CORE 131 Western Civilization to 1914
U.S. Mail Address:
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
Where did our culture come from? This course on Western Civilization can help answer that question. We will survey the main stages of Western Civilization, with an emphasis on concepts, forces, ideas, events and people that have shaped our society up through the 19th century. In other words, we will examine, through lectures and discussion of readings, how our ancestors and the creators of our culture handled nature, ordered government, structured society, produced wealth, expressed ideas in word and form, and conceived the ultimate meaning of life, the universe and everything.
This Core Curriculum requirement is a first course in the Civilization sequence.
This class is an important part of your education! Civilization courses are designed to explore in some depth the complex dimensions of our world and the cumulative experience of the past, to provide an understanding of how yesterday influences today and the outlook for tomorrow. We study the major developments of Western peoples until the 20th century because most of the problems and institutions of contemporary society have distinguishable roots in the historical past. Moreover, because of the physical and material expansion of the West in the modern period, many of these forms (capitalist industrial manufacturing, the nation-state system, etc.) have become global in nature.
We offer this course as part of your general education requirements because it is important for educated citizens to be familiar with the main stages of Western Civilization and recognize it as an expanding force which produced important forms of political, social, and economic organization. You should understand that most of the structures within which we order our lives are products of this evolution. Historians believe that past human behavior can be studied scientifically and that social scientists can improve our understanding of people in the present.
Further, whatever your major or career goals may be, throughout your lives you will be deluged with information, opinion, and interpretations about events which you should be able to evaluate critically. Answering questions and solving problems by critical analysis -- not just memorization of data -- is a basic goal of education. Information is just the raw material in this process and, though rational analysis must be based on factual data, memorizing tidbits of information is not an end in itself. Our real goal is to develop concepts which give order and meaning to the raw material of our recorded past. Doing this requires comprehension beyond minimal factual details of past events. Major emphasis will be on patterns, themes, and concepts against which the factual data must be understood.
We hope that upon successful completion of this course you will have improved your understanding of world civilizations and become a more perceptive judge of the data, opinions, interpretations and explanations continuously offered to you. This process, indeed, should last your whole life, since (paraphrasing the observation of the distinguished professional historian Carl L. Becker from 1931) "Ultimately, every person is their own historian."
In addition to the more content-related objectives described above, this course has some general liberal-learning goals of developing academic skills. It is expected that successful completion of this course will help you improve your ability:
Be aware of the academic honesty policy concerning cheating and plagiarism, and your moral, ethical and legal obligation only to submit work completed by you yourself. For more information see <www.kings.edu/history/honesty.html> and <Help stop Plagiarism!>.
You will need to purchase a textbook, as explained by the professor in class. The text provides you with important factual and background information to be read and worked on before class and to be used for review and reference afterwards.
Before class, you will read the text according to your printed syllabus. You should prudently mark up, underline, highlight and otherwise annotate your text as you study. Bring the textbook to class. After class, regularly through the semester, you should review your class notes and compare them with the text's versions of the material.
The instructor will give quizzes to test your reading and comprehension and for review. The quizzes will be open book and will ask one of two questions: 1. In one short paragraph, sum up the answer to the BIG Question of the day. 2. For each of three people or events you choose from that day's reading, write one sentence describing why they are important in history.
Participation and attendance are necessary because lecture and discussion provide the essentials for achieving class goals and objectives. Thus a portion of your grade (about 10%) will depend on your in-class performance and presence, aside from graded quizzes, exams and papers.. You are required to attend each class, arrive on time, remain attentive, maintain proper classroom decorum, and respond to questions. You are encouraged to take notes and ask questions.
Several minor written assignments (a paragraph to one page in length) will also be required as reflections and reactions to class discussion and projects (10 points each).
The professor will regularly take attendance. Absences due to college activities, emergency or extended illness may be excused by the appropriate college official. You should consult with the professor about making up missed work in advance or as soon as possible after your return. Other absences are unexcused and will lower the class participation and quiz portions of your grade. After any absence, you are responsible for requesting hand-outs and already returned assignments from the proessor or borrowing notes from other students. If you miss an exam, contact the instructor as soon as possible. You may take a missed exam only at the discretion of the instructor. Whether absences are excused or not, you may not get a higher grade than the percentage of classes attended.
A student who arrives at class late, after attendance is taken, must personally request that the absence be turned into a tardy mark. Students who need to leave a class session early, except for medical emergency, should notify the instructor before class begins.
All students who have a learning disability, physical handicap and/or any other possible impediment to class participation and requirements should schedule an appointment with the instructor within the first two weeks of classes to discuss available accommodations. With the instructor's permission, lectures may be recorded for your own study, although the tapes must be erased after the exams.
If at some point during the semester you must discontinue the course, due to poor performance, illness or some other cause, be sure to follow proper procedures for withdrawal.
You will take a quiz about this syllabus using WebCT in the first week of classes. You will also have three map quizzes using WebCT, and quizzes on your readings. You will take two mid-term exams as scheduled and a final exam as assigned during finals week. The exams are comprehensive: each exam may cover material since the beginning of the course.
All exams will consist of objective questions testing recall based on historical geography and maps and essays demanding your understanding of the course material through logical presentation of facts and explanation of historical trends.
To encourage your learning for the map portion of the exams, three map quizzes are scheduled. In these quizzes you will simply be asked to identify on a map several locations, from those listed map location guide to be posted.
To study for the exams you should regularly, at least once a week, review your class notes, and refer to the study questions linked below. You should also compare and contrast these notes with your textbook and with the issues and trends emphasized in the class description. To avoid common exam errors, check this page.
You will have two written assignments of five-to-seven pages each. They are described on your printed syllabus. For more on evaluation of your papers see <http://departments.kings.edu/history/grading.html#writt> and <http://departments.kings.edu/history/grading.html#error>. To avoid common errors in written assignments, check this page.
Be sure to conform to the instructor's presentation guidelines, and use Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style format (see Corgan Library <http://www.kings.edu/frames/tb_frames/library.html> and click on "Citing Sources" or Corgan Library Study Guide #11 or http://www.kings.edu/library/PDF%20Files/studyguide11.pdf) for bibliography and citations.
Completing assignments on time is an important aspect of your course work. You yourself must hand in each written assignment at the beginning of class on the dates assigned on your paper syllabus.
The grade of any paper you turn in late will lose at least 10% after the beginning of the first class, 20% after the second, and 35% after the third. No late papers will be accepted after the last day of classes.
Click here for parameters of evaluation and grading.
You earn your grade through work done for this course. It is your
responsibility to understand why you have achieved a certain grade, and what
steps you can take to maintain or improve your grade. You are encouraged
to consult with the professor during office hours or by appointment both before
and after exams and written assignments.
For your protection, in case of errors of recording, you should keep copies of all exams and assignments until you have received official notice of your final grade. Any and all materials done for this course may become the property of the professor, who may use them for assessment, evaluative, scholarly, or research purposes.
Your final grade will be based on a percentage (above 90%=A, 89-80%=B, etc.) of the sum of the assignments. Different assignments will be worth certain point values, as listed in your printed syllabus.
V. Map Locations
Unless you know where things are, you cannot understand how they are related to each other. Therefore portions of exams and quizzes of this course require knowledge about historical geography: how peoples and countries develop significant spatial relations over time. Each exam will have a map portion, but you will also take a map quiz by computer using WebCT.
You are responsible at all times for the general topography of Europe, but as we move through history some geographic locations become newly significant. For each exam, covering each part of the course, the new locations are listed, but you are still responsible for the earlier ones.
For study and practise, you can find a map at <http://departments.kings.edu/history/europemap.html>. Also go to WebCT <http://courses.kings.edu/> for study paths, self-tests and the quizzes, and a list of all the specific locations you must know.
For help with computer issues on WebCT, contact Ms. Ferkel-Priebe at (570) 208-5900, telephone extension 5814 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may take the quizzes any time after they are posted, before their respective due dates and times.
You have to write a paper on sources. For more details consult your printed syllabus. Choose from sources in the right hand column in boldface along the left edge of that column (the center of the page). Those links in small type within [brackets] are not to be used as choices, but may be valuable for further information.
PART I The Study of History and the formation of the Ancient West
Links to Websources
|How do historians study, divide up, and understand our past?|
|What important cultural survival techniques did our ancestors invent?|
|What often-ignored problems did civilization create?|
|What did various Middle Eastern civilizations contribute to the West?||Code of Hammurabi|
|How did the Greeks and later Hellenistic rulers succeed and fail in politics?||Revolution|
|How did Gręco-Roman culture expand through and unify the Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Middle East?||Apology of Socrates|
|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).|
|How did the new religion of Christianity begin?||Matthew 18 and Matthew 19|
|How did the Roman Empire fall in the West, yet last another 1000 years in the East?||contra>Roman Imperialism|
PART IIa The Medieval West
Links to Websources
|How did German rule combine with the Roman heritage int eh West?||
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)
|How did the Franks and the Carolingian family succeed briefly in uniting a Western European empire, but ultimately fail?||
|How did the feudal politics and manorial economics change government and the creation of wealth?||Homage and Fealty|
|How did more centralized governments form in Western Europe?||William the Conqueror|
|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).|
|How did the popes fight with kings and other religious movements?||Dictatus Papæ|
How did the revival of trade & towns change the West?
|Conversion of Peter Waldo;|
PART IIb Early Modern Europe
Links to Websources
|How did late medieval monarchs concentrate still more power?||Golden Bull|
|How did the Renaissance promote the West's transition into modernity?||The Prince, Chapter 18|
|How did the Western Latin Church begin to split apart during the Reformation?||Luther Against the Peasants|
|How did further divisions among Christians culminate in wars over religion?||Pope Pius V's Bull Against Elizabeth|
|How did the "Voyages of Discovery" begin colonial imperialism by Europeans?||Columbus letter|
PART III The Modern World
Links to Websources
|How did the First Scientific Revolution energize economics and society?||Galileo|
|How did Enlightenment thinkers conceive of improvements to human society?||
|How did absolutism gain ascendancy in Early Modern Europe?||
Peter the Great (Consider just Bishop Burnet's bio).
|How did democratic forms of government spread in the West?||Petition of Right|
|How did the revolutionaries in France execute political changes?|
|How did war alter the French Revolution and cause Napoleon's rise and fail?||
|How did competing ideologies offer alternatives in the 19th Century?||Carlsbad Resolutions|
|How did inventions and capitalism produce the Industrial Revolution?||Loss of Wool Spinning|
|How did socialists address problems manufactured by the Industrial Revolutions?||Gotha Program (1875)|
|How did naturalistic science generate new and unsettling knowledge?||Sigmund Freud on Civilization|
|How did the Europeans come to dominate Asia and Africa?||pro> Imperialism, 1884|
|How did the United States of America become a world power?|
|How did various nationalisms unify and divide Western nations?||
|How did nationalism spur the decline of the Ottoman Empire?|
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 <http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html> has many maps, timelines, and brief historical overviews.
Richard Hooker, World Cultures, <http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/110/110RES.HTM> has various learning modules, atlases and other resources.
Stephen Kreis, The History Guide <http://www.historyguide.org/index.html> contains lots of lectures on Western Civilization.
World History at Frank Smitha.com <http://www.fsmitha.com/index.html> contains timelines, maps, descriptions, some opinions.
History of Costume <http://www.siue.edu/COSTUMES/history.html>.
Web Chronology Project of North Park University <http://campus.northpark.edu/history/WebChron/index.html>.
Gerhard Rempel's lectures: <http://mars.acnet.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/wc1/lectures.html>.
History at Bedford St. Martin's: <http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/history/> contains maps, textbook supplementary material, useful information about studying history and links to other sites.
Articles, books, and links at <http://historicaltextarchive.com/>.
Paul Halsall, Internet History Sourcebooks Project <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/>.
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Last Revision: 6 February 2007