History 10: The Impact of the West
In “The Impact of the West” course, students explore modern European history. Most appropriately for our times, the central lens of the course focuses on the extensive ways in which the ideas, culture, and history of the West have shaped and influenced the modern world, for better and for worse. Topics include the decline of church authority, the rise of centralized monarchies, the growth of constitutionalism, the rise of classical liberalism and its consequences, the power and impact of nationalism, the emergence of capitalism, the challenge of communism, and the practice and legacy of colonialism.
The course places a special emphasis on exposing students to the works of the significant 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 the third trimester, students assume the role of historians with work on a major research project. After researching a topic of his/her choosing, each student demonstrates his/her learning at an oral exam; the project culminates with an expository research paper in which students argue their conclusions.