World History from 1500

Dr. Michael Murdock

World History From 1500 to Present explores political, military, social, religious, cultural, intellectual and economic developments and how they have steered history. We examine systems, technologies, and ideas that have shaped our world while following a practical chronology linking major events into one grand narrative. Among other themes, we focus on how boundaries were maintained and breached as civilizations contacted other cultures. Students completing this class will know how the various events, lands, and peoples of the modern era interacted to produce what we call modern world history.

Course Details

  1. Superpower Empires on the Eve of Modernity (1200-1400)
  2. The Edges of the World & Europe’s Hunger for Power (1300-1688)
  3. The Byproducts of European Competition (1300-1800)
  4. Clashing Social Interests and New Visions of Social Order (1760-1840)
  5. Imperialism and Its Defenders (1840-1910)
  6. New Imperialism, WWI, Anti-Colonial Revolutions (1850-1919)
  7. WWII and the Cold War (1930-1985)
  8. The New World Order & Weakenings (1992-present)

There is no need to purchase materials for this class. Almost all can be found on Canvas.

Articles: Brendan O’Neill, “History Begins”; James Hancock, “Indian Ocean Trade Before the European Conquest”; Lt. Cdr. Benjamin Armstrong, “From River Pirate to Ming Emperor”; Min Shu, “Balancing in a Hierarchical System”; Richard Blanton, et al, “Moral Collapse and State Failure: A View From the Past”; Fariha Kanwal and Fatima Ali, “Mughal Rulers’ Religious Tolerance”; The Lion of Mali – Hajj of Mansa Musa; Mansa Musa I of Mali: Gold, Salt, and Story Telling; George Hicks, “Flowery War” in Aztec History; Alfredo Lopez Austin, et al., “Aztec Human Sacrifice”; Michel Graulich, Aztec Human Sacrifice as Expiation; Ray Kerkhove, “Dark Religion?”; Monica Green, Review of The Great Transition; Sara E. Cohen, How the Aztecs Appraised Montezuma; Alfred Crosby, The Columbian Exchange; “Dzungar Genocide”; Victor Kamenir, “Russia’s Conquest of Siberia”; Constitutional Rights Foundation, “Bringing Down an Empire”; National Army Museum, “The British Army in Palestine”; George F. Kennan, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”; Francis Fukuyama, The End of History; Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilization?; Christian Welzel, Why the Future is Democratic; Louis Menand, Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History.

Conference Talks: Hinckley, “With All They Getting Get Understanding”; Christofferson, “One in Christ”; Cook, “Safely Gathered Home”; Nelson, “Where is Wisdom?”; Uchtdorf, “The Infinite Power of Hope”; Bednar, “Things as They Really Are”; Uchtdorf, “The Love of God”; Robbins, “Until Seventy Times Seven”; Perry, “United in Building the Kingdom of God”; Robbins, “Finding Your Sweetheart”; Faust, “What’s in It For Me?”; Oaks, “Unselfish Service”; Rasband, “By Divine Design”; Benson, “Beware of Pride”; Uchtdorf, “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear.” [Note: These talks will be read for 10th Grade English, but will also referenced in the World History course.]

Maps: Slave Trade Routes in East Africa; Trade Routes Across the Sahara; Aztec Tributary Provinces on the Imperial Frontier, 1519; The Rise of the Aztec Empire, 1200-1500; Templo Mayor; Coal Mining in the British Isles; Plan of a Medieval Manor.

Novels/Treatises/Books/Monographs: Secret History of the Mongols; Episodes in the Life of Akbar; Roger Bigelow Merriman, Suleiman the Magnificant; Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron; Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince; Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier; René Descartes, Discourse on Method; Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan; John Locke, Second Treatise of Government; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract; Friederich Engels, The Conditions of the Working-Class in England; Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations; Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities; J.A. Hobson, Imperialism; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Private Donald Fraser, My Daily Journal; Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front; Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf; Rudolph Hoess, Memoirs; Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning; Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place; E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed, at Peleliu and Okinawa; George Orwell, 1984; Ayyub Baghirov, Bitter Days of Kolyma: Memoir of a Soviet Gulag; Amy Chua, World on Fire.

Movies/Videos: For the Salvation of Zion, Cave of the Yellow Dog, Amazing Grace, Modern Times, Gandhi, Darkest Hour, To Live, Invictus.

Poems: Rudyard Kipling, “The White Man’s Burden”; Wilfred Owen, “Anthem for a Doomed Youth”; Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est”; T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men.”

Primary Sources: Letter from Pope Innocent IV to Güyük Khan; Letter from Güyük Khan to Pope Innocent IV; Marco Polo’s Journey Home; Zhu Yuanzhang: Manifesto of Accension as First Ming Emperor; Michael Kritovoulos of Imbros on the Fall of Constantinople; Writings of Al-Bekri; Advice of an Aztec Mother to Her Daughter; Peasant Servitude and Obligations—Rulings by Louis VI and Louis VII of France; The Black Death and the Jews; Johann Tetzel, Sermon on Indulgences; Vasco da Gama: Round Africa to India, 1497-1498; Hans Mayr, The Voyage and Acts of Dom Francisco; English and Dutch Rivalries in the Spice Islands; Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s Letter to King James I; Hernan Cortez, Letter to Charles V; Olaudah Equiano, “They … Carry Off as Many as They Can Seize”; John Barbot, “Prepossessed of the Opinion … That Europeans are Fond of Their Flesh”; Traffic in Slaves: England, 1065-1066; James I (VI), The True Law of Free Monarchies; Cardinal Richelieu, Political Testament; Duc de Saint-Simon, The Court of Louis XIV; Act Against Jesuits and Seminarists; The English Bill of Rights; The Crime of Galileo: Indictment and Abjuration of 1633; Sentence of the Tribunal of the Supreme Inquisition against Galileo Galilei; Abraham Cowley, Of Agriculture; Robert Clive: Letter to William Pitt on India; Emperor Ch’ien Lung, Response to George III’s Petition for Commercial Relations; Francis Xavier, Letter from Japan to the Society of Jesus at Goa; The Chinese Rites Controversy; Tokugawa Iemitsu, Closed Country Edict; Tokugawa Iemitsu, Exclusion of the Portuguese; John Trenchard & Thomas Gordon, Cato’s Letters (1720), Freedom of Speech; Trenchard & Gordon, Cato’s Letters (1721), Evils of Slavery; Voltaire: Letter XIV: On Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton; Thomas Paine, Common Sense; Declaration of the Rights of Man; Olympe de Gouges, Declaration of the Rights of Women; Jean-Paul Marat, Freedom is Lost; Maximilien Robespierre, On the Moral & Political Principles of Domestic Policy; Petition of the Leeds Wool Workers; Letter of the Leeds Cloth Merchants; Observations … on the Loss of Woollen Spinning; Sadler Committee Reports to British Parliament; Mine Commission Report to British Parliament; Chadwick Commission on Laboring Sanitation; Harriet Robinson, Lowell Mill Girls; Andrew Ure, The Philosophy of Manufactures; Thomas Carlyle, Signs of the Times; Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto; John Stuart Mill, On Colonies and Colonization; Dadabhai Naoroji, The Benefits of British Rule; John G. Paton, Letter from a British Missionary; Jules Francois Camille Ferry, Speech to French Chamber of Deputies; The Practice of Sati; Raja Rammohan Roy, A Second Conference [on] the Practice of Burning Widows Alive; Charles Creighton Hazewell, The Indian Revolt; Feng Kuei-Fen, On the Manufacture of Foreign Weapons; George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant; Captain F.D. Lugard, The Rise of Our East African Empire; Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League; Edward Morel, The Black Man’s Burden; Sol Plaatje, Native Life in South Africa; Captain von Richthofen, The Red Barron; Woodrow Wilson, ‘Fourteen Points’ Speech to Congress; Count von Brockdorff-Rantzau’s Letter to Paris Peace Conference; Benito Mussolini, What is Fascism?; Vladimir Lenin, Declaration of the Rights of Exploited Peoples; Alexandra Kollontai, Communism and the Family; Leslie Mason, The Incompatibility of Communism and Religion; Japanese Ministry of Education, The Way of Subjects; Adolf Hitler, The Obersalzberg Speech; Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Arsenal of Democracy Speech; Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour Speech; Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Four Freedoms Speech; Franklin D. Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor Speech; United Nations Charter; Winston Churchill, The Iron Curtain Speech; The Economic Recovery Act: The Marshall Plan; The North Atlantic Treaty: Establishment of NATO; Anwar el Sadat, World Mission of the Peoples of Africa and Asia; Mao Zedong, The People’s Democratic Dictatorship; Josef Stalin, Concerning the Policy of Eliminating the Kulaks as a Class; Ho Chi Minh, Declaration of Independence of Democratic Republic of Vietnam; UN Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; John F. Kennedy, Address on the Cuban Missile Crisis; Mikhail Gorbechev, Address to the 43rd UN General Assembly; Nelson Mandela, South African Presidential Inauguration Speech.