The title of this course is “Modern World History”, however, there is room for considerable debate about whose history to study, when exactly “modern” begins, and whether or not we are studying the whole world. For our approach to the course we will consider “modern” history to be the time when peoples’ ideas and their ability to put them into action trumped traditional power structures. We will spend our time studying the events, ideas, people, social systems, and geographies that have created our current world. The world changes quickly, the revolutions and conflicts in Tunisia, Syria, Ukraine, and Egypt may someday be viewed in the same way we view previous revolutions in Haiti, Russia, France, etc.
Our course will not be a chronological approach to world history. Instead, it will move fluidly across time, linking ideas, themes, and concepts from current or recent events, explaining historical context through history. There will be a strong emphasis on acquiring historical research skills, analytical thinking & writing skills, public presentation skills, computer skills, and cooperative problem solving skills that will help you be successful in this class, in your other courses, and prepare you for a lifetime of active civic engagement.