Development of a Major Civilization

Perspectives on Human InstitutionsDevelopment of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

Survey of the history of Early European Civilization from ancient times to the post-Columbian era.

Course Content

This course entails a systematic study of a variety of human experiences from ancient times to the European expansion into the rest of the world. It examines social, political, economic, and cultural institutions of the various periods of early European history. It describes the characteristics of the institutions, the particular types of experiences they provided during a given period, how those characteristics were derived from earlier times and how they influenced subsequent eras. In addition, the course investigates the people of Europe, both the elite members of society and their struggles for power and the ordinary people and their efforts to survive in a society where they had little or no power and their voices were seldom heard.

Early European Civilization explores the blending of cultures in the formation of Europe, what common characteristics emerged to mark early Europeans as members of the same civilization and what differences remained to make early Europe a series of cultures and sub-cultures. It also shows how early European Civilization was distinct from the cultures that preceded it and how it interacted with civilizations that preceded it, as well as contemporary non-European civilizations.

Nature of Course

The primary instructional methods employed in this course are lecture and small-group discussions. Lectures provide broad summaries of historical periods and in-depth explorations of particular developments in a given period. Electronic maps provide a geographic perspective to many of the lectures. Small group discussions examine excerpts from the writings of people who lived in particular time and from contemporary historians who have written about the era. They aim at analysis, summary, and reaction to these excerpts, and they involve discovery of the themes among the various sources.

Early European Civilization provides opportunities for students to locate and gather information, think critically, and communicate both orally and in writing. These skills are developed through a guided discussion of historical research methods and a bibliographical research activity in Kent Library that use the tools for gathering biographical information about historical figures. They are cultivated through research into the life and accomplishments of a significant person from early Europe, which is presented in a biographical sketch. They also are acquired through brief summaries of and reactions to the primary and secondary sources that are discussed in small groups. In addition to the research and discussion activities, these intellectual skills are fostered by means of essays in answer to examination questions prepared outside of class.

Student Expectations

Students will be expected to read assignments for lecture sessions as well as primary and secondary source assignments for small-group discussions. They will be required to write and present brief oral summaries of primary and secondary sources from an anthology, to research and write a brief biographical sketch on a significant figure of early European history and to answer essay questions on examinations. They also will be expected to identify significant historical persons, places, and events, and locate countries, their capitals, and important physical features on a map of Europe.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Perspectives on Human InstitutionsDevelopment of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

A survey of the history of European Civilization from the Old Regime to the present.

Course Content

The course examines the emergence of European Civilization from a post medieval society into the era of the scientific revolution and the eighteenth century Enlightenment. A close examination of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Europe will demonstrate the break with the past and prepare for the political and intellectual upheavals of the nineteenth century. The study of the events leading to the explosive opening of the twentieth century with World War I followed by World War II and the Cold War will lead toward an understanding of European Civilization on the eve of the next era.

Nature of Course

The subject matter will be dealt with through lectures and/or class discussion.

Student Expectations

Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and complete all assignments.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Individual research project and group project.Development of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

A study of the development of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, their cultures, art, government, and religious beliefs.

Course Content

The course will study the most important persons, places, and major events of Greek and Roman history and how these ancient civilizations influenced the development of the modern world.

Nature of Course

This course studies the history and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome in a historical context. Emphasis is placed on students doing research on selected course topics. The process, methods and presentation of research and the use of the library are covered.

Student Expectations

  1. Regular class attendance.
  2. Maintenance of appropriate class notes.
  3. Completion of all assignments.
  4. Participation in class discussions
  5. Success on tests and quizzes.
  6. Individual research project and group project.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Perspectives on Human InstitutionsDevelopment of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

A study of the history of the United States from colonial beginnings to 1877.

Course Content

This course will emphasize the social, intellectual and political forces which shaped America.

Since the United States is a land of immigrants, a major theme of the course will deal with the variety of peoples who migrated to America, how they interacted with those already here, and how that interaction produced a diverse and pluralistic society.

The creation and development of the American governmental system will also be an important element of the course. The role played by government in the lives of Americans and the relationship between the federal, state, and local governments is essential to an understanding of the American political process, and this relationship will receive emphasis in the course.

The study of the development of an industrial process in the nineteenth century and subsequent changes in the American social and economic life will provide students with important perspectives on the problems modern Americans have in dealing with an industrialized society.

Nature of Course

Lecture and discussion.

Student Expectations

Students will be expected to take notes, perform acceptably on exams, and participate in class discussions. They will also be expected to perform satisfactorily on outside reading, research, and writing assignments.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Perspectives on Human InstitutionsDevelopment of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

A study of the history of the United States from 1877 to the present.

Course Content

This course will emphasize the social, economic, and political forces that have shaped contemporary American culture. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the impact of technology on modern society, the increasing role of the United States as a world power, and the growing diversity of American society. Among the designated General Education objectives, emphasis will be placed upon critical thinking, locating and gathering information, communication skills, and developing a multi-cultural view.

Nature of Course

This course is taught in two formats. Several sections each semester will be taught in the traditional lecture-discussion model with a written and/or oral research project. Several sections may be taught by professors who emphasize computer-mediated presentations, have an interactive course web page, and require students to develop family histories rather than the traditional research paper.

Student Expectations

Students will be expected to take notes, perform acceptably on exams and participate in discussions, read assigned materials, and prepare a research project analyzing one aspect of American history and culture.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Perspectives on Human InstitutionsDevelopment of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

A study of the development of African Civilization from ancient times to the present.

Course Content

  1. AFRICA BEFORE EUROPEAN COLONIZATION: Africa has had a rich past long before it was "discovered" by Europe. Using a rather broad brush, this section will deal with African history from the origins of man to the rise of Africa's great empires in the Medieval period.
  2. KINGDOMS TO COLONIES: The entrance of Europeans into Africa in the fifteenth century forever changed the continent. Among the topics covered in section two will be the trading relationships developed between African people and the Europeans, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the development of the colonial system.
  3. MODERN AFRICA: Modern Africa is more than political history. This section will deal with the paradoxes of modern African life from its endemic poverty, ethnic discord, governmental problems, religion and the environment.

Nature of Course

Since African Civilizations deals with people very much different than themselves and covers an entire continent over an extended period of time, the course will emphasize general themes and ideas rather than an intensive examination of any particular area or people.

Throughout the semester students will be challenged to think about and analyze issues both individually and as a group. The discussion method will be employed extensively for maximum student involvement.

Student Expectations

To help develop skills in information gathering and written communication, each student will be required to do some research and writing. Examinations will include a variety of question types, but there will be some essay on all tests so students may elaborate more effectively.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Perspectives on Human InstitutionsDevelopment of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

A survey of the history of Chinese Civilization from its inception in Ancient times to the contemporary period. The course includes an examination of the cultural, social, economic and political forces which have shaped Chinese Civilization.

Course Content

---

Nature of Course

  1. To introduce students to the character of Chinese civilization both as background to contemporary institutions and as a major force in world development.
  2. To place the development of a civilization within a general historical context in order to provide students with a perspective of their own society's place within the experience of mankind.
  3. To foster an understanding of the interplay of politics, economics, religion and philosophy, social organization, art and literature by observing, over a sustained time period, the manner in which alternations in one bring on changes in the others.
  4. To teach the historical method as a means of critical thinking, including the evaluation of conflicting testimony in assessing historical fact and assisting students in applying this historical perspective to the major trends examined.

Student Expectations

  1. Regular class attendance
  2. Maintenance of class notes subject to review by the instructor
  3. Participation in class discussions
  4. Reading all assigned materials
  5. Timely completion of all written and oral assignments, including a research paper
  6. Demonstration of mastery of course content
  7. Demonstration of mastery of course methodology.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Perspectives on Human InstitutionsDevelopment of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

A survey of the history of Islamic Civilization from the time of Muhammad until the present.

Course Content

This course involves an historical study of the development of Islamic Civilization from Muhammad until the present. Study will center on the Islamic heartland of the Middle East and North Africa. Stress will be placed on understanding the unique aspects of the Civilization's culture, social organization and political development, with particular attention being given to Islamic religion as a factor in shaping other aspects of the Civilization. The first half of the course will be primarily concerned with learning what constitutes the traditional elements of Islam, while the second half will concern Islam in the modern world and such contemporary problems as the Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle Eastern oil and Islamic revolution.

Nature of Course

Lecture discussion.

Student Expectations

The subject matter will be dealt with through both lecture and class discussion. The textbook will be supplemented with additional readings and each student will be required to research and write a short paper. Examinations will include a variety of types of questions with special stress placed on essay questions. Students will be expected to maintain lecture notes, participate in class discussions, complete all assignments by the required date and take all tests and examinations.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Perspectives on Human InstitutionsDevelopment of a Major Civilization

Catalog Description

A survey of Latin American civilization from Pre-Columbian times to the present with emphasis on the mixture of cultures and the struggle for modernity, including an examination of cultural, social, economic and political forces which have shaped Latin American Civilization.

Course Content

  1. To understand a diverse area of the world such as Latin America, one must begin with the Pre-Columbian Civilizations of the Aztec of Ancient Mexico, the Maya of Yucatan, and the Inca of Peru. These cultures were similar in many ways to the ancient Bronze Age cultures of the Old World. The course will focus on their history, economics, society, art, and religion.
  2. The conquest of the Pre-Columbian Civilizations by the Spanish and Portuguese began a great mixing of the European and Amerindian peoples which continues. It also created a long colonial period culminating in the Latin American Wars for Independence, a major event in the Atlantic World.
  3. Studying the modern world of Latin American Civilization, the course will focus on the problems of nation building. Emphasis will be upon Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Attention will be drawn to the problems of democracy and dictatorship, economic development, and the place of the arts in Latin American society.

Nature of Course

The subject matter will be dealt with through lectures and/or class discussion.

Student Expectations

Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and complete all assignments.

Prerequisites

None.

Corequisites

None.

Credit Hours

3

Contact

573.651.2207
generaleducation@semo.edu
Academic Hall 132

General Education Program
One University Plaza, MS 3400
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701