History 1320 —  Fall 2012
G. Shanafelt

World Civ Since 1500

Books to Purchase

Peter N. Stearns, World History in Brief, Major Patterns of Change and Continuity, 7th edition
Isaac Metzker, ed., A Bintel Brief

Readings on Moodle

Walter Karp. “Sir Isaac Newton.” Horizon, Autumn 1968, pp. 16-27, 112-113.
Mary Cable. “The Grand Seraglio.” Horizon, May 1959, pp. 56-63, 131-135.
J. W. Burrow. “Charles Darwin.” Horizon, Autumn 1966, pp. 40-47.
J. H. Plumb. “The Opium War.” Horizon, Autumn 1974, pp. 80-93.
Edmund Stillman. “Sarajevo: The End of Innocence.” Horizon, Summer 1964, pp. 4-6, 116-117.
Joel K. Bourne, Jr. “The Global Food Crisis: The End of Plenty.” National Geographic, June 2009, pp. 26-59.

Course Objectives

This course seeks to examine the development and interaction of the major civilizations of the world since about 1500. During the semester, you will be expected to

Discuss the major changes that impacted Western Europe through the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment;
2. Understand the impact of European economic and colonial expansion into the non-Western world and how the major non-Western centers of civilization responded to it;

Analyze the origins and impact of what has been called the “dual revolution” in Western Europe— the political, economic, social, and intellectual changes set in train by the French and Industrial Revolutions;
Compare and contrast the process of modernization throughout the world in the 20th century, specifically the role of fascism, communism, national liberation movements, and the development of a global economy;
5. Understand the spatial location of geographic features and civilizations in relation to each other; and
6. Explain specific items within each of the above contexts as detailed on three study sheets, one for each test.
7. By doing all the above, improve your study, data retention, written composition, and time management skills.


You’re responsible for the material covered at every class meeting. That means if you miss a class, you should get the notes from someone else. If you miss a lot, you’ll be reported to the Registrar’s Office. Excessive unexcused absences can lead to your being administratively dropped from the course. The U.S. Government doesn’t like people who take its money in financial aid and then fail to show up in class. The McMurry Catalog defines “excessive” as three or more such absences. While I won’t take off points from your grade for specific numbers of days missed, bear in mind that there is generally a direct relationship between attendance and grades. Since the same material is covered at both the 10:00 and the 12:00 sessions, you have two opportunities per day to get to the lectures.

Tests and Quizzes

There will be a total of three (3) noncomprehensive tests during the semester (two midterms and a final). They will be half objective and half essay and will include map sections. Material will come from both the lectures and the reading assignments. Make-up tests are likely to be more difficult than the original versions unless you like all-essay tests. There will also be 6 brief quizzes, based on the online reserve articles, which can not be made up: a no-show counts as a zero. However, the two lowest quiz grades will not be counted in computing your final grade.


Everyone in the class will write a short (3-4 page) typed, double-spaced paper based on Metzker’s A Bintel Brief. Specific details will be provided later in the semester. Late papers will lose two percentage points for every day past the stated due date, including weekends, up to a max of 10 points. Moral: plan to turn in your paper on time!


The four articles you'll be reading to supplement the textbook are accessible from your Moodle account. You can access Moodle either from the pull-down menus on the McMurry homepage (from Current Students select My McM and then log in to reach the link to Moodle) or you can go there directly by typing moodle.mcm.edu. Once at the main Moodle page, find HIST 132001,02 World Civ Since 1500 (Shanafelt) and click it. That should give you a list of the articles; and at that point, you simply click the author of the one that you want to read.


You get out of a course what you put into it. There will be no provision in this class to make up substandard work; it is assumed that you will give everything your best shot the first time around.


Cheating in any form will not be tolerated. Plagiarism, passing off the work of someone else as your own, will result in a zero grade on the assignment concerned, a failing grade in the course, and a referral to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action. That includes cutting and pasting text from the internet without proper attribution.

Students with Disabilities

McMurry University abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no otherwise qualified student shall be denied the benefits of an education "solely by reason of a handicap." If you have a documented disability that may impact your performance in this class and for which you may be requesting accommodation, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Services Office, located in Old Main Room 102. Arrangements will be made for students needing special accommodations.

Cell Phones, Computers, and Other non-Class-Related Activities

Expect to be held accountable to the basic rules of considerate behavior as described in the McMurry University Council Fire. Cell phones should be turned off during class. Your computer should also be turned off during class, since students are too easily distracted by Facebook from paying attention to the lecture material which will actually be covered on the tests. If you take lecture notes on your computer, you now get to live history by using pen and paper to do so in this class.


My contact information will be found on the upper right corner of the syllabus. If you lose your syllabus, you can download another from the Moodle page. If I need to send you any official communications, FERPA privacy regulations stipulate that I use your McMurry account, not any other mail account that you might have. If you never check your McMurry email, now might be a good time to change your habits.


The final course grade will be computed as follows: 21% for each of the three tests, 21% for the paper, and 16% for the average of the top four quizzes. The grade scale will be A: 90 to 100, B: 80 to 89, C: 70 to 79, D: 60 to 69, F: 59 and below. Within those parameters, plus and minus grades will be given: A: 93-100, A-: 90-92, B+: 87-89, B: 83-86, B-: 80-82, etc. There will be no A+ grades and no plus or minus grades for an F. Borderline cases (e.g., 89.6 or 79.8) will be decided on the basis of improvement in the course, class participation, and regularity of attendance.

This Course and Your Degree Plan

This course fulfills several different requirements depending on your degree plan at McMurry. For most of you, it satisfies the requirement for three hours of world perspectives in the Global, Societal, and Personal Perspectives section of the general education requirements. If you're a history major or minor, it is a required course.

If you’re looking to be certified as a teacher of either history or social studies in the Texas public schools, this class is required. Specifically, this course provides partial fulfillment of the following standards of the TEKS competencies as defined by the State Board of Educator Certification Standards for Teacher Education Candidates:

For a minor in Curriculum and Instruction, with a teaching concentration in History 8-12:
Standard IV. History: The social studies teacher applies knowledge of significant historical events and developments, as well as of multiple historical interpretations and ideas, in order to facilitate student understanding of relationships between the past, the present, and the future.

For a minor in Curriculum and Instruction, with a teaching concentration in Social Studies 8-12, or a major in Curriculum and Instruction with a teaching concentration in Social Studies 4-8:
Standard IV. History: The social studies teacher applies knowledge of significant historical events and developments, as well as of multiple historical interpretations and ideas, in order to facilitate student understanding of relationships between the past, the present, and the future.
Standard V. Geography: The social studies teacher applies knowledge of people, places, and environments to facilitate students' understanding of geographic relationships in Texas, the United States, and the world.
Standard IX. Culture: The social studies teacher understands cultures and how they develop and adapt, and uses this knowledge to enable students to appreciate and respect cultural diversity in Texas, the United States, and the world.
Standard X. Science, Technology, and Society: The social studies teacher understands developments in science and technology and uses this knowledge to facilitate student understanding of the social and environmental consequences of scientific discovery and technological innovation.

Note that to get credit for this course in your major, as with all courses in all majors, you'll need a final grade of a C or better. A final grade of C- is not considered adequate; students getting a C- or lower who want to major in history or history teaching must either retake the course or find a different major.

Proposed Lecture and Assignment Schedule

Aug. 27: Introduction

Aug. 29: The World in 1500
Stearns, 263-266

Aug. 31, Sept. 3: Europe Overseas
Stearns, 267-293

Sept. 5, 7, 10, 12: Western Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment
Stearns, 294-318
Sept. 14: Quiz 1 on Karp

Sept. 14: East of the Vistula: The Third Rome
Stearns, 319-333

Sept. 17, 19: Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals
Stearns, 334-350
Sept. 21: Quiz 2 on Cable

Sept. 21, 24: East Asia and the Barbarians
Stearns, 351-368

Sept. 26: First test

Sept. 28, 30, Oct. 1, 3: Western Europe: Workshop of the World
Stearns, 373-380
Oct. 5: Quiz 3 on Burrow

Oct. 5, 8, 10: Western Europe: Mother of Revolutions
Stearns, 380-398

Oct. 12, 15: The White Man's Burden
Stearns, 399-424

Oct. 17, 19: Latin America Sovereign States or Banana Republics?
Stearns, 425-443

Oct. 22: Metzker Paper due

Oct. 22, 24: Sick Men Under Siege: The Traditional Asian Empires
Stearns, 444-458
Oct. 29: Quiz 4 on Plumb
[Oct. 26: Homecoming — no class]

Oct. 29, 31: Autocrats and Revolutionaries: Industrialization Outside the West
Stearns, 459-475

Nov. 2: Second test

Nov. 5, 7: The Great War
Stearns, 476-485

Nov. 9, 12: The Fall and Rise of Western Europe
Stearns, 487-516
Nov. 14: Quiz 5 on Stillman

Nov. 14, 16: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism
Stearns, 517-539

Nov. 19, 26: War and Revolution in East Asia
Stearns, 540-560

[Nov. 21-23: Thanksgiving — no class]

Nov. 28: India: End of the Raj
Stearns, 561-580

Nov. 30: Secularists and Fundamentalists in the Middle East
Stearns, 581-601
Nov. 30: Quiz 6 on Bourne

Dec. 3: Latin America in the 20th Century
Stearns, 602-620

Dec. 5: Africa Since Independence
Stearns, 621-641

Dec. 7: Conclusion: A New World Order?

Dec. 10: Final for 10:00 section (8:00-10:00)
Dec. 14: Final for 12:00 section (8:00-10:00)