Curriculum Guideline

World History Since 1945

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 1104
World History Since 1945
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hrs. per week / semester Seminar: 2 hrs. per week / semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

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
This course examines some of the main currents of world history since 1945. Examples of major topics include the Cold War, decolonization, totalitarianism, north-south conflicts and revolutionary movements.
Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

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


  1. Review of Historical Methods
  2. The Postwar World
  3. Origins of the Cold War
  4. Stalin and Eastern Europe
  5. Cold War Confrontations: Korea
  6. Cold War Confrontations: Cuban Missile Crisis
  7. Cold War Confrontations: Vietnam
  8. Decolonization and Nation-Building: South Asia; Africa; Middle East
  9. Communism in China: Revolution; Great Leap Forward; Cultural Revolution; After Mao
  10. The Industrialized World: U.S. Civil Rights Movement; European Union; Japan
  11. The Developing World: Postcolonial states; economic and ecological problems
  12. The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Fall of Communism
  13. The Post Cold War World
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:


  1. Examine historical sources critically and analytically (reading history). These sources include not only survey texts and scholarly articles, but also short monographs and extended primary sources.
  2. Create and communicate personal interpretations of historical problems (writing history). Forms for communication of personal interpretations include medium-length essays (from 1500-3000 words), comparative book reviews, short interpretive essays, primary source studies, and final examinations.
  3. Independently analyze the ideas of other students and the instructor in class in both tutorials and seminars (discussing history).
Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accord with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Specific components of evaluation will include some of the following: mid-term and final exams consisting of short answer questions and essay questions; in-class written work, quizzes, research paper; seminar presentations; short debate/position papers; participation in class discussions.


Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester and will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.


An example of one evaluation scheme:


Any combination of the following totalling 100%:


Essays (one to four)

20% - 60%

Tests (at least two)

20% - 60%

Instructor’s General Evaluation (participation, quizzes, etc.)

10% - 20%


No single essay or test will constitute less than 10% or more than 35% of the grade.

Total value of all essays will not be less than 20% or more than 60%.

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


Texts will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically:


An Instructor’s Course Reader may be required.


Brower, D.R. The World in the Twentieth Century: From Empires to Nations. 5th ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2001


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


Hunt, Michael H. The World Transformed: 1945 to the Present. Boston: Bedford / St.Martin’s, 2004.


Hunt, Michael H., ed. The World Transformed: 1945 to the Present. A Documentary Reader. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2004


Keylor, William R. The Twentieth-Century World: An International History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005


Kinney, Tracey J., ed. Conflict and Cooperation. Documents in Modern Global History. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2006


Overfield, J., ed. Sources of Twentieth-Century Global History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.


In addition monographs, memoirs, or novels with historical applications may be assigned. Typical samples might be:


Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1995.


Paton, Alan. Cry the Beloved Country. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987.


Solzhenitsyn, A. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. New York: Bantam Books, 1990.