In the first semester students begin by exploring one of the oldest and most successful civilizations: China. Students analyze what people believed and 00how China was governed and met basic needs. A brief unit then looks at the Roman Empire: how was Rome governed, what people believed, and why, in comparative perspective, did the empire fail? Students then turn to the rise of Islamic empires and their relationship to the Christian kingdoms of Europe. Major themes in the second quarter include conflicts between empires (the Crusades) as well as connections between empires (the Silk Road).
In the second semester the focus shifts from the Old World to connections between the Old and New Worlds. Students first learn about the the conflicts that tore Europe apart in the 1600s and 1700s and then examine the dramatic expansion of Europe's power after 1500. The course ends with analysis of slavery in the New World.
Europe during the Renaissance and wars of religion
Europe and global trade, 1500-1800
How you will learn To learn about these topics you will work closely with a wide variety of maps, visual sources, and readings, including primary sources. For most topics, you will have an interactive presentation and set of vocabulary words covering the core content. To reinforce learning, homework will be assigned twice a week. To assess your understanding you can expect, for most topics, a project. For each topic, you will find presentations, vocabulary games, and other interactive resources on the class Web site (which you are using right now; click Current work). These resources are designed to help you learn the core material you need to explore new topics. [etc.]