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HIS2103 Global History, 1500-1900

Semester 2, 2021 Springfield On-campus
Short Description: Global History, 1500-1900
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090305 - History
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Catherine Dewhirst

Other Requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


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.


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

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

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.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Bayly, CA 2004, The birth of the modern world, 1750-1914: global connections and comparisons, Blackwell, Oxford.
Goucher, CL, LeGuin, CA & Walton, LA 1998, In the balance: themes in global history, McGraw Hill, Boston.
McNeill, W 1999, A world history, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
Reilly, K 2019, Worlds of history: a comparative reader since 1400, Vol 2, 7th edn, Bedford/St Martin's, Boston.
Upshur, JHL, Terry, J, Holoka, J, Goff, R, Cassar, G 2005, World history since 1500: the age of global integration, Vol 2, 4th edn, West/Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 41.00
Independent Study 124.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
DOCUMENT ANALYSIS 100 15 09 Aug 2021 (see note 1)
LIBRARY RESEARCH 100 15 06 Sep 2021 (see note 2)
ESSAY 100 30 11 Oct 2021 (see note 3)
ONLINE EXAMINATION 100 40 End S2 (see note 4)

  1. Documentary Analyses are due two weeks after scheduled class discussion of the relevant topic. However, students are advised to select a document from topics by the end of week 1 at the latest.
  2. Students in History courses at USQ are required to use Oxford referencing style in their academic work.
  3. Students in History courses at USQ are required to use Oxford referencing style in their academic work.
  4. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.
    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    An Online Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other Requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 8 November 2021