Welcome to Lira’s MWH 2023-2024!
Welcome to Lira's Modern World History class!
In elementary and middle school, students study the world's vast civilizations and world religions, from Muslim civilizations to China and Japan.
This class begins where most students left off in middle school world history: the Enlightenment Era.
We will examine how the Reformation Period, which saw the Catholic Church lose its dominance in Europe, sparked a wave of exploration and imperialism by absolute monarchies. While these endeavors were driven by trade and imperial ambitions, they inadvertently led to remarkable advancements in science and technology. From revolutionary developments in medicine to the shaping of our very own Constitution, the consequences of this era continue to the modern world.
During the Enlightenment Era, we will immerse ourselves in the groundbreaking theories and scientific progress made by pioneers in fields such as astronomy and mathematics. Additionally, we will delve into the ideas put forth by Enlightenment philosophers, including the social contract, separation of powers, equality, natural rights, and civil liberties like freedom of religion and speech; these ideas directly influenced the drafting of the United States' Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
We will then explore how the seeds of Enlightenment ideals fueled revolutionary movements in France, Haiti, and the Americas, and ignited nationalism throughout Europe. While England remained relatively stable and unscathed by internal conflicts, it became the epicenter of the Industrial Revolution, which would subsequently spread to America. This transformative period witnessed the emergence of revolutionary technologies in steel production, transportation, communication, and agriculture, catapulting America into a position of global industrial power.
The Industrial Revolution, driven by a hunger for resources and markets, prompted European nations to embark on a fervent race of imperialism in Africa and Asia. This process entailed the displacement and exploitation of local populations, leading to resistance movements against imperial powers. Meanwhile, the United States, having fulfilled its Manifest Destiny by reaching the west coast, set its sights on controlling the Pacific and beyond, while also seeking to liberate the western hemisphere from Spanish dominance.
In the second semester, we will delve into the cataclysmic impact of total war, which reshaped the global power dynamics and facilitated the rise of powerful dictators. We will analyze the events leading to World War II in Europe and the Pacific, including the Holocaust that targeted Jewish people in Eastern Europe.
Following the war, the world became entrenched in the Cold War, characterized by mutual distrust between the Western and Eastern blocs. Fuelled by events such as China's communist revolution, U2 spy plane incidents, and the domino theory, which mandated a policy of containment, this era was marked by tension and paranoia. Finally, we will examine the process of decolonization in Africa and Asia after World War II, and how globalization has simultaneously brought the world closer together while perpetuating both innovation and exploitation within a landscape of immense wealth and compassion.
Our Schedule for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 Semesters: