Instructors: Dr. Hal Goldman and Christine Chisholm


This one-credit course will examine the history of European society from its origins in the ancient civilizations of the Near East up to the present day.  Material covered includes the rise of the first civilizations in the ancient Near East, the origins of Judaism, classical Greece, the Roman Republic and Empire, the fall of Rome, barbarian invasions and the rise of Christianity, medieval society, the rise of Islam, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the French Revolution, the industrial revolution, early feminism, imperialism, World War I, the Russian Revolution and the rise of Soviet totalitarianism, the rise of Italian and German fascism, World War II, the Cold War, and the establishment of the European Union.

Our challenge in this course is to understand all of these developments and the people who gave birth to them.  What made people laugh?  What made them cry?  How did they deal with the challenges their often difficult surroundings posed to them?  To find out, this course will focus not simply on political developments, but on cultural and social ones as well.  Students will attend one lecture and one discussion group per week.  Grades in the fall term will be based on attendance, participation, brief quizzes, a short paper on one of the outside assigned texts, and an outside assignment.  There is no exam in this term.

Assessment for Fall Term (fifty percent)

  • Attendance (mandatory), Quizzes and Participation (twenty percent)
  • One Outside Assignment (ten percent)
  • One Short Paper (twenty percent)


In the second term of HIST 1001A we will focus on the history of Europe since 1500 AD. Beginning with the Protestant Reformation, students will learn to conduct an analysis of the major events and developments of European history. The lectures will place special emphasis on the development of political thought and the different ideologies which shaped European history from the Enlightenment forward. In addition to the relationship between individuals and their governments, discussions of cultural and social developments will help provide an insight into issues and experiences that shaped the course of modern European history. As in the first term, the aim is to understand both the developments within their larger context as well as the individuals who lived through and contributed to them. We will address topics such as rapid urbanization, industrialization, and technological advances alongside questions of race, gender, and ethnicity. Throughout the term, we will furthermore take national and international conflicts as well as global developments into consideration to develop an understanding of the West’s increasing domination of the rest of the world. In this course, students will learn to study topics through the tools employed by historians.

Class Format: Lecture (2 hours, once a week), plus Discussion Group (50-minutes, once a week)

Text: John P. McKay et al., A History of Western Society Complete 12th ed.

Assessment: please note that the Winter Term is worth 50% of the one-credit course. The exact grading criteria will be available on the course outline at the beginning of the semester, but will approximate the following:

  • Attendance and Participation in Discussion Groups 20%
  • Quiz 5%
  • Short Essay Assignment 15%
  • Final 10%

Winter-term Questions? Please email me at: