HIST 122: Western Civilization II

Spring 2018
Course Description and Schedule

Old Main 106
9:30-10:45 TTh

Mr Lehmann
Office Hours: TTh 11-12 OBA
East Hall 210, 677-5218, clehmann@usd.edu; clehmann.org


Catalog description: SURVEYS THE DEVELOPMENT OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION FROM THE REFORMATION ERA TO THE PRESENT. No prerequisites; no unusual technology skills required.

This is the second of a two-part survey of Western Civilization and introduces students to some of the leading figures, ideas, and events of the modern world. It also exposes students to the concerns and methods of historical inquiry through lectures, analysis and discussion of selected texts, and writing of short papers.  The goal of this course is for the student not only to acquire historical information but also to learn through example (lectures, textbook) and practice (discussions, essay examinations, papers) a historical/critical method of thought and expression.

ELECTRONIC-DEVICE-FREE CLASSROOM. Turn off and stow your electronic devices before the class begins.

In order to do well in this course tudents must read all assignments, attend every lecture, take notes, participate in discussions, and secure this syllabus and all handouts--which contain chronological and geographical background to the lectures and readings--from the instructor's web page. In addition, each student writes five mini-themes of one to two pages. Students who expect to miss more than three meetings should see the instructor within the first week. Each student should plan to meet with the instructor within the first two or three weeks of class. A set of study questions, also available on-line, will assist the student preparing for examinations.  Finally, each student must maintain a portfolio containing all written work.  The portfolio will be a simple green two-pocket folder containing the minithemes and exams as they are complete.

Grading depends on three components.

  1. Three exams: a midterm exam covering part seven of the course; a second midterm exam covering parts eight and nine; and a final exam covering parts ten and eleven. Exams consist of one long and a choice of two out of three short essay questions; the final exam includes a comprehensive essay question. These are closed-book exams.
  2. Mini-themes: each student will write a mini-theme on a choice of suggested topics for each reading, due on the assigned date during discussion of the topics. See below for details. 
  3. Quick-response quizes: during the course of the semester the instructor will randomly administer six short-answer quizes over the material from the day of the quiz.
    The quick responses count 25 points (best of five @ 5 points); the first midterm exam counts 50 points, the second 50, and the final 75; and the mini-themes count 100 points (20 points each). The final grade depends on the points accumulated from a total of 300 possible points.

270-300 A
240-269 B
210-239 C
180-209 D
< 179 F


Students may view their current scores on the D2L course site. Those who wish to arrange another method of evaluation should see the instructor within the first two weeks. For what not to do, consult the Top 10 Ways to Lower Your Grade in Humanities. Success in this course will require at least eight to ten hours of work each week.

Click here for required statements concerning freedom of learning, cheating, diversity, ADA policy, and outcomes of learning.

Required Books

Recommended Book

Kate L Turabian. A Manual for Writers. 8th ed. Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 2013.  0226816389

The Mini-themes

Each mini-theme should be between 250 and 500 words long (one to two machine-printed pages). It can earn up to 20 points as follows: 10 points for content (clarity of argument, familiarity with the work), 5 points for style (grammar, spelling, use of words), and 5 points for care in presentation. The instructors will return essays with special problems for rewriting.  Try to work a week in advance; your instructors will gladly evaluate and mark up your first clean draft and return it to you for rewriting in time for the final submission.

Unless you make special arrangements in advance or have a medical or family emergency, you must participate in the discussion in order to receive credit for a given paper.  Submit the paper inside your green binder. Keep all of your graded papers in this binder at least until you receive your final grade for this course. Your instructor will want to see that your writing improves from paper to paper. You may also need it later in your college career as you assemble a portfolio of your academic work.

As you read the assignments keep all the suggested topics in mind, and take notes. Then pick one topic and answer it carefully and concisely. Feel free to consult with fellow students and with your instructor as you prepare the assignments, but the result must be entirely your own. Be particularly careful to avoid plagiarism; you must give references for every idea or quotation you borrow as you construct your argument. See Turabian, Manual for Writers, for the proper way to indicate references. At the head of your paper write the title and your name and staple your sheets together.  You do not need a bibliographic citation unless you use an edition other than that specified in the book list. Consult the classic "Mr. Bockelman’s Guidelines for Writing Good Mini-Themes."

A. Montesquieu's Persian Letters

B. Kehlmann's Measuring the World

C. Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto
Marxism as developed by Marx and Engels and their many admirers and critics is much more complex and problematic than this one text would indicate–you all know this; it is therefore especially important that you take this text on its own terms and construct your essays solely on the basis of what you actually find here.

D. Graves's Good-Bye to All That

E. Shamsie's Home Fire


Click here for chronology sheet.

Click here for study guides.


9 Jan Introduction to the Modern World; map of the Atlantic World; Europe in 1648

Part 7: Absolutism and Enlightenment [Civilizations chs 15-17]

11 Jan

Introduction and Chronology (bring chronology sheet)

16 Jan

Absolutism in France and Germany

18 Jan

The English Exception

23 Jan The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment
25 Jan Discussion: Montesquieu, Persian Letters

Part 8: The Age of Revolutions [Civilizations chs 18-19]

30 Jan Introduction and Chronology (bring chronology sheet)

1 Feb

The French Revolution and Its Consequences
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

6 Feb

The Industrial Revolution and Its Consequences

8 Feb

Nineteenth Century Economics

13 Feb

Discussion: Kehlmann, Measuring the World

15 Feb

Student History Conference (no class)

20 Feb Slides: Modern Art and Architecture
22 Feb First Midterm Examination

Part 9: A Century of Ideas [Civilizations chs 20-23]

27 Feb

Introduction and Chronology (bring chronology sheet); maps: the Congress of Vienna; Linguistic Map of Europe

1 Mar

Liberalism and Nationalism

13 Mar

Socialism and Democracy

15 Mar New Directions in Thought and Science
20 Mar Discussion: Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto

Part 10: Turn of the Century [Civilizations ch 24]

22 Mar

Introduction and Chronology (bring chronology sheet); maps: European alliances, WW I, Peaces of Paris

27 Mar

Bismarck's Germany

29 Mar World War I and The Russian Revolution

3 Apr

Discussion: Graves, Good-Bye to All That

5 Apr Totalitarianism; Slides: Modern Art
10 Apr Second Midterm Examination

Part 11: The Twentieth Century [Civilizations chs 25-29]

12 Apr

Introduction and Chronology (bring chronology sheet); maps: Europe in 1923, WW II, the Cold War, Decolonization of Africa, HIPCs

17 Apr

World War II

19 Apr

Postwar Tensions: The Cold War

24 Apr

The Postcolonial World

26 Apr

Discussion: Shamsie, Home Fire
Slides: Postmodern Art and Architecture

Final Examination: 3-5 pm Wednesday 2 May