World History

Course Overview:

This World History online course begins with a focus on the skills needed to read, understand, and analyze history, also demonstrating how historians and social scientists arrive at their conclusions about human history.  Semester A covers the history of civilization from hunter-gatherer societies through the characteristics of the earliest civilizations to the Enlightenment period in Western Europe. The second half of Semester A explores early intellectual, spiritual, and political movements and their impact on interactions among world cultures.

The course then applies the reading and analytical strategies introduced in Semester A to the events and movements that created the modern world. In the second semester, World History emphasizes the effects of the Industrial Revolution and changing attitudes about science and religion as well as the impact of European colonization. Students are encouraged to make connections between World War I and II and events related to the Cold War and between 19th-century imperialism and modern independence movements.

Semester 1:  

Semester A covers a range of major concepts in world history. It begins by emphasizing the skills of reading and analyzing history. The focus then shifts to early civilizations, exploring their characteristics and contributions to human development. The first cities and empires are studied, examining their rise, governance, and cultural achievements. The roots of the world’s religions are explored, providing insights into their origins, beliefs, and impacts. The Middle Ages is a significant topic, encompassing feudalism, medieval society, and cultural advancements. The Age of Exploration investigates the motives, discoveries, and consequences of global exploration. The Reformation and the Renaissance are examined, delving into religious reform movements and the revival of art, science, and learning during this period. Lastly, the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment are explored, highlighting the intellectual and philosophical developments that shaped modern thought.

Semester 2: 

Semester B shifts the focus to more recent historical periods. The Scientific Revolution is studied, exploring the breakthroughs in scientific knowledge and their influence on society. The Industrial Revolution is a significant topic, examining its impact on the economy, technology, and social structure. Colonization and imperialism are analyzed, considering the motives, methods, and consequences of European expansion. 20th century political and social movements are explored, including ideologies such as communism, fascism, and nationalism. World Wars I and II are extensively covered, examining their causes, key events, and global repercussions. The Cold War era is studied, encompassing the ideological conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. Modern independence movements are analyzed, exploring the struggles and achievements of nations in gaining autonomy. Contemporary global conflicts, both political and military, are examined, providing insights into ongoing challenges in the world. Lastly, globalization is explored, considering its economic, social, and cultural impacts on a global scale.

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