Monday, January 31, 2011

Global War Cometh

Colonialism begat Mercantilism. 

Mercantilism begat Colonial Economies

Competing Colonialism begat Global War

The Seven Year's War on 3 Continents
Prussia and England are "allies"

Prussia: fighting France, Austria, Poland on land in Europe
England: fighting Spain and France - mostly at sea and around world

The Death of Wolfe by Benjamin West
 Just 32 years of age, the courageous General John Wolfe died during his signal victory at Quebec City in 1759. His opposite, Louis-Joseph de Montcalm also died as a result of the battle.

The balance of power shift in the Americas

Blamed for losing the British outpost at Minorca to the British, Admiral John Byng was shot by a firing squad following a courts-martial accusing him of not acting to his utmost.  The satirist Voltaire commented on the execution of Byng in Candide, where the title character goes to Portsmouth to witness the execution and quips in this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others."

A British squadron took Havana in 1762, and gave it back to Spain in exchange for Minorca and Florida after the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

About the same time, another British squadron took Manila in the Philippines from the Spanish. It, too, went back to Spain after the treaty, but not after Britain received an enormous ransom and further trade concessions from Spain.

At the end of the day, was this a war of ideas or money and power? Why?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Read All About It!

If we followed the money in Chapter 13, then we are following the ideas in Chapter 14.

Broadly considered, could you answer how trade and prosperity helped bring about new ideas around the globe?

An early news pamphlet or "newsbook," the forerunner of the newspaper, from 1660

William Hogarth's South Sea Scheme, 1721

Pamphlets, newspapers, and later, political images were important developments in spreading ideas in Europe and elsewhere. How did this revolution in inexpensive communication reorder traditional patterns of influence?

Here is another interesting Hogarth work - a painting from which an engraving would be made. How had representational art changed? How did it reflect the way society had changed in the 150 years before this painting appeared?

An English Coffeehouse of the 18th Century

The voyages of Captain James Cook

Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778)

Japan, as you have read, did everything in its power to maintain trade with the West without having to put up with all of those pesky intellectual trends washing ashore. Their solution was Dejima or Deshima Island, depicted below:

 The Dutch VOC became the sole traders in Japan in

A French account of Japan in German from 1663

Lastly, some specifics that you should have gotten out of the book:

What do the different maps in chapter 14 tell us about the worldviews of different societies vis a vis the rest of the world?

Why didn't the Chinese or Mugal worlds find much worthwhile in European ideas?

How and in what context did academic plagiarism become a problem in China?

What new conceptions of "race" emerged with both the population of the Americas and in the context of new Linnaean approaches to taxonomy?

Some terms from Chapter 14:
Taj Mahal
No and Kabuki
Galileo and Bacon
Coffeehouse culture
Asante, Oyo, Benin
Captain Cook and Carl Linnaeus 
Great Chain of Being

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Many Diffusions of the Old World into the New

Today we are going to look at the many manifestations of European contact with North America - both for the way that the Europeans changed the Americas and the other way around.

Some of the institutions we will cover today include:

Indentured servitude
The emergence of North American Slavery
The notion of freedom and individual liberty versus class hierarchy
The spread of ideas
Commodity and the changing of the North American Indians

An ad offering indentured servants

An ad offering a reward for runaway indentured servants.

A really cool link to a database of indentured servants from the Virtual Jamestown Project.

Bacon's Castle in Virginia

A list of those executed in the wake of Bacon's Rebellion.

A hatchet head, the world's most useful survival tool, imported by 100,000 to North America.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Entanglements of World Trade

After reading Chapter 13 in Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, do you think you could answer an essay-type question on how the introduction of massive quantities of specie (mostly silver) into the global economy brought about widespread transformations?

A real de a ocho (or Spanish piece of eight) from the mid 16th century. 

A taler from 1547 in the Holy Roman Empire, Maurice of Saxony (from the Money Museum)

We are going to spend a bit of time talking about the slave trade and its enormous ramifications for both the Americas, Africa, and Europe.

Elmina Slave Castle, present day Ghana - built by the Portuguese in 1482, taken over by the Dutch in 1642 

A replica of an early matchlock trade musket.

Lastly, we are going to take a look at the European peasantry and how they played a role in the course of events during the upheavals of the seventeenth century. In this regard, we will be considering the armies of the 30 Years War and why they were different from what came before and the system of Enclosure in England. How did both of these things change the relationship between the elite and poor of Europe?

A map of the manor of Digswell, Herfordshire, England about 1599.  From

Some themes and terms from your textbook Chapter 13 reading that you should know:

South Sea Bubble
Oyo and Asante
Korpulu Reforms
Canton System
Time of Troubles
30 Years War
Glorious Revolution

What pressures did the Ottoman Empire face in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and how did these pressures and effects resemble those witnessed in the Mughal Empire?

In what way did the Tokugawa Japanese and the Qing Chinese take a similar approach to international trade? What was the fundamental difference between the two?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The World to 1650 - up to the starting line.

There are three basic trends that we are going to look at today (and expand upon later) and they all have to do with the reorienting of global commerce in the 15th Century:

1.) Why did Europe get into the maritime exploration business in the 15th century? Be sure to think about large overarching causes as well as more location-specific ones.

2.) How did the emergence of maritime trade "change things?" How revolutionary were European innovations in shipping?

3.) In what ways did the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter Reformation and the relative position of the Pope cast a shadow over the "era of exploration?"

Europe in the 15th Century:

Here is a great map of the world in the "age of exploration" from the University of Texas.

A Ming Dynasty porcelain vase

A fine Persian-style rug from the Mughal Dynasty.  

The Ottoman Empire

Innovations in European sailing technology:

An early Portuguese caravel (model) Note the lateen sails.

This is a pretty interesting site charting the transformation of sailing in the 15th Century.

 Here is a link to a very interesting page on square rigged ships - in this case, whaling ships.

This image should give you an idea of the maneuverability of ship-rigged ships.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011



Course Syllabus: HIST 124-08/10
World Civilizations II: Spring 2011
Dr. Justin A. Nystrom
Office: 421 Bobet

Course Location: Bobet 332
Time: M/W 3:30-4:45 (08) 4:55-6:10 (10)

Course Objectives

World Civilization I and II are part of Loyola University New Orleans’s core curriculum, a common set of courses taken by all students that have been assembled to offer a breadth of exposure to fundamental aspects of a liberal arts education. World Civilization plays an important role in this program.

This course will cover roughly 400 years of human history in less than sixteen weeks. Naturally, we cannot dwell on every detail – indeed no survey does. The texts selected and the material emphasized in this course will thus balance “coverage” of information with an analysis of its broader significance. Students should expect this analysis to take place in the context of the university’s Ignatian philosophy of “thinking critically, and acting justly.” To wit, we will spend a significant amount of time this semester contemplating the material goods, supernatural beings, cultural values, etc. that different societies valued and the degree to which these values have endured or evolved.

Required Texts

Tignor, et al, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World. Volume 2: The Mongol Empire to the Present.

Course Blog

You will want to bookmark and/or subscribe via an RSS reader to the course blog. The address is

Graded Content

Lecture Question Assignment: (25%)

A portion of your exams will be student-written. Over the course of the semester, I will give 20+ thematic lectures on some aspect of our material.  In the last five minutes of our class period, I will ask you to reflect upon your notes and write an essay/ID style question based on the lecture material that you just heard.  You will need to write a minimum of ten (10) of these lecture-based questions over the course of the semester in order to receive twenty-five percent of your grade.

As there are many opportunities to write these questions, they MUST be written in class, the day of the lecture. No late or make-up work will be accepted. Because there are twice the opportunities to write questions as are required, I will not accept doctors’ notes or other similar documentation for make-ups. Re-stated: you MUST be in class to turn in a question.

I will grade your questions on a zero (0) to two (2) point scale.  The grade for your lecture question will appear in Blackboard. Questions that do not merit full credit may be replaced by doing more than ten questions. You can receive no more than the allotted 25% of the grade by answering extra questions.

The I.D. portion of your exams will be inspired by edited versions of the questions you write.

Exams: (3 x 25% each)

Your tests will be 40% from the reading (terms will appear on the course blog) and 60% in the form of I.D. questions based on the lectures.  Unlike last semester, I will not supply you with the lecture I.D. questions in advance. There is no final exam per se. The third exam serves as your final exam, and while it appears on the last day of class, I reserve the right to move it to the final exam date should it be necessary for us to cover all of the material.  

Nuts and Bolts

Making up tests:
If you miss a test for a documented illness, death in the family, or official school function, you must notify me as early as possible and no later than 4 days after the exam.  The make-up exam will not be a make-up test, however. I will assign you a book of 200-350 pages in length and expect you to write a 1500-word review.  If you miss a second test and expect a make-up, I will automatically deduct 25% off of the top of your test (book review) grade. I have found that students tend to abuse a too-lenient make-up policy, and this should make clear that I want you to show up for tests at the appointed time!

The nature of the exam question assignment means that you need to be in class all the time to do well and reasonably often to pass it.  It is axiomatic that people who are present and taking notes do best in this course. Be the ant, not the grasshopper.

About Your Lectures:
I’ve designed the lectures to be relatively self-contained units. But there are also times when I’ll need to continue an idea into the next class period, or conversely, preview some of the coming lecture material in a prior section. You will want to take notes. Audio recorders are acceptable in my classroom.

Note: if you miss class for some serious family or personal tragedy, please contact me and we will work something out. Know that I will want some sort of substantiation.

Grading Scale (minimum grade for)
A = 93.0                   A- = 90.0                  B+ = 87                     B = 83                                    B- = 80.0, etc.
F= 59.99 and below.

(No, not the genre of music.) I don’t want to see “smart” phone usage in class unless we randomly search something related to class. It’s impolite and kind of antisocial to be staring at your device when you should really be paying attention. And I’m convinced it’s some sort of social disease, but we can debate that. (I wouldn’t want to be a hypocrite, however. Go to any big faculty meeting and you will see some of your professors doing the same thing. It’s still bad form, even when us “grown ups” do it.) So please, try not to get distracted!

I allow them, but discourage them. You really aren’t paying attention when you I.M. and check Facebook and sit in class at the same time. “Multitasking” is a little lie we tell ourselves when in reality we just don’t want to do what it is we are supposed to be doing.  That being said, some folks do a good job taking notes on their computers, and if this is you, have at it. If I see you clearly not using the computer for class, I may ask you to sit in the back of the room.

Rock Me Like a Hurricane:
With all apologies to the Scorpions, we live in a tropical zone. If we have to evacuate for a hurricane, I will make adjustments to class as the situation warrants. The primary contact will be for me to send out an email to you with specific instructions based on what we are facing (be it a two day, two week, or two month evacuation.) I encourage you to sign up for Skype service (free) already if you do not. If we are in an extended evacuation, I plan on recording lectures and place them on Vimeo.  Testing will probably employ Google Forms. Pray that we won’t need to do this.

The official statement of Humanities and Natural Sciences: "Plagiarism--the use of another person's ideas or wording without giving proper credit--results from the failure to document fully and accurately.  Ideas and expressions of them are considered to belong to the individual who first puts them forward.  Therefore, when you incorporate ideas or phrasing from any other author in your paper, whether you quote them directly or indirectly, you need to be honest and complete about indicating the source to avoid plagiarism.  Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism can bring serious consequences, both academic, in the form of failure or expulsion, and legal, in the form of lawsuits.  Plagiarism is a violation of the ethics of the academic community."
William G. Campbell, Stephen V. Ballou, and Carole Slade, Form and Style: Thesis, Reports, Term Papers, 6th Edition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982), p. 52.

My note: Any documented plagiarized work (in the case of this class, copying a friend’s exam question) will receive a zero for a grade.

Students with disabilities who wish to receive accommodations in this class should contact Disability
Services at 865-2990 as soon as possible so that warranted accommodations can be implemented in a
timely fashion. Disability Services are located in the Academic Enrichment Center, Monroe Hall 405.

The Tenth Amendment:
I composed this syllabus at the end of summer break. As nobody can predict the future, I reserve the right to make adjustments to our calendar and content based on unanticipated changes in pace and workload.

Week 1: The World in 1600
1/10: Course introduction
1/12: Up to the starting line: the world in 1600. (Covering concepts in Chapter 12)

Week 2: Everything has a Price
Reading: Chapter 13
1/19: Lecture: The making of commodity (silver, slaves, conscripts, &c.)

Week 3: The Ramifications of Global Enterprise
Reading: Chapter 14
1/24: Lecture: Into the Hinterland: Trade, ideas, and the transformation of distant cultures.
1/26: Lecture: Creating & Resisting, Spreading & Containing Ideas in the 17th C.

Week 4: Epic Conflict and Change - Part I
Reading: Chapter 15
1/31: Lecture: Global War Cometh – the 7 Years War
2/2: Lecture: Troublesome and Revolutionary Ideas.

Week 5: Revolutions, Real and Imagined
2/7: Lecture: Becoming Haiti: Atlantic Currents Collide
2/9: TEST 1

Week 6: Social and Political Dislocations of the 19th Century
Reading: Chapter 16
2/14: Lecture: Reaction, Reform, and Nationalism in the West
2/16: Lecture: The Messy World of Messianic Visionaries

Week 7: What a Wonderful Modern Age We Live In!
Reading: Chapter 17
2/21: Lecture: The Miracles of Science – Both Practical and Conceptual
2/23: Lecture: The Rise of the Technologically Powerful

Week 8: Winners and Losers of the 19th Century?
Reading: Chapter 18
2/28: Lecture: A Portrait of Colonialism: Southern Africa in the 19th Century
3/2: Lecture: Cultural Modernism and Discontent

Mardi Gras Break

Week 9: Modern Anxiety
3/14: Lecture: Modernity, Modernism, and the Upper Crust
3/16: TEST 2

Week 10: Plummeting into the Twentieth Century
Reading: Chapter 19
3/21: Lecture: Modern Warfare, Modern Defeat, Modern Peace
3/23: Lecture: Mass Media Comes of Age

Week 11: The Proliferation of “isms”
3/28: Lecture: Radical Solutions to the problems of World War I
3/30: Lecture: The Dangerous World of the 1930s.

Week 12: Epic Conflict and Change – Part II
Reading: Chapter 20
4/4: Lecture: The Road to War in East and West
4/6: Lecture: That Big War in the West and East                 

Week 13: Cold Warriors, Hot Wars
4/11: Lecture: There’s a New World Order, and Baby, It’s Cold War Outside!
4/13: Lecture: The World is Your Battlefield, Get Out and (let others) Fight (for you.)

Easter Break

Week 14: The People Have Their Say
4/27: Lecture: Freedom Movements Big and Small

Week 15: Into the Wilderness
5/2: Lecture: The Conveyor Belt Stops: The Post-Cold War Paradigm
5/4: TEST 3

The textbook


Not to belabor the point, but here is the textbook that I want you to BUY. You will get no sympathy from me if I find that you do not have it midway through the semester. There is a new "3rd Edition" of the book, largely an effort by the publisher to milk more money out of its customers. I do not care if you buy the second edition. The fact that it will be much cheaper, however, is offset by the fact that it will probably be more difficult, if not impossible, to sell to the book buyers who come to campus.

MAKE SURE YOU GET VOL. II - The Mongol Empire to the Present.

You can find it here on

And here on ABEbooks.