Modern World History

  • This course surveys major developments in world history from the 15th century to the present. The last six hundred years have witnessed immense changes in nearly every aspect of human life--from how we sustain ourselves to how we perceive the world and our place in it; from how we relate to one another and structure our societies to how we employ technology in our daily lives. How did we get here? How has that story impacted the issues we face in today’s world? In exploring that fundamental question, we will consider and discuss questions such as: What is particularly “modern” about this period? In what ways were the Industrial Revolution and the Atlantic Revolutions connected? How did these revolutionary ideas spread around the world, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of this “modern” socio-economic model? The enormous scope of this course requires that we be selective in what is covered. The general structure will focus on specific case studies to highlight broader concepts within each unit of study. We begin the course in the 15th century to set the stage for the global convergence that ultimately formed our world today, and whose legacy we must understand in order to face the challenges of tomorrow.