Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Synthesize and analyze the major themes and patterns of the Middle Period of Western Civilization in writing
  • Recognize and assess the impact of individuals on the course of history in writing


Survey of the development of Western society and culture from the early Middle Ages through the Age of Enlightenment. Emphasis upon the cultural, social, intellectual, and institutional changes that led to the birth of the modern Western culture and its interchange with the peoples of the world's continents.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Analyze the resultant decentralization on the successor states to the Western Roman Empire, including the Franks, the Holy Roman Empire, and Byzantium.
  2. Assess the significance of the development of Islam and the rise of the Umayyads and Abbasids on the Middle East and the Western world.
  3. Critically evaluate the rise and development of Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.
  4. Examine and evaluate the political, economic and social development of medieval Europe.
  5. Synthesize and evaluate the causes and results of the Renaissance.
  6. Describe the origins of the scientific, commercial and religious revolutions of the 15th-18th centuries.
  7. Analyze the movement of the Enlightenment and modern man's conception of the universe.
  8. Appreciate the expanding multiculturalism of the early modern world and the continuous interactions with Africa, the Near East, Asia and the New World.
  9. Effectively communicate in writing and orally the challenges and legacies of the "Middle Period" of the Western civilization.
  10. Describe the application of the scientific method in conducting research in areas relative to history.

Course Content

  1. European civilization in the early Middle Ages
    1. The world of the Carolingians and Charlemagne
    2. The emerging system of feudalism
    3. Political and economic impacts
  2. Recovery and growth in the high Middle Ages
    1. A world of cities and kingdoms, crusades and culture
  3. Rise of national monarchies
    1. England
    2. France
    3. The Holy Roman Empire
  4. Church and state
    1. Reform and resistance
    2. The Investiture Controversy
    3. The Avignon Papacy
  5. Intellectual revival
    1. Scholasticism
    2. Thomism
    3. The early humanists
    4. Avicenna and the Middle Eastern contributions
  6. The late Middle Ages: crisis and disintegration in the fourteenth century
    1. The Black Death
    2. The Hundred Years War
  7. The Renaissance: recovery and rebirth
    1. Origins and spread
    2. Literature, thinking, science, invention, art
  8. Discovery and crisis in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
    1. The New World
    2. Effect on Europe
    3. Changing economies
    4. Expanding multiculturalism and the impact of new cultures on Europe
  9. The religious revolution
    1. Luther, Lutheranism, Calvin and Calvinism, England
    2. The Counter Reformation
    3. The rise of holy orders
  10. State building and the search for order
    1. Absolutism: forms, models, exceptions
    2. Mercantilism and European colonies in the seventeenth century
    3. The emergence of Russia
  11. Scientific Revolution and the emergence of modern science
    1. Astronomy
    2. Physics
    3. Medicine
    4. The link with the Enlightenment
  12. The Enlightenment
    1. The major thinkers
    2. Social environment
    3. High culture, education, crime and punishment, medicine
    4. Religion and the churches
  13. European states, international wars, and social change in the eighteenth century
    1. Wars and diplomacy
    2. Economic expansion and social development
    3. Toward a global economy: mercantilism and worldwide trade

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. None when taught on campus.
2. When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Written examinations, including a final examination
Research paper(s)
Oral presentations and/or class participation
Text reviews/museum analysis

Method(s) of Instruction

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Hunt, Lynn, et al.. The Making of the West, 7th ed.. 2021.

Spielvogel, Jackson, et al.. Western Civilization. 2020.

Range of paperbacks and primary materials

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading:
    1. 25-30 pages of reading per week from assigned text
    2. Additional supplemental reading from monographs, journal articles, or other historically relevant sources
  2. Writing:
    1. Research papers which demonstrate student learning outcomes
    2. Written examinations, papers, and assignments which total 6000+ words