Western Civilization since 1650, Fall 2011

    History 126.02 (Tues-Thurs, 12:30);History 126.03 (Tues-Thurs, 3:30)

Professor:  M. Hickey   

Office:  OSH 130  Phone: 389-4161 

Email: mhickey@bloomu.edu 

Office hours:  T-Th, 2:00-3:15; Wed., 1:00-3:00.

 Fast links to course information:

Explanations of graded assignments:

 Link to Weekly Schedule   

___________

Course Introduction:

This is an introduction to European history from the 1600s to the late 1900s.  The fundamental issues that we will examine are:    

v  the development of the modern nation state

v  the development of modern modes of social thought 

v  the development of the modern capitalist economy 

v  the development of modern conceptions of rights

v  the development of modern political movements 

v  the development of modern methods that states and other political actors use to mobilize populations (including wars)

 

To get as much as you can out of this course, you must pay close attention to what happens in the classroom (lectures and discussions) and to the reading assignments.  The lectures for this course and the textbook for this course are organized differently from one another, and often express different interpretations.  That's not an accident or a mistake; that's the way it is supposed to work in a college-level history course.

My lectures reflect my own determinations concerning what is most important and how to interpret and present the material.  I am an historian, and what historians "do" is analyze evidence about the past in order to interpret and make sense of the past.  Because there is only so much time in a class period, there are strict limits on how much I can cover or explain in a lecture.  The lectures will focus on themes and case studies, and I make no pretense that the lectures are "comprehensive" in any way.

I have assigned an excellent book for this course.  It has a clear narrative text and it features some excellent primary source document selections.  The course textbook was written by a team of historians, who made their own determinations about what is most important and how to interpret and present the material.  Again, that is what historians do--we analyze evidence about the past in order to interpret and make sense of the past.   The textbook authors also have limits on how much material they can present in detail, but they have more "room" than I do in a lecture.  And so the textbook covers more material, and a wider range of topics, than I can in lectures.  Even so, the authors make no pretense that the book is "comprehensive" in any way.    

I will lecture on some topics in much more detail than the textbook does.  At the same time, the textbook covers much material that is not in my lectures.  There will be times when my interpretations are different than those in the textbook.  Remember, history is about interpreting evidence, based on established "rules" of analysis.  The same evidence can be interpreted in different ways. 

Your task, as a historian, is to weigh all the "evidence" for yourself (the evidence being what you read for this class; what I say in lecture; and also what you read, see, or hear outside of the context of this course) and make sense of it.  You need to analyze evidence about the past in order to interpret and make sense of the past.   

If you take your work seriously, this course will help you: 

  Build onto your knowledge about modern European history

  Sharpen your critical thinking skills

  Sharpen your critical reading skills

  Sharpen your analytical writing skills

  "Think historically" about the world you live in. 

 

This course requires that you read and writethats what we do in history.

 

Your grade in the course will be based upon:

 

Required Texts: 

 

The following readings are required

 

You can buy the textbook at the University Store or on-line, but you must have this specific volume and edition: 

 

    Judith Coffin, et. al., Western Civilizations:  Their History and Their Culture.  Volume Two.  17th Edition.  New York:  Norton, 2011.

 

    I also have assigned some web-based readings, which are linked directly to the Weekly Schedule part of this syllabus. 

    These also are required reading.

 

Course grade scale: 

The course grade is based on a 1000-point scale.

 

Course Policies:

 

1. Verification that you have read the syllabus and course policies (mandatory):

 

I require that you sign a form verifying that you: a) have read this syllabus; b) are aware of course policies and procedures. 

 

Follow this link to fill out the form:   Link to the "Verification Document" Form

 

If you have questions about the syllabus, course policies, or assignments, it is your responsibility to ask those questions.  It is my responsibility to answer those questions as clearly and directly as possible.  

 

I will not grade any of your quizzes, exams, or papers until you have verified that you have read the syllabus and are aware of course policies and procedures.

 

2. Plagiarism Policy:  

This course has a zero tolerance policy regarding plagiarism and other forms of cheating.  For the definitions of plagiarism as they apply to this course, see this link on plagiarism.  

If I determine that you have cheated or plagiarized on any assignment, I will strictly follow university guidelines: a) You will receive a failing grade for the assignment; b) I will file a formal report with BUs Student Standards Board, which can lead to your academic dismissal.  If you are found to have cheated or plagiarized more than once in this course, you will fail the course.

The University's Academic Integrity Policy and an explanation of the appeals process regarding violations of academic integrity can be found in the online version of the BU student handbook, The Pilot.  

 

3. Attendance policy:

 

Attendance of all regularly scheduled course sessions is mandatory, except in cases of excused absences (which are explained below). 

 

The attendance policy in this course is relevant to all aspects of the course grade.

 

Because you cannot participate when you do not attend, your Participation grade will drop in direct proportion to your unexcused absences.  For example, a student who misses 20 percent of class sessions with unexcused absences will have 20 points deducted from his or her participation grade.

 

 

4. Excused absences:  

An excused absence refers to a case when a student misses class because of illness, a family emergency, or a University-related event, and has either informed the instructor in writing in advance or provided the instructor with University-approved documentation excusing the absence after the fact.  

 

5.  Late or missed assignments:  

Any take home quizzes or exams will be due by the end of the business day on the date indicated on the assignment, and quizzes or exams turned in late will receive a failing grade.  At the instructor's discretion, this policy may be waved in the case of excused absences. 

If you miss a quiz or exam because of an unexcused absence, you will receive a grade of zero (0) for that assignment.  If you miss a quiz or exams due to an excused absence, then a make-up quiz or exam will be administered at a time (M-F, during the business day) and place (on campus) chosen by the instructor.

 

Explanations of Graded Assignments:

Quizzes  (30 percent of course grade/300 possible points)

There will be ten (10) quizzes on reading assignments (30 points possible per quiz).

The quizzes may cover any material in the assigned readings.  They will test your basic comprehension of what you have read.  The quizzes will ask you to: 

  identify the historically-relevant meanings of terms used in the text and in the documents

  identify the significance of key people, events, or concepts discussed in the text and in the documents

  identify the correct chronological order of events (etc) discussed in the text and in the documents

  identify the correct geographic location relevant to events (etc) discussed in the text and in the documents

  identify plausible relationshipsparticularly causal (cause and effect) relationshipsbetween ideas, concepts, and events discussed in the text and in the documents. 

The quizzes may use multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, or short-answer format, or any combination of these. 

Quizzes will be given at the beginning of class.  Students who are late for class on a quiz day will not be given any extra time for the quiz.

Grades on quizzes will be based on the accuracy of your answers.

 

Midterm Exam  (30 percent of course grade/300 possible points)

On the date indicated in the Weekly Schedule, there will be an in-class midterm exam that covers all readings and lectures from Weeks 1-7.     

Exam format and rules: 

v  The exam will be essay format, with essays written in "blue books." 

v  I will distribute possible essay questions at least one week in advance of the exam.

v  Students are not permitted to use notes of any kind while taking the exam.  

v  Except in cases in which the instructor has consented to other arrangements, the exam will be given in the regular classroom during the regularly scheduled class period, and must be completed by the end of that class period. 

v  Students who are late for the exam will not be given extra time.

To achieve a grade of "C" or higher, you must demonstrate command of evidence from all relevant lectures and all relevant assigned readings.

The midterm exam grade will be based upon the extent to which your essay: 

  Provides a direct and complete response to the specifics of the question

  Follows conventions of correct English grammar and usage to express ideas in a clear and comprehensible manner

  Accurately uses relevant evidence (information) from all relevant lectures and reading assignments (this includes the textbook and assigned documents)

  Provides a clear, logical argument (a thesis) that answers the question based upon accurate, relevant evidence (information)

  Presents this argument in a logically organized form that focuses exclusively on the question and that directly relates the evidence to the thesis

 

Final Exam  (30 percent of course grade/300 possible points)

On the date indicated in the Weekly Schedule, there will be an in-class final exam that covers all readings and lectures for Weeks 8-14.     

Exam format and rules: 

v  The exam will be essay format, with essays written in "blue books." 

v  I will distribute possible essay questions at least one week in advance of the exam.

v  Students are not permitted to use notes of any kind while taking the exam.  

v  Except in cases in which the instructor has consented to other arrangements, the exam will be given in the regular classroom during the regularly scheduled class period, and must be completed by the end of that class period. 

v  Students who are late for the exam will not be given extra time.

For an answer to achieve a grade of "C" or higher, you must demonstrate command of evidence from all  relevant lectures and  all relevant assigned readings.

The final exam grade will be based upon the extent to which your essay: 

  Provides a direct and complete response to the specifics of the question

  Follows conventions of correct English grammar and usage to express ideas in a clear and comprehensible manner

  Accurately uses relevant evidence (information) from all relevant lectures and reading assignments (this includes the textbook and assigned documents)

  Provides a clear, logical argument (a thesis) that answers the question based upon accurate, relevant evidence (information)

  Presents this argument in a logically organized form that focuses exclusively on the question and that directly relates the evidence to the thesis

 

Course Attendance and Participation (10 percent of course grade/100 possible points)   

Attendance of all course sessions is mandatory.  This is because learning is never a passive process (it always requires your active participation, and you can't participate if you are absent), and because I expect you to compare and synthesize information from the lectures and the reading assignments (which you cannot do if you have not attended lectures).

If you attend all course sessions and never actively contribute by speaking in class (answering questions, asking questions, participating actively in small-group discussions), then you will have at least a "C" for participation.

To earn a grade higher than a C, you must also actively participate in class in some manner or form--such as asking questions, answering questions, and taking an active part in small group discussions.  There are some people, however, who feel uncomfortable speaking in class; therefore, I also will consider the extent to which you are actively listening to lectures and discussions when determining your participation grade.

Your grade will be based upon a) the quality of your participation (this is my primary concern); b) the frequency of your contributions to discussions.

Your grade will fall in direct proportion to your unexcused absences (see the unexcused absence policy in this syllabus). 

 

 General tips for doing well in this course:

  Do all the assigned readings, and try to keep on schedule

  Take notes on the readings

  Pay close attention in class

  Take notes in class

  Review your notes periodically

  Ask questions about anything that you find unclear

  Pay close attention to the directions for the quizzes and exams

  When you are taking a quiz or an exam, answer the questions that are askeddont BS and dont make up your own question instead! 

 

Taking notes on reading assignments:

 

  Write notes in a notebook.  For most people, highlighting proves useless. 

  Take notes in your own words.  If you quote, put the quotations in quotation marks and write down the page numbers!

  Focus on the understanding main points (you can go back and read for details).

  After reading, answer any study questions or focus questions in your own words.

  Again, take notes and answer questions in your own words!  If you cant explain something clearly in your own words, then you dont understand it.

Using the textbook effectively:

  The first page of every chapter in Coffin, Western Civilizations, has a box titled "Before You Read this Chapter."  In this box, there are "Story lines" that tell you in a few sentences what the chapter covers; a chronology of major events in this specific time period; and a set of "Core Objectives."  When you finish the chapter, you should be able to write down notes in your own words that respond to the "define," "identify," "explain," "describe" and "understand" queues listed as "Core Objectives."  If, after reading, you can't write accurate responses to these queues in your own words, then you should go back and reread the relevant chapter sections until you can do so. 

  If you do quote the text in your notes on the textbook, always make sure that you put the quoted words in quotation marks, and make sure that you indicate who you are quoting---are you quoting Coffin?  Are you quoting someone who Coffin quotes in the text?  Are you quoting a document in the text?  Again, be sure that you put the quotation in quotation marks, and always be sure that you know "who is speaking."

  When taking notes on the Coffin textbook, always write down the relevant page numbers.  This will save you a lot of time when you go back to review for quizzes and exams.   

  Each chapter has several "boxed" features.  You must read these, too.  Some of them are labeled "Competing Viewpoints"--these present two or more "competing" primary source documents related to a topic discussed in the text.  Some are labeled "Interpreting Visual Evidence"--these present one or more images that are related to a topic discussed in the text.  Some are labeled "Analyzing Primary Sources"--these present a single document related to topics discussed in the text.   Each of these boxed features has several "Questions for Analysis"--you should be able to answer these questions in your own words.   If you do quote, make sure to use quotation marks and indicate who is "speaking." And always write down the relevant page numbers (whether you are quoting or not).   NOTE:  the same applies to the boxes and questions for smaller images and maps--If you see questions in a colored box with the image, you should be able to answer those questions in your own words.

  On the last page of each chapter, there is a box titled "After You Read This Chapter."  It is divided into 3 sections, "Reviewing the Objectives," "People, Ideas, and Events in Context," and "Consequences."  Each of these sections has a list of questions.  You should be able to answer these questions in your own words.  If you can, then you really understood the chapter.  If you can't, you need to go back and reread the relevant sections.  (Again, if you write down your answers and write down the relevant page numbers, you will find it easier to review for quizzes and exams.)

  Periodically review your notes on the textbook, including all of your answers to the various questions. If, when you review, you do not understand your own notes, then go back to the textbook and read that section again (that's where writing down the page numbers saves you time!).

 

Using the assigned web-based documents effectively:

  Although there are many excellent primary source documents in the Coffin textbook, I also have assigned you some additional web-linked documents.  For each of this documents, I've given you study questions. After reading, you should be able to answer the study questions in your own words

  If you do quote the document in your notes and in your answers to study questions, be sure that you have put the quoted words in quotation marks.  And (again), make sure that you know who is speaking in the quotation.

  When taking notes and answering questions on documents, always write down the title of the document, the author (if one is listed), and the date it was written.   

  These documents were written by people in the past, and the vocabulary and sentence structure is often very different than the language used contemporary America.  Be patientyou may have to read something several times before you understand it well enough to answer the questions.

  If there are words or terms in the document that you do not understand, and the document does not have a glossary or notes explaining the terms, then you must look the words up in a good quality dictionary.  But remember, the meaning of words sometimes changes over time!

  If you have questions about the meaning of language in a document, and you cant figure it out yourself, then ask in class!

  Did I mention you should take notes and answer questions on documents in your own words?  If you cant explain something in your own words, you dont fully understand it.

 

Taking notes in class:

 

  Take notes in class!  It will keep you focused and mentally active in class. 

  Keep a separate notebook for this purpose.

  If I put up an outline during class, write down the main outline points.

  The outline is not the same thing as the lectureit is just an outline.  You have to focus on understanding the main ideas and concepts! 

  In your own words, write down sentences or sentence fragments that summarize the main points--don't try to quote me or write down every word I say.

  If I emphasize a particular date, person, place, or event, you should write down that "fact."  But be sure to make note of why this fact was important.

  Lectures stress the connections between facts, so (again) make sure that you are paying attention to the ideas and concepts, so that your notes help you reconstruct those ideas when you review.  

  DO NOT "read along" in the textbook while I lecture!  This is not a high school class:  you are supposed to read the book yourself, on your own time.  My lectures are based upon my own research as a historian.  So when you are in class, focus on the lecture. 

  At some point after the lecture, use your notes to write out a summary of most important arguments made in class.  If you can use the notes to reconstruct the main ideas in your own words, it will increase your ability to remember and understand the material.

  Take notes on any in-class discussions--those are important, too.

  Review your notes periodically.  If something in your notes is not absolutely clear to you, ask about it in class. 

 

  Preparing for exams:

    I will give you possible exam questions at least one week before the exam.  

  Study your outlines repeatedly before the exam.

 

 

 

Weekly schedule: 

 

This is a provisional schedule.  It may be necessary to change the dates of assignments during the semester, and in class I may sometimes run a bit ahead or behind the syllabus. 

REMEMBER:  The lectures and textbook are organized differently and often express different interpretations.  There is not an exact 1-1 correspondence between each weeks reading assignments and lecture topic.  There will be times when my entire lecture focuses on a topic that is only one part of a chapter.  There will times when I ask you read a chapter that does not seem to connect directly to that week's lectures.  But if you read carefully, listen carefully, and take careful notes, you will be able to make sense of how the lectures and readings all fit together

 

Week I:  T., August 30; Th., Sept. 1.

17th Century European Civilizations and the State in Early Modern Europe

Readings: 

Coffin, Introduction to Part V

Coffin, Chapter 15.

                                                                       

Week II:  T., Sept. 6; Th., Sept. 8.

 

The State in Early Modern Europe and the Scientific Revolution

Readings: 

Coffin, Chapter 15 (review or re-read)

Coffin, Chapter 16

QUIZ ONE, on Coffin, Ch. 15:  may include questions on the documents by Bousset (p. 460), Filmer (p. 461), or Colbert (p. 465)

 

                                                
Week III:  T., Sept. 13; Th., Sept. 15.

The New Science and the Enlightenment

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 16 (review or re-read)

Coffin, Chapter 17

QUIZ TWO, on Coffin, Ch. 16:  may include questions on the images "Astronomical Observations..." (pp. 498-99), the documents by Galileo (p. 502), Bacon (p. 504), Descartes (pp. 504-505), or Newton (p. 512)  

 

Week IV:  T., Sept. 20; Th., Sept. 22.

Early Modern European Society and the French Revolution

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 17 (review or re-read)

Coffin, Chapter 18

QUIZ THREE, on Coffin, Ch. 17:  may include questions on documents by Rousseau (p. 533 and p. 536), and Wollstonecraft (p. 537), or the people listed in the "People, Ideas, and Events in Context" box on p. 543.

 

Week V:  T., Sept. 27; Th., Sept. 29.

The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era

Readings:   

Coffin, chapter 18 (review or reread)

Coffin, Chapter 19

QUIZ FOUR, on Coffin, Ch. 18: may include questions on the documents on pp. 550, 555, 557, and 558-559. 

 

Week VI:  T., Oct. 4; Th., Oct. 6.

Post-Revolutionary Politics and Society, 1815-1847

Readings:

Coffin, Chapter 19 (review or reread)

Coffin, Chapter 20

QUIZ FIVE, on Coffin, Ch. 18 and Ch. 19:  may include questions on the documents on pp. 574-75, the people and terms in the "People, Ideas..." box on p. 577, or the document by Malthus on p. 596. 

 

Week VII:  T., Oct. 11; Th., Oct. 13

The Industrial Revolution and Social Change

Midterm Exam THURSDAY

Readings

Coffin, Chapters 19 and 20 (review or re-read)

                                                                               

Week VIII:  T., Oct. 18; Th. Oct. 20

The Revolutions of 1848

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 20 (review the section "Reform and Revolution")

Coffin, Chapter 21

Web-based document:  Select documents on the 1848 Revolution in France 

QUIZ SIX, on Coffin, chs. 19 and 20: may include questions on people and terms in the "People, Ideas..." boxes on p. 611 and on p. 641. 

 

Week IX:  T., Oct. 25; Th., Oct. 27

Mass Politics and Mass Society, 1850-1914  

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 21 (review or reread)

Coffin, Chapter 23 (we will go back and read ch. 22 later)

Web-based document:  Bismarck's Blood and Iron speech (1862)

QUIZ SEVEN, on Coffin, ch. 21: may include questions on the documents by Fredrick William IV (p. 648). Mazzini (p. 658), and Alexander II  (p. 668), the "Interpreting Visual Evidence" box on pp. 662-63, or the people and terms in the "People, Ideas..." box on p. 677. 

 

Week X:  T., Nov. 1; Th., Nov. 3

Imperialism, 1870-1914

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 22

QUIZ EIGHT, on Coffin, ch. 23: may include questions on the documents by Drumont (p. 726), Lenin (p. 733), Darwin (p. 738), or the people and terms in the "People, Ideas..." box on p. 745. 

 

Week XI:  T., Nov. 8; Th., Nov. 10

The Causes of World War One

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 24

QUIZ NINE, on Coffin, ch. 22:  may include questions on the people and terms in the "People, Ideas..." box on p. 709.

 

Week XII: T., Nov. 15; Th., Nov. 17

World War One

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 24.  

QUIZ 10, on Coffin, ch. 24:  may include questions on the documents on pp. 752-53, the "Interpreting Visual Evidence" box on pp. 756-57, or the maps on pp. 762-63.

 

Week XIII:  T., Nov. 22 [no class]; Th., Nov. 24 [no class]

Although we do not have class, you do have a reading assignment!

The Russian Revolution

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 24 (review or reread)

Coffin, Chapter 25

Web-based document:  Hickeys brief lecture on the Russian Revolution-the Stalin Era

         

Week XIV:  T., Nov. 29; Th., Dec. 1

Fascism and Nazism

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 25 (review or reread)

Coffin, Chapter 26

 

Week XV:  T., Dec. 6; Th., Dec. 8

World War Two and the Onset of the Cold War

Readings

Coffin, Chapter 26 (review or reread)

Coffin, Chapter 27

_______________

Week XVI:  Final exam week