Western Civilization from 1715

Description:This course covers world events and significant movements from 1715 to the present, with a focus on the Western world. Particular attention is given to the progress of civilization and the development of society in modern history.

Objective:Upon completing the course,students will be able to
(1) identify the overall narrative of the period (1700-Present),
(2) understand how this history has shaped our modern world,
(3) discuss the development of the historical discipline over this period of time,
(4) demonstrate the importance of historical understanding in their lives/world, and
(5) explain the relationship between the Christian faith and history.



Only one text is required for this course: Donald Kagan, et. al., The Western Heritage, vol 2 (ISBN:978-0-205-43451-0)

Students are permitted to use the eBook version, but it is their responsibility to have access to it in class - either on a laptop, ebook reader or with the chapter printed out. You are responsible for having your technology charged in order to engage. A dead battery that impacts your engagement will result in deductions from your class participation grade.


This course utilizes both Blackboard and a Faithlife/Noet Group. The syllabus, external links, and other course documents are posted on Blackboard. The course grade book is also posted and updated periodically. If you do not know your password to access Blackboard, go to www.letu.edu/it for the necessary information. Please note that none of the material provided on either site should be made available publicly on the internet. Public dissemination of the information will result in a grade deduction and academic discipline for violation of copyright laws. All assignments must be submitted via Blackboard’s “Assignment” section.

Grading Rubric

While students are expected to obtain adequate knowledge of all material covered in the course, learning will be assessed via the following categories:

Participation (10%)

Believing that God has brought the specific members of this class together for his purposes, each student is expected to prepare for class and engage in the class discussion in appropriate ways. Ten percent of your final grade for this course reflects your participation. Active, helpful, and regular participation is expected for a student to receive the full 10% of their participation grade.

Reading Quizzes (10%)

The work we will do every class is contingent upon each student coming prepared to engage. As a result, most classes will begin with a short reading quiz as a method of accountability for the required reading.

Unit Exams (40%)

There will be three unit exams throughout the semester, followed by a comprehensive final at the end. Each unit exam will have a short review section of material from the previous exam(s).

Unit 1 Exam - Chapters 13-16 - February 5, 2016
Unit 2 Exam - Chapters 17-21 - March 4, 2016
Unit 3 Exam - Chapters 22-27 - April 13, 2016

Papers & Projects (20%)

Throughout the semester, there will be a series of projects, both in and out of the class. Details on these will come as the semester progresses.

Presentations - Biographies - January 25
Paper - Making Our Modern World - First Draft: Feb. 17, Final Draft: Mar. 4.
Presentations - World War I & II - April 1 & 15

Paper Criteria: The paper should be 6-8 pages in length, not including the Bibliography/Works Cited page. Students are required to use a minimum of 2 primary sources and 3 secondary sources. Students are allowed to use a citation style guide of their choosing (e.g. MLA, Chicago, etc.), but must be consistent in its use. The paper must answer this question: What is the most significant legacy of the 18th century in shaping our modern world?

Final Exam (20%)

The final exam is cumulative. Students are responsible for the information in the book, as well what is presented and discussed in class throughout the semester.


Participation 10%
Reading Quizzes 10%
Unit Exams 40%
Papers & Projects 20%
Final Exam 20%
TOTAL: 100%

Expectations & Policies

The following are the expectations for every student in this course:


Believing that God has brought this unique ensemble together for his purposes in this class, participation and attendance by all in the class is expected. Absence from class lecture and discussion will have a negative impact on a student’s exam, assignment, and participation grade.

Class Participation

Believing that God has brought the specific members of this class together for his purposes, each student is expected to prepare for class and engage in the class discussion in appropriate ways. Ten percent of your final grade for this course reflects your participation. Active, helpful, and regular participation is expected for a student to receive the full 10% of their participation grade.

Late Assignments

Late assignments are due upon the student’s return to class following a University approved absence. The late submission of reports, for non-excused absences, will receive a letter grade penalty for each day after the deadline. No work will be accepted after 1 week. Daily quizzes, tests, and exams cannot be made up, except for when missed due to a University approved absence. When at all possible, these should be taken prior to a planned University absence.


Exams must be taken on the day they are scheduled during the class period, unless prior arrangements have been made with the professor. Any student who fails to take the exam during the assigned class period will receive a 0% on the exam.

Integrity & Honesty

It is expected that each student will submit work and exams that reflect their own thinking and knowledge of the material. This is central to a life of Christ-like integrity and honesty. Collaborative work is encouraged, but the final product must be each individual student's work. Any work that is not original to the student must be properly cited (i.e. direct quotations, specific information, etc.). Work that is copied or not original to the student which does not include a clear and complete citation will be considered plagiarized and, in the case of an exam, cheating. Instances of plagiarism/cheating will be handled according to university policy, as well as receive a zero (0%) on the given assignment. God has equipped each of us with the ability to accomplish the tasks he sets before us - including the work required for this course.

LETU Email

Your LeTourneau University email account is an official avenue for communication. You should check your email daily for course updates and other helpful information.

LETU Ethics Statement

A foundation of mutual trust is essential to the learning community. That trust is broken when the standards of right and wrong that all students and faculty are expected to uphold are violated. Academic dishonesty is a serious breach of trust within the LeTourneau University community because it violates the regard for truth essential to genuine learning and Christian consistency. From a broader perspective, it hurts all students and their peers who try to do their work with integrity. Therefore, it cannot be tolerated by the University. Given the serious nature of academic dishonesty, a student experiencing particular difficulties in a course is encouraged to discuss the problem with the instructor rather than succumb to the pressure to commit academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is not qualitatively different from other types of dishonesty. It consists of misrepresentation in an attempt to deceive. In an academic setting, this may take any number of forms: copying work, plagiarizing the work of others, use of work from a previous course, looking at another students exam answers, etc. If academic dishonesty is found, a student will receive a zero for the assignment in the first instance. If a second instance occurs, the student will receive a zero for the entire course.

Consult the LETU student handbook for detailed information on academic honesty and the appeals process.

LETU Disability Statement

Students enrolled in an institution of higher education are required to self- identify if they would like to request academic support services on the basis of a disability. LeTourneau University encourages a student with a disability to self-identify after admission and to provide required documentation to the Office of Student Support Services. The office may be reached by calling (903) 233-4400 or emailing KristyMorgan@letu.edu.

LETU Grievance Policy

If you feel that you have been treated unfairly or if you have any questions or concerns, please talk to me. I will do everything in my power to resolve any disagreements or misunderstandings. If you still feel that your rights as a student have been violated, please visit http://www.letu.edu/_Student-Life/ Complaints for full university policy and procedure on the filing of a grievance.


Week 1

Day Topic Due
Mon, Jan 11 Welcome & Introduction
Wed, Jan 13 Review Day
Fri, Jan 15 Netherlands, England's Civil War Ch. 13, pp 385-395.

Week 2

Day Topic Due
Mon, Jan 18 Martin Luther King Day (NO CLASS)
Wed, Jan 20 England's Civil War, Louis IX Ch 13, pp 395-ff.
Fri, Jan 22 Scientific Revolution Ch. 14, pp 412-429

Week 3

Day Topic Due
Mon, Jan 25 Faith & Science Ch. 14, pp 429-ff; Biography Presentations
Wed, Jan 27 Faith & Science Ch. 14, Biography Presentations, Day 2
Fri, Jan 29 18th Century & Industrial Revolution Ch. 15, pp 449-ff.

Week 4

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 1 European Colonialism Ch. 16, pp 481-497
Wed, Feb 3 Wars & Revolutions Ch. 16, pp 497-ff.
Fri, Feb 5 Review Day Review Day

Week 5

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 8 Unit 1 Exam Ch. 13-16
Wed, Feb 10 The Enlightenment, Pt 1 Ch. 17, pp. 512-529; 
"Adam Smith Calls for Government..." p. 525
Fri, Feb 12 The Enlightenment, Pt 2 Ch. 17, pp 529-ff.

Week 6

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 15 NO CLASS
Wed, Feb 17 The French Revolution Ch. 18, all;
First Draft of Essay Due: Making our Modern World
Fri, Feb 19 Napoleon & Romanticism Ch. 19, all.

Week 7

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 22 Conservatism & Nationalism Ch. 20, pp 616-632.
Wed, Feb 24 Conservatism & Conflict Ch. 20, pp 632-ff.
Fri, Feb 26 19th Century Society Ch. 21, pp 646-662;
Extra Reading on Imperialism

Week 8

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 29 Socialism's Beginning & Revolution Ch. 21, pp 662-ff.
Wed, Mar 2 Review Day
Fri, Mar 4 Unit 2 Exam Ch. 17-21;


Day Topic Due

Week 10

Day Topic Due
Mon, Mar 14 Nation-States: Germany & Italy Ch. 22, pp 685-700;

Wed, Mar 16 Nation-States: France, Habsburg, Russia, & Britain Ch. 22, pp 700-ff.
Fri, Mar 18 The Second Industrial Revolution Ch. 23, pp 715-727.

Week 11

Day Topic Due
Mon, Mar 21 Labor, Socialism, & Politics Ch. 23, pp 727-ff.;
Excerpt from the Communist Manifesto
Wed, Mar 23 Modern Thought Ch. 24
Fri, Mar 25 NO CLASS - GOOD FRIDAY Final Draft of Paper Due

Week 12

Day Topic Due
Mon, Mar 28 [Flex Day]
Wed, Mar 30 The "New Imperialism" Ch. 25, all.
Fri, Apr 1 World War I, Pt 1 Ch. 26, pp 827-851;
Presentations (Outbreak of War, Russian Revolution)

Week 13

Day Topic Due
Mon, Apr 4 World War I, Pt. 2 Ch. 26, pp 851-ff.
Wed, Apr 6 Depression & Socialism Ch. 27, pp 865-879
Fri, Apr 8 Germany: Republic & Reich Ch. 27, pp 879-ff.

Week 14

Day Topic Due
Mon, Apr 11 Review Day
Wed, Apr 13 Unit 3 Exam Ch. 22-27
Fri, Apr 15 World War II: The War Ch. 28, pp 898-919.;

Week 15

Day Topic Due
Mon, Apr 18 [Flex Day]
Wed, Apr 20 World War II: The Holocaust & Peace Ch. 28, pp 919-ff.;
Extra Reading on the Holocaust
Fri, Apr 22 Cold War: The Soviet Union Ch. 29, pp 936-952.

Week 16

Day Topic Due
Mon, Apr 25 Cold War: Decolonization Ch. 29, pp 952-ff.;
Extra Reading from Gandhi
Wed, Apr 27 Our World Today Ch. 30
Fri, Apr 29 Review Day


Day Topic Due
TBD FINAL EXAM Comprehensive Final Exam

Contact Info

Daniel Ostendorff

Department Chair | Assistant Professor of History & Political Science

Email: DanielOstendorff@letu.edu
Phone: (903) 233-3394

Department of History & Political Science
2100 S. Mobberly Ave.
Longview, TX 75602