HIS 1307-1.s2010

HIS 1307-1.s2010 - SYLLABUS BAYLOR UNIVERSITY Department of...

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SYLLABUS BAYLOR UNIVERSITY Department of History HIS 1307 WORLD HISTORY SINCE 1500 Spring Semester, 2010 Section 08, 2:00-3:15PM TR, Tidwell 202 Teacher: K. A. Francis A. OFFICE HOURS MW 14:30-16:30 TR 11:00-12:00 Tidwell Hall B16 (710-7845) E-mail Address: [email protected] B. INTRODUCTION In this course we will study the recent history of our world. Of course, I’m defining “recent history” and “our world” quite broadly, including five hundred years of history. Our task will be to attempt something very difficult (near impossible?): survey the history of the world since 1500. Fortunately, we are also going to do something that is relatively easy: study some of the famous events and developments in world history such as the European Reformations, the Atlantic slave trade, the American Revolution, the scientific discoveries of Charles Darwin, the First and Second World Wars, and globalization. Our ‘modern’ world is and has been a fascinating place: studying it is an interesting and worthwhile exercise. C. COURSE RATIONALE “Everything changes.” The phrase is certainly true of history; quite the opposite to the assumption of some people, history does not stay the same. (Why?) The study of history is the study of change. It is an obvious statement but it is a true one. One reason why we study history is to try to understand why our world is changing in particular ways. Based on this interest, the classic question posed by historians is this: how did we get here? In the context of this course, a better way to ask the last question might be: why is the world the way it is today? (Other specific examples of this question: Why do countries such as Turkey want to join the European Union? Why do politicians in the United States talk so much about democracy? Why are Chinese companies interested in supporting the economies of countries in North and East Africa?) Answering this question will be one of our main tasks in this course.
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WORLD HISTORY SINCE 1500 SYLLABUS (Section 08) C. COURSE RATIONALE The British rock group Oasis wrote a song with these lines: “All around the world, tell them what you’ve heard, it’s gonna be OK.” [They were featured in an AT&T commercial.] The song reminds us that our individual lives are important but so are the lives of our fellow human beings on the planet. The United States – or whichever country we are from – is not the center of the world. What happens elsewhere may be just as important. Location does not always decide significance. The temptation in a world history course is to study what we know or are familiar with: we must resist this temptation. The Indian Mutiny of 1857 may be just as important as the American Civil War. (The number of people affected is as important as how well-known the event is.) The question we must ask is this: what is the significance for the world of a particular event or development?
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HIS 1307-1.s2010 - SYLLABUS BAYLOR UNIVERSITY Department of...

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