Curriculum Guideline

World History Since 1945

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 1104
World History Since 1945
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
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

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.

Course Description
HIST 1104, World History Since 1945, examines political, social, cultural, ideological, economic, and military themes in World History from the end of the Second World War to the present. Reviewing significant events, ideologies and historical trends, spotlighted topics include the Cold War and armed conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and Africa, decolonization and national liberation movements around the world, and socio-economic development-cum-globalization. Cultural issues addressed include Soviet totalitarianism, the question of Americanization, 1960s youth rebellion, global varieties of feminism, and the dawn of environmental consciousness.
Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

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

  1. 1945 and the Dawn of the Atomic Age
  2. Europe's Division and the Origins of the Cold War
  3. Postwar Recovery and Consumer Affluence
  4. India and the Beginnings of Decolonization
  5. The Korean War and American National Security State
  6. Mao's China: The Great Leap Forward and other Missteps  
  7. The 1960s: "Baby Boomers" come of Age around the World
  8. Conflict in and around Vietnam: Proxy Wars and Social Discord
  9. National Liberation Movements in Africa and Beyond
  10. Sputnik and the Space Race: Technologies for the Future
  11. Israel, Oil, and Conflict in the Middle East
  12. Iran, Iraq, and the contested Muslim World
  13. 1989: The Berlin Wall and the Fall of Communism
  14. The 21st Century thus far: 9/11, Terrorism, and the Digital Age
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.

Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. 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:

Example 1:
Participation 10%
Quizzes and Map Tests 10%
Primary Document Analysis Essays 30%
Portfolio 20%
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 15%

Example 2:
Participation 10%
Seminar Presentation 10%
Primary source analyses 10%
Short essay assignment 10%
Midterm Exam 20%
Major research essay 20%
Final Exam 20%

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, Daniel and Thomas Sanders. The World in the Twentieth Century: From Empires to Nations. 7th ed. New York: Prentice Hall, 2014.
Goff, R., Moss, W., Terry, J., Upshur, J-H., and M. Schroeder. The Twentieth Century and Beyond: A Global History.  Seventh Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007.
Hunt, Michael H. The World Transformed: 1945 to the Present, with Documentary Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015/2016.
Kinney, Tracey, ed. Conflict and Cooperation. Documents in Modern Global History. Third Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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

Cadbury, Deborah. Space Race: The Epic Battle between America and the Soviet Union for Domination of Space. New York: Harper, 2007.
Kulansky, Mark. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World. New York: Random House, 2005.
Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1995.
Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Penguin, 1949/2008.
Solzhenitsyn, A. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. New York: Bantam, 1962/1990.
Taylor, Frederick. The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989. New York: Harper, 2008.