Western Civilization Ii Assignment

Course overview

Course format and requirements

The course consists of four parts:

  1. twice-weekly class meetings, which will combine lectures by the instructor with as much open discussion as is possible (given the constraints of time and the size of the class.) Note that all lecture outlines, visuals and handouts used in the class lectures are available to you at any time on the course website. A packet of lecture notes is available for purchase at the UNLV Bookstore.

  2. weekly assigned readgins of textbook chapters, primary documents, and multi-media, interactive maps. For each unit, students will read on average 50 pages from the textbook and between ten and 40 pages of documents. The textbook for this course, Perry et al. Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics and Society (7th edition), and and the document reader, Perry et al. eds, Sources of the Westenr Tradition, vol 2, (5th edition), are available as a single package (including the Geoquest cd-rom of interactive maps) from the UNLV bookstore. Some of the primary source readings, in shorter form, are available on-line (at no cost!), via the links in the syllabus.

  3. class discussions, based on the readings and lectures. These discussions will continue questions raised in class, and time will be set aside in each class meeting for discussion; yet, student should plan on spending at least 30 minutes out of class per week participating in the on-line discussion on WebCT. Instructions for how to use WebCt and how to prepare for the discussion are available on separate handouts. Students should log onto WebCt, to participate in the discussion and consult the course calendar, at least twice per week. The student's class attendence, participation, and performance in the on-line exercises and discussions will account for 25% of the semester grade.

  4. The other course requirements will be three short (3-page) papers based on primary documents - two during the course of the term and one at the end of the term. Paper topics will be posted two weeks prior to the due date for each paper, and for each paper, students will have a choice of topic on which to write. The paper topics will be based on course readings and will require no additional research. Each paper will account for 25% of the semester grade. To get a better idea of what is expected in these papers, you should consult the handouts on "How to Write a History Paper" and the "Score Sheet" that will be used to grade your papers. Late papers will be graded down one-half letter grade for each class meeting they are late. Extensions to deadlines will be granted only in the case of a personal or medical emergency; students facing such an emergency and seeking an extension should notify the instructor immediately.

During the course of the term, students are expected to come to class having done the assigned readings; in class, students will be encouraged to answer questions posed by the instructor and/or to offer any comments or questions concerning the course material at any time. During the course of the term, students are encouraged to post any comments or questions concerning the course material to the class discussion -- in the "Main" area (which is distributed to the entire class). Students are also encouraged to send WebCT email to the instructor directly with any questions or comments that they do not wish to share with the entire class.

If you have to miss a class, please inform the instructor ahead of the class meeting; in case of an emergency absence, please inform the instructor as soon as possible. This is not only courteous; it will ensure that you are kept up to date on any course announcements. In case of an absence, once you have notified me, you should 1) do all the assigned reading for that week 2) consult the on-line lecture notes and class handouts for that class session 3) obtain notes or any announcements from a classmate who was in attendance 4) feel free to come to office hours or contact me with any questions on the course material.



Lecture One :"What is "Western Civilization"? Introduction to modern European History"

  1. Textbook: "Geography of Europe," xix - xxxi
  2. Geoquest, "The Holy Roman Empire"; "Europe in 1648"

Lecture Two: "The Old Regime: Traditional European Society"

  1. Documents : a. Swearing Fealty: b. Feudal Contract: c. Feudal Justice
  2. Geoquest, "Medieval Trade Routes" "The Path of the Black Death"
Lecture Three: "Religion and Power in the 17th Century: Empires, Monarchies, Republics"
  1. Textbook: "The Rise of Sovereignty: Transition to the Modern State," pp. 377 - 407
  2. Documents on English constitutionalism: a. James I on Divine Right of Monarchs; b. Parliament's "Petition of Right" (1628) ; c. Hobbes' Leviathon ; d. English Bill of Rights ; e. John Locke, 2nd Treatise on Civil Government (Ch. IX) ; Document reader, 20 - 30; 56 - 57.
  3. Documents on French Absolutism : a. Bossuet's defense of absolutism ; b. Colbert's ideas on mercantilism ; c. daily routine of the Sun King at court
  4. Geoquest, "The Protestant and Catholic Reformations"

Lecture Four:"The Enlightenment : The Individual and Society"

  1. Textbook: Chapters: "The Scientific Revolution"; "The Age of Enlightenment," pp. 408 - 458
  2. Enlightenment documents: a. Kant, "What is Enlightenment?"; b. Condorcet, "Progress of the Human Mind," c. Voltaire on "Toleration";d. Beccarria, Crimes and Punishments ; e. Catherine II's legal reforms in Russia ; f. Rousseau on the "Social Contract"; document reader, 54 - 59; 93 - 96.
  3. Constitution documents: a. Documents on the U. S. Constitution: (Constitution and Bill of Rights).
  4. Geoquest, "Europe in 1715.".

Lecture Five: "Liberty, Democracy and Violence: The French Revolution"

  1. Textbook: "The French Revolution"; "Napoleon," pp. 460 - 506
  2. Documents: a. What is the Third Estate ; b. Abolition of the Feudal System ; c. Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen ; d. Declaration of Rights of Woman (Gouges); e. Edmund Burke on the flaws of the French Revolution ; f. Robespierre on the Terror . g. Stael, "On the Political Doctrine of Napoleon,"h. Napoleon's dispatch from Egypt. Document reader, 100- 126, 150 - 151.
  3. Geoquest, "Napoleonic Europe in 1810," "Europe in 1815."

Essay #1 due Tuesday October 7

Lecture Six: "Industrialization and its Consequences"
  1. Textbook: "The Industrial Revolution," "The Industrial West," pp. 507 - 528; 637 - 652
  2. Documents: a. Adam Smith on Division of Labor ; b. Malthus on Population (ch. 1) ; b.Ure's Philosophy of Manufactures ; c. Hammond on child labor in mills; d. Testimony of workers before Sadler Commission; e. Women workers in textile mills; f. Engels on factory towns; g. Chartist petition. Document reader, 129 - 145.
  3. Geoquest, "European Industrialization."

Lecture Seven: "19th-Century Politics: Order, Liberty and Labor"

  1. Textbook : "Thought and Culture in the early 19th Century;" "Europe, 1815 - 1848," pp. 529 - 568
  2. Documents: a. The "Holy Alliance" of conservative powers ; b. Metternich on censorship of the press ; c. Metternich's Carlsbad decrees; d. De Maistre's opposition to liberal constitutions; e. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty ("tyranny of the majority"); f. Emmeline Pankhurst, militant feminism; g. Mazzini on "duties to country" ; h. Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto. Document reader, 151 - 164; 183 - 189; 199 - 227.
  3. Geoquest, "Europe's Age of Revolution."

Lecture Eight: "State and Nation : Popular Revolution and Unification"

  1. Textbook: "Thougth and Culture in the Mid-Nineteenth Century;" "The Surge of Nationalism," pp. 569 - 580; 611 - 636
  2. Documents on 1848: a. Frankfurt constitution; b. Marx on "The Defeat of June" (read part I), c. Louis Blanc, on the right to work; document reader, 164 - 170.
  3. Documents on national unification: a. Mazzini on progress through nationalism; b. Proclamation of the German Empire.
  4. Geoquest, "The Unification of Italy," "The Unification of Germany."

Lecture Nine: "'Civilization' and 'Barbarism': Mass Democracy and Imperialism"

  1. Textbook : "Western Imperialism," pp. 582 - 610, 652 - 694
  2. Documents: on Imperialism: a.Hobson on the economic origins of imperialism; b Kipling, "White Man's Burden." c. Chamberlain on imperialism. d. Morel, "The Black Man's Burden" e. Darwin on the struggle for existence; document reader, 242 - 258.
  3. Documents on Mass Democracy: a. Sidney Webb on the democratic idea of socialism; b. Zola's "accusations" against France for its mistreatment of Dreyfus ; d. The movement for women's suffrage ; e. Bernstein on evolutionary socialism ; f. The anthem of the International. Document reader, 190 -194, 229 -238, 278 - 290.
  4. Geoquest, "Overseas Explorations, Conquests and Trade," "The Balkans in 1878 and 1914."

Second Essay, due Thursday, November 13

Lecture Ten: "The 'Great War': Democracy and Revolution"

  1. Textbook: "Modern Conciousness," "World War I," pp. 695 - 764
  2. Documents on The Great War: a. Wilson's "Fourteen Points" b. war poems by Wilfred Owen and Sigfried Sassoon; c. Treaty of Versailles. Document reader, 293 -320; 327 - 329.
  3. Documents on The Russian Revolution: Lenin's "call to power" (October 1917). Document reader, 322 - 326.
  4. Geoquest, "World War I."

Lecture Eleven: "Challenges to Democracy : Fascism, Nazism and World War II"

  1. Chapters: "Totallitarianism," "Thought and Culture in the Era of the World Wars," "World War II," pp. 765 - 865
  2. Documents: a. Mussolini on fascism.; b. Hitler calls for war (1939); c. Roosevelt wages war for "four freedoms"; e. Wannsee protocol on "final solution" f. A Nazi shooting during the Holocaust. Document reader, 357 - 369, 389 - 435.
  3. Geoquest, "World War II in Europe."

Lecture Twelve: "Conflicting Tendencies in Post-War Europe"

  1. Chapters: "Europe after World War II," "The Troubled Present," pp. 835 - 912.
  2. Documents: a. Churchill's "iron curtain" speech; b.The Marshall Plan; c. UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948); d. The Brezhnev doctrine (1968). Document reader, 453 - 477, 505 - 525.
  3. Geoquest, "Cold War Europe," "Contemporary Europe."

Final essay due Wednesday, December 10 (at noon!)





Hickey Home Page

Western Civilization Since 1650 (42.126)

M. Hickey  Old Science Hall Office 130  389-4161hickey@bloomu.edu

Office Hours:  M, W, 4:00-5:00; T, Th 2-3:30.

Final Exam Schedule: 

  • Tuesday 9:30 class has final exam on Weds, 15 Dec., at 10:30
  • Tuesday 12:30 class has final exam on Tues., 14 Dec., at 8:00
  • Tuesday 3:30 class had final exam on Thurs., 16 Dec., at 3:30



Navigation links for this syllabus

Brief Description      Mid-Term Exams   Final Exam    Required Texts      Absence policy

Weekly Schedule     Wessley study guide answer key

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!NEW LINK------------Final Exam Question

Questions for Exam III

Explanation of grading standards on exam II

Grade Keys for Exam II

Second Mid-Term Essay Question

First Mid-Term Exam Essay Questions

Explanation of the grading standards on exam 1


On Plagiarism vs Quoting    On Disruptive Behavior            

Link to Hickey's European and Jewish History Resources Page


Brief Description:   This course is a survey of "Western Civilization" since the mid-1600s, although we will concentrate primarily on European societies.  

Here is a short list of some of the themes and topics we will follow this semester:   

  • the development of the centralizing "state" and the birth of the modern notion of the "nation state," which has expanded the claims of the state over new areas of people's lives

  • the development of modern science and its application to not only to technology, but also to  thinking about society (for instance, in the ideas of the Enlightenment and then in the great "isms"of the 19th and 20th century)

  • the development of a way of organizing economic activity known as capitalism (and particularly of industrial capitalism), that has created new social classes and conflicts,  shaped every aspect of people's daily lives, and led steadily towards "globalization" 

  • the development of modern concepts of politics, government, and of rights, which have led to conflicts over how and by whom rights are defined and who "gets" them

  • the development of intellectual and social movements (or "isms") that have shaped how people understand the world and directed their efforts to change it (for instance, Liberalism, Conservativism, Nationalism, Anarchism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc.). 

  • the development of new methods by which states and other political/social actors mobilize, control, or  eliminate mass populations (for instance, propaganda, warfare, genocide, ethnic cleansing.


Most of our class sessions will be lectures.  It is a VERY good idea to take careful notes during lectures. 

The Final Grade in this course is based upon:  Three Mid-Term Exams (20 percent each); and a Final Exam (40 Percent).  In grading all of your exams, my primary concern will be your accuracy, clarity, and logic (although I also will take into consideration "technical" matters, such as grammar).  Your grade for the course will also depend upon your attendance (see below).

Regarding Cheating and Plagiarism:  I will enforce university policy on cheating and plagiarism.  Please read the linked statement regarding plagiarism

Regarding Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom:  I will enforce university policy on classroom conduct.  Please read the linked statement regarding disruptive behavior in the classroom.


Absence Policy:  I will consider as "excused" absences only those medical, family, or activity related events (etc.) that the student has discussed with me in advance and/or that are documented by the university administration.  All other absences will be treated as "unexcused." 

Your grade FOR THE ENTIRE COURSE will fall in direct ratio to the percentage of classes that you miss (unexcused absences).  If, for instance, you have three unexcused absences (= 10 percent of course sessions), then your grade in the course will fall by 10 percent (etc).

Required Texts: 

Judith Coffin, et al., Western Civilizations:  Their History and Their Culture, Vol. 2, 14th Edition (New York: Norton, 2002). 

Stephen Wessley, Study Guide for Coffin (et al), Western Civilizations Volume 2 14th Edition(New York: Norton, 2002).

Brophy, et al., Perspectives from the Past, Vol. 2 (New York:  Norton, 2002).

Emile Zola, L'Assommoir; the Dram Shop (New York:  Penguin, 2001).

ON-LINE TUTOR WEBSITE:   Norton, the publisher of the Coffin textbook, provides an "on-line tutor" program for the course text.   It is called the "Western Civilizations Online Tutor," by  Steven Kreis of Wake Technical College. The website for the on-line tutor is www.wwnorton.com/wciv.  To use this website, your computer must have a "flash player" version 5 and use Explorer version 5 (or higher) or Netscape version 4.7 (or higher).  The publisher's website provides free downloads of upgrades for these programs.  I encourage you to use this on-line tutor program, but it is not required for the course.


Mid-Term Exams:  (3 @ 20 percent each)  You will have three mid-term exams.  Each examine will include questions in the multiple choice, short answer, and essay format.  You can expect to have multiple choice questions on the course textbook, short answer questions on documents assigned from the Brophy document reader, and essays on the lectures and the readings. 

The first midterm will take place in the 4th week of class; the second will take place in the 8th week of class; and the third will take place in the 12th week of class.  We will determine the exact day of each exam (Tuesday or Thursday) later in the semester.   I will not schedule "make-up" exams unless I receive notification from the University administration that your absence is excused for the day of the exam.

In grading the exams, my primary concern will be your accuracy, clarity, and logic (although I will also take into consideration "technical" matters such as grammar).

The best way to prepare for exams is to complete all of the assigned readings and to take careful notes during lectures.  Use the Wessley study guide to study for the exam sections on the textbook.  


Final Exam:  (40 percent)  You will take an in-class final exam, which will be mixed format (like the midterm exams).  The final exam will be comprehensive, and will cover all of the readings and lectures for the entire semester. 

I will not schedule "make-up" exams unless I receive notification from the University administration that your absence is excused for the day of the exam. In grading your essays my primary concern will be your accuracy, clarity, and logic (although I will also take into consideration "technical" matters such as grammar).


Weekly schedule:


A Note on reading assignments:

Coffin refers to Western Civilizations.  For each week, I indicate the reading assignments that should be finished by Tuesday (the exception, of course, is our first class session).  Be sure to read the chapter introductions and the "document boxes" as well as the chapter text.  At the end of each chapter, you should be able to answer that chapter's study questions

Wessley refers to Study Guide for Coffin (et al).  For most students, the best way to check to see if you have understood the textbook is to answer the questions in this study guide.  Also, each chapter in Wessley includes a few documents, some of which I might expect you to use in writing your exams.

Brophyrefers to Perspectives from the Past.  It is best to first read Coffin each week, and then to do the readings in Brophy.  When you read Brophy each week, be sure to begin with the chapter introductions.  Before you read each assigned document, be sure that you read that document's introduction.  When you finish reading each assigned document, be sure that you can answer the review questions.  Although all of the documents in each chapter are important, I indicate the documents that I particularly want you to read consider each week as "key" documents.

These documents are often very difficult to read--they are written in the style and vocabulary of their time, and have not been "altered" to make them "easy."  Often they are on difficult topics, like philosophy or economic theory.  You will have to work at them.


This is a provisional schedule--I may find it necessary to change the dates of some assignments during the semester, and I may at times run a bit ahead or behind the syllabus.


Week I :  Introduction to the course; Life in Early Modern Europe

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 16; Wessley, Chapter 16.   

Brophy, intro to Ch. 16, key documents:

  • Goudge, "Of Domestical Duties"

  • Marquis de Vauban, "Description Geographique"

  • Cure of Rumegies, "Journal"

  • Pepys, "Diary." 


Week II:  Life and Politics in Early Modern Europe

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 17; Wessley, Chapter 17.

Brophy, Chapter 17, key documents:

  • Locke, Two Treatise on Government

Read ahead in Brophy, Chapter 18, key documents

  • Galileo Galilei, The Starry Messenger and The Assayer

  • Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

  • Newton, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

Week III:  Science and the Enlightenment

Readings:  Coffin, Chapters 18 and 19; Wessley, Chapters 18 and 19.

Brophy, Chapter 19, key documents

  • Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  • Voltaire, Letters Concerning the English Nation

  • Baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws

  • Kant, What is Enlightenment?

Also, from Brophy Chapter 21

  • Smith, The Wealth of Nations


Week IV:  The French Revolution (I will give a short intro to the topic on Tuesday--the outline applies to next week's lecture)

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 20; Wessley, Chapter 20.

Brophy, Chapter 20, key documents: 

  • Abbé Emmanuel Sieyes, What is the Third Estate?

  • National Assembly, The Tennis Court Oath

  • National Assembly, Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

  • National Convention, Levée en Masse Edict

  • National Convention, The Law of Suspects

  • Opposing Views of the Revolution:  Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine



Week V:  Lecture Thursday is on The French Revolution

See week IV reading assignments

Read the following for next week

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 21; Wessley, Chapter 21.

Brophy, Chapter 21, key documents  (These are on the industrial revolution)

  • Smith, The Wealth of Nations (yes, read it again! )

  • Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population

  • Rules of a Factory in Berlin 

From Brophy, Chapter 22: 

  • Anonymous, An Address by a Journeyman Cotton Spinner.

Week VI:  Lecture Tuesday is on the The French Revolution.  Lecture Thursday is on The Industrial Revolution and Social Change

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 22; Wessley, Chapter 22.

Brophy, Chapter 22, key documents

  •  Anonymous, The Life & History of Captain Swing

  •  Ryan, Prostitution in London

  •  Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England

  •  Sanford, Woman in Her Social and Domestic Character 

Week VII:   Social Change and Politics in the Early 1800s

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 23; Wessley, Chapter 23.

Brophy, Chapter 21, key documents

  • Owen, A New View of Society

Brophy, Chapter 22, key documents

  • Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party

Brophy, Chapter 23, key documents

  • von Metternich, Letter, 24 June 1832

  • Mill, On Liberty


Week VIII:  The Revolutions of 1848

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 24; Wessley, Chapter 24.

Begin reading the Zola novel (it takes place in the late 1840s and early 1850s)



Week IX:  The Revolutions of 1848 (see last week's readings)/ Mass Politics and State Authority in Europe, 1850-1914   

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 25; Wessley, Chapter 25.

Brophy, chapter 23, key documents

  • Ferry, The State Must Be Secular

  • Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum

Brophy, chapter 24, key documents

  • von Bismarck, Memoirs

  • Renan, What is a Nation?


Week X:  Mass Politics and State Authority in Europe, 1850-1914   

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 26; Wessley, Chapter 26.   READINGS ALSO COVER LECTURE ON IMPERIALISM

Brophy, chapter 25, key documents

  • Fabri, Does Germany Need Colonies?

  • Chamberlin, Foundations of the Nineteenth Century

Brophy, Chapter 26, key documents

  • Williams, Made in Germany

  • Darwin, The Origins of Species


Week XI:  end of lecture on politics in 1850-1914/ IMPERIALISM

Readings:  FOR NEXT WEEK'S LECTURE ON WWI Coffin, Chapter 27; Wessley, Chapter 27.

Brophy, chapter 27, key documents

  • The Trench Poets of the First World War

  • Junger, The Storm of Steel

  • Leddell, On the Russian Front

  • Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace


Week XII:  World War One/ The Russian Revolution  [I will not have a chance to present this lecture in class, but you are REQUIRED to read the linked lecture notes!  If you have any questions about these lecture notes, be sure to ask me!

Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 28; Wessley, Chapter 28.

Brophy, chapter 28

  • Reed, Ten Days That Shook the World



Week XIII:  The rise of Fascism and Nazism in Central Europe  


Readings:  Coffin, Chapter 29; Wessley, Chapter 29..  

Brophy, chapter 29, key documents

  • Mussolini, Born of A Need for Action

  • Hitler, Mein Kampf


Week XIV:  Nazi Rule and World War Two

Readings:  Brophy, chapter 29, key documents

  • Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union

  • Marchant, Women and Children Last

  • Grossman, In the Line of the Main Attack

  • Trials of War Criminals


Week XV:  The Cold War Era

Readings:  Coffin, Chapters 30 and 31; Wessley, Chapters 30 and 31.

Brophy, chapter 30, key documents

  • Churchill, The Sinews of Peace

  • Marshall, The Marshall Plan Speech

  • Khrushchev, On the Cult of Personality

  • Wagnleitner, The Coca-Colonization and the Cold War


Week XVI:  Final Exam

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