MS125 Eurasia: Modern Society
Fall Semester 2008
103 Classic Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
113 Classic Hall email@example.com
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.
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)
The exams will consist of essay questions. In your essays, you will be expected (1) to isolate key themes and concepts and (2) to explain those themes and concepts with clarity and precision.
2. Research paper (25%)
Your paper may be on any topic related to the content of the course. 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). The length of the paper should be 5-6 pages. You are expected to use Interlibrary Loan when essential sources are unavailable through the Duggan Library.
3. Class presentation and preliminary writing(15%)
The grade will be based on the quality of the (1) thesis and argument, (2) organization, (3) logic, (4) evidence, (5) alternative interpretations, (6) sources, and (7) writing.
The six-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 alternative interpretations. The grade will be based on the quality of the (1) thesis and argument, (2) organization, (3) logic, (4) evidence, (5) alternative interpretations, (6) sources, and (7) presentation.
5. Class participation (10%)
The accompanying preliminary writing 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).
The success of this class depends upon the quality of the dialogue in class. 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.
Capitalism, Imperialism, and the Modern State
Sept. 1 Lec
Sept. 3 Disc: Duiker, 402-412, 362-377; Hobbes 1
Sept. 5 Disc: Hobbes 2
The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment
Sept. 8 Lec: Duiker, 476-486; Newton
Sept. 10 Disc: Galileo; Hume 1
Sept. 12 Disc: Hume 2; Voltaire; Smith
China from Song to Ming Dynasties
Sept. 15 Lec: Duiker, 269-282
Sept. 17 Disc: Duiker, 283-297
Sept. 19 Disc: Duiker, 448-451; Chu Yuan-Chang (Zhu Yuanzhang); Pere du Halde; Hsu Kuang-chi (Xu Guangqi)
Sept. 22 Lec: Duiker, 298-314; Film "Ran"
Sept. 24 Film "Ran"
Sept. 26 Disc: Duiker, 462-472; Xavier
Liberalism and Revolution in West Europe
Sept. 29 Lec: Duiker, 412-413, 495-507
Oct. 1 Disc: Locke 1
Oct. 3 Disc: Locke 2; Robespierre
Industrialization, Ideology, and Nation-Building in West Europe
Oct. 6 Lec: Duiker, 510-535
Oct. 8 Disc: Burke; Sadler Report
Oct. 10 Disc: Mazzini; Bismarck
Islam and the Ottoman and Safavid Empires
Oct. 13 Mid-Term Exam
Oct. 15 Lec: Duiker, 419-433
Oct. 17 Disc: Hadith; al-Ghazali; Abdullah Wahhab; Jamal al Din
India from Mughal Dynasty to British Raj
Oct. 22 Lec: Duiker, 434-447
Oct. 24 Disc: Duiker, 581-584, 592-595; Bernier; "England, India, and the East Indies"; Macauley
Socialism in West Europe
Oct. 27 Lec: Duiker, 545-547; Marx 1
Oct. 29 Disc: Marx 2
Oct. 31 Disc: Marx 3
Qing: the Last Dynasty of China
Nov. 3 Lec: Duiker, 451-462
Nov. 5 Disc: Spence, xi-xvi, 1-59
Nov. 7 Disc: Spence, 61-112
Nov. 10 Disc: Spence, 115-175; Prospectus Due
Nov. 12, 14, 17: Presentations
China in the Age of Western Expansion
Nov. 19 Lec: Duiker, 599-604
Nov. 20 Disc: Reception of the First English Ambassador; Emperor Qian Long; Commisioner Lin
Nov. 24 Disc: Treaty of Nanjing; Film: The Pacific Century
Japan: the Fall of the Shogunate and the Beginning of Modern Japan
Dec. 1 Lec: Duiker, 613-615; Honda Toshiaki
Dec. 3 Disc: Commodore Perry; Francis Adams
Dec. 5 Disc: Kanagawa Treaty; Yoshida Shoin; Film "Pacific Century"; Research Papers Due