Origins of the modern world system in the sixteenth century and its history until World War I. Interacting forces of politics and economics around the globe, with particular attention to key periods of expansion and crisis. Offered: A.
SIS 200 discusses how the modern world came into being. It is a broad survey of the historical trends that led to increasingly interconnected world in which we all found ourselves in the 20th century. Beginning with an account of why, in the past, some societies changed faster than others, the course will then look at how the major world religions were shaped, what happened in the West to accelerate progress, and why the industrial revolution occurred. The positive and negative consequences of modernization will then be studied. The Enlightenment led to scientific and technical progress as well as to democracy and greater tolerance, but Europe's growing power also led to colonialism and to the catastrophe of World War I, which was followed by the rise of totalitarian movements. The course ends with the crisis of 20th century capitalism, the Great Depression and World War II. It will be followed by SIS 201 which will pick up the story during World War II.
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