CORE 131 Western Civilization to 1914



Primary and Secondary online

SOURCES FOR Western Civilization

PART I The Study of History and the formation of the Ancient West

Big Questions

Links to Websources

How do historians study, divide up, and understand our past?

[What is History?The Historical MethodSources used for History]

What important cultural survival techniques did our ancestors invent?

[Oetzi at the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology]

What often-ignored problems did civilization create?

[Becoming HumanCaves of Lascaux;
European Prehistoric Art; Timeline of Human Evolution; Lucy FAQ]

What did various Middle Eastern civilizations contribute to the West? Code of Hammurabi

10 Commandments

[full version of Law Code of HammurabiCommandments;
JerusalemEgypt's Golden empireAncient Egypt; Ancient Near East]

How did the Greeks and later Hellenistic rulers succeed and fail in politics? Revolution 

Melian Dialogue 

Pericles' Funeral Oration

Plutarch on Alexander

[the Ancient City of AthensThe History of Hellas]

How did Grco-Roman culture expand through and unify the Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Middle East? Apology of Socrates

Death of Socrates

[Seven Wonders; Ancient Greece Museum]

How did the Rome grow from a city-state to an empire unifying the Mediterranean? Rome in Defeat read these three "pages:"  1, 2, 3  (Click on each number). 

Caesar's Assassination


[The battle of Trasimeno; The Illustrated History of the Roman Empire];
Rome Republic to Empire; The Roman Empire;  Into the Roman World]

How did the new religion of Christianity begin? Matthew 18 and Matthew 19  

Pliny on the Christians

[See also persecutions;   From Jesus to Christ;  The Roman World of JesusPatron Saints]

How did the Roman Empire fall in the West, yet last another 1000 years in the East? contra>Roman Imperialism

pro>Roman Imperialism

Sack of Rome

[Some (Sometimes Silly) Explanations for the Fall of Rome;
Church of Imperial Byzantium; Jihad]

PART IIa The Medieval West

Big Questions

Links to Websources

How did German rule combine with the Roman heritage int eh West? Conversion of Clovis  (You don't have to consider "The Incident of the Vase at Soissons," although it is interesting). 


Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (just on Alfred see year 878)

[Lindesfarne Gospel (click on Pinnacles of Anglo-Sazon Art)]

How did the Franks and the Carolingian family succeed briefly in uniting a Western European empire, but ultimately fail? Charlemagne

Charlemagne's capitulary 


How did the feudal politics and manorial economics change government and the creation of wealth? Homage and Fealty

Annals of Xanten

How did more centralized governments form in Western Europe?  William the Conqueror  

Chaos in England

Magna Carta

[Domesday Bookfirst crusade
Bayeux Tapestry; Paris at the time of Philip Augustus]

How did the reforms of monks lead to a reform of the wider Church and the creation of the medieval papacy?   Life of St. Bernard (You only have to consider the first life, not the one beginning "From the Acta Sanctorum of Arnold...," although it is interesting).

Urban riot

[Life in a medieval monastery--
(check out the map "click here" box at top right)
Tour of Durham Cathedral]

How did the popes fight with kings and other religious movements?   Dictatus Papæ

Fourth Lateran Council

How did the revival of trade & towns change the West?

Conversion of Peter Waldo;

Francis of Assisi 

Black Death   

[Luttrel Psalter (click on Glimpse of Medieval Life);
simulated guild hall]


PART IIb Early Modern Europe

Big Questions

Links to Websources

How did late medieval monarchs concentrate still more power? Golden Bull

Trial of Joan of Arc

How did the Renaissance promote the West's transition into modernity?   The Prince, Chapter 18 

 [Florence;  A Critique of the Renaissance Salem]

How did the Western Latin Church begin to split apart during the Reformation? Luther Against the Peasants

[WormsReformation Picture GalleryReformation Guide]

How did further divisions among Christians culminate in wars over religion? Pope Pius V's Bull Against Elizabeth

[Index of Forbidden Books]

How did the "Voyages of Discovery" begin colonial imperialism by Europeans? Columbus letter las Casas

[slaveship; Food and ColumbusSpices (Duyfken Voyage Recreation) Australia]

PART III The Modern World

Big Questions

Links to Websources

How did the First Scientific Revolution energize economics and society? Galileo 

[See also Sci-Rev-WeblinksANSPRACHE VON JOHANNES PAUL II. ...]

How did Enlightenment thinkers conceive of improvements to human society? Voltaire  


How did absolutism gain ascendancy in Early Modern Europe? Louis XIV's court

Peter the Great (Consider just Bishop Burnet's bio).

Maria Theresa

Frederick II on government  

[Catherine the Great]

How did democratic forms of government spread in the West? Petition of Right

Bill of Rights

Declaration of Independence 

[Execution of Charles I]

How did the revolutionaries in France execute political changes?  

"What is the Third Estate?"

Declaration of the Rights of Man

[La Marseillaise LeveeExecution of Louis XVI]

How did war alter the French Revolution and cause Napoleon's rise and fail?

Catechism on Napoleon 

Napoleon's "state of the empire"


How did competing ideologies offer alternatives in the 19th Century? Carlsbad Resolutions

Syllabus of Errors

[Malthus; Proclamations of Revolution in France1848]

How did inventions and capitalism produce the Industrial Revolution? Loss of Wool Spinning

[industrialization interactive; Victorian Webpoetry]

How did socialists address problems manufactured by the Industrial Revolutions? Gotha Program (1875) 

[Communist manifesto; women miners in coal pits]

How did naturalistic science generate new and unsettling knowledge? Sigmund Freud on Civilization

Darwin on the Descent of Man

[John Paul II on Evolution]

How did the Europeans come to dominate Asia and Africa?  pro> Imperialism, 1884

contra>Imperialism, 1902

[Profits from imperialism?]

How did the United States of America become a world power?

Latin America

[San Juan HillBeveridge, March of the Flag]

How did various nationalisms unify and divide Western nations?

Mazzini's On the Duties of Man

Realpolitik of the Ems Dispatch



How did nationalism spur the decline of the Ottoman Empire?

Germans as Huns

Young Turks

Plight of Muslims

All topics are tentative; the instructor may change them at his discretion.   

Some general sites that have valuable information, if you want to learn more on many subjects in Western Civilization:  

Hyperhistory <> has many maps, timelines, and brief historical overviews.

Richard Hooker, World Cultures, <> has various learning modules, atlases and other resources.

Stephen Kreis, The History Guide <> contains lots of lectures on Western Civilization.

World History at Frank <> contains timelines, maps, descriptions, some opinions.  

History of Costume <>.

Web Chronology Project of North Park University <>.

Gerhard Rempel's lectures:  <>.

History at Bedford St. Martin's: <> contains maps, textbook supplementary material, useful information about studying history and links to other sites.  

Articles, books, and links at <>.

Paul Halsall, Internet History Sourcebooks Project <>.

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