The Modern World: Creative Destruction and Destructive Creations

Units

Unit Essential Questions Habits Of Mind Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension Integrated Learning
Unit 1: Quality of Life
  • What is quality of life? How can we measure it? How can we increase it?
  • What are the biggest factors shaping quality of life? What gives your life quality?
  • Why is quality of life consistently so high in certain places and low in other places?
  • Does a high quality of life correlate to a lot of happiness?
  • What is the Malthusian trap and how does it affect quality of life?

 

  • Quality of life indices from 2005 and 2011
  • Overview of basic economic principles, with particular attention paid to Malthus
  • An economic history of the pre-modern world
  • The role of religion in quality of life and happiness
  • Individual interviews
  • Public speaking
  • Quantitative and comparative analysis
  • Constructing--and debunking--a methodology, paying special attention to
    • Complementarity of different factors
    • Eliminating redundancy
    • Anticipating counter-arguments
  • Efficient, analytical writing
  • Mini-interview and presentation
  • Discussion and debate
  • Student-designed Quality of Life index, establishing a methodology and criteria, and articulating a defense of both
  • Quality of life indices, produced by the Economist and other sources
  • Excerpts from Gregory Clark's A Farewell to Alms
  • Scholarly journal articles on connections between economic growth, religion, and quality of life

 

 

Unit 2: Industrial Revolutions
  • What was so revolutionary about the Industrial Revolution?
  • How did the Industrial Revolution transform human existence?
  • Why did the IR take place in Britain first?
  • How have humans responded, historically, to technological innovation?
  • Does technological innovation increase our quality of life?

 

  • The Agricultural Revolution in England, with particular attention paid to enclosure
  • The technological developments of the Industrial Revolution
  • The reasons for the emergence of the IR in England and the reasons this did not occur elsewhere
  • The social impact of the IR, particularly on the working and middle classes
  • The economic principle of creative destruction and the manifestation of this in the Luddites and elsewhere
  • Creative destruction today

*Thinking critically
*Writing coherently and analytically
*Reading accurately and critically
*Speaking articulately
*Listening carefully and respectfully

  • Mini-interview and presentation
  • Article report on creative destruction
  • Formal essay and presentation, based on individual research project
  • Active reading and discussion
  • Hobsbawm's Industry and Empire
  • Acemoglu and Robinson's Why Nations Fail
  • Weightman's The Industrial Revolutionaries
  • Breunig's The Age of Revolution and Reaction
  • Other excerpted books, primary source documents, and online resources
Unit 3: The Nation-State
  • What is nationalism? What is the nation-state?
  • Does nationalism increase our quality of life? Are we happier with nationalism?
  • Why did nationalism and the nation-state emerge in France in the 18th century?
  • How does a people / a state create nationalism?
  • Do you love America? Why / why not?

 

 

  •  The French Revolution
    • Conditions preceding the revolution in the 18th century
    • Conflicts between and motivations of the three estates
    • Revolutionary ideologies
  • The French Nation
    • Its origins and construction
    • The role of language, education, and religion
    • Major issues facing it today
  • Nation-State Theory
    • Steps in nation-building
    • Nations as creative and destructive forces
  • Individual case studies
    • Germany, Italy, Canada, Ireland, Venezuela, Turkey, Switzerland, Greece
  • Academic research
    • Working with academic databases
    • More sophisticated use of google and other mainstream search engines
    • Source evaluation
  • Extrapolation, applying one specific case study to another country
  • Decoding and management of specific terminology (nation vs. state, nationalism vs. patriotism, etc.) 
  • Critical thinking about implicit and explicit forms of nationalism in America
  • Student discussion leaders
  • General class participation
  • Impromptu reading reflections and quizzes
  • Major research project
    • To what extent did the process of nation-building carried out in France recur in other countries?
    • Formal research paper
  • Primary source documents from Voltaire, Robespierre, and other key revolutionary figures
  • Graham Robb's The Discovery of France
  • David Bell's The Cult of the Nation in France
  • Academic journal articles on nation-state theory and nation-building

 

Unit 4: Colonialism and Imperialism
  • What is the difference between colonialism and imperialism?
  •  How did industrialization and nationalism influence Europe’s imperialist impulse?
  • To what extent were colonialism and imperialism the product—or the genesis—of racism?
  • Why did countries respond so differently to colonialism/imperialism?
  • Country Pairing #1:
    • Fall of the Qing Dynasty in China (Opium Wars, Taiping Rebellion, Boxer Rebellion)
    • Meiji Restoration in Japan
  • Country Pairing #2:
    • Boer and British colonization in South Africa
    • British imperialism in the Gambia
  • Europe's shifting attitudes towards Africa
    • Influence of geography
    • From the slave trade to "legitimate" commerce
    • Scramble for Africa
  • Comparative analysis
    • Establishing and tracking comparisons across place and era
    • Moving beyond similarities and differences to using one country to "unlock" another
  • Historical synthesis
    • Building connections across units
    • Identifying intersection between industrialization, nationalism, and race
  • Multicultural awareness
    • Perspective-taking
    • Going beyond "Western," "Eastern," and "African
  • Short comparative essay on Western imperialism in China and Japan
  • Cumulative first semester exam, building connections between imperialism, nationalism, and industrialization
  • Student discussion leaders
  • In-class assignments and participation
  • Primary source documents, including Kang Youwei, Sun Yat-sen, Kipling, Morel, and Kenyatta
  • Kenneth Pyle's The Making of Modern Japan
  • Kevin Shillington's History of Africa
  • Donald Wright's The World and a Very Small Place in Africa
  • Adu Boahen's African Perspectives on Colonialism
Unit 5: The 20th Century in Poland and Yugoslavia
  • In what ways did the major developments of the 19th century—industrialization, nationalism, and imperialism—continue to shape the course of events in the 20th century?
  • How do two crossroads countries—Poland and Yugoslavia—serve as microcosms of the broader trends in 20th century Europe?
  • Why is violence, in many different forms, one of the dominant storylines of 20th century European history?
  • How did the tension between communism and capitalism shape both Poland and Yugoslavia?
  • How can a multi-ethnic state build a single, inclusive national identity and avoid ethnic tension?
  • World War I
    • Origins of WWI in Bosnia: Serbian nationalism and the Black Hand
    • WWI as culmination of imperialism, nationalism, industrialization
    • Creation of Poland and Yugoslavia at Versailles
  • World War II
    • Rise of fascist, totalitarian states during interwar years
    • Origins of WWII in Poland
    • Poland: Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and resistance
    • Yugoslavia: Chetniks, Partisans, and Ustasha
  • Cold War
    • Ideological foundations
    • Poland: Abandoned to Soviet Union, communist rule
    • Yugoslavia: Rise of Tito
  • Post-Cold War
    • Rise of a new world order
    • Poland: Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, and a new democracy
    • Yugoslavia: The Balkan Wars, ethnic cleansing, and the end of Yugo
  • Developing extended historical narratives within specific countries, tracking major trends and identifying causal relations
  • Extending the comparative analytical skills emphasized in Unit 4
  • Foundations of ethnic studies, identifying key characteristics of specific ethnicities and applying those principles in Yugo and Poland
  • Mastering key ideologies of 20th century, including fascism, socialism, and communism
  • Major formal essay on the challenges of maintaining a multi-ethnic state
    • Requires extensive integration of sources (at least eight)
  • Student discussion leaders
  • Reading quizzes and in-class activities
  • Treaty of Versailles roleplay
  • Primary source documents
  • Secondary sources, including:
    • Misha Glenny's The Balkans
    • Martin Gilbert's The Holocaust
    • David Andelman's A Shattered Peace
    • Keith Lowe's Savage Continent
    • Adam Zamoyski's Poland: A History
Unit 6: The 20th Century in India and the Congo
  • In what ways did the major developments of the 19th century—industrialization, nationalism, and imperialism—continue to shape the course of events in the 20th century?

  • How do two formerly colonized countries—India and Congo—serve as microcosms of the broader trends in the post-colonial world?
  • What were the major challenges facing colonies as they pursued independence and then later as they established their own states?
  • How did the tension between communism and capitalism shape both India and the Congo?
  • Why did India and Poland reach positions of cautious optimism at the end of the 20th century, while Yugoslavia and the Congo failed to do so?
  • From colonialism to independence:
    • India: The British raj and the emergence of Gandhi and Nehru
      • The move towards partition and independent India and Pakistan
    • Congo: Leopold and the Belgian Congo
      • Lumumba's MNC
  • The challenges of independence
    • India: Establishing an independent state
      • Indian democracy and the rise of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty
      • The License raj
      • Nonalignment in the Cold War
    • Congo: The birth of Zaire
      • The persistence of extractive political and economic systems
      • From Lumumba to Mobutu
      • The impact of the Cold War
  • The post-Cold War world
    • India: Globalization and industrialization
      • The persistence of democracy and corruption
      • Gendercide and gender inequality
    • Congo: From Mobutu to worse
      • The Rwandan genocide as trigger
      • The Great Congo War(s)
  • Preparing for the different segments of a major history exam, including:
    • Historical IDs--learning to distill a person/event/idea down to its key elements
    • Quote identification--learning to recognize style and content typical to the writing/speech of historical figures
    • Essay--building a comparative essay between Poland/Yugoslavia and India/Congo
    • The role of collaboration in the review process
  • Online tools: Prezi and Haiku
  • Analyzing primary source documents
  • Second semester final exam
  • Impromptu debates on the causes of partition in India/Pakistan
  • Use of Prezi software to understand geography of Congo and India
  • Student discussion leaders
  • Primary source documents from Gandhi, Nehru, and Lumumba
  • Secondary sources, including Yasmin Khan's The Great Partition, Didier Gondola's The History of the Congo, Shashi Tharoor's India from Midnight to the Millennium, and Martin Meredith's The Fate of Africa
  • Comtemporary work, including Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat, Vandana Shiva, and Jason Stearns's Dancing in the Glory of Monsters