Western Civilization II

Course Content from McGraw Hill
Course Number: CIV102
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This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of concepts, people, and events that shaped Western culture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Topics include: the rise of Eastern and Western Europe; the Enlightenment-era philosophies; the impact of the French Revolution on political, social, and economic world order; and the effects of the industrial revolution on Western society. Unification-era politics; various methods of imperial indoctrination; and major political, economic, and social reforms are explored, along with the root causes and strategies that affected the outcomes of WWI and WWII. Social, economic, and political changes that occurred in the twentieth century are also examined.

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Course Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the major concepts, persons, and events that contributed to nation building and the war for order in the eighteenth century.
  • Compare and contrast the rise of Eastern and Western Europe.
  • Describe the change in European and world culture resulting from Enlightenment-era philosophies.
  • Describe the impact of the French Revolution on political, economic, and social world order.
  • Describe the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte and explain his legacy.
  • Compare and contrast the benefits and burdens of industrialization.
  • Examine the effects of the Industrial Revolution in England on Western society and describe the causes for its rapid growth.
  • Identify and describe the people, ideas, and technologies that radically changed the traditional social, economic, and political environment of the early nineteenth century.
  • Explain the change in Western culture resulting from unification era politics.
  • Summarize the evolution of Imperialism and compare and contrast the various methods of imperial indoctrination.
  • Compare and contrast the major political, economic, and social reforms that ignited a mass emigration of European peoples to the U.S. during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
  • Define evolution and explain the conflict between evolutionary theory and religious theology.
  • Identify the root causes and explain how World War I changed world order.
  • Describe the struggles of the Western world during postwar recovery.
  • Compare and contrast the various technologies, battles, and strategies that affected the outcome of WWII.
  • Examine the social, economic, and political changes that have occurred in the twentieth century, and describe the role of the United States, China, and the Soviet Union as world super powers.
Topic Topic Title Subtopics Objectives
1 Political Order and the Old Regime 1715-1789
  • Nation Building and the Wars for Domination
  • The Slave Trade
  • Culture of the New Age
  • Identify the major concepts, persons, and events that contributed to nation building and the wars for domination in the eighteenth century.
  • Compare and contrast the rise of Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
  • Describe the art, literature, technical advances, and culture that came to characterize the New Age.
  • Explain the change in cultural beliefs and attitudes that foreshadowed the American Revolution.
  • Examine the eighteenth-century slave trade to gain a deeper understanding of the lives of slaves and the role of slavery in maintaining colonial commerce.
  • Compare and contrast New World and Old World slavery.
2 Enlightened Society
  • Origins of the Enlightenment
  • Enlightenment Thinkers and Concepts
  • The Ongoing Effect of the Scientific Revolution
  • Define the Age of Enlightenment and relate it to the French and American Revolutions.
  • Identify the philosophies and describe their contributions to democracy.
  • Identify Francis Bacon and describe the emergence of scientific methodology.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the importance of the scientific revolution and its impact on contemporary culture.
  • Compare and contrast the changes in European and world culture resulting from Enlightenment-era philosophies and the scientific revolution.
3 France and the Age of Revolution
  • Origins of the French Revolution
  • The First French Revolution
  • The Second French Revolution
  • The legacy of the Revolution
  • Identify and describe the major factors that contributed to the French Revolution.
  • Describe the impact of the French Revolution on the political, economic, and social world order.
  • Define constitutional monarchy and relate it to the foundations of democracy.
  • Compare and contrast the first and second French Revolutions.
  • Compare and contrast the people, ideas, and agendas that helped restore order after the French Revolution.
4 Napoleon Bonaparte
  • The Rise of Napoleon
  • Napoleon’s Empire
  • Describe the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte and explain his legacy
  • Identify the master strategies and advanced technologies that fostered the quick rise of the French Empire.
  • Examine the connection between the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte to explain the transformation of French politics and culture.
5 The Industrial Revolution
  • England’s Booming Industry
  • Impact of the industrial revolution: Economics and Politics
  • Impact of the industrial revolution: Society and Culture
  • The Emergence of Nationalism
  • Identify and describe the causes of the industrial revolution in England.
  • Compare and contrast the benefits and burdens of industrialization.
  • Define and describe the technology and culture of the industrial revolution.
  • Examine the effects of the industrial revolution in England on Western society and describe the causes for its rapid growth.
  • Compare and contrast urban and rural lifestyles during the age of industrialization.
  • Describe the emergence of nationalism.
6 Living With Change
  • Establishing Order in Europe
  • Competing Ideologies
  • Revolution and Reformation
  • Identify and describe the people, ideas, and technologies that radically changed the traditional social, economic, and political environment of the early nineteenth century.
  • Examine the reign of Alexander I of Russia and explain the role of the Holy Alliance in establishing world order.
  • Examine the major factors contributing to the repression of Germany during the Restoration and explain how the Carlsbad Decrees worked to restore order.
7 Nationalism and the Unification of the Nation-State
  • The Revolutions of 1848
  • Unification of Italy
  • Unification of Germany
  • Movements for Unification in North America
  • Compare and contrast the revolutions of 1848 and describe their impact on Western civilization.
  • Identify and describe the major people, ideas, and concepts that contributed to the unification of Italy in the late nineteenth century.
  • List and describe the major problems associated with nationalism and the people who defended these positions.
  • Explain the change in Western culture that resulted from Unification-era politics.
  • Define the nature of a nation-state.
  • Define nationalism and compare and contrast the varying theories of nationalism.
  • Identify and describe the major people, ideas, and concepts that contributed to the unification of Germany in the late nineteenth century.
8 Imperialism and World Domination
  • World Democracy
  • Responses to Democratic Reform
  • The New Imperialism
  • Define democracy and describe the European experiments in democracy.
  • Summarize the evolution of imperialism and compare and contrast the various methods of imperial indoctrination.
  • Explain the legacy of imperialism.
  • Describe the role of science and technology in Westerm imperialism.
  • Compare and contrast the major political, economic, and social reforms that ignited a mass emigration of European people to the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • Describe the world reaction to democratic reform.
9 The Culture of Progress
  • The Urban Industrial Order
  • The Emergence of Popular Culture
  • New Intellectual Trends
  • Identify and describe the various events, people, concepts, and technologies that characterize early popular culture.
  • Compare and contrast the effects of the first and second industrial revolutions on the social, economic, and political environment of the early twentieth century.
  • Identify the emergence of new intellectual models to explain human behavior.
  • Define evolution and explain the conflict between evolutionary theory and religious theory.
10 The Great War
  • The Road to Total War
  • The War to End All Wars
  • Resolution and Peace
  • Compare and contrast the various rivalries and alliances among warring nations.
  • Identify the root causes of World War I and explain how the war changed the world order.
  • Explain what life was like for soldiers on the front lines.
  • Compare and contrast the innovations in technological warfare during World War I.
  • Examine the role of the United States in promoting peace at the end of WWI and describe how the peace terms initiated change in Europe.
  • Summarize the major provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.
11 Recovery, Depression, and Fascism
  • Postwar Struggles
  • The Rise of Fascism
  • Nazi Germany
  • Describe the struggles of the Western world during postware recovery.
  • Define and describe the major causes of the Great Depression and describe its effect on the world economy.
  • Compare and contrast the major events, people, and ideas that led to the rise of fascism in Europe.
  • Define Stalinism and describe the revolts in Russia leading to the communist takeover.
  • Identify Hitler and describe the rise of Nazism in Europe.
12 World War II
  • The Path to War
  • Early Battles and the Holocaust
  • A World United, A World at War
  • Compare and contrast the various technologies, battles, and strategies that affected the outcome of WWII.
  • Explain the causes and effects of the Holocaust.
  • Compare and contrast the impact of WWII on the American and European home fronts.
  • Explain the major social, economic, and political events that ignited WWII, and explain why the United States shifted from a policy of isolationism to intervention.
13 The Cold War
  • Postwar Boom
  • Capitalism and Communism
  • Conflict with the Soviet Union
  • Describe the causes of the postwar era social and economic boom in the United States.
  • Compare and contrast the recovery effort in Eastern and Western Europe.
  • List and describe the various people, ideas, and events of WWII that led to the Cold War.
  • Compare and contrast capitalism and communism and describe the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • Describe the impact and significance of the breakup of the Soviet Union.
14 The Twenty-First Century in Perspective
  • The Fall of Communism
  • The Global Village
  • Describe the impact of the fall of communism and the realignment of the West.
  • Explain the social, economic, and political changes that have occurred in the twentieth century, and describe the role of the United States and China as world superpowers.
  • Define global village and compare and contrast the problems incurred by globalization.
15 Review Topic
  • Review
  • Complete a review of key content covered in this course.

While there are no prerequisites to take Western Civilization II, StraighterLine does recommend that students complete Western Civilization I before enrolling in Western Civilization II.

The required eTextbook for this course is included with your course purchase at no additional cost. More information on StraighterLine eTextbooks

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book cover

The West in the World, Fifth Edition, prompts students to take an active, analytical approach to understanding history and historical change. Readers will come to appreciate that history does not happen in isolation but rather is the consequence of a complex set of intersecting events, forces, and human actions among which there are cause-and-effect links that extend into the present day. As it compellingly tells the story of Western civilization, The West in the World encourages a critical examination and analysis of major events and themes. The fifth edition retains the medium length of previous editions, long enough to present a comprehensive, rich narrative but concise enough to give instructors the flexibility to supplement reading with other sources and books.

Sherman, Dennis and Salisbury, Joyce. The West in the World, 5th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2014, ISBN: 9780073407036.

StraighterLine provides a percentage score and letter grade for each course. A passing percentage is 70% or higher.
If you have chosen a Partner College to award credit for this course, your final grade will be based upon that college's grading scale. Only passing scores will be considered by Partner Colleges for an award of credit. There are a total of 1000 points in the course:

TopicAssessmentPoints Available
5Graded Exam 1125
8Graded Exam 2125
8Midterm Exam200
11Graded Exam #3125
14Graded Exam #4125
15Final Graded Exam300
Total 1000

Final Proctored Exam
The final exam is developed to assess the knowledge you learned taking this course. All students are required to take an online proctored final exam in order complete the course and be eligible for transfer credit.
Learn more about Proctored Exams

This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of concepts, people, and events that shaped Western culture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Topics include: the rise of Eastern and Western Europe; the Enlightenment-era philosophies; the impact of the French Revolution on political, social, and economic world order; and the effects of the industrial revolution on Western society. Unification-era politics; various methods of imperial indoctrination; and major political, economic, and social reforms are explored, along with the root causes and strategies that affected the outcomes of WWI and WWII. Social, economic, and political changes that occurred in the twentieth century are also examined.

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