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History 300

HIST 300
The 20th Century World

Catalog Entry

HIST 300
The 20th Century World (A, B, C)
Three hours lecture / discussion: (3)

Prerequisite: Three hours of History at 100 level.

An overview of the world in the 20th century with emphasis on the overriding themes from the historian’s perspective: nationalism, globalization, economic development, environmentalism. Course establishes a basis for the understanding of current events in historical perspective.


Detailed Description of Content of Course
I. Overview of Course Themes
II. Crisis within the European-Dominated World
    A. World War I
    B. The Russian Revolution
    C. The World Depression
    D. Fascism
III. Struggle Against Colonialism: the Emergence of the Third World
    A. Latin America
    B. Sub-Saharan Africa
    C. Asia
IV. World War II and the Emergence of the Cold War
    A. World War II
    B. The Cold War
    C. The Post Industrial Society in the West
        1. Technological Transformation
        2. Suburbanization
        3. Rebellion and Liberation
        4. Economic models
    D. The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe & the Collapse of Communism
V. Independence in the Third World?
    A. Latin America
    B. Sub-Saharan Africa
    C. The Middle East & North Africa
    D. Asia
VI. The Contemporary World
    A. The Trends of the 21st Century from an Historian’s Perspective



Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be based largely on lecture and discussion. Time permitting, video presentations will be utilized to give students a visual impression of the period. Guest speakers, if and when available, will also be used. The instructor considers this a broadly introductory course; thus emphasis will be placed on mastering content material for the course. In addition considerable student writing will allow students to explore issues of how history is written and how it is used and manipulated.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Students will practice thinking critically and analytically about historical issues,     acquire a broader knowledge and deeper understanding of pertinent historical events and processes, and cultivate a familiarity with the concepts of historical argument and interpretation.

2. Students will develop disciplinary research skills by designing strategies to locate and analyze primary and secondary source evidence, processing and organizing the resultant data, and composing proper citation and bibliographical entries.

3. Students will apply their critical thinking, research, and compositional skills to the creation and presentation of thesis driven essays that discuss, for example, historical social, economic, political, and/or cultural developments and that address issues such as the causes and consequences of historical change and continuity.

4. Students will be encouraged to develop an understanding of how other societies and nations view the events of the 20th century with an eye to better comprehending how these differences shape their differing reactions to events in the current world.


Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course may be measured using an array of assessment tools that can include written examinations, class attendance and participation, formal papers (book analyzes, research projects, primary source analyzes) and informal writing assignments. All exercises are designed to expand the student's ability to evaluate historical events and to develop his or her ability to compose persuasive arguments.


Other Course Information

A basic textbook will be utilized. Additional reading will vary from semester to semester in an attempt to keep the course as current as possible. The course revolves around a series of PowerPoint presentations incorporating lecture outlines, excerpts from primary documents, historic photos, cartoons, graphs, charts, and occasional internet links.


Review and Approval
Date Action Reviewed By
October 2010 Reviewed and Approved by Sharon Roger Hepburn


04/2011