Eastern Michigan University
HIST 102-Western Civilization 1648-WWI
Professor Ron Delph
From the sixteenth to the early twentieth century, Europeans came to dominate the world through science, technology, economic imperialism, religion, and military might. This dynamic period also saw traditional European political and social hierarchies challenged, the rise of a powerful new class of merchants and industrialists, and forceful attempts by the lower/laboring classes to gain political and social power. These changes resulted in the overthrow of old European monarchies, and the establishment of democratic forms of government in nearly all of the major countries of Europe. This class will examine these many changes, and explore how they brought about political and social turmoil as men and women from every class struggled for power, to make a living, and to find their way in this new society.
To help us think broadly about these problems, students will have the option of breaking out of the classroom setting and pushing their exploration of these issues in a number of ways. A night at the theater on Eastern's campus will bring up a number of issues of class, race, and gender that students can reflect upon. One evening, we will take over the kitchen in Downing Hall and prepare dinner, followed by a screening of a movie, with discussion afterwards. Trips to the Star Lectures series winter term, which will focus on issues of equality, will also be an option for students. After each of these keystone events, students will be given the opportunity to reflect upon the ideas they have encountered in an essay that will allow them to apply the insights they have gained to the ways in which Europeans in this period struggled for power, equality, and freedom in an age of dynamic change.