In the Western Civilization II course, students explore modern European history, examining the decline of church authority, the rise of centralized monarchies, the growth of constitutionalism, the rise of classical liberalism and its consequences, and the power and impact of nationalism.
The course places a special emphasis on exposing students to the works of the great thinkers who have most influenced the development of Western thought and provided the philosophical underpinnings of our modern world. Lively discussions and written assignments engage students and develop their speaking and expository writing skills. In February, the 10th grade embarks on a field trip to Wellesley College to hear an economics lecture on a topic of current interest from a faculty member of the college economics department. At the end of the year, each student writes a major research paper and, in an oral examination, demonstrates the depth and range of his or her research.