Schedule of Readings, Assignments, and Topics                                                        Source Papers

Required Texts                                                    Course Requirements                      General Policies

History 1123 Spring 2011

Modern World History, 1400-Present

                            Section 21966: Conwill Hall 108; TTh 9:30-10:45A               

Instructor: Doug Catterall
Office: 634 South Shepler Tower

Office Hours: T-Th 2-4P and by appointment

work telephone: 581-2949

Goals and Approach:
Welcome to Modern World History.  This course will give you broad background in world historical events that unfolded from the 15th century to the end of the 20th century.  Ideally you will become familiar with the big picture while also having the opportunity to examine particular events, people, and processes of change as part of a lived history. With such a large task, we will focus on the following themes.

  1. The balance between global integration on the one hand and local and regional autonomy on the other through world exploration, trade, migration, colonization, colonialism, and interdependency vs. dependence.

  2. At the level of groups and the individual as well as that of societies we will also pay attention to identity, one of the primary motivations for much of human action.

  3. Finally, we will take on the the bread and butter concerns of how people earned their daily livings.
Through these three categories we will trace how humanity went from living in a world in which multiple power blocs dominated different regions; to one in which chiefly western societies were calling the shots; to the current situation, in which western societies are still influential but other voices are clearly heard. The main focus of our attentions this term will be Africa, Eurasia, and the Atlantic World (a term for Africa, the Americas and Europe operating as a linked unit).

In addition to learning about past societies and how they worked, the purpose of this course is also to teach you some skills that historians (and many who are not historians, such as lawyers, doctors and computer scientists) use all the time: critical thinking and reading; writing and effective oral communication; and interpretation.

To see the CU General Education Skills this course emphasizes click on the hypetext in this sentence.

Course Materials:
Textbook & Reader:
Robert W. Strayer, Ways of the World: A Brief Global History, vol. 2, Since 1500 (Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009) [Required]

World History in Documents: A Comparative Reader, 2nd ed., edited by Peter Stearns (New York: NYU Press, 2008) [Required]
Primary Sources and Other Materials:

Camara Laye, The Dark Child: The Autobiography of an African Boy, translated by James Kirkup and Ernest Jones with an introduction by Philippe Thody-Marcellin  (London: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994) [Required]

Online secondary and primary sources linked to the online syllabus that will be necessary for the reaction papers or other class activities [Required]

All of the above readings will be required for the course and (with the exception of the supplemental readings) are available at the CU bookstore or online.

On-line Reference Books and Helpful Resources: If you have questions that the readings, lectures, and class activities do not answer I recommend using the online resources you can access by clicking on the hypertext in this sentence.

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Course work consists of four categories of graded elements: participation, 3 reaction papers, 3 quizzes, and 1 comprehensive, essay-based final examination.

Participation (100 points):

a. Discussion (50 points): Participation in discussion is required.  I will gauge your discussion grade by your performance on particular days indicated with a *** in the schedule of assignments and readings.  On these days you can earn up to 5 points.

b. Informal Writings (50 points): There will be 5 short thinking exercises of 1 to 2 type-written pages in length that prepare you for the source papers you will write this term or allow you to explore course material further.

c. Base Points: Each of you starts with 20 points' worth of participation credit.  This is equivalent to missing two Informal Writings or four discussion days.  Thus, if you have out-of-class activities, these points will allow you to miss several days' of discussion or miss an informal writing or two without hurting your participation mark.

d. Credit for Participation: A perfect scorce in participation is 100 points, meaning that an A requires 90 points, a B 80 points, a C 70 points, a D 60 points, with anything below that an F.
Source Papers (300 points): You will have to write three source papers in this course, each of which will be based on a primary source or document.  Each of these papers will be worth 150 points and I will drop the lowest score.  All papers must be double-spaced, typed, and in Times New Roman font with a 12-pt. pitch (type-size).  In addition, all papers must be footnoted using the rule of the Chicago Manual of Style, which means that the MLA parenthetical style will not be acceptable.  If you want a general tutorial on footnoting using a computer see: general guidelines.  Detailed instructions for the different papers may be found by clicking on the title of each of the works that will be used for the different papers and I will introduce you to the basics of the Chicago style when the time comes:
Source Paper 1: Introductory Text Interpretation Exercise
Source Paper 2
(follow the instructions for paper 2b): Cultural Encounters in Latin America and Africa
Source Paper 3:
(follow the instructions for paper 4e):The Dark Child
Quizzes and Final Examination (300 points):
Quizzes (120 points):  There will be 3 online quizzes that you will take via the course's  Blackboard module that are closed notes, closed book, and during which you may not consult any other websites, each of which is worth 60 points. The quizzes, which will entail analytical thinking and writing, will prepare you for the final examination.  I will drop the lowest of your three quiz scores.  For further details on these quizzes see the Assignments section of the course Blackboard module where you will find review sheets for the quizzes as well as information on the quiz format and tips on how to prepare for the quizzes.

Final Examination (180 points): There will be a comprehensive final examination consisting of short-answer and essay components.  Details on the final examination will be made available in the Assignment section of the course Blackboard module in a timely fashion.
Grading Standards: General guidelines for all written work (including the source papers listed above) are as follows:

1) Papers are to be written in clear and understandable English.

2) Papers must address the question set or the analytical tasks assigned.

3) When appropriate, papers should have a main point that is clearly expressed.

A papers will meet all of these criteria in a manner that shows mastery of the material covered.
B papers will meet all of these criteria in a manner that shows mastery of the material covered across two of the above grading criteria.
C papers will meet all of these criteria and may show mastery of the material covered in one of the above grading criteria.
D papers will fail to meet at least one of the above criteria in a fundamental way.
F papers will fail to  meet two or more of the above criteria.

 Guidelines specific to a given writing assignment or examination are available in the on-line descriptions/review sheets of the assignments and examinations.

Grading Breakdown:

Course Component
Component Point Value
Source Papers
Final Examination
Total of All Categories

Calculation of your mark: In this course 700 points is a perfect score.  Thus an A requires a minimum of 630 points, a B at least 560 points, a C at least 490 points, a D at least 420 points.  Anyone earning less than 420 points fails the course and earns a mark of F.  PLEASE NOTE: I WILL NOT DISCUSS MARKS WITH STUDENTS ONCE REGULAR CLASSES HAVE ENDED UNTIL GRADES HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED.

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General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  

Attendance: Regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  You will not be as familiar with the course material and, if you miss class on discussion days, you will lose participation points.

All assignments, whether involving reading or writing, for a given day are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and dicussions as this will make studying for the quizzes and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Communication will often occur via e-mail, which I will send you through Blackboard.  Since Blackboard uses your Cameron University e-mail account, this means that you must check your Cameron University e-mail account to participate in this course.  If you don't know how to access your CU e-mail account, please see the common syllabus attachment or the intructions below. If these instructions there are insufficient, I will be happy to help you with all this if need be. But remember, I will assume that you know how to access and use your e-mail and if you do not make use of your CU e-mail account you will certainly miss out on some crucial information this term and it will be more difficult to do well.

For those not aware of the basics of accessing student e-mail please read the following: "Student email accounts and other services may be found at The User Name Construction link provides information about user names and passwords. Students should check their Cameron email regularly regardless of whether or not they have other email accounts. A student who wishes to be contacted at an address other than Cameron email should be sure to keep a current preferred address on record in MyCU."

Late Source Papers:
The following policy applies to all late source papers. All source papers submitted to me at any time on the day that the source paper is due will be considered on time. Source papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero.

Late Informal Writings: No late informal writings will be accepted, so don't ask.

Missed Quizzes and Examinations:  There will be no make-ups for quizzes.  I will, however, drop your lowest quiz score, so if you happen to miss a quiz, I will only count the scores on the other quizzes that you do take.  Make-ups for the final examination are granted to the student at the instructor's discretion and only with a legitimate (e.g. a medical emergency) and documented reason.

Academic Dishonesty: The following statement encapsulates university policy on academic misconduct: "Each student is expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach.  Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty¦ will be subject to disciplinary action."  Additional information is provided in the Cameron University Code of Student Conduct at:

Among the most serious offenses a student can commit is plagiarism, which is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions.  Instructions on the basics of citation may be found under the general guidelines for papers and can and should be consulted before any formal essays come due.  If for some reason you do not choose to examine this page, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the policy for academic dishonesty in the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

a. The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required
of other students in the course;
b. The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of “W” or “F”;
c. The student’s grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected
by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure.

Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Disability Statement:
As per the Office of Student Development, "It is the policy of Cameron University to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law.  Students with disabilities who need classroom accommodations must make their requests by contacting the Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209, North Shepler Room 314."

Website for this office:

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Schedule of Readings, Lecture Topics, and Assignments

List of Topics
Readings, Assignments, and Activities

1.13 Zheng He and Chinese Expansion
Read: Ways of the World, 363-372; World History in Documents, 154-159.
Chinese Society c. 1450-1650: Scholars, Merchants, Eunuchs, and Peasants Read: Online Reading Concerning the Chinese Educational System:
Turn In: Informal Writing #1
1.20 Approaches to Empire: China, the Mughals, the Ottomans, the Russians, the Safavids. Read: Ways of the World, 378-382, 417-429; World History in Documents, 202-210.
Mughal Society: The State and the People Read: The Mughals ("Origins" through "The Last Three Great Emperors")at:
1.27*** Hindus, Marathas, and Sikhs in a Muslim State Read: the Marathas at:**
The Sikhs at :**

Turn In:
Source Paper #1.
Europe and the Beginnings of the Atlantic World, 1350-1500 Read: Ways of the World, 372-378. 
The Inca and the Aztecs, 1300-1500 Read: Ways of the World, 382-393.
The Spanish Americas Read: World History in Documents, 163-176; the New Laws of the Indies (Spanish):
Turn In: Informal Writing #2 (may be turned in for full credit on 2.10)
2.10 Brazil
2.15*** Empire in the Americas After 1500 Read: Ways of the World, 403-417.
Quiz #1 Window Opens at 12:00 a.m.
A Comparative Look at Trade, 1450-1750 Read: Ways of the World, 433-459; World History in Documents, 211-217.

The Slave Trade as a Global Enterprise Read: World History in Documents, 177-189; Thomas Bluett, Some Memoirs of the Life of Job, the Son of Solomon at:**, Section 2, pp. 19-24.
Quiz #1 Window Closes at 12:00 a.m.
Religious and Scientific Change in Eurasia, 1500-1800 Read: Ways of the World, 461-497.
Turn In: Informal Writing #3

Religious and Scientific Change in Eurasia, 1500-1800 Read: World History in Documents, 190-201.
*Atlantic Revolutions: Revolution or Reform? Read: Ways of the World, 499-524.
3.8 Atlantic Revolutions: Revolution or Reform? Read: World History in Documents, 222-231, 252-264.
Turn In: Source Paper #2.
3.10*** Industrial Change Read: Ways of the World, 527-556; World History in Documents, 278-290.
Quiz #2 Window Opens at 12:00 a.m.
Spring Break--No Class

Spring Break--No Class

Different Paths Forward?: China, Indonesia, Japan, and the Ottoman empire Read: Ways of the World, 559-586; World History in Documents, 242-251, 273-277.
3.24*** Strategies of Colonialism in Asia and Africa Read: Ways of the World, 589-614.
Turn In: Informal Writing #4
Quiz #2 Window Closes at 12:00 a.m. (on March 27th)
3.29*** Strategies of Colonialism in Asia and Africa
World War I and II and their Consequences for the Non-Western World Read: Ways of the World, 625-657.
Ultra-Nationalism and Its Consequences Read: World History in Documents, 232-241, 318-331.
Review: Ways of the World, 516-520.
4.7 Decolonization Read:  Ways of the World, 691-720.
4.12 Decolonization Read:  The Dark Child, 17-90.
Turn In: Informal Writing #5
4.14*** Decolonization Read: The Dark Child, 91-188.
Quiz #3 Window Opens at 12:00 a.m.
4.19 The Cold War in Europe and the Non-Western World Read:  Ways of the World, 659-688; World History in Documents, 303-317.
4.21*** Globalization Read: Ways of the World, 723-755; World History in Documents, 347-383
Quiz #3 Window Closes at 12:00 a.m.
4.26*** Globalization Read: World History in Documents, 384-416.
Turn In:  Source Paper #3 (May be turned in as late as 5.3 @ 11:59 p.m. for full credit; after that no papers will be accepted).
Review Review
Final Examination 8:00-10:00 a.m.

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Please note, the syllabus is subject to change if I judge that this is necessary.

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