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HIST-122 Middle Ages to 1815 (Western Civilization and the Pre-Modern World)

The student will be able to describe the major features of the development of western civilization and its relationship to non-western cultures. The course will include the use of primary and secondary sources to focus on social, economic, political, and cultural factors influencing the relationship of western and non-western societies. Prerequisite: Eligible to enroll in ENGL-121. (3 hours weekly)

A liberal education prepares students to lead ethical, productive, and creative lives and to understand how the pursuit of lifelong learning and critical thinking fosters good citizenship. General education courses form the core of a liberal education within the higher education curriculum and provide a coherent intellectual experience for all students by introducing the fundamental concepts and methods of inquiry in the areas of mathematics, the physical and natural sciences, the social sciences, the arts and the humanities, and composition. This course is part of the general education core experience at Howard Community College.

Although the course activities of a TeleWeb course are conducted online, much of the course material is presented through pre-produced telecourse videos. Students will be required to view these videos, which are part of the series The Western Tradition by Eugen Weber. Videos are available on HCC TV cablecast or Maryland Public Television broadcast. This course has videos available via video streaming from the HCC Library homepage

Eligible to enroll in ENGL-101 (3 hours weekly)
Hanael Bianchi

Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation |
Course Requirements | Texts and Materials | Exams

Overall Course Objectives
  1. Describe the development of a distinct European culture.
  2. Describe and assess the impact of Islamic culture on Europe.
  3. Evaluate the impact of the Renaissance on Europe.
  4. Describe the Ottoman ascendancy in the Near East and its conquest of Christian Byzantium.
  5. Explain the rise of Protestantism in the west.
  6. Describe and evaluate the age of European exploration in terms of its impact on the world.
  7. Describe and explain the rise of alternative forms of government in Europe.
  8. Describe the emergence of a scientific age in Europe and how it may have been affected by Arabic influences.
  9. Analyze and evaluate The Age of Reason and The Enlightenment.
  10. Compare and contrast the American and French Revolutions and its influences.
  11. Analyze and evaluate the place of Napoleon in world history.

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Major Course Topics

I. The Concept of the Middle Ages

    A. Development of a Distinct European Culture

    B. Islamic Influences in Europe

    C. Muslim Pressures on Byzantine Empire

II. The Renaissance

III. Non-European Impact on Europe

   A. The Mongol Empire

   B. Mongol Invasions of Europe

   C. The "Gold of Mali"

   D. Triumph of the Ottoman Turks

IV. The Reformation

   A. The Condition of the Church

   B. Birth of Protestantism

V. European Expansion

   A. The World Before Expansion

   B. European Motives in Exploration

    C. What Europe Received From Other Parts of the World

VI. Absolutism

   A. The Meaning of Absolutism

   B. Models of Absolutism

   C. Concepts of Constitutionalism

   D. England and Russia as Case Studies

VII. The Scientific Revolution

   A. The Copernican Revolution

   B. Consequences of the Scientific Revolution

VIII. The Era of Revolutions

   A. The Age of Reason and The Enlightenment

   B. The American and French Revolutions

   C. The Reign of Terror

IX. Napoleon and His Age

   A. The Rise of Napoleon

   B. Politics and Economics of the Napoleonic Era

Course Format
  • Is not self-paced.
  • Does not require on-campus meetings.
  • Does not require real-time chats.

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There is no face-to-face orientation for this course.

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Course Requirements
  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the eLearning Homepage.
  • There are weekly units (normally 10).
  • Each unit is composed of a quiz, postings to a discussion thread, and short writing assignments.
  • There is a midterm and a final and both will be administered in the Test Center.  The format will be short answers and essays
Texts and Materials

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

Review the Technical Requirements link above. The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Acrobat Viewer
  • Flash
  • Internet Explorer
  • Netscape
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Word

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For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course has a proctored midtern and final exam at the HCC Test Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students. The exam will have a flexible window of time during which it needs to be taken rather than a single date and time.


If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to
Distance Learning,

Last updated on 26-Mar-10
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