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HIST 102 History of Civilization Middle Ages • 5 Cr.


Surveys world civilization from about 500 AD to 1815 (Napoleon's defeat). Topics include the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity and Islam, medieval institutions, the Renaissance, the rise of science, the age of exploration, and the development of the nation-state. May be used as social science or humanities credit, not both, at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Describe and explain the major non-Western civilizations form the middle ages to the early modern period, such as the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic Caliphates; The Mongol Empire; The Ottoman Empire; Safavid Persia; the Mughal Empire; the Chinese Empire mainly under the Sung, Yuan and Ming dynasties; African Kingdoms and Empires; Japan from the Kamakuru to the Tokugawa era; Mesoamerica, including Olmecs, Toltecs, Myans, Aztecs and Incas.
  • Describe and explain the origins and development of these civilizations including their political structures; economic and commercial systems; social stratification; gender relations; religious and philosophical beliefs; scientific and technological innovations; military and diplomatic system; plastic and literary artistic achievements.
  • Assess the significance and impact of the achievements of these civilizations in global historical context.
  • Identify and explain the factors which led to the decline or eclipse of these non-Western empires or civilizations during the middle ages and beyond.
  • Describe and explain the development of Western civilization during the high middle ages form about 1000AD to about 1400AD including the factors leading the Western recovery after the 10th century; feudal and manorial patterns; revival of trade and commerce; growth of towns and cities; the revival of learning; the role of Christian Church; the rise of feudal states; Church/State conflicts.Identify and explain the factors leading to the decline of the middle ages in the West by the 14th century and assess the impact of the crisis which confronted Western civilization at the time.
  • Describe and explain the emergence of the European Renaissance of the 14th – 16th centuries; the European expansion through voyages of exploration and discovery and the creation of European empires of commerce and conquest.
  • Assess the contribution and impact of the European Renaissance.
  • Assess the impact of the creation of new European empires on the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe- including the development of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its effects and colonial wars and rivalries during the 17th and early 18th centuries.
  • Describe and explain the rise of the European religious Reformations of the 16th and 17th centuries – including Lutheranism; Calvinism, other Protestant movements and the Catholic Reformation.
  • Assess the consequences of the rise of new religious sects, including the factors leading to wars of religion during the 16th and 17th centuries and their aftermath.
  • Describe and explain the growth of absolutist and constitutional patterns of government in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries by:
    • Defining the characteristics of the different models of absolutist and constitutional governments using examples from France, England, the Dutch republic, Russia, Prussia and Austria-Hungary.
  • Describe and explain the origins ad development of the scientific revolution and the subsequent age of Enlightenment in the West during the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries by:
    • Explaining the defining characteristics of the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment
    • Identify and explain the leading scientists and their discoveries
    • Identify the leading thinkers and their philosophical/intellectual contributions and the significance or impact of their work.
  • Describe and explain the origins and development of the revolution in Western politics between about 1750 and 1800 – including the American and French Revolutions.
  • Identify and explain the major events which shape these revolutions and their aftermath.
  • Analyze the significance and impact of these revolutions in global historical context.



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Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000