Topic outline

  • Welcome!

    Welcome to Western Civilization II


    Course Introduction

    Welcome to Western Civilization 2. This class will discuss the history of Western Civilization (primarily Europe and North America) from the year 1500 CE to the present. You will learn about major events, countries, ideas, and people and the impact that these had on their times and on how history developed. This knowledge is important for you to have because you are a person who lives in a diverse society shaped by these events and ideas. The ultimate goal of this class is to help you understand how the flow of history has impacted the present and to help you understand the world you find yourself in now.


    Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Identify major countries, empires, and civilizations of Western Civilization from the Reformation to the present.
    2. Define key terms and facts about major countries, empires, and civilizations of Western Civilization from the Reformation to the present.
    3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing the cause and effect of political, economic, cultural, philosophical, religious, and social developments in Western Civilization from the Reformation to the present.

    Structure of the Course
    This course consists of 11 modules, as well as an introductory week, a midterm week, and finals week.  Each module will coincide with a chapter from the Pressbooks textbook for this course. Students will be responsible for weekly assignments, quizzes, and discussion forums.  
    Navigating the Course
    Adopting institution should provide learners information on how to navigate the course. Consider adding an introductory navigation video. Text description could include, for example:

    This course is set up in Modules covering various topics which may be accessed from the course navigation menu on the left or by scrolling below. Modules may be collapsed in the menu and it the body of the course to minimize scrolling. Each module includes the relevant chapters followed by various activities, which may include discussion forums, listening activities and quizzes, practice quizzes, module tests, and other relevant activities as appropriate for each module. Many items are required and may be marked as completed automatically when the activity has been submitted (the broken check box), but others will marked as done by the student (the solid check box). 

    Please move through the items below and continue through the Learner Support and Getting Started modules before moving on to Module 1. Be sure to check for announcements and due dates to stay on track.

    Creative Commons attribution license This course and its contents are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, except where otherwise noted. 
  • Learner Support

    Main Body
  • Syllabus and Schedule

    Back Matter
  • Getting Started

    This module contains all the items you should review and complete before you begin Module 1. Before moving on, be sure to:
    1. Check the News and Announcements Forum
    2. Read the Course Syllabus
    3. Introduce yourself to the class
    4. Read the instructions for the Q & A Forum
    Good luck in the course!
    • Forum icon
      This forum contains general news and announcements. You can find all announcements listed in the "Latest News" block in Course Tools within this course or on your My Courses page.
    • Forum icon

      Use this forum to tell us a little about yourself and your interests. Some topic ideas:

        1. What is your field of study/research interest or concentration?
        2. What are you most interested in learning about in this class and why?
        3. Have you ever taken an online class before?
        4. Any other information you would like to share with your classmates, such as special interests or activities.

      Post a picture!  We look forward to meeting you.

    • Forum icon

      Use this forum to ask your instructor any questions you have about the course. You may post at any time, and your instructor will respond here. Be as specific as possible.

      Please keep in mind that others can see your posts, so do not post any personal information. If you have questions about your grade, please email your instructor directly. You can expect a response to posts and emails within [X] hours. [Recommendation is 24 hours M-F, next business day on weekends.]

      Subscription should be set to Auto.

    • Forum icon
      This forum contains general news and announcements. You can find all announcements listed in the "Latest News" block in Course Tools within this course or on your My Courses page.
    • Forum icon

      Use this forum to tell us a little about yourself and your interests. Some topic ideas:

        1. What is your field of study/research interest or concentration?
        2. What are you most interested in learning about in this class and why?
        3. Have you ever taken an online class before?
        4. Any other information you would like to share with your classmates, such as special interests or activities.

      Post a picture!  We look forward to meeting you.

    • Forum icon

      Use this forum to ask your instructor any questions you have about the course. You may post at any time, and your instructor will respond here. Be as specific as possible.

      Please keep in mind that others can see your posts, so do not post any personal information. If you have questions about your grade, please email your instructor directly. You can expect a response to posts and emails within [X] hours. [Recommendation is 24 hours M-F, next business day on weekends.]

      Subscription should be set to Auto.

  • FOR INSTRUCTORS: Using This Template and Additional Resources

    Use the information in this module to customize the template to your needs. This module is currently hidden from students, and available for you to refer to throughout the semester.

  • Module 1: Understanding the Past

    Image of a map of the world


    What is history? Is it simply a record of things people have done? Is it what writer Maya Angelou suggested—a way to meet the pain of the past and overcome it? Or is it, as Winston Churchill said, a chronicle by the victors, an interpretation by those who write it? History is all this and more. Above all else, it is a path to knowing why we are the way we are—all our greatness, all our faults—and therefore a means for us to understand ourselves and change for the better.

    But history serves this function only if it is a true reflection of the past. It cannot be a way to mask the darker parts of human nature, nor a way to justify acts of previous generations. It is the historian’s task to paint as clear a picture as sources will allow.

    Will history ever be a perfect telling of the human tale? No. There are voices we may never hear. Yet each new history book written and each new source uncovered reveal an ever more precise record of events around the world. You are about to take a journey into human history. 

    This seventeenth-century projection map of the world, prepared by cartographer Philip Eckebrecht for the noted German astronomer Johannes Kepler, gives a sense of the breadth of territory this text will cover. As we see later in this chapter, maps often reflect the maker’s perception of geographical realities. 

    (credit: The Whole World.  Modification of work “A Modern Depiction of the World” by Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)


     Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

    1. Identify the role history plays in higher education and how its study build skills for lifelong learning and success
    2. Summarize the historical development of the term “Western Civilization”
    3. Identify, analyze, and interpret different types of primary sources
    4. Describe causation as it is used in the study of history              

      To achieve these objectives: 

    1. Read the Module 1 Introduction.
    2. Read Chapter 1 in Western Civilization II. 
    3. Complete the assessments and discussion questions below.  

                                                                                                                                             
    Module Pressbooks Resources and Activities
    You will find the following resources and activities in this module at the Pressbooks website. Click on the links below to access or complete each item.

  • Module 2: Foundations of the Atlantic World

        
    Enslaved people aboard a slave ship being shackled before being put in the hold. A wooden engraving by Joseph Swain, 1835.








       


    The sixteenth century was a time of momentous change in Europe. Europe experience the tumult of the Protestant Reformation and subsequent wars of religion. The Age of Exploration began in the late 1400s with forays into the Atlantic by two European nations—Portugal and Spain. This module examines these early forays to the "New World," as well as the ventures of other European players including England, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark. This module also details the exploding web of connections in the Atlantic World—the Columbian Exchange, the colonization of the Americas, and the development of the Atlantic slave trade—and how these systems forever changed people’s understanding of what the world was like and the face and direction of history. 

    (Credit: "On Board A Slave Ship," John Swain, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)


    Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

    1. Discuss the spread of Protestantism in Europe and the wars of religion
    2. Explain the motives for Spanish and Portuguese exploration in the Americas and how technological innovations in the fifteenth century made transatlantic journeys possible
    3. Describe the physical and cultural ramifications of the Columbian Exchange
    4. Describe the theory of mercantilism and the workings of the triangular trade
    5. Discuss the way market forces influenced the development of labor-intensive agriculture in the Americas

    To achieve these objectives: 

    1. Read the Module Introduction.
    2. Read Chapter 2 in Western Civilization II.
    3. Complete the assessments and discussion questions.


    Module Pressbooks Resources and Activities

    You will find the following resources and activities in this module at the Pressbooks website. Click on the links below to access or complete each item.

  • Module 3: Colonization and Economic Expansion

    Browse to find your image above. Then update alt text here. Set the first size number below to between 300-400.










    In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the world’s great oceans effectively became highways as European explorers, merchants, and laborers proved willing to journey greater distances than they had in the past and traveled to new destinations in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. New economic systems propelled exploration, communication, interaction, exchange, and—in many tragic cases—exploitation. This module explores these expanded networks and their impacts, including the transformations experienced by communities in Asia, Africa, and the Americas that had once had little or no contact with one another. This module examines how some groups embraced the newcomers as trading partners or political allies, gaining access to new goods and sometimes profiting for a time, while others resisted the newcomers, often at great cost to themselves.

    (Credit: "A map of North America : with the European settlements & whatever else is remarkable in ye West Indies, from the latest and best observations," Richard William Seale, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)


    Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

    1. Explain the motivations behind European settlements in North America
    2. Explain how climate, economics, and geography affected the founding and growth of colonial settlements
    3. Analyze Indigenous responses to European colonization in the Americas
    4. Explain how the Seven Years’ War established a new balance of power in Europe
    5. Explain the evolution of economic theories from mercantilism to capitalism

    To achieve these objectives: 

    1. Read the Module 3 Introduction.
    2. Read Chapter 3 in Western Civilization II.
    3. Complete the assessments and discussion questions.

    **This module could contain a midpoint check for the final project. This may include a proposal, a building block to the project, or a portion of the project.

    Module Pressbooks Resources and Activities

    You will find the following resources and activities in this module at the Pressbooks website. Click on the links below to access or complete each item.

  • Module 4: Revolutions in Europe and North America

     Louverture in a military uniform, riding a horse, holding a sword over his head. The image on the right is a close up.









    The period of the late 18th and early 19th centuries is a fascinating time, marked by revolutionary upheaval and change across the Atlantic World. The American and French Revolutions were momentous events Key figures like Toussaint L' Ouverture, the spearhead of the Haitian Revolution, were deeply influenced by Enlightenment principles, fostering a spirit of critical thought that ignited a series of revolutions. Burgeoning ideas challenged conventional political structures and hierarchies, sparking debates about individual rights and the scope of royal and religious authority. 

    (credit left: modification of work “Portrait of Toussaint Louverture” by John Carter Brown Library/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; credit right: modification of work “Toussaint Louverture” by Jeangagnon/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

    Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

    1. Explain the relationship between scientific developments and the Enlightenment
    2. Discuss major theories of natural rights
    3. Analyze Enlightenment ideas about the social contract and the consent of the governed

    To achieve these objectives:

    1. Read the Module 4 Introduction. 
    2. Read Chapter 4 in Western Civilization II.
    3. Complete the module discussion forum and quiz. 


    Module Pressbooks Resources and Activities

    You will find the following resources and activities in this module at the Pressbooks website. Click on the links below to access or complete each item.

  • Module 5: Expansion in the Industrial Age

    A  egg labeled “China” with chickens representing European countries fighting over it









    The Industrial Revolution, beginning in Great Britain in the 18th century, followed by the United States, France, Belgium, and Germany, will dramatically change the West. How these nations harnessed the power of water and steam to revolutionize the production of goods like textiles, iron, steel, and machinery components, is a fascinating story. Additionally, there were important advancements in transportation and communication, particularly the locomotive, steamboat, and telegraph, that will radically change lifestyles and work dynamics. By the end of the 19th century, industrialization moved beyond the United States and Western and Central Europe. 

     (credit: modification of work “A troublesome egg to hatch” by LOC Prints and Photographs Division/Library of Congress)

    Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

    1. Describe the technological innovations of the Second Industrial Revolution.
    2. Describe the spread of industrialization beyond western and central Europe and the United States.
    3. Explain the obstacles to industrialization facing countries in Asia, North Africa, and Latin America in the nineteenth century.

    To achieve these objectives:

    1. Read the Module 5 Introduction. 
    2. Read Chapter 5 in Western Civilization II.
    3. Complete the module discussion forum and quiz. 

    Module Pressbooks Resources and Activities

    You will find the following resources and activities in this module at the Pressbooks website. Click on the links below to access or complete each item.