Session 2
1. What is an agricultural society? How does it differ from a hunter and gatherer society?
2. What are the defining features of a civilization? What advantages and disadvantages come with living in a civilized society?
Session 3
1. What is an historical source? How does it differ from secondary work and textbooks? When and where do the sources assigned for this session come from?
2. How can we determine that the Haummurabic Code is a product of a civilization?
3. What is the social and family structure of Babylonian civilization, as suggested by the Code?
4. Comparison and causation: Judging by the documents, what were the main differences between the Babylonian and Jewish state? Which society had the stronger state? What were the main differences between Babylonian and Jewish social structures and social inequality? Between Babylonian and Jewish gender structures? What are some possible causes for the differences in each of these categories?
5. Why did agricultural civilizations tend to have such harsh penalties for crimes?
6. Judging by the documents, how would you describe major advantages and drawbacks in a civilization compared to other forms of social organization?
Session 4
1. Compare classical China and India. Do the two civilizations have similar cultural, social, economic, and political features? What are some significant differences between them?
Session 5
1. How was Confucianism different from a religion? Whose interest did it serve? How did it substitute for religion? Why did it place so much emphasis on family? Did Confucius believe that human nature was good or bad?
2. How did Buddhist values differ from Confucian values? What was the Buddhist concept of misery?
3. What was the Hindu concept of dharma, and how did it differ from the Confucian ethic? How would Confucianists handle the ethical dilemma presented in the Gita? How would Buddhists?
4. What implications did Hinduism and Confucianism have for patterns of social and political behavior? How did each deal with cultural relations between elite and masses? Which belief system would an ordinary peasant prefer?
Session 6
1. Did classical Mediterranean civilization face different changes than India or China did? How does Rome compare with Greece?
2. How did political democracy work in Mediterranean politics?
Session 7
1. What rights and restrictions did women face in classical Greek society?
2. Were the kinds of divisions Aristotle described comparable to Indian or Chinese social structures?
Session 8
1. What was the “ideal woman” in classical China? How did the Chinese ideal mesh with Confuciianism?
2. What was the role of women in classical India? How did this role differ from that of women in China?
3. What are the problems with the evidence available about women's roles in the classical period? How good is cultural evidence as an overall index? What are the problems of social class in the evidence from the classical period?
4. How much does culture cause gender roles?
5. Was the Mediterranean tradition concerning women different from the Indian and Chinese? Was Rome a patriarchal society? What might have caused the approach suggested in the Roman legal debates?
6. Why were women socially subordinate to men in classical civilizations? How could women adjust to patriarchal conditions? What exactly is patriarchy?
Session 9
1. Are the similarities in the declines of various civilizations? Can we identify factors that will point to a civilization's decline?
2. Compare the decline of the three classical civilizations. Does the fall of Rome resemble the decline of classical China?
3. When will Western civilization collapse?
Session 10
1. What defines a “world religion”? Which religions are world religions in the post-classical period, and why?
2. How do religions affect society, politics, and economics in the civilizations they touch? What effects did world religions have on civilizations in the post-classical world?
Session 11
1. What were the main religious duties and rewards for a faithful Muslim?
2. Why was Islam such a successful religion? What causes are involved?
3. What were the main similarities and differences between Islam and Buddhism? Between Islam and Christianity?
4. How did Islam define religious and political organization? How did the Islamic approach compare with Christian issues on church and state?
5. What changes did the Koran make in Arab family law? How could Muhammed argue that Islam improved the conditions of women?
6. How did the Crusades reflect and affect Muslim and Christian attitudes to each other's religion?
Session 12
1. Identify the major components of the World Network. Who participated in it? How much of the world did it cover?
2. In what ways did the World Network differ from earlier trade patterns?
Session 13
1. What did Japan and Europe do to build civilizations in this period? What were the influences on these civilizations' new political, economic, cultural, and social structures?
Session 14
1. What is feudalism? In what circumstances did it develop—and were they similar in Europe and Japan? How does feudalism differ from other decentralized systems of government? How does it differ from manorialism?
2. How did the Magna Carta illustrate the impact of feudalism?
3. How did European feudalism compare to Japanese feudalism, in values and in political structure?
4. Which proved more important for later Western political development: the Greco-Roman political tradition of the feudal political tradition?
5. How would a Muslim or Confucian evaluate Western and Japanese feudalism?
Session 15
1. What were the main features of African and American civilization in the centuries before Western contact?
Session 16
1. How did the military balance between Europe and Asia change between the Middle Ages and 1500?
2. The military superiority Europe attained by the seventeenth century made European expansion in the East possible. What were the motives behind this expansion? In what ways was European dominance still limited, and why?
3. Why did the people of the East fail to assimilate Western military innovations? Did they make a mistake in their policy?
4. How does Cipolla explain change? Is he a technological determinist? What other factors can explain European expansion after the 15th century?
5. How might a Confucian Chinese or Muslim historian judge Cipolla’s account?
Session 17
1. What new themes are evident in world history after 1450
2. What were the sources of Europe’s new strength? What areas came under particular European influence, and why were other areas less affected?
Session 18
1. How was Russia’s position different in 1750 than it was in 1450?
2. What major changes occurred in Russia during this period?
3. What aspects of Russian civilization remained untouched, and why?
4. Why was Russia successful in creating a durable land-based empire? How does Russia’s empire compare to other empires during this period?
Session 19
1. Define the key terms: core, periphery, semi-periphery, external. Illustrate each from one society in the early modern period.
2. How did the transatlantic slave trade fit the world economy? Does the world economy approach help assign blame for the slave trade?
3. How did political systems and labor systems differ among the four types of economies in the early modern centuries? How might culture fit in the world economy, as cause or effect?
4. What major criticisms can be raised against the world economy interpretation?
5. What causes what in the world economy approach? What causes various labor systems?
6. Is the world economy interpretation optimistic or pessimistic about the prospects for general economic progress? How does it compare to a technological-determinist approach to modern world history?
Session 20
1. Identify some ways in which accepted thought and practice changed in the West during this period. What are some of the larger implications of these changes?
Session 21
1. What were the main obligations of Russian serfs? How did they compare with labor systems in colonial Latin America? Were the causes of the two systems similar?
2. What did Peter the Great Westernize, and why? Why did he not try to have Russia achieve core status?
3. How did Radischev evaluate serfdom? What caused his views?
4. Was the Emancipation of the Serfs a revolutionary development?
5. Why and in what ways did ambivalence toward the West develop in Russia? What were the main arguments of 19th-century Russian conservatives? What kinds of criticism of the West surfaced in Russia?
6. Is Russian civilization a part of Western civilization? When did it become so? Is it becoming so now?
Session 22
1. How did each civilization area listed above encounter the West? What were their reactions to the West? What options did each civilization have in dealing with the West, and how well did they fare in using those options?
Session 23
1. How does industrial production differ from agricultural production?
2. How did industrialization affect the West’s relationship with other civilizations?
Session 24
1. Explain the concept of modernization. What does it refer to when applied (respectively) to politics, economics, intellectual attitudes, family life?
2. How was the French revolution part of Europe’s political modernization?
3. Is there a definable cultural modernization?
4. Why is the term modernization regarded by some as ethnocentric? What may it conceal and distort in the study of past societies?
5. When is participation in the world economy modernization? Was Peter the Great a modernizer? What's the difference between westernization and modernization?
6. What causes modernization? What does modernization cause?
Session 25
1. How does the transition from agriculture to industry affect the workday of the laborer?
2. What effects does industrialization have on laborers’ families?
3. Is industrialization progressive? Is all modernization progressive?
4. What is Marxism (see page 394), and according to Marx, what happens to workers in an industrial society?
5. What is a revolution? Does it have anything to do with economic change?
Session 26
1. What is nationalism? How does it differ from earlier forms of loyalty?
2. How do national leaders incorporate traditional aspects of culture into nationalist movements?
Session 27
1. Why did the wars for independence occur in Latin America? (Were they revolutionary?) What were the goals of leaders like Bolivar?
2. What were the political results of “new nation” formation? What political styles developed, and why? (Compare to new nations since 1945.)
3. Did independence change Latin America’s position in the world economy during the 19th century? Did it affect systems of labor?
4. In what ways did Latin America, by the 19th century, seem part of Western civilization? In what ways did it differ?
5. Which helps more in understanding 19th century Latin America: modernization theory or world economy theory?
Session 28
1. What did Russia and Japan do to modernize in this period? What did they modernize, what did they not modernize, and why?
Session 29
1. Is the United States a distinct civilization area or is it part of Western civilization?
2. What unique contribution(s) has the United States made to the world?
Session 30
1. What did the Japanese westernize from the Meiji era onward?
2. What were the differences in values between Fukuzawa and Eichi? How did each leader relate to Confucianism?
3. What were the main problems with Western values in the view of most Japanese leaders?
4. How did Japanese conservatism compare with Russian conservatism in the late 19th century? How significant were the differences? What might have caused the differences?
5. Compare Japanese and Western business ethics—have the differences persisted?
6. What were the main differences and similarities between major revolutions and major decolonization movements in the 20th century?
Session 31
1. Is the 20th century a new period in world history? What are some major changes in world history from the 19th century? What are the major continuities? Are the changes or the continuities more significant?
Session 32
1. What kinds of countries have experienced revolutions in the 19th and 20th centuries? When and why do revolutions occur?
2. Is Marxism a useful ideology for revolution? Do revolutions in the 19th and 20th centuries follow Marx’s prescription for change? What belief systems may advocate revolution?
Session 33
1. What were the main differences between Savarkar’s and Gandhi’s versions of Indian nationalism?
2. What aspects of Indian tradition did nationalists seek to change?
3. How did African nationalists utilize African traditions? What was their attitude toward Western values?
4. What were the main differences between African and Indian nationalisms?
5. What were the main causes of these differences?
6. What were the main differences between national independence struggles and revolutions in the 20th century?
Session 34
1. Define what the First World, the Second World, and the Third World are.
2. How is Wallerstein’s world economy theory applicable to 20th-century patterns of economic development? What problems do we face in applying world economy to the 20th century?
Session 35
1. What have been the main ingredients of conflict in these civilizations?
2. What traditions have been attacked? What traditions have been preserved? Do patterns of what is kept and what is changed emerge?
3. As the twentieth century concludes, how do these civilizations fare economically? What factors may account for problems or successes?
Session 36
1. What patterns of belief do you see as being prevalent in your society today?
2. Is religion modern? Is it disappearing, growing stronger, or staying the same?
Session 37
1. Identify aspects of twentieth century governments that resemble modernization theory. Are there any aspects that are not predicted by modernization theory?
2. Compare the political systems described in the readings. In what ways do Argentine, Italian, British, American and German political developments resemble each other? In what ways do they differ?
Session 38
1. What factors prompted some Africans to oppose missionary Christianity and some to accept it?
2. What were the impacts of consumer culture on 20th-century Africa?
3. What value system does an intellectual like Achebe think Africa should have? How does his approach compare with that of a nationalist like Kenyatta?
4. Has &#)147;Westernization” to the extent it has occurred hurt or helped Africa in the 20th century? Compare Western cultural influence in Africa and in Japan over the past 100 years.
5. To what extent have African values modernized (and how does one measure)?
6. How do African concerns about identity compare with the issues of Mexican identity suggested by Paz? How would Paz's worker compare with Achebes's new urbanite? What is meant by identity concerns in the 20th century, and are they significant?
Session 39
1. What was the Cold War? Who was involved, and why? How was it fought?
2. What implications do conflicts between superpowers have for smaller nations?
Session 40
1. How does post-industrial society differ from industrial society?
2. How might you predict world history will develop over the next fifty years? What methods might you use to try to forecast the future?
Session 41
1. What has the “modernization” of women involved in Western history? How does Western feminism fit this pattern of change? Is modern Western history a case of steady progress for women? Are trends in the conditions of women a good measurement of overall social change in the modern world? Why have conditions changed in so many societies in the 20th century?
2. Compare women’s conditions in 20th century Africa and Latin America; also, Africa and India.
3. What factors account for differences in women’s roles and status in the later 20th century? Is diversity or modernization the better description of comparative patterns for women? What causes differences across civilizations? Are there cases where conditions are deteriorating?
4. What are the main objections to Western criteria for evaluating women’s conditions? How do women differ by social class?
5. What has happened to “patriarchy” as a framework for understanding women’s roles? Has it disappeared? Persisted? Mutated? Does it work the same way in all civilizations? What causes account for the role of patriarchy in civilizations?