Course Outlines
CATALOG NO.: HIS-107 COURSE: Modern World History
INSTRUCTOR: Professor West DEPARTMENT: Social Science


YEAR: 2017

READINGS: Warren, Elizabeth,This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Co., 2017
ISBN: 978-1250120618

Other readings for this course are on the internet.


(1) Become familiar with the most important present trends in world events by studying current developments and their immediate historical background in the twentieth century.
(2) Study the relationship between world events in the 20th and early 21st century, and their historical roots in western civilization. Learn something of the impact that Europe and the West have had upon the non-western world since the late 19th century.
(3) Gain a better understanding of contemporary events so as to be able to intelligently follow and interpret the news of the day.
(4) Expand the horizons of understanding from a local and national perspective to a global perspective by studying international problems.
(5) Develop a sense of history by studying contemporary events in terms of their historical background.
(6) Become familiar with a number of historical sources dealing with the subject and with ongoing development.
(7) Improve writing skills by doing assigned written reports and/or short papers.
(8) Develop a basic computer literacy by accessing and using a computerized bibliography and the internet.


(1)    Industrialization in Europe in the late Nineteenth Century
(2)   The development of the nation-state in Europe in the Nineteenth Century
(3)   European and American imperialism in the late 19th century and early 20th century
(4)   The changing nature of warfare in Europe as shown by World Wars I and II, and in the Postwar period.
(5)   The development of ideologies in Europe and the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries
(6)   Economic  growth and depression in the United States by the year 2016
(7)   The Cold War

(8)   Contrasts between the Developed World, and the Less Developed World
(9)   Human population growth and migration
(10) Resources and the environment
(11) The United Nations and Global Problems


The subject matter of the course will be concerned primarily with three areas of study: political and economic changes as they occurred in Western civilization and eventually impacted the whole world; population growth and migration, resources, and the environment; and how these are related to an increasing internationalism. There will be at least four tests based upon the readings and the class lectures. There is an extensive supplementary reading list or bibliography . Two written reports are required. Each student will estabish and mantain a portfolio of individual questions and contributions to the course.

COLLEGE SUPPORT PROGRAMS: The English Department offers a Reading Laboratory, and a Writing Laboratory for assistance with written reports. The computer laboratory offers word processing facilitities.


1. Reports submitted late will lose credit. The first report is the book by Warren, which is available for purchase in the book store. The first report is due on October 3rd. Late reports will lose credit. If the first report is not submitted by October 31st, the report will not be accepted and you will not pass the course.

2. A second report will be based upon a book which you choose from the HIS 107 bibliography. Advise me by e-mail of the book you have chosen on or before October 10th. Reports that are submitted without prior approval will not be accepted. The second report is due on November 28th. Late reports will lose credit. A final deadline for the 2nd report is December 12th, after which the report will not be accepted and you will not pass the course.

Reports that are submitted without prior approval will not be accepted. Advance notice of your selection of the book for the second report must be given to the instructor on or before the date indicated above.

The instructions for these reports are found under the "Report Requirements" link on my Home Page.

3. A portfolio will be maintained by each student. The portfolio will consist of typewritten questions, submitted on alternate Thursday class meetings at two week intervals, beginning on the second Thursday meeting of the course. These questions must relate to the subject matter of the course, not to procedural questions. The instructor will select some of these questions for class discussion. Students are invited to add written comments following the discussion. Completed portfolios will be submitted at the November 30th class meeting for evaluation.


4. There will be four multiple choice tests during the semester. These will be accessible online using the Blackboard software. Tests will not be given in class, They will be given outside class hours at specific times, to be announced about one week in advance. It is your responsibility to take the tests at the specified times.


First Report = 20% of the grade, second report = 20%, completed portfolio =10%, and the average of the test grades = 50%. A grade of "W", "INC", or "F" will result if the two assigned reports are not completed.

ABSENCE POLICY: Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Regular class attendance is essential if you expect to understand the course material and get full benefit from taking the course. In case of unavoidable absence, let the instructor know the reason. Lateness will count as 1/4th of an absence. If you leave class before dismissal you are liable to be counted absent. Points will be added or subtracted from your final grade in accordance with the following table:
Perfect Attendance: +3 points One absence: +1 points Two absences: 0 point Three absences: -1 point
Four absences: -2 points Five absences: -4 points 6 absences: -6 points Seven (7) or more absences will result in a failing grade.

CLASS DECORUM: I welcome questions and contributions to class discussions, however, they should be relevant to the topic. Attention should be focused on the class activity. Reading, and the use of laptop computers or other mobile electronic devices, is not allowed during class time.

WITHDRAWAL DATE: The last date at which you may withdraw voluntarily from the course is Wednesday, November 1st. Anyone who has been absent more than 3 times by that date, should withdraw from the course. After that date withdrawal without failing the course will not be possible unless you notify me, before the end of the semester, with a valid reason for doing so.

Weeks                      Topics
9/5 Nineteenth Century Foundations for Twentieth Century History: Industrialization, Nationalism and Imperialism
        Reading Assignment: "Nation" and "Empire" (available on web site)

Conservatism, Liberalism, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Totalitarianism
Reading Assignment: "Ideology" (available on web site)
9/19 An Overview of 20th and 21st Century History in the Developed World:
1900-1950: Economic depression. The advance and effects of technology and industrialization.
Reading Assignment: "Changing Nature of Warfare" and "Industrial Transition" (available on web site)

9/26 Reading Assignment: "Economic Crisis" of the 21st century"; "Economic Inequalities"; fiscal and monetary measures (see "Readings" on the web site)

10/3 First Report is due

10/10 First Test (online for 48 hours using Blackboard). Be alert for changes in the test date which may be announced in class.

10/10 Begin outline of Cold War 1945-1950 - The Cold War and its Effects in Europe
        Reading Assignment: "The Cold War - An Outline" (available on web site)

10/17 1945-1990 - The Cold War in Asia and the World
On the hs-107 website, see the following readings: "Vietnam War", "Cambodian Genocide"
"El Salvador"

10/24 Military priorities and the arms race
Reading Assignment:

On the hs-107 website, see the following links: "World Military Spending" , "Military Budget, 2012", "Anti-missiles" ,"Nuclear Testing", "Military-Industrial Complex"

10/31 "Drug Wars", and "Terrorism", "The Dilemma of Iraq", Complete Reading of Outline of the Cold War

11/2 Second Test (online for 48 hours) Changes to the test dates will be announced in class.

11/7 Population Growth; Rich Nations and Poor Nations: More Developed and Less Developed, Disease, Food Production, Green Revolution

Reading Assignment (web site link): "Population Graphs" and related links on population, disease, food production, and biogenetics on the website.

11/21 International migration and U.S. immigration
Reading Assignment:
hs-107 web site: "UNHCR"

11/28 Third Test (online for 48 hours) Changes, if any, to the test dates will be announced in class.

11/28 Global Environment: Greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, acid rain, soil erosion, chemical pesticides, smog, water pollution, solid waste disposal.

Energy resources: Fossil fuels, oil crisis, altematives
See following readings on the HIS-107 web site :
A SUPPLEMENTARY READING LIST (bibliography) is available on the Bibliography link in my Home Page. Select a book from that bibliography for your book report.

HIS 107 bibliography
Book Report

Course Outlines

Suffolk Community College Homepage