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The Shaping of the Modern World

Course DescriptionA history of modernity since 1500: from Europe’s expansion and the emergence of the Atlantic world to a global society. Early modern societies, cultures, and state structures. Effects of trade, colonialism, and slavery. Enlightenment and revolutions. Comparative industrialization and urbanization. Nationalism, internationalism, and totalitarianism. Demography, environment, and gender.

This course is called “The Shaping of the Modern World”—the events and movements that created our world. We are looking at how and why the world we know—the modern world around us—has developed the way it has over the last few centuries. We concentrate on Western culture, mainly Europe and America, but placing the West in a global context.

booksTwo books are required: The Textbook and The Reader.

(1) The Textbook:
Jackson J. Spielvogel
Western Civilization: A Brief History
Volume II, 5th Edition
(may say 7th Edition)
Wadsworth: Cengage: 2011
ISBN: 978-0-495-57149-0

(2) The Reader:
Brooklyn College Dept. of History
The Shaping of the Modern World
5th Edition
Pearson Custom Publishing: 2007
ISBN: 0-536-48964-5

ET6 / 0215
Tuesdays 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Room 517A

Office Hours
Tuesdays 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Room 515A


Final Exam Review Sheet PDF  
Final Exam Review - World Map PDF  
French Revolution Timeline PDF  

course documents

Syllabus PDF HTML
Schedule PDF HTML
Examining Primary Sources PDF HTML

position paper

Position Paper Requirements PDF  
Position Paper Topics PDF  
Writing a Position Paper PDF  
Sample Proposal PDF  
Grading Criteria PDF  


Meeting 1 HTML
Meeting 2 HTML
Meeting 3 HTML
Meeting 4 HTML
Meeting 5 HTML
Meeting 6 HTML
Meeting 7 HTML
Meeting 9 HTML
Meeting 10 HTML
Meeting 11 HTML
Meeting 12 HTML
Meeting 13 HTML
Meeting 14 HTML