UniSQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

HIS2103 Global History, 1500-1900

Semester 2, 2022 Toowoomba On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules


Examiner: Catherine Dewhirst


In a world of rapid change and narrow specialisation it is useful to develop a long-term perspective on the course of human history as a global whole, rather than on a regional or national scale. This survey course introduces students to the early modern and modern phases of the history of globalisation. It encompasses a series of developments as people, communities, states and cultures became increasingly interconnected by varying degrees and at differing paces. In additional to such links, there is a focus on the movement of people, ideas, commodities and disease, and on the role of technology in the distribution of power and wealth across the globe.

Students in this course engage with key developments in world history from 1492-1914 (world explorations to World War I), beginning with a focus on the rise of European empires and their interaction with the world regions of Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania. By following the decline and rise of different powers, we examine significant questions about why empires such as China and the Ottomans did not keep pace with the West and how African slavery contributed to the making of the modern world. Students can expect to engage with the phases of globalisation from a world history perspective, as well as world-systems theory and international relations, to examine specific events and case studies for their global significance in relation to cultural exchange, political change, unfree labour, women, and industrialisation.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. conceptualise and use the essential terminology of socio-historical analysis in a global context;
  2. articulate an informed and critical awareness of the main events, places and people in the development of world history in the defined period;
  3. communicate and critically analyse critically the broad parameters of the interaction of the major empires and states in the defined period in an effective manner verbally and/or online;
  4. ethically apply writing skills, bibliography, and documentation in the History discipline.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The World in 1492: Phases of globalisation, world systems theory, international relations 12.00
2. Global interrelations, 1500-1600: Non-European empires, dynasties and feudal states; European Renaissance; the Atlantic slave trade. 32.00
3. The West, 1600-1780: European politics, the Enlightenment, independence movements in the Americas 16.00
4. The modernisation of the Western World, 1780-1848: Revolutions and wars of independence; nationalism and conflict; Industrial Revolution; cultural and intellectual trends 16.00
5. The race for Empire: Western imperialism in Africa, the Middle East and Asia; migration and settler societies; new world powers; the road to World War I 24.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Hopkins, AG (ed) 2002, Globalization in world history, Pimlico, London.
Stearns, PN, Gosch, SS, Grieshaber, EP and Scardino Belzer, A (eds) 2012, Documents in world history, volume 2, 6th edn, Pearson Education, New York.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%)
Assignments Written Essay 1 No 15
Assignments Written Annotated bibliography No 15
Assignments Written Essay 2 No 30
Examinations Non-invigilated Time limited online examinatn No 40
Date printed 10 February 2023