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HIST-123 Western Civilization and the Modern World

The student will be able to describe the history and development of Western Civilization and its impact on the world from 1815 to the present. The student will identify and analyze the political, economic and intellectual movements that influenced the Western European mind. The student will examine the character of the evolving modern nation state system through the wars of unification, overseas expansion, and the competitive national rivalries. The student will evaluate the underlying factors influencing the events that shaped the modern world, including two World Wars and the Cold War. The student will examine how the post-1945 conditions affect the attitudes and makeup of the former colonial world. (This course was formerly HIST-102. This course is a core general education course and is also a social science and arts and sciences elective.)

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

Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Identify the geographic and political features of the areas studied in each unit.
  • Summarize the major economic, political, and social causes which led to the Industrial Revolution, and the resultant changes in society.
  • Contrast the disparate industrial development of Europe with that of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.
  • Analyze the reaction of post-Napoleonic Europe to the threat of political and social revolution.
  • Identify the major events and individuals involved in the latter 19th century unifications and nation building.
  •  Analyze the causes for European neo-Imperialism, and its relationship and effect on Africa, the Middle East, China, and South East Asia.
  •  Compare and contrast the motives and actions of the various European states which led to World War I.
  • Summarize the major economic, political, intellectual, and artistic consequences of World War I.
  • Describe the rise of resistance to imperial rule among colonial societies.
  • Analyze the political, social, and economic conditions in Europe which led to the rise of Facism.
  • Describe the triumph of Bolshevism in Russia and the rise of Stalin.
  • Analyze the causes of World War II and the motivations of several participants.
  • Identify the major economic and political problems following World War II.
  • Describe the nature and character of the Cold War.
  • Describe the rise of the Third World and its impact on Europe, as demonstrated by African and Asian nationalism, Middle Eastern oil producing countries, and lingering colonial interests.
  • Evaluate the impact of the Soviet collapse and its impact on international relations

Major Course Topics

  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Ideologies and Upheavals in Europe
  • Unifications and Nation-building
  • The West and The World
  • The Road to War
  • Shattered Illusions
  • The Second Road to War
  • World War II
  • The Cold War
  • The End of the Cold War

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Course Format

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

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Check the list of scheduled orientations to see if this course has a face-to-face orientation; you will find specific information on the date, time, and location.

Course Requirements

  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the eLearning Homepage.
  • There are weekly units (normally 14).
  • 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 midterm 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

Last updated on 26-Mar-10
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Student Profile - Maribel