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General Course Information for HIS434: Modern World, 1500 to Present

Course: HIS434 - Modern World, 1500 to Present
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description:

Examines colonial expansion of Europe; Islamic empires of Asia; regional powers in Eurasia; revolutions in the Atlantic world; the Industrial Revolution; the new imperialism; revolutions in Eurasia and Latin America after 1900; global wars and their consequences; national liberation and decolonization; the Cold War; post-Cold War realignments.

Course Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students will demonstrate their ability to:

  • Delineate the successive political, economic, social and technological changes which transformed Europe from the 16th century to the 18th century.
  • Explain the rise and nature of the Atlantic economy and its impact on the peoples of Europe, Africa and the Americas.
  • Outline the unification, economic and military importance, and disintegration of major Islamic empires (Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal).
  • Describe the major political and social changes in Eurasia: the decline of the Ming dynasty and the expansion of China under the Qing dynasty, the rise of a Russian land empire based on serfdom under the Romanovs, and the isolation of Japan in the Tokugawa era.
  • Compare and contrast the origins, courses, and outcomes of the political and social revolutions in North and South America, the Caribbean, and France 1770-1820.
  • Clarify the causes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution in Europe.
  • Identify the reasons for a new imperialism after 1850 and role of Great Britain, Germany, France, the U.S. and Japan in fostering it.
  • Compare and contrast the causes and consequences of World War I and World War II.
  • Account for the similarities and differences in the major revolutions of the 20th century: Mexican, Russian, Chinese, Algerian, and Vietnamese.
  • Explain the similarities and differences between fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism.
  • Describe the influence of the Cold War on global politics and economics.
  • Assess the success of national liberation movements in Africa and Asia and explain the process of decolonization.
  • Elucidate the problems and promises of the new global economy.
  • Critically assess primary sources for information, bias, values, and tone.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures