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A History of World Societies, 1500 to 1914

Course Code: HIST 1102
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: History
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

HIST 1102, A History of World Societies, 1500 to 1914, introduces students to a globally integrated survey of the development of a common world history, focusing on diversity and interconnection in the early modern world to the transformation, conflict, and integration of the modern era, from empires to globalization. Themes include Europe’s mercantilist expansion, including African slavery and the creation of neo-Europes in the Americas; the first republican revolutions in England and the Netherlands; the Islamic Empires of the Middle East and India; the dynasties of China and feudal Japan; the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and political revolutions in America and France; national unification and nation building in Europe; imperialist expansion in Africa and Asia; the challenges of modernity in Qing China and Meiji Japan; new imperialism and settler states in North America and Asia-Pacific; and struggles to redefine modern market societies in terms of gender roles, social wages, and workers’ rights.

Course Content

A sample course outline may include the following topics.

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

  1. Encountering the World in 1500
  2. Conflict, Expansion and Exploitation: New Empires, Absolute Monarchies, and Republics
  3. Islamic Empires and their Subjects: The Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals
  4. Continuity and Change in China, Japan and South East Asia
  5. Colonialism, the Atlantic World and Slavery
  6. The Scientific Revolution and the Challenges of the Enlightenment
  7. The Industrial Revolution and its Discontents
  8. Ideologies of Change and Nation Building in Germany, Italy and Russia
  9. Varieties of Imperialism in the Middle East and East Asia
  10. The Challenges of Modernity in the Ottoman Empire, Qing China, and Meiji Japan
  11. Imperial Rivalries in Africa, Independence in Latin America
  12. Radicalism, Reformist Impulses and Social Movements at the Turn of the Century
  13. New Imperialism and Settler States: North America and Asia-Pacific
  14. 1914: On the Eve of Global War

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 facilitation of student-led projects, 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.

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student 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:

  • Participation, In-Class Work: 15%
  • Seminar Presentation: 10%
  • Primary Document Analyses: 15%
  • Midterm Exam: 15%
  • Short Analytic Essay(s): 10%
  • Research Project: 20%
  • Final Exam: 15%

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).

course prerequisites




curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.