Modern World Studies Online

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$289.00 to $399.00
SKU: 2950

In this comprehensive course, students follow the history of the world from approximately 1870 to the present. They begin with a study of events leading up to 1914, including the Second Industrial Revolution and the imperialism that accompanied it. Their focus then shifts to the contemporary era, including two world wars, the Great Depression, and global Cold War tensions. Students examine both the staggering problems and astounding accomplishments of the twentieth century, with a focus on political and social history. Students also explore topics in physical and human geography and investigate issues of concern in the contemporary world. Online lessons help students organize study, explore topics, review in preparation for assessments, and practice sophisticated skills of historical thinking and analysis. Activities include analyzing primary sources and maps, creating timelines, completing projects and written assignments, and conducting independent research.

When enrolling in the full year option of this course it will be delivered in two semesters. Transcripts will reflect each semester separately


Unit 1: Setting the Stage—Before 1850: The modern world owes a great deal to earlier peoples and ideas. Concepts of democracy, a belief in the worth of the individual, rule by the people—all developed over the course of many centuries. To prepare for a study of the modern world, students begin with a look back to ancient Greece and Rome, to the legacy of Judeo-Christian thought, and to the growth of democratic ideals in England. Students enter the modern world with a brief review of democratic revolutions and the Industrial Revolution.

Unit 2: Europe and the Second Industrial Revolution: The Industrial Revolution began in England, but other nations soon followed and even surpassed Great Britain in industrial output. Resources, governments, and visionary business owners all played a part in developing innovative ways of producing goods. New materials and fuels led to a second revolution in industry and to new products and ways of life. But not everyone shared in the prosperity, and government leaders, workers, business owners, and philosophers looked for solutions to society's new challenges.

Unit 3: The New Age in Asia: By the late nineteenth century, European nations controlled many parts of the world. They sought raw materials for their factories, and markets for their products. They also sought to spread their own cultures. Both China and Japan resisted the Europeans, but in different ways. Their actions would set the stage for much that happened in the twentieth century.

Unit 4: World War and Revolution: People all over Europe were certain that the war that started in August of 1914 would be over by Christmas. Four long years later, when the Great War finally ended, millions of soldiers and civilians lay dead and millions more were maimed and disabled. The hope and prosperity of the first decade of the twentieth century turned to exhaustion and despair. In Russia, social upheavals led to the world's first communist nation.

Unit 5: Between Wars: After the Great War, people in Europe and the United States questioned their earlier optimism and their deepest beliefs. Artists, musicians, and writers grappled with a new sense of reality. In the Middle East, as people threw off their colonial rulers, they faced the challenges of forming new nations, as well as tensions between old values and new ways. As economies failed around the world, dictators took advantage of people's fear and desperation, especially in Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union.

Unit 6: Another World War: Students examine the main causes of World War II, the most devastating war in history. Millions died to halt the advance of dictators and preserve a democratic way of life. This war introduced weapons of almost unimaginable power, as well as the horrors of the Holocaust. The peace that followed brought its own daunting challenges.

Unit 7: Significant Times: Timelines are useful tools for historians. Students create timelines of the eras they have studied during the semester.

Unit 8: Semester Review and Test: Students prepare for and take the semester test.


Unit 1: Tensions in the Post-War World: Even before World War II had ended, it was apparent that the Allies would not remain friends in the post-war era. Mistrust and disagreements between the USSR and the Western democracies led to decades of perilous tension known as the Cold War. Both sides searched for ways to gain support around the world and defeat the other side without launching a potentially catastrophic war using nuclear weapons.

Unit 2: Many Kinds of Revolution: Science, technology, cultures around the world—all experienced dramatic change during the 1940s, '50s, and ‘60s. More nations gained independence from colonial powers, though their paths to self-rule varied widely. At the same time, tensions in the Middle East led to a series of wars and still-unresolved tensions.

Unit 3: Cold War Conflict and Conclusion: During the Cold War, the world's superpowers avoided war with each other, but the tensions between them erupted in armed conflict elsewhere. The U.S. and the USSR vied for allies in other ways as well. Eventually, economic problems and pressures from within and without the Soviet Union brought about the collapse of communism in Europe.

Unit 4: Issues for the Twenty-First Century: As they approach the present day, students examine the rise of a new and deadly threat: terrorism. They consider how innovations in technology—computers, the Internet—have set off an Information Revolution that has transformed the way many people live and work. They also examine the ongoing struggle for democracy and human rights, with a focus on women's rights.

Unit 5: Challenges for the Twenty-First Century: The twenty-first century presents both problems and promises. Never before have people had so much access to information and to each other. Never before has the potential to eradicate disease and hunger, eliminate poverty, and understand the world around us been so great. Globalization is transforming the ways in which many people live and work and do business. The opportunities are enormous, but so are the challenges.

Unit 6: Research Project: Students conduct research and complete a final course project.

Unit 7: Events in the Twenty-First Century: Historians look at the past not just to see what happened, but to determine why it happened and what resulted. The nearer in time we are to events, the more difficult it is to see the why. The recent past has not yet sorted itself into events of lasting importance and events that fade in significance over time. We cannot assess long-term results of decisions made only a short time ago. In this unit, you will study the events of the very recent past. As you do, keep in mind that historians will continue to study and debate these events for decades before they can draw conclusions. This is a "first rough draft" of our nation's most recent chapter. 

Unit 8: Semester Review and Test: Students prepare for and take the semester test.


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