KING'S COLLEGE                                                                                               
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY                                                                             FALL 2002



            Answering questions and solving problems by analysis rather than mere memorization of data is a basic goal of education.  Information is just the raw material of this process and, though rational analysis must be based on factual knowledge, committing tidbits of information to memory is not an end in itself.  Our real goal is to develop concepts which give order and meaning to the raw material of man's recorded past.  The historian social scientist believes that past human behavior can be studied scientifically to improve our understanding of human behavior over time.


            This is the second course in the Core Curriculum Civilization sequence.  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 the past influences the present and the outlook for the future.  We study the major developments of 20th century civilization in this course because most of the problems of the contemporary society have distinguishable roots in the historical past.   The present is unique because much of what happens in one part of the world has a rapid and profound effect on other world areas in ways unlike the past.  Most of the problems of our day revolve around such issues as political leadership and the role of the individual, the nature of the modern state, general movements and ideologies like nationalism and religious fundamentalism, and international conflict and its resolution.

            This course is part of your general education requirements because we believe it important for educated people to understand the main forces at work in the world around them.  Whatever your major or career goals may be, throughout your lives you will be deluged with information about events which you should be able to evaluate critically.  Doing this requires comprehension beyond minimal factual knowledge of past events.  We hope that upon successful completion of this course you will have an improved understanding of the contemporary world and will be a more perceptive judge of the data, opinions, interpretations and explanations continuously offered to you.  This will be a life-long process, for as Carl Becker observed very early in this century, "Ultimately, everyman is his own historian."  Each unit will stress certain basic themes, against which the factual data will have to be evaluated.


1. To become familiar with the main stages of civilization as an expanding force which has produced important forms of political, social, economic and cultural organization which are our common heritage.

2. To identify major events, persons, ideas which contributed to the development of western and non-western attitudes and institutions.

3. To develop concepts giving meaning and order to the raw material of man's recorded past.

4. To identify and analyze significant problems and situations as they relate to the continuing issues of contemporary life.


1. To improve understanding of the major events which have influenced the modern world.

2. To understand past influence on contemporary events and problems.

3. To be an intelligent consumer and evaluator of information about world events.

4. To develop a global perspective which recognizes the political, economic and cultural interdependence of all nations.


In addition to the content related objectives above, this course has some general liberal learning goals.  It is expected that successful completion of this course will help you improve your ability:

1. To manage information.  Eg., sorting data, ranking data for significance, synthesizing facts, concepts and principles.

2. To understand and use organizing principles or key concepts against which miscellaneous data can be evaluated.

3. To differentiate between facts, opinions and inferences.

4. To frame questions which clarify a problem, topic or issue.

5. To compare and contrast the merits of opposing arguments and interpretations, moving

     between the main points of each position.

6. To organize your thoughts and communicate them clearly and concisely in a written form.

7. To obtain practice in selecting and presenting information and arguments within a restricted environment, especially the limitations of time in exams.


            To understand the future you must understand the present.  This in turn requires an understanding of the past.  The three are linked together inexorably.  The topics in this course have been chosen with this connection in mind and provide an identifiable starting point and framework.  A basic understanding of the main problems of our own civilization in a global perspective is an essential precondition for proper study and appreciation of the larger world beyond the West.  That is why this course, though global in approach, is structured within a Western world view.

            We begin with the basic reality of a world fragmented politically into national units and the continuing centrifugal power of nationalism, the most powerful political force of the century.  Nationalism will be this courseís principal organizing theme.  Political forms, and the institutional structures which will have to deal with them, will remain local and regional, even as many of the problems of our time - economic, ecological, resource, population, etc. - are global in nature. Nationalism also led to another unique phenomenon at the beginning of the 20th century which saw the West come to dominate most of the world through  imperialism.  Much of the history of the world beyond the West has taken place in reaction to this framework.  We continue with World War I and its consequences, the source of major change which set themes for the entire century.  The purpose is to convey the tremendous contrast between what came before and what resulted.        

            Between the two World Wars three rival institutional structures claimed to be able to confront nationalism, and address major problems (especially economic ones): the liberal-democratic, the right authoritarian/fascist, and the left Marxist/socialist.  A basic understanding of these is required.

            The second global conflict of the century, World War II, precipitated new problems and forces of change, including a new wave of nationalism which created new states out of former colonies.  The most important framework of the second half of the century, within which all of the topics above have existed, was the East-West struggle, represented by the USA and the USSR.  Some understanding of the nature of this relationship, how it evolved, and how it has influenced the rest of the world is essential.

            Finally, we will conclude with an effort to sum up, integrate and speculate about the relationship between a rapidly changing and increasingly unstable international environment and the ability of the United States to identify, understand and respond to these challenges in a Post Cold War Era.


GOFF, Richard, Walter Moss, Janice Terry, Jiu-Hwa Upshur, The Twentieth Century: A Brief Global History.  Sixth edition.  (Required Text)  Chapters and/or pages indicated with each unit.

NORTON, et. al., People and a Nation, Ch 25, ďThe Great Depression and the New Deal 1929-1941.Ē (HANDOUT)

There will be HANDOUT notes provided for some topics in addition to the readings above.

Written Assignments:

Several interpretive history essays will be assigned this semester.  I will ask you to write on an assigned theme.  Each paper is to be several typed or word processed pages, grammatically polished, showing evidence of text usage and some library research. I will provide topics, assessment criteria, due dates, and detailed written instructions in class.


There will be three hour exams, including the final, each of which will be scheduled with at least one week notice.  Superior (B) or outstanding (A) exams will always include specific references to the required readings and some indication of reading beyond that in other sources. The written assignments will contribute 20% of the final grade.  The hour exams will count equally toward the other 80%.  I encourage questions, classroom participation and discussion and I will take it into account as a positive extra as well.  I may employ short unannounced quizzes if they seem required.  If you miss an hour exam without prior arrangement with me, I may require you to make it up at the end of the semester, during the final exam period.


Regular attendance is your serious obligation and is expected by me.  I take roll and keep records.  Interpretation and analysis of the factual material in the text is primarily a classroom experience and I reserve the right to give no grade higher than the percentage of attendance.  Sometimes you may end up in a borderline grade situation, in which case the attendance record will be the deciding factor for extra consideration.


Please feel free to see me at any time.  My office is in Room 306 Hafey-Marion.  My extension is 5750.  My e-mail is  In addition to my regularly posted office hours, I am available at many other times by arrangement.



(1)  National consciousness: origins and 20th Century growth.            CH 2

(2)  Western imperialism and effect on national development.            CH 4, CH 6

(3)  The rise of Japan, the first non-western power                         CH 6

            Major themes and concepts to use a study guides

            -The basic ingredients of national consciousness.

            -The power of nationalism in this century.

            -The impact of imperialism on third world nationalism.

            -The extent to which all other ideas exist in a national framework.

            -American views of nationalism contrasted with other national experiences.



(4)  Breakdown of the international order in 1914                         CH 3, CH 7

(5)  Total war and breakdown of restraint, U.S. entry                            CH 8



(6)  Making peace 1919-1921: the new role of the USA and Japan in the changed global power structure.  CH 11, p149-157                                    

            Major themes and concepts to be used as study guides

            -The way World War I affected the basic structure of the world.

            -The social and economic problems created by the War: Revolution and Nationalism.

            -New state relationships: the end of Eurodominance and the emergence of the USA and Japan.

            -The American postwar vision: a new basis for global relations, its failure to materialize.




(7)  Nationalism between the wars: the examples of India & China            CH 13, CH 14

(8)  EXAM 1


(9)   Marxism and socialism before the war; Leninís model    CH 2,   p15-20

(10) The Russian Revolution 1917-1921                                CH 10, p134-140

(11) Rise of the Bureaucratic state and Totalitarianism                     CH 16, p224-227

(12) Stalin and the Soviet model.                                       CH 10, p141-147

            Major themes and concepts to be used as study guides

            -Major concepts of Marxism and its evolution as a political force.

            -Leninís interpretation of Marx in response to conditions before 1914.

            -Distinction between Communism and Socialism caused by Russian Revolution.

-Origins of authoritarian and totalitarian ideas.

            -The way the Soviet system developed in modernization and industrialization between the wars.

            -Reasons why Marxist development models were attractive in the Third World



(13) Post World War I international environment.                          CH 11, p159-165

(14) The Great Depression: Weimar Germany and the New Deal: case studies in failure and success                 CH 12, p167-172    NORTON CH 14

            Major themes and concepts to be used as study guides

            -The degree to which traditional democracy was unable to cope with post-war challenges,

 especially economic ones.

            -The difficulty in creating institutions where little political tradition exists.

            -Several post World War I successes and failures, eg. the USA and Germany.

            -Obstacles to this form of government in new emerging states.

            -The relationship between democracy and rapid economic development.



(15) Fascist response to problems: Germany, Italy.                             CH 11, p158-159 , CH 16, p218-224

(16) Fascist aggression: Road to War 1931-1939.                            CH 17

(17) EXAM 2

            Major themes and concepts to be used as study guides

            -Familiarity with historical examples of Fascism.

            -The connection between rapid change and the dislocation of traditional value systems caused by it.

            -Japanese fascism in the 1930s as a model response to modernization.

            -The influence of the Munich or Appeasement image in response to aggression as a lesson

 from World War II.



(18) The War in Europe and Asia to 1941 and the USA              CH 18          

(19) Total war, total victory, total disagreement                                                CH 18


(20) The bipolar world and emergence of Cold War 1945-1950.            CH 20

(21) Confrontation: from Korea (1950) to Cuba (1962)                          CH 20

(22) Cold War in Asia: Rebuilding Japan, Chinese Communism and Vietnam                                   CH 22, p329-339 p346-353

(23) Post Cuba Crisis Cold War evolution: the 1970s and 1980s CH 26

            Major themes and concepts to be used as study guides

            -Extent to which World War II revolutionized roles of USA and USSR in the world.

-The existence of the Soviet American confrontation on several levels, not always clearly defined or

 separated: ideological, strategic, economic.

-USA difficulty defining nature of the confrontation: ideological or pragmatic, permanent or solvable.

            -Extent to which American response to global problems and issues was defined by this relationship.


            (24) Post war colonialism and independence: the India-Pakistan    case study        CH 22, p339-344

(25) Regional problems: the Arab-Israeli case study                              CH 27

            Major themes and concepts to be used as study guides

            -Extent to which major global problems were influenced by the Cold War.

            -Degree to which new issues remain globally dangerous in the post cold war era.

            -Reasons why the Middle East may be the most explosive regional flashpoint today.


(26) Gorbachev and the end of the Cold War                                         CH 31

(As time permits)  A survey of post-cold war issues such as the Moslem world and fundamentalism (Chapter pages assigned as needed).

The world today: A Europe led by Germany; a backward Russia; a new power emerging in Asia (China this time); an expanding number of nationalist rivalries and conflicts.  Isnít this where we came in?