JCU Logo


COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Western Civilization II"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 8:30-9:45 AM
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment--Ask me in class or e-mail me

This course surveys European history from the Reformation to the present, concentrating on the intellectual, political, and economic transformations that marked the advent of Western modernity and on what these changes meant for the people living through them. An additional focus of the course is the evolving relationship between Europe and the rest of the world over the time period covered. Like HS 120, this course also provides an introduction to the practice of history, i.e., how historians go about reconstructing and interpreting the past.
There are two class meetings a week, composed of discussion with some lecture. Most of the discussion portion of class will be spent examining and analyzing the on-line primary sources assigned for discussion. Your active participation in classroom discussions will determine a significant portion of your final grade (15%).

In successfully completing this course, you will cultivate an understanding of some of the most important themes and developments of Western history from the 16th century to the present. You will also develop an awareness of some of the most important modes of analysis that historians use in reconstructing the past. You should also work on developing the following skills: critical analysis of primary sources and historians’ arguments, developing your own well-reasoned and well-supported arguments, and effectively communicating your arguments in writing and oral discussion.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Inventing Human RightsLynn HuntW. W. Norton & Company978-0393331998 Available at the Almost Corner Bookshop
Cengage Advantage Books: Western Civilization: Beyond Boundaries, Volume II, 7th Edition Thomas F. X. Noble, et al Cengage Learning978-1-133-61015-1 Available at the Anglo American Bookstore (or directly from the publisher's website in eBook form)

Midterm ExamThe exams will be in-class written exams composed of short answer and essay questions. In addition, the final exam will require you to answer a question analyzing a primary source. Your grade on these exams will depend upon the analytical strength and persuasiveness of your arguments as well as the factual accuracy of your answers. I will provide you with more information about these exams and how to prepare for them as their dates near.25%
Short Paper (5-7 pages)In the short paper you will analyze Primo Levi's If this is a Man, using it to make an argument about the historical era in which it was written. Your grade will be determined by the strength of your analysis, the persuasiveness of your argument (including quality of writing), and the originality of your thought. I will provide you with further guidelines regarding this assignment later in the session. Your grade will be determined by the strength of your analysis, the persuasiveness of your argument (including quality of writing), and the originality of your thought. I will provide you with further guidelines regarding this assignment later in the session. 25%
Participation and Discussion QuestionsYour participation grade will primarily be determined by your participation in our classroom discussions. To do so in an adequate manner, you absolutely must do the class readings assigned by the dates for which they are assigned. You also must bring copies of those readings to class so that you may consult them during our discussions, and you may be asked to leave the classroom should you fail to do so. In addition, when we discuss primary sources from handouts or on the web, you should prepare a brief statement or question about the source--you must hand these in at the very beginning of each day of class. These statements or questions should be analytical, i.e., statements should point towards what the source may tell us about the past that it comes from and questions should be aimed at pushing us to understand what the source may tell us about that past. Please note that behaving in ways that create distractions for other members of the class (including the professor) will lower your participation grade. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to: messaging, checking Facebook or other social media, catching up on e-mail, watching on-line videos, reading non-class related materials, studying for other courses, shopping on-line, and generally any activity that detracts from your or any other classmate's full participation in what we are doing in the classroom.15%
Final ExamThe exams will be in-class written exams composed of short answer and essay questions. In addition, the final exam will require you to answer a question analyzing a primary source. Your grade on these exams will depend upon the analytical strength and persuasiveness of your arguments as well as the factual accuracy of your answers. I will provide you with more information about these exams and how to prepare for them as their dates near.35%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

See above on participation.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


The textbook reading (Noble et al) complements class sessions by providing you with further contextual information and different interpretations of past events. You should do the textbook reading for the day it is assigned.  Doing so is even more vital if you have not studied similar subjects previously.  While this is an introductory level course, in class we cannot adequately cover the sheer breadth of the material the course treats.  As such our class sessions will primarily be devoted to developing fuller, deeper, and more critical understandings of some of that material. 

The on-line historical sources will provide the basis for our classroom discussions. You must read and think about those assigned for a particular class period before coming to that class. Otherwise, you will be unable to participate adequately and your participation grade will suffer. You should also bring this material to class on the days that we are discussing it. If you need additional print credits to print them out, I will be happy to sign a print-credit waiver form (available from the University's IT Office).

Please note that in using on-line primary sources I am not necessarily endorsing the more general content and intent of the websites on which they are found.

Important Course Policies

All assignments must be submitted in the form of both hard  and electronic copies (e-mail them to me as .pdf, .doc. or .docx files).

All late work will be penalized by at least one letter grade. No late work will be accepted following the final examination.

Any documented case of academic dishonesty on any assignment will result not only in a failing grade for the assignment in question but also in a failing grade for the course as a whole. Please remember that, as the University's policy states, "Plagiarism can be deliberate or negligent; students are responsible for ensuring that any work submitted with their name on it is properly referenced."  If you have questions about how to cite material properly, refer to the appropriate sections of the MLA Style Manual or Chicago Manual of Style--if you have questions as to whether particular pieces of material should be cited, ask me. Note that submitting work that you have previously submitted (or plan to submit) for credit in another course is also a form of academic dishonesty, unless you obtain explicit approval from both instructors to do so. For this course, no such double submission is allowed. Please note that your papers may be submitted to turnitin.com to check their content for plagiarism.

Accessing Shared Documents on MyJCU and Other Course Readings

1. Go to the internal web site (MY JCU).

2. After you have logged in, click on the course post-it for Spring 2019, HS 121. Then click on shared files.

3. Please note that handouts in the form of pdf documents may not open with some internet browsers (in particular there seem to be incompatibilities with Chrome).  If a source doesn't open, try another browser; if the problem persists please e-mail me.

4. Be sure to check the handouts page frequently for changes and updates. Similarly, I will post messages on the MyJCU board should I need to contact you in between class meetings (e.g., in the case of an unexpected class cancellation).

5. All other course readings are either in the form of the books listed above or available on-line through the links on this syllabus.


Course Schedule (Please note that the following is subject to change--any updates will be made to the on-line syllabus, available on the University's webpage: http://www.johncabot.edu/academics/courses/course-schedules-syllabi.aspx.) 

1/22 Introductions: "History" and the “West” in 1500
Recommended: Noble, Preface

1/24 Christendom Falls Apart: The Wars of Religion
Noble, Ch. 15
DISCUSSION:  Documents on the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the Edict of Nantes (Shared Files MyJCU)

1/29 The English Revolution: The Political Implications of Religious Change
Noble, Ch. 16
"The Edict of Nantes" (Shared Files, MyJCU)
“The True Levellers Standard Advanced, 1649” http://www.diggers.org/diggers/tlsa.htm

1/31 Reworking Political Order: Constitutionalism and Absolutism
Locke, “Two Treatises of Government, 1690” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1690locke-sel.html
Hobbes, “Leviathan, Chaps 13-14, 1651” http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/hobbes-lev13.asp
"Additional Excerpts From Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan" (Shared Files MyJCU)
Domat, “ On Social Order and Absolute Monarchy” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1687domat.html
Saint-Simon, “The Court of Louis XIV” http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/17stsimon.asp
Explore the Palace of Versailles http://en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage

2/5  Making Order: Manners and Military Drill
French Military Ordinance—(Shared Files MyJCU)
“Manner Guides” in Elias, The Civilizing Process (Shared Files MyJCU)

2/7  New Ways of Ordering the Universe: The Scientific Revolution
Noble, Ch. 17
Copernicus, “Dedication of the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies, 1543”
Galilei, “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, 1615”
Bellarmine, “Letter on Galileo's Theories, 1615” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1615bellarmine-letter.html       

2/12 Order and Disorder in Town and Countryside: The World of Peasants and Poor Urban Dwellers
“Social Conditions in 17th Century France” http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/17france-soc.asp
“Accounts of the ‘Potato Revolution,’ 1695 – 1845”
“The Saint Marcel Neighborhood,” “Apprentices and Masters,” and “A Bread Riot,” from Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
(http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/) (Shared Files, MyJCU)

Start Reading Hunt, 15-112 (Introduction, Chapters 1-2) 

2/14 Motion in the System: Atlantic Empires, Slavery, and the First World Wars
Noble, Ch. 18
“Le Code Noir” http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/335/
“Life of Gustavus Vassa” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/Vassa.html
Explore Images of the Slave Trade and Slave Life in “The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record”
Continue Reading Hunt, 15-112 (Introduction, Chapters 1-2)

2/19  Critique and Reordering the World of Learning: The Enlightenment
Condorcet, “The Future Progress of the Human Mind”
Kant, “What is Enlightenment?, 1784”
Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, 15-112 (Introduction, Chapters 1-2)

2/21  Whose Order? Whose Rights?: The French Revolution
Noble, Ch. 19
Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, 113-175, 215-223 (Chapters 3-4, Appendix)

2/22  FRIDAY OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY MAKE-UP--The Ends of Empires?: American Revolutions and Antislavery
Thomas Jefferson, “Draft of the Declaration of Independence” http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1776-1785/jeffersons-draft-of-the-declaration-of-independence.php
“Final Text of the Declaration of Independence” http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1776-1785/the-final-text-of-the-declaration-of-independence-july-4-1776.php
“Natural and Inalienable Right to Freedom”: Slaves ’Petition for Freedom to the Massachusetts Legislature, 1777” http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6237/ 
“Haitian Declaration of Independence” (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Review Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, 160-167 (Excerpts from Chapter 4 on Slavery)

2/26  Towards New Imperial Orders?: Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt and Europe
Documents on Napoleon (Shared Files, MyJCU)

2/28 Midterm Examination

3/5  New Ways of Working and Living: The Impact of the Industrial Revolution
Noble, Ch. 20
“Women Miners in the English Coal Pits”
Engels, “Industrial Manchester, 1844”
“Tables Illustrating the Spread of Industrialization”

3/7  Responses to the Revolutions, Part 1: Political Ideologies and Revolutions
Noble, Ch. 21
Metternich, “Political Confession of Faith, 1820”
Smiles, “Self Help, 1882”
Blanc, “The Organisation of Labour, 1840”
Kropotkin, “Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal, 1896”

3/19  Responses to the Revolutions, Part 2: Nationalism and Unifications
Noble, Ch. 22
Renan, “What is a Nation?” (Shared Files, MyJCU)
3/21 The Birth of Mass Society and Politics: Ongoing Industrialization and Urbanization
Noble, Ch. 23
Taylor, “The Principles of Scientific Management, 1911”

3/26 New Visions: Mass and Avant-garde Culture
Darwin, “The Descent of Man, 1871”
Nietzsche, “Excerpts”

3/28 Global Domination: The “New Imperialism” and the New Empires
Noble, Ch. 24
Kipling, “The White Man's Burden, 1899”
Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, 176-214 (Chapter 5)

4/2 Total War, part 1: World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution
Noble, Ch. 25
“World War I Poetry”
Niepage, “The Armenian Massacres”

4/4 From War to Revolution: Russia and the Bolsheviks
Lenin, "War and Revolution" (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Luxemburg, "The Problem of Dictatorship" (Shared Files, MyJCU)

4/9 Change and Crisis: Gender Revolutions and Economic Disasters
Noble, Ch. 26
Pankhurst, “Militant Suffragist, 1913”
Pankhurst, “My Own Story, 1914” (Focus on Chapter IV) http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1914Pankhurst.html
Kollontai, “The Social Basis of the Woman Question, 1909” https://www.marxists.org/archive/kollonta/1909/social-basis.htm

4/11 Totalitarian Responses: Fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism
Noble, Ch. 27
Mussolini, “What is Fascism?”
Hitler, Excerpts from Speeches and Mein Kampf
“Hymn to Stalin”

4/16 Total War, part 2: World War II and Genocide
Noble, Ch. 28
"The Wannsee Conference" http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/h-wannsee.htm
Hoess "Testimony at Nuremburg" http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/1946hoess.asp
Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, 176-214 (Chapter 5)
Short Paper on Inventing Human Rights Due

4/18 A New Global Struggle: The Cold War
Noble, Ch. 29

4/23 The Ends of Empires?: Decolonization
Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, excerpts (Handout)
Nehru, excerpts
Gandhi, Hind Swaraj
Nkrumah, I Speak of Freedom
Sukarno, “Speech at the Opening of the Bandung Conference, April 18 1955” https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/1955sukarno-bandong.asp
Nehru, “Speech to Bandung Conference Political Committee, 1955”

4/30 The “West” in an Age of Integration and Immigration
Noble, Ch. 30
Skrewdriver, “Europe Awake” and “Before The Night Falls”
Noir Désir, “A Day In France” (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Asian Dub Foundation, “Fortress Europe” (Shared Files, MyJCU)
The Clash, “Whiteman in Hammersmith Palais” (Shared Files, MyJCU)
MC Solaar, “Le Nouveau Western” (Shared Files, MyJCU)

5/2 Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going?
Web Assignment—Trends, Directions, Institutions

Final Exam--TBA (Final Exam Period May 6-10)