Online History Textbooks

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A Brief History

This article presents tables of contents for our online versions of freely accessible “textbooks” for college history courses.

Digging Deeper

American History through the Civil War

An examination of the creation and development of a distinctively American civilization, from its origins through the Civil War (to 1865)

  1. Introduction
  2. The New Global World
  3. The Invasion and Settlement of North America: Creating a British Empire in America, 1550-1750
  4. Growth and Crisis in Colonial Society, 1720-1765
  5. Toward Independence: Years of Decision, 1763-1776
  6. Making War and Republican Governments, 1776-1789
  7. Politics and Society in the New Republic, 1787-1820
  8. Economic Transformation, 1790-1860
  9. A Democratic Revolution, 1820-1844
  10. Religion and Reform, 1820-1860
  11. The South Expands: Slavery and Society, 1800-1860
  12. Expansion, War, and Sectional Crisis, 1844-1860
  13. Two Societies at War, 1861-1865
  14. Conclusion

American History after the Civil War

An examination of how the fundamental American principles of freedom and equality developed as the United States emerged as the world’s leading power from the Civil War to the present

  1. Introduction and Reconstruction
  2. Conquering a Continent
  3. Industrial America at Work
  4. The Rise and Reform of Industrial Cities
  5. Populists and Progressives
  6. An Emerging World Power
  7. Wrestling with Modernity
  8. The Great Depression and the New Deal
  9. The World at War, 1937-1945
  10. Cold War America from 1945 to 1963
  11. Triumph of the Middle Class
  12. The Civil Rights Movement
  13. Conservative America Ascendant
  14. Conclusion on National Dilemmas in Global Society

The French Revolution and Napoleon

Analysis of the causes of Revolution in France, political, ideological and social conflict in the construction of French democracy expansion of the revolution outside of France.

  1. Introduction
  2. The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century: Social Crises, Wars, and Rebellions
  3. The Scientific Revolution
  4. Constitutionalism
  5. Absolutism
  6. The Enlightenment
  7. The American Revolution
  8. The French Revolution
  9. Napoleon
  10. The Revolutions of 1848
  11. Conclusion

Western Civilization to 1500

This course will seek to answer the question “What is civilization?” by studying certain historical moments in the West-classical Greece, the Roman Republic, early Christianity, the High Middle Ages, and the Renaissance-in order to see the changes over time in politics, religion, society, economics, and culture and to realize the extent to which the present world has inherited these institutional and intellectual foundations of human life.

  1. Introduction
  2. Pre-History
  3. The First Civilizations
  4. The Second Generation of Civilizations
  5. Ancient Slaves and Women
  6. Early Greece
  7. Classical and Hellenistic Greece
  8. The Fall of Macedon and the Rise of Rome
  9. The Pax Romana
  10. The Transformation of the Roman Empire
  11. Unity and Diversity in Three Heirs of the Roman Empire
  12. Renewal and Reform
  13. An Age of Confidence
  14. Crisis
  15. Renaissance
  16. The Experiences of Life in Early Modern Europe

Western Civilization from 1500

This course examines how the peoples of Western Europe understood freedom and sought to secure it in the 500 years from the Renaissance to World War II. Focusing on selected historical moments during this period, the course considers how this quest for freedom transformed politics, religion, economics, and morality; it also examines the reaction to this transformation, especially in totalitarianism.

  1. Introduction
  2. Renaissance
  3. The Spanish Golden Age
  4. The Experiences of Life in Early Modern Europe
  5. The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century: Social Crises, Wars, and Rebellions
  6. Artists and Composers
  7. The Scientific Revolution
  8. Constitutionalism
  9. Absolutism
  10. The Enlightenment
  11. The American Revolution
  12. The French Revolution
  13. Napoleon
  14. The Revolutions of 1848
  15. An Age of Industry in the Pax Britannica (1815-1914)
  16. Causes of World War I
  17. World War I
  18. The Fall of the Russian Empire and the Rise of the Soviet Union
  19. Fascism and Nazism
  20. World War II and the Holocaust
  21. Consequences of World War II: The Rise of the Cold War to 1962 and the Fall of Empires
  22. Conclusion of the Civilization Sequence

World History: Ancient and Medieval

World history from early human societies through the mid-17th century.

  1. Introduction
  2. Pre-History
  3. The First Civilizations
  4. The Second Generation of Civilizations
  5. Ancient Slaves and Women
  6. Early Greece
  7. Classical and Hellenistic Greece
  8. The Fall of Macedon and the Rise of Rome
  9. The Pax Romana
  10. The Transformation of the Roman Empire
  11. Unity and Diversity in Three Heirs of the Roman Empire
  12. Renewal and Reform
  13. An Age of Confidence
  14. Crisis
  15. Renaissance
  16. The Spanish Golden Age
  17. The Experiences of Life in Early Modern Europe

World History: Modern

World history from mid-17th century to the present.

  1. Introduction
  2. The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century: Social Crises, Wars, and Rebellions
  3. Artists and Composers
  4. The Scientific Revolution
  5. Constitutionalism
  6. Absolutism
  7. The Enlightenment
  8. The American Revolution
  9. The French Revolution
  10. Napoleon
  11. The Revolutions of 1848
  12. An Age of Industry in the Pax Britannica (1815-1914)
  13. Causes of World War I
  14. World War I
  15. The Fall of the Russian Empire and the Rise of the Soviet Union
  16. Fascism and Nazism
  17. World War II and the Holocaust
  18. Consequences of World War II: The Rise of the Cold War to 1962 and the Fall of Empires
  19. The Culture of Protest: Contesting the Cold War Order in the 1960s
  20. The End of the Cold War
  21. Conclusion of the Civilization Sequence

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Markham, J. David and Matthew Zarzeczny.  Simply Napoleon (Great Lives).  Simply Charly, 2017.

Zarzeczny, Matthew D.  Meteors That Enlighten the Earth: Napoleon and the Cult of Great Men.  Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

The featured image in this article, a collage by Carn of famous women, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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