Course Overview

Description:This course is a study of recent world history from the end of World War I to the present. Major political, economic, and cultural developments that impact global relations will be analyzed.

Objectives:At the completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Describe the global narrative of the 20th century.
2. Explain how the events of the 20th century have shaped our contemporary world.
3. Communicate relevant history to others in a compelling way.
4. Identify the impact of Western developments on the rest of the world.
5. Identify the role of faith (esp. Christianity) in the 20th century.



Martin Gilbert, A History of the Twentieth Century, 2001.

Blackboard & Faithlife Group

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 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.

Course Instructor

Mr. Daniel Ostendorff
Assistant Professor of History & Political Science

Phone: (903) 233-3394
Office Hours: Drop-by on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons, by appointment only on Mon, Wed, & Fri.

Grading Rubric

Participation (10%)

Participation grade is based on chapter quizzes, attendance, and active and helpful participation during class meetings.

Chapter Summaries (15%)

Students will submit a 1-2 page summary of each chapter on the first day that material will be discussed in class. A sample template will be provided for students. The goal of these summaries is for students to make note of the key events, people, places, etc. of each chapter.

Paper & Presentation (15%)

Students will be required to write a 8-10 page paper over some event, person, or development in the 20th century. In addition, students will give a 10 minute presentation in class to their peers on the day this topic is discussed. The paper will be due the same day as the presentation.

Group Project (15%)

Students will work in small groups to choose an event, person, development of the 20th century that they believe their peers do not know about, but should know about in order to better understand our world. Together, they will create a compelling presentation of this information to be made publically available to their friends (either on campus or via social media). This project must have clear evidence of research supporting the presentation.

Unit Exams (20%)

There will be three unit exams during the semester:
1st Exam - Pre-World War II
2nd Exam - World War II & the Post-War World
3rd Exam - Cold War Era

Final Exam (25%)

There will be a comprehensive final exam for this course.

Policies & Expectations

Attendance & 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 papers, 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.

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

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 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 19th Century Background, Pt 1 Prep Quiz
Fri, Jan 15 19th Century Background, Pt. 2 Review Quiz

Week 2

Review Quiz
Day Topic Due
Mon, Jan 18 Martin Luther King Day (NO CLASS)
Wed, Jan 20 First Century Chapter 1, Chapter Notes Due
Fri, Jan 22 First Century

Week 3

Day Topic Due
Mon, Jan 25 Prelude to War Ch. 2 Notes Due
Wed, Jan 27 Prelude to War, Pt. 2
Fri, Jan 29 World War I

Week 4

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 1 World War I Ch. 3 Notes Due
Wed, Feb 3 World War I: Russian Revolution
Fri, Feb 5 WWI: India, China, & Japan Paper & Project Proposal Due

Week 5

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 8 Weimar Germany Ch. 4 Notes Due
Wed, Feb 10 Turkish Republic & the Middle East
Fri, Feb 12 China in the 1920s

Week 6

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 15 NO CLASS
Wed, Feb 17 The Global Depression Ch. 5 Notes Due
Fri, Feb 19 Review Day

Week 7

Day Topic Due
Mon, Feb 22 Unit #1 Exam (1890s through 1925)
Wed, Feb 24 Prelude to War: Germany Ch. 6 Notes Due
Fri, Feb 26 Prelude to War: The United States

Week 8

Day Topic Due Presentations
Mon, Feb 29 World War II, Pt. 1 Ch. 7 Notes Due S. Ross - Hitler & German Assassins
Wed, Mar 2 World War II, Pt. 2
T. Compton - The Battle of Stalingrad
Fri, Mar 4 World War II, Pt. 3

A. Hill - IBM in World War II


Week 10

Day Topic Due Presentations
Mon, Mar 14 Peace Ch. 8 Notes Due C. Netherland - MLK Jr. & Civil Rights
Wed, Mar 16 China under Mao J. Brown - Mao & the Cultural Revolution
Fri, Mar 18 Independence Awakened

O. Stine - Birth & Defense of Israel

Week 11

Day Topic Due
Mon, Mar 21 Review Day
Wed, Mar 23 Unit #2 Exam (WWII Era)

Week 12

Day Topic Due Presentations
Mon, Mar 28 Cold War in Asia Ch. 9 Notes Due J. Cox - Korean War
Wed, Mar 30 American-Soviet Tensions
R. Pickard - Cuban Missile Crisis
Fri, Apr 1 Decolonization

Week 13

Day Topic Due Presentation
Mon, Apr 4
The Middle East Ch.10 Notes Due
Wed, Apr 6 Search for European Unity
Fri, Apr 8 East Asian Tigers

J. Imken - Nixon in China


Day Topic Due
Mon, Apr 11 NO CLASS MEETING Meet with Group to Work
Meet with Group to Work
Fri, Apr 15 Project Presentation Day

Week 15

Day Topic Due Presentation
Mon, Apr 18 The Japanese Miracle
Ch. 11 Notes Due B. Applewhite - Major League Baseball & World War II
Wed, Apr 20 South Africa's Apartheid
Fri, Apr 22 Twilight Years of the Soviet Union (Guest Speaker)

Week 16

Day Topic Due
Mon, Apr 25 A Post-Cold War World Ch. 12 Notes Due; S. Burklin - German Re-Unification
Wed, Apr 27 Final Thoughts

Fri, Apr 29 Review Day


Day Topic Due
Cold War Era Exam
NOTE: For Graduating Senior's Only
Thur, 10am-12pm
2 Part: (1) Cold War Era and (2) Comprehensive