World History, 1900-1945

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 1103
World History, 1900-1945
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hrs. per week / semester Seminar: 2 hrs. per week / semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Class sections will be divided between lectures and seminar discussions. The seminar discussion sessions will serve as a forum for the analysis and discussion of scholarly literature and as a testing ground for student hypotheses. The instructor will encourage students to elaborate, refine and revise ideas. Discussion sessions will also include tutorials in conducting historical research, the exploration of primary source documents, and practice in oral presentations. Participation in both lectures and seminar discussions is required for the successful completion of the course.

Course Description
HIST 1103, World History 1900-1945, examines political, social, cultural, ideological, economic, and military themes in World History from the turn of the twentieth century to the conclusion of the Second World War. The course focusses on the significant events, ideologies and processes that shaped global history from 1900 to 1945. Topics include imperialism in Africa; global empires and the alliance system; the First World War; the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Project; the transformation and re-mapping of Eastern Europe and the Middle East; the independence movement in India; the political struggle in China; the emergence of Imperial Japan; the Great Depression; nationalist and corporatist movements in Latin America; the Struggle for Women’s Rights; the emergence of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy; the Second World War; genocide and the Holocaust.
Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

  1. Introduction to the Twentieth Century
  2. Imperialism: Europe and the World before 1914
  3. Origins of World War One
  4. Total War: The War in Europe and Asia
  5. The Consequences of the Peace
  6. The Russian Revolution
  7. The Struggle for Women’s Rights
  8. Origins and Impact of Fascism
  9. The Great Depression
  10. Nazi Germany
  11. Towards Independence: India and China
  12. The Origins of World War Two
  13. The Second World War
  14. The New World Order: 1945
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:
1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).
2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).
3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).
4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.

The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.
An example of one evaluation scheme:

Participation, In-Class Work 15%
Seminar Presentation 15%
Primary Document Analyses 20%
Reading Notes / Reading Journals 15%
Research Essay or Research Project 15%
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 20%

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers may be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.
An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned. Additional reading lists and links to specific resources also may be provided online or in the instructor’s course outline.

Brower, D.R. The World in the Twentieth Century: From Empires to Nations. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2014.

Findley, C.V. and J.A. Rothney. Twentieth-Century World. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

Keylor, William R. The Twentieth-Century World: An International History. 2nd e. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Kinney, Tracey J. Conflict and Cooperation: Documents in Modern Global History. 3rd ed. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2014.

In addition monographs, memoirs, or novels with historical applications may also be assigned. Examples may include:

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.

Bessel, R., ed. Life in the Third Reich. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Fallada, Hans. Little Man, What Now?  Brooklyn:  Melville House, 2009.

Fitzgerald, Scott F.  The Great Gatsby.  Toronto:  Penguin Books, 2000.

Fredrickson, George M. Racism. A Short History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Graves, Robert. Goodbye to All That. Toronto: Penguin Books, 2000.

Herge. Tintin & the Blue Lotus. London. UK: Egmont UK, Ltd, 2003.

Orwell, George. Homage to Catalonia. Toronto: Penguin, 2003.