Self Paced

Early Globalizations: East Meets West (1200s-1600s) (

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This course will introduce you to the history of the world’s major civilizations from medieval times to the early modern era. You will learn about the pivotal political, economic, and social changes that took place in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe during this period. The course will be structured chronologically, with each unit focusing on the expansion or decline of a particular civilization or the interactions and exchanges between civilizations.

The units will include representative secondary and primary source documents that illustrate important overarching political, economic, and social themes, such as the transformation of western Europe during the Renaissance, the emergence of a more inclusive world economy, and the impact of early European exploration and colonization. By the end of the course, you will understand how many different civilizations evolved from isolated societies into expansive, interconnected empires capable of exerting global influence.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

- Think critically and analytically about world history in the medieval and early modern eras.

- Identify and describe the emergence, decline, and main features of the Byzantine Empire.

- Identify the origins and characteristics of the European medieval period and describe the rapidly changing forces at work in society, the economy, and religion during this time.

- Identify the origins of the Aztec and Inca civilizations and assess how these empires affected socio-economic development in the Americas.

- Identify the origins of the Tang and Song dynasties in China and assess the impact of these empires on Chinese government, society, religion, and economy during what scholars refer to as the “golden age.”

- Identify the origins of the Mongol Empire, which dominated much of Asia in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Students will analyze the nature of this empire created by nomads.

- Identify the reasons for a changing balance in the world economy in the 1400s and analyze why Europe superseded Asia as the most dominant civilization on the globe.

- Assess how and why the European Age of Discovery had such a large impact on the New World, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

- Identify the origins and characteristics of the Renaissance and describe its impact on European civilization as a whole.

- Identify the origins of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Europe and assess how this movement altered the social, political, and religious fabric of Europe.

- Identify the origins of colonial Brazil and New Spain. Students will also be able to assess the impact of Spanish and Portuguese colonization on the New World, Africa, and Europe.

- Identify the origins of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires and assess the unique characteristics of these dynasties and their impact upon Asia and the world.

- Identify the origins of the Atlantic slave trade, assessing how this forced migration of peoples affected Africa, Africans, Europe, and the New World.

- Analyze and describe the Asian trading world, the Ming dynasty in China, the “warring states,” and early modern eras in Japan.

- Analyze and interpret primary source documents from the medieval period to the early modern era using historical research methods.