History 193

Modern World History

Mon-Wed-Fri, 11:15, Hardin 233
(Fall 2008)

Prof. Edwin E. Moise
Office: Hardin 102
Office phones: 656-5369, 656-3153
Home phone: 654-7087

Messages can be left in my mailbox in Hardin 124, or in the box on my office door.

Office Hours

    Monday     10:10-11:00, 2:30-3:20
    Tuesday    11:00-12:00
    Wednesday  10:10-11:00, 2:30-3:20
    Thursday   11:00-12:00
    Friday     10:10-11:00 

Course Objectives

To give students an overview of the world and the ways it has changed since the 18th century, including both western and non-western cultures.

What goes into your grade

Your grade in the course will be based mainly on the written work I have assigned. You cannot do extra papers for extra credit. You can improve your grade a bit by participating in class discussion. The best way to pick up extra points is to catch me in a mistake in class. If you can point out to me that I have made a mistake you get two points extra in the gradebook. If you present a good clear argument that I am wrong about something, with evidence, then your grade may be boosted even if you do not succeed in convincing me.

I do not emphasize trivial factual details in this course. On tests and quizzes I will NOT ask you to tell me the year Kenya became independent of British rule. There are some facts you need to know, but they are more important things than dates and names. On the other hand, I will expect you to get an idea of the sequence of events, what came first and what came later.

There will be no big course paper, but I will assign four short papers, each of which should be about two pages typed double spaced in normal type with normal margins (they may be longer than two pages if you wish). They are worth 40 points each. The midterm test (70 points) and the final exam (120 points) will be mostly essay questions. I will give some very short quizzes. The schedule for these will not appear on the syllabus, but they will be announced during the previous class. These only count ten points each; they will be mainly intended to make sure that you are doing the reading.

I use a 90%, 80%, 70% scale, sometimes modified in favor of students but never against them. In other words, a 90% average for the semester is guaranteed to be an A, 80% is guaranteed to be a B, and 70% is guaranteed to be a C. But 89% or 88% might perhaps become an A, depending on how the class as a whole is doing.

Any student who has an average of 90% or better, for work up to the final exam, will be permitted to exempt the final.

Policy on late work

If you miss a test or a take-home essay assignment, then you will be able to make it up. (In regard to take-home assignments, there will be a time limit of one week for make-up, except in extraordinary cases. If it is not in within a week of the due date it is just an F.) However, you will be marked off for lateness. You will be marked off even if your excuse is very, very good. You can avoid a penalty only if I have told you before the work was due that you would be able to do it late without penalty.

If you miss a ten point quiz you are out of luck; there is no make-up even with a good excuse. Ten point quizzes are given at the beginning of the class, so if you are ten minutes late on the day the quiz was given, you will have missed the quiz and your grade will be a zero. However, for each student I ignore the worst grade on a ten point quiz, so if you only miss one, that grade of zero will be the grade that does not count in your final grade for the course.


Students under the 2006-2007 curriculum, or later, are required to compile an electronic portfolio, showing general education competencies. Assignments for this course that fulfil some of these competencies will be marked in the syllabus.

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity requires that we not try to pass off other people's work as our own. What does this mean in practical terms, in this course? Really two things:

  1) In-class tests are closed-book. You are supposed to get information only from your memory while writing your answers, not by sneaking looks at books, notes, an electronic device, or your neighbor's paper.

  2) Students are not supposed to help each other do take-home assignments after the assignment has been given out. For students to study together to learn material for tests and quizzes is perfectly OK. Indeed, it is an excellent idea. But if two students work together on take-home essay assignment, and as a result the papers handed in by the two students resemble one another much too closely to be coincidence, I will bring charges of academic dishonesty against both of them. If a fellow student asks to see your paper, to see how the assignment was supposed to be done, say no. They should come to me if they want further explanation of how the assignment was to be done.

Attendance policy

You are allowed up to six cuts INCLUDING EXCUSED ABSENCES. You lose two points for every unexcused absense after that. I would advise you not to take even five. I am going to be saying quite a few things in lectures that are not in the reading. Even if you are very careful about doing all the assigned reading, you will have trouble answering the questions on my tests if you have not been at the lectures.

If I am Late

If I have not gotten to class by 11:20, I would be grateful if a student would go bang on my office door and see whether I am there. If I still have not arrived by 11:25, you can give up on me and leave.

Assigned reading

There are four books you should buy:
    Societies, Networks, and Transitions: A Global History, by Craig Lockard, Volume C. (You can also use the version that has Volumes A, B, and C printed together as one huge volume.)
    The Communist Manifesto, by Marx and Engels
    Throwing the Emperor from His Horse, by Seybolt
    Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron, by Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro

Course Schedule

August 20: Introduction to the course.

August 22: The American and French Revolutions
    >>> Lockard, pp. 561-573
Questions for discussion:   Why did the American Revolution get started? Why did it succeed? What similarities were there between the American and French Revolutions? Why did the French Revolution get so radical? Do you think the French Revolution benefitted or harmed France?

August 25: Revolutions in Latin American and the Caribbean; the Industrial Revolution
    >>> Lockard, pp. 573-583
Questions for discussion:   What kind of people led the revolutions against Spanish rule in Latin America? Do you think Adam Smith's idea of "laissez faire" was right in his time? In our time?

August 27: Nationalism and Socialism
    >>> Lockard, pp. 583-589
    >>> Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, pp. 49-65 (the opening page and part 1, "Bourgeois and Proletarians")
Questions for discussion:   People became more nationalist in their attitudes in places like Italy, Germany, and Ireland in the 19th century. Which seems more natural and normal to you; those nationalist attitudes, or the earlier, less nationalist attitudes? How important and influential was Karl Marx in his own time? What do you think of Marx's idea that the main issue in history has been the struggle of economic classes against one another? What was (and is) the bourgeoisie? What was (and is) the proletariat?

August 29: The Communist Manifesto
    >>> Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, pp. 65-91 (parts 2, 3, and 4)
Questions for discussion:   What does Marx say about the current conditions, and attitudes, of the proletariat? What kind of revolution does Marx predict? Why is he so sure it is going to happen?

September 1: Imperialism
    >>> Lockard, pp. 590-595
    Hand in a short paper (about two pages, typed double space), on the question: How did The Communist Manifesto describe the role the bourgeoisie had played, and was playing, in history? Please deal with both positive and negative comments about the bourgeoisie. (General education competency R1.) If you are citing a statement or idea that appeared in a particular location in The Communist Manifesto, give the page number.
Additional questions for discussion:   Why did European empires expand so much in the 19th century? What was Social Darwinism?

September 3: European Society; the Rise of the United States
    >>> Lockard, pp. 597-612

September 5: The United States, continued; the Rest of North and South America, and the Pacific
    >>> Lockard, pp. 612-627

September 8: Colonialism in Africa
    >>> Lockard, pp. 629-644
Questions for discussion:   What was the influence of Islam in Africa? What was the influence of Christianity? How effective was African resistance to European conquest?
    >>> There will be a short quiz at the beginning of class, covering reading from the Communist Manifesto through the September 8 assignment.

September 10: The Middle East
    >>> Lockard, pp. 644-655
Questions for discussion:   To what extent did Christianity exist in the Turkish Empire (Ottoman Empire)? Who were the Wahhabis? What was the attitude of Muslims to European civilization? What was Zionism?

September 12: Colonialism in India
    >>> Lockard, pp. 657-671

September 15: Colonialism in Southeast Asia
    >>> Lockard, pp. 672-683
Questions for discussion:   When Lockard writes of a "plural society" having developed under the British in Malaya, what does he mean? How did Siam hold onto its independence? How did the United States establish control of the Philippines? What was the role of the Chinese in colonial Southeast Asia?

September 17: China, 1750-1914
    >>> Lockard, pp. 685-698
Questions for discussion:   Who were the Manchus? What was their attitude about relations with Europe, in the early 19th century? What were the causes of the Opium War? What did the government of China think about modernization and westernization, in the late 19th century? Why was the government overthrown in 1911?
    >>> There will be a short quiz at the beginning of class, covering the assignments from September 10 through September 17.

September 19: Japan, Korea, and Russia, 1750-1914
    >>> Lockard, pp. 699-713
Questions for discussion:   Why did Japan open itself to contact with the West? What were the Shoguns? What were the major policies of the Meiji leaders? How dictatorial were Russian rulers? How much westernization was there in Russia in the 19th century?

September 22: World War I
    >>> Lockard, pp. 715-722
Questions for discussion:   What Started World War I? How and why was it so different from previous wars in Europe? Why did the United States get into it?

September 24: The Russian Revolution
    >>> Lockard, pp. 722-728
Questions for discussion:   What made it possible for Lenin and the Bolskeviks to take over Russia? How much connection was there between the ideas in the Communist Manifesto and the actions of the Communists (formerly called Bolsheviks) in Russia? What kind of ruler was Stalin?

September 26: TEST

September 29: The 1920s, the Depression, and the Rise of Fascism and Nazism
    >>> Lockard, pp. 728-739
Questions for discussion:   What was the Great Depression? What was Fascism? What were Hitler's important policies in the 1930s?

October 1: World War II
    >>> Lockard, pp. 739-746
Questions for discussion:   What was the Holocaust? How much did Hitler conquer? How much did Japan conquer?

October 3: China in War and Revolution
    >>> Lockard, pp. 754-759
    >>> Seybolt, Throwing the Emperor from His Horse, Introduction and chapters 1 and 2 (you may also wish to read the Preface, but that is optional)
Questions for discussion:   What were Chiang Kai-shek's accomplishments? What were his weaknesses? What was there about Communism that attracted some Chinese?

October 6: Imperialism and Nationalism (general discussion); India; Southeast Asia; Africa
    >>> Lockard, pp. 749-753, 759-771
Questions for discussion:   What problems did the British face in keeping control of India? What were Gandhi's ideas and policies? What were the results of the Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia during World War II? To what extent was nationalism developing in Africa by the 1930s?

October 8: The Middle East, Latin America; Globalization and Modernization
    >>> Lockard, pp. 771-796

October 10: Eva Peron: Growing Up in Argentina
    >>> Fraser & Navarro, Evita, pp. 1-48
Questions for discussion:   What were the small towns like, in which the future Eva Peron spent her early years? What was Buenos Aires like, in the 1930s? What was the politics of Argentina like? Who was Juan Peron? How much power did he have, and how had he gotten it?

October 13: Decolonization and the Cold War
    >>> Lockard, pp. 797-812
Questions for discussion:   What was "neocolonialism"? Was the world a better place after World War II than it had been before, or was it worse, or was it neither?

October 15: Globalization in Economics, Environment, and Social Networks
    >>> Lockard, pp. 813-832

October 17: China under Mao Zedong
    >>> Lockard, pp. 835-841
    >>> Seybolt, chapters 3, 4, 5
Questions for discussion:   How well did cooperatives (the Chinese version of collective farms) work in Houhua? Why was the Great Leap Forward such a disaster? How bad was it, in Houhua? What sort of leader was Wang Fucheng?

October 19: China went through chaos, then chose a new path
    >>> Lockard, pp. 841-845
    >>> Seybolt, chapters 6, 7, 8, 9
Questions for discussion:   What was the Cultural Revolution? What important changes were there in China after Mao Zedong died? What changed in Houhua, in particular?

October 22: Recent China
    >>> Lockard, pp. 845-850
    >>> Seybolt, chapter 10
    Write a short paper (about two pages, typed double space), due in class, on the question: Did the policies of the Chinese Communist Party, as seen in Houhua Village, serve the interest of the Party? Or were those policies stupidly self-destructive? (General education competencies R1, S2, and S3.)

October 24: Japan, Korea, and Taiwan
    >>> Lockard, pp. 850-864

October 27: Western Europe since World War II
    >>> Lockard, pp. 867-883

October 29: Communism and post-Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe
    >>> Lockard, pp. 883-899

October 31: The United States, Canada, and the Pacific Basin
    >>> Lockard, pp. 902-919

            November 3: No Class

November 5: Latin America and the Caribbean
    >>> Lockard, pp. 919-932

November 7: The Perons Come to Power in Argentina
    >>> Fraser & Navarro, Evita, pp. 49-101
Questions for discussion:   How was Juan Peron forced out of power in October 1945? How did he get back into power? Who supported him, and why?

November 10: Evita and the New Argentina
    >>> Fraser & Navarro, Evita, pp. 102-147

November 12: Evita's Death, and the Aftermath
    >>> Fraser & Navarro, Evita, pp. 148-198
Question for discussion:  What does the treatment of Eva Peron's body, after her death, tell us about her role and status in Argentine politics?

November 14: Discussion: Politics in the Third World
    Hand in a short paper (about two pages, typed double space), on the questions: Were Juan and Eva Peron ethical, in their behavior as political leaders? Did they care about the welfare of the people of Argentina? (General education competencies E2, R3, S2, and S3.)

November 17: South Asia since Independence
    >>> Lockard, pp. 969-982

November 19: Southeast Asia
    >>> Lockard, pp. 982-1000

November 21: Hand in Newspaper research exercise (general education competencies R1 and R3).

November 24: The Middle East
    >>> Lockard, pp. 935-951

            November 26, 28: No Class

December 1: Africa
    >>> Lockard, pp. 951-966

December 3: The US-Iraq War

December 5: The World Today; Review

Final exam: Tuesday, December 9, 8:00 a.m.


Other Links

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas

Map of the European Union

Map of NATO

Map of Asia

Clemson University Academic Success Center, which provides help and tutoring for students encountering academic problems. It does not, however, have tutors specifically for History courses.

Edwin Moïse's homepage

Revised August 19, 2008.