This course is an introduction to European history from around 1500 to the present. The central questions that it addresses are how and why Europe--a small, relatively poor, and politically fragmented place--became the motor of globalization and a world civilization in its own right. Put differently how did ";western"; become an adjective that, for better and often for worse, stands in place of ";modern."; Our approach will be broadly cultural, and we will consider politics, economics, society, religion, and other aspects of life as interconnected arenas in which men and women give their world meaning. Chief topics of the course include: the Renaissance, the epochal expansion of Europe into the new world, the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, the formation of overseas empires and the coming of capitalism, the Scientific Revolution, the French Revolution, liberalism and the industrial revolution, socialism and the rise of labor, modern colonialism, the world wars, communism and capitalism, decolonization, and the Cold War and the European Union. There will be mini lectures on trains, witches, and campus architecture among other topics. The work in the discussion boards and online chats centers on the reading and discussion of original sources and on the improvement of writing skills.
This course has no in person lectures or meetings. It takes place entirely over the Internet. There will be five and one half hours of web-based lecture and one and one half hours of web-based discussion per week for eight weeks