World History in the Early Modern and Modern Eras (1600-Present)

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course will present a comparative overview of world history from the 17th century to the present era.  You will examine the origins of major economic, political, social, cultural, and technological trends of the past 400 years and explore the impact of these trends on world societies.  This course will be structured chronologically and thematically, with each unit focusing on a significant historical subject.  The units will include representative primary-source documents and images that illustrate important overarching themes, such as the emergence of modern nation-states, the economic and technological interactions between Western and non-Western peoples, the changing social and cultural perceptions about religion and the state, and the development of physical and virtual networks of information exchange.

This course is designed to align with a Thomas Edison State College TECEP examination. Visit the TECEP website, and click on “World History from 1600 to Present (HIS-126-TE)” to download the content guide for the exam.  For more information about this partnership, and earning credit through Thomas Edison State College, go here.

Thomas Edison State College

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to HIST103: World History in the Early Modern and Modern Eras (1600-Present). General information about this course and its requirements can be found below.
Course Designer: Professor Concepcion Saenz-Cambra
Primary Resources: This course comprises a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following:
  • International World History Project webpages
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned material. All units build on previous units, so it will be important to progress through the course in the order presented.
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through the assessments at the end of each unit in this course. 

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again. 
Tips/Suggestions: It is extremely important that you give each assignment the amount of reading and review necessary to grasp the main points and lines of enquiry.  Also, on completing the assessments, take a moment to consider how the materials you have just studied relate to the topics covered in previous sections of the course.

Khan Academy  
This course features a number of Khan Academy™ videos. Khan Academy™ has a library of over 3,000 videos covering a range of topics (math, physics, chemistry, finance, history and more), plus over 300 practice exercises. All Khan Academy™ materials are available for free at

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Think critically about world history in the early modern and modern eras.
  • Assess how global trade networks shaped the economic development of Asia, Europe, and the Americas in the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Identify the origins of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Europe and assess the social and political consequences of these movements for the peoples of Europe.
  • Identify the origins of the Enlightenment in Europe and assess how Enlightenment ideas led to political and social revolutions in Europe and the Americas.
  • Identify the origins of the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions in Europe and assess how these intellectual and economic movements altered social, political, and economic life across the globe in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Compare and contrast how European imperialism affected the states and peoples of Asia, Africa, and the Americas in the 19thcentury.
  • Identify the origins of World War I and analyze how the war’s outcome altered economic and political balances of power throughout the world.
  • Identify the origins of totalitarian political movements across the globe in the 1920s and 1930s and assess how these movements led to World War II.
  • Analyze how World War II reshaped power balances throughout the world and led to the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as global superpowers.
  • Assess how decolonization movements in the 1950s and 1960s altered political, economic, and social relationships between the United States, the nations of Europe, and developing countries throughout the world.
  • Assess how the end of the Cold War led to political and economic realignments throughout the world and encouraged the growth of new global markets and systems of trade and information exchange.
  • Analyze and interpret primary source documents from the 17th century through the present, using historical research methods.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course you must:
√    Have access to a computer.
√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.
√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).
√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.
√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).
√    Be competent in the English language.
√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Unit Outline show close