley

Socialism in West Europe
Oct. 29 Lec: Duiker, 545-547; Marx 1
Oct. 31 Disc: Marx 2
Nov. 2 Disc: Marx 3

Qing: the Last Dynasty of China
Nov. 5 Lec: Duiker, 451-462
Nov. 7 Disc: Spence, xi-xvi, 1-59
Nov. 9 Disc: Spence, 61-112

Nov. 12 Disc: Spence, 115-175; Prospectus Due
Nov. 14, 16, 19: Presentations
Nov. 21, 23: Thanksgiving Break

China in the Age of Western Expansion
Nov. 26 Lec: Duiker, 599-604
Nov. 28 Disc: Reception of the First English Ambassador; Emperor Qian Long; Commisioner Lin
Nov. 30 Disc: Treaty of Nanjing; Film: The Pacific Century

Japan: the Fall of the Shogunate and the Beginning of Modern Japan
Dec. 3 Lec: Duiker, 613-615; Honda Toshiaki
Dec. 5 Disc: Commodore Perry; Francis Adams
Dec. 7 Disc: Kanagawa Treaty; Yoshida Shoin; Film "Pacific Century"; Research Papers Due

Dec. 10-14 Final Exam