History of the Modern World TR 09:30 am-10:45 am Ramer 105
Course Description: Course Description: Our contemporary “world,” as it appears in TV news programs, internet blogs, magazines and newspapers, and in the position papers of think tanks and government officials, is constituted of nation-states that conduct relations through diplomatic channels, and citizens, consumers, workers, and businesses who participate in a single global economic system. Moreover, these nations and citizenries interact in “real time,” across the surface of the inhabited globe, thanks to satellite communications and the internet. A mere one hundred years ago, however, most people did not live under national governments. As recently as forty years ago, a global political economy wherein free markets and elected governments are considered normative would have seemed far-fetched. And only twenty-five years ago, the World Wide Web was a thing of the future. In short, the world we inhabit today is one that your grandparents and their parents scarcely could have imagined when they were your age. Nonetheless, many of the problems we face, achievements we celebrate, and ideals we hold dear would have been familiar to them. Despite its many novel facets, our contemporary situation is a legacy of the decisions and activities of our forbearers, in conjunction with impersonal trends and patterns that were set in motion centuries ago.
This course aims to impart a basic knowledge of those historical events and forces that have shaped the ideals and circumstances of a majority of the earth’s inhabitants. The eighteenth-century is our pivotal epoch because it witnessed the emergence of today’s international system and the advent of industrial capitalism on a global scale. Our survey will cover such familiar topics as the Atlantic slave-trade, the Russian Revolution, the Cold War and national liberation movements. Many of our readings and discussions will highlight powerful nations, seminal thinkers, and charismatic leaders. As a survey of the modern world, History 105 provides students with the necessary background for understanding current events and contextualizing more narrowly focused works of historical scholarship.
- Robert Tignor, Jeremy Adelman, Stephen Aron, et. al. Worlds Together Worlds Apart: A History of the World 4th edition.
- Kenneth Pomeranz, James B. Given, Laura J. Mitchell. Worlds Together Worlds Apart: A Companion Reader vol. 2.
- Rosen, Deborah A. Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood
- McKeown, Adam. Melancholy Order : Asian Migration and the Globalization of Borders
- Wright, Lawrence. The Looming Tower : Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11