College of DuPage
History 2235
Twentieth Century World
Japanese samurai photographed during the Boshin War period.

History 2235 is an examination of the events, movements, and personalities of the twentieth century world. Themes such as imperialism, colonialism, war, revolution, totalitarianism and globalization are analyzed.

In a Twentieth Century World class you are expected to learn information, to analyze and discuss aspects of it, and to answer questions that require you know the facts and combine them in ways that will thoughtfully answer some complex questions. Twentieth Century World is a Humanities class because it requires reading, analysis, discussion, and writing.

Twentieth Century World fulfills three credits of the nine credits Humanities graduation requirement for the College of DuPage Associate of Arts Degree. It transfers as H2 903N in the Illinois Articulation Initiative Humanities and Fine Arts Core Curriculum.

Some questions this class may help you to answer:

  • What ideas and technologies inspired Western governments to divide up the world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?
  • How did the western states treat their colonial subjects?
  • Why did western civilization, supposedly committed to reason, engage in destructive fratricidal wars in the twentieth century?
  • What role did the world wars play in the decline of the western powers and de-colonization throughout the world?
  • What were the issues in the Middle East that have given rise to its intractable problems?
  • With regard to states dominated by western powers, why did some select democracy at the time of independence, and some select communism?
  • Why did many new states fail at democracy while a few succeeded? What variations of democracy are present in India and Japan?
  • Why did so many states in Latin America and Africa turn from democracy to military dictatorship?
  • What role did the Soviet Union play on the world stage and why did Communism in the Soviet Union fail so abruptly?
  • How was Chinese communism different from Soviet Communism? Was Mao a great leader or a megalomaniac? In what sense is modern day China still communist?

Upon successful completion of the course the student should be able to do the following:

  • Interpret the causes and effects of imperialism and colonization
  • Analyze the causes and effects of major modern wars and revolutions
  • Identify and determine the successes and failures of major world leaders
  • Recognize the importance of recent world events in the world today