History 1120:
Western Civilization II
The garden at Versailles

History 1120 is an introduction to the development of the thought, ideals, and institutions of modern Western Civilization from the sixteenth century to the present. You do not need to take History 1110 in order to take History 1120. Each course teaches similar skills using different historical time periods.

In a Western Civilization 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.  Western Civilization is a Humanities class because it requires reading, analysis, discussion, and writing.

Western Civilization II fulfills three credits of the nine credits Humanities graduation requirement for the College of Du Page Associate of Arts Degree. It transfers as H2 902 in the Illinois Articulation Initiative Humanities and Fine Arts Core Curriculum. 

Some questions this class may help you to answer:

  • How did Western Civilization transform from a religion-centered civilization to one committed to reason, science, and technology?
  • Why did a civilization committed to reason engage in destructive fratricidal wars in the twentieth century?
  • How did democratic governments develop from systems of absolute monarchies?
  • Why is Western society committed to individual rights above all rather than the good of the group?
  • What are the relationships among the following: nationalism, representative government, and revolution; or nationalism, totalitarianism, and socialism; or nationalism, Social Darwinism, and imperialism?
  • What ideas and technologies inspired Western governments to divide up the world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? Why did the world so rapidly de-colonialize in the twentieth?
  • How did industrialization affect the lives of men, women, and children?

At the completion of this course the student will understand:

  • To understand the political, intellectual, economic, and social developments that have created modern Western Civilization.
  • To appreciate the reasons why historians attach such importance to primary sources in writing history.
  • To have practiced reading and writing skills expected of an educated adult.
  • To have practiced critical thinking and analytical skills necessary for a professional in any field.

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