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HIST 103 History of Civilization Contemporary World • 5 Cr.


Surveys the history of Europe since the Enlightenment. Topics include the Industrial Revolution, modern ideologies, imperialism, the origins and impact of the World Wars, the rise of new nations, the Cold War, and the emergence of new global identities, relationships, conflicts, and crises. May be used as social science or humanities credit, not both, at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Analyze the significant background factors which gave rise to the industrialized societies of the West by the early 19th century, such as the Enlightenment; the American and French Revolutions and the Industrial Revolution.
  • Analyze the significant consequences in global context, of the outcome of these revolutionary events.
  • Describe and explain the pattern of international relations in the post-Napoleonic era – identifying the major international powers and analyzing various international crises and problems during the early 19th century – such as wars and revolutions.
  • Define the central concepts of “new” ideologies such as Liberalism; Socialism; Marxism; Romanticism and Nationalism and explain the impact of these systems of thought on the modern world from the 19th century onwards.
  • Describe and explain the rise of modern nation-states such as Italy and Germany, and the historical development of major powers in the 19th century such as Russia; Britain; France; Austro-Hungary; The United States.
  • Define the concept of “new” imperialism and describe and explain the development of Western hegemony in Africa, Asia and Latin America during the 19th century; distinguish between different theories of modern imperialism; analyze the impact of imperial/colonial rule in areas such as India; China; Japan and Africa and describe and explain the various reactions of Afro-Asian and Latin American societies – including the rise of modern states such as Japan and the decline of older empires such as Qing China.
  • Explain the origins of the First World War and describe and analyze the course and consequences of the conflict in the global context.
  • Define concepts such as totalitarianism; Nazism; Fascism; Communism and be able to identify and explain the rise of and defining characteristics of regimes which came to power under the banner of these ideologies during the 20th century.
  • Describe and explain the pattern of international relations between the two World Wars and identify the major causes which contributed to the outbreak of the Second World War.
  • Describe and explain the pattern and outcome of the Second World War and analyze the impact of these events on the system of international relations after 1945.
  • Define the concept of the Cold War and analyze the causes; key crises and results of the Cold War conflict to the end of the 1980s’
  • Describe and explain the major historical developments of the post-second World War era of de-colonization of European Empires and the independence movements in Africa and Asia; the rise of Communist China.
  • Identify and explain modern crises, conflicts and problems facing global societies by the end of the 20th century such as the Middle East conflicts; Vietnam War; the collapse of Communism and the consequences thereof; Balkan wars; Apartheid and its eventual demise; significant world leaders of the 20th century; The United Nations; the “Green” revolution; Multinational Corporations; Technological advances significant cultural and intellectual trends; energy crises; diseases and epidemics



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