History Courses

The history program offers a wide-range of fascinating courses, from global history and the history of western civilization to more focused courses about nations, social groups and special topics.

Skip to: 300 & 400 Level Courses  

HIST 346: Boy working in a factory, 1911. (Credit: US National Archives [Public domain])

HIST 333: ‘Cleric, Knight and Workman’, 13th century. (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])

100 and 200 Level Courses

Important Information for Registering Students:

Students who plan to complete a minor, major, joint major, advanced major, joint advanced major or honours degree in history should ensure they complete any two of the following nine (9) 100-level courses.

Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire, England. (Photo: Dr. L. Stanley-Blackwell)
101     Western Civilization: Earliest Civilizations to the Wars of Religion
This course explores the early history of Western Civilization. Topics include:
Classical Greece and the Roman Republic and Empire; Christianity; the Byzantine
Empire; Islam; the Carolingian Empire; Feudalism and Manorialism; the Economic
Revival; Medieval Society and Culture; the Growth of National Monarchies; the Age
of Exploration and Discovery; the Renaissance and the Reformation. Credit will be
granted for only one of HIST 101 or HIST 100. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024
Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain, from 8th century. (Photo (crop): B. Kaufmann /CC-BY)
102     Western Civilization: Columbus to Decolonization
This course explores the history of Western Civilization from the European conquest
of the Americas to the end of the Cold War. Topics include: Europe’s overseas
expansion; the age of absolutism; the scientific revolution; the Enlightenment; the
American War of Independence; the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte;
the Industrial Revolution; Nationalism, liberalism, feminism, and imperialism; the
two World Wars; decolonization; and the Cold War. Credit will be granted for only
one of HIST 102 or HIST 100. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024
103 World History to 220 CE
It may come as a surprise to the History Channel, but ancient monuments were not built by aliens. Rather, they stand as evidence of the complex societies that existed throughout the ancient world and the goods, ideas and people that connected them. From the Han Dynasty in China to the Roman Empire in Europe to the early trade networks of the Nok in West Africa, the ingenuity, mobility and interconnectedness of premodern cultures will be explored.  Three credits.  Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 103 or HIST 116. Offered 2023-2024.
104 World History 220 - 1300 CE
Scholars now know that the premodern world was more profoundly interconnected by trade, cultural exchange and migration than we had ever realized.  Still not Ancient Aliens examines some of these interconnections, from the roads of the ancient Wari of Peru to the cultural and trade connections of the Polynesian Islanders, to the premodern trade networks operating in the far North and the cultural mosaic of Islamic Spain. Three credits. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 104 or HIST 116. Offered 2023-2024.
121  Global Race & Ethnicity I, 1300-1776
W.E.B. Du Bois stated, “The problem of the color line is the problem of the twentieth
century,” but even earlier, the creation and operation of racial differences in colonial
and capitalist contexts defined many key world events. This course examines the
major events of world history from 1300 to the late eighteenth century’s “Age of
Revolutions.” Global developments shall be examined via the social construction
of racial, and ethnic differences between peoples. Credit will be granted for only
one of HIST 121 and HIST 110, HIST 111. Three credits. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 121, HIST 110, HIST 111, or HIST 141. Offered 2023-2024.
122 Race/Ethnicity in Global History, 1776-present
W.E.B. Du Bois stated, “The problem of the color line is the problem of the twentieth
century,” but even earlier, the creation and operation of racial differences in colonial
and capitalist contexts defined many key world events. This course examines the
major events of world history from the late eighteenth century’s “Age of Revolutions”
to the twenty-first century. Global developments shall be examined via the social
construction of racial, and ethnic differences between peoples. Credit will be
granted for only one of HIST 122 and HIST 110, HIST 112, HIST 132, or HIST 142. Three credits.
Offered 2023-2024.
132 Global History: Illicit Cargos and the Making of the Modern World (1789-present)
The ideas that sparked early-modern Atlantic revolutions resulted from earlier
exploration and the exchange of people, goods, and ideas. The world has
remained interconnected ever since. This course examines how this is the case
by investigating human society and the historical processes that have shaped
institutions and ideas since the 18th century. It will do so through a focus on the
goods being exchanged – from sugar and spice to ivory and opium, and what that
meant in society. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 132 or HIST 110, HIST
112, HIST 122, or HIST 142. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.
141 Empire & Plague, 1300-1800
This course examines the process of conquest and the rise of empires across Asia,
Africa, Europe and the Americas, spanning the centuries between 1300 and 1800.
The course also addresses the impact of epidemics and pandemics, including the
Black Death in Afro-Eurasia, and the genocide of indigenous populations in the
Americas. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 141, HIST 110, HIST 111,
or HIST 121. Three credits.  Offered 2023-2024.

142 Revolution: Global from 1750
This course takes a global focus on revolutionary struggles, national liberation and
resistance to various forms of social oppression (like racism, sexism and misogyny,
homophobia/transphobia) in the 19th and 20th centuries. This includes liberal and
radical revolutions like the American and Russian Revolutions, as well as social and
emancipatory movements like feminism, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, national
liberation, and struggles for gay rights. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST
142, HIST 110, HIST 112, or HIST 132. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.
200 Level Courses
203 Modern Germany, 1860-Present
Germany has variously been described as a “land of writers and thinkers”, an antechamber of Nazism, and the face of post-1945 liberal-democratic Europe.  What does it mean to be German?  Is the nation a mere repository of Fascism?  Can its entire history be reduced to a Sonderweg, a special path that leads inexorably to dictatorship, conquest, and racial extermination?  This course will attempt to address these critical questions, beginning with the ascension to power of Otto von Bismarck and the drive to national unification.  Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 203 or HIST 250. Three credits.  Not offered 2023-2024.

205 Introduction to Public History
This course will explore the oft-ignored and increasingly important field of public history.  Given that the vast majority of people encountered history through film, television, museums, historic sites, etc. - not through academic literature - the ways in which our stories are communicated are crucial.  This course will examine the difference between history and memory, how public historians address controversial issues, and provide students with the skills necessary to create an effective and meaningful work of public history. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 205, HIST 297 (2021-2022), or HIST 399 (2018-2019). Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.

213 Life and Times: Pre-Confederation Canada
This introductory survey lecture course is designed to examine the life and times of the Pre-Confederation Canada from a political, social, cultural and economic perspective. In this journey back in time in Canadian history, student will learn about the diversity of historical figures, experiences, events and ideas. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 213 or HIST 113. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.

HIST 215: Students and parents from the Saddle Lake Reserve (Alberta), going to the Red Deer Indian Industrial School. (Photo (cropped): Woodruff. Canada. Department of Interior. LAC-BAC, PA-040715 / CC-BY)

215 A History of Canada: Post Confederation
This course provides an introduction to the major themes in Canadian history from Confederation to the contemporary era. It will explore the crucial political, economic, and social themes in Post-Confederation history. Regional, racial, ethnic, and gender variations will be addressed in this survey. Students will learn to identify, analyze, and discuss key issues in Canadian history. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 215 or HIST 115.  Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.
Liberty Guiding the People by Eugène Delacroix. (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])
216     Modern France, 1789 to the Present
Explores French history from the end of the old regime to the present. Topics include the 1789 revolution and its aftermath, Napoleon, the July Monarchy, the Second Empire, class and gender in 19th-century France, the Third Republic, the Dreyfus Affair, the “Hollow Years” of the interwar era, the defeat of 1940 and the authoritarian Vichy Regime, decolonization and the rise of De Gaulle, and the role of feminism/memory/multiculturalism in post-war France with concentration on social, intellectual, cultural trends, and politics. Prerequisite: 6 credits at the 100 level or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.

HIST 221 - Tsar Ivan the Terrible(crop). (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])
221     Medieval Russia
Topics include the origins of the Slavs; their adoption of Christianity; the establishment and development of the Kievan state; the coming of the Mongols and the Mongol “yoke”; the slow emergence of Muscovy; Ivan the Terrible and the Time of Troubles. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.

Hist 222 - Catherine II of Russia, ca. 1770 (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])

222     Imperial Russia
Topics include 17th-century Muscovy: the Romanovs, serfdom, schism, and territorial expansion; the 18th century: Peter the Great, Catherine II, and Westernization; and the 19th century: autocracy, culture, the abolition of serfdom, industrialization, the revolutionary movement, foreign policy, World War I and the collapse of tsarism; the revolution of 1917. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.

223 Black and White and Colourful all over: Africa in the World from 1800
This course will examine societies in modern Africa. Western histories of this period will be weighed alongside a more Afrocentric perspective, examining a selection of social systems, economic organization, political institutions, religious beliefs and life patterns, and the impact of the outside world on them. Topics to be addressed include: gender, culture, belief and identity, European imperialisms, contested nationalisms, independence movements, and the nature and experience of the African diaspora. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 223 or HIST 298 (2016-2017). Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.
227 Canadian Business History
This course begins with the 1880s to investigate how Canada became one of the world’s wealthiest nations. It explores the emergence of its financial markets, its entrepreneurial tradition, innovations in finance, management, and technology, the origins and growth of its regional, national and multinational corporations, its international trade relations and globalization. The course also examines the evolving relationship between commerce and society, and reviews economic shocks and disruptions generated by wars, depression, stock market bubbles and credit crashes. It concludes with an overall assessment of Canada’s business development by considering the central arguments of the proponents and critics of capitalism in its Canadian form. Offered online only. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.
228    History of the Maritime Provinces: Pre-Confederation
This survey lecture course is designed to examine the political, social, cultural and, economic development of the Maritime Provinces from the early 16th century to 1867. It will explore such topics as the  relations between Europeans and First Nations; the clash of empires; the Acadian Expulsion; the impact of immigrant cultures; the Age of Sail and federation with Canada. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 228 or HIST 209. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.

HIST 229 - Lake Ainslie, Nova Scotia (Photo: J. Blackwell)
229    History of the Maritime Provinces: Post-Confederation
This survey lecture course is designed to examine the political, social, cultural, and economic developments of the Maritime Provinces from the 1860's to the 1960's.  It will examine such topics as the the federation with Canada; the industrialization and de-industrialization; labour unrest; social reform; the world wars; the impact of modernity and state intervention; out-migration; and the historical experiences of African-Maritimers, Mi'kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, Acadians, and Maritime women. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 229 or HIST 209. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.

HIST 231 - Staffordshire Hoard, Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork from 7th or 8th century.
(Photo (crop) by David Rowan / CC-BY)
231     Martyrs, Monks & Marauders: Piety & Violence in Early Medieval Europe (300- 1050 CE)
The history of the Early Middle Ages has been much debated in recent years. Did Rome fall as Germanic warlords poured over its borders or were the Germanic migrations peaceful? Did Vikings only seek to pillage and destroy or to trade goods and share knowledge? What were the social, political and military roles of early Christian martyrs and monks? This course will answer such questions, while providing an overview of the history of Europe between 300 and 1050 CE. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.

HIST 232 - Horseman Death, detail of the Apocalypse Tapestry - the oldest remaining medieval French tapestry, produced between 1377 and 1382 for Louis I. Credit: Wiki [Public domain PD-1923]

232  Surviving Chivalry & the Four Horsemen: Europe’s High & Late Middle Ages (1050-1521 CE)
In 1050, Europe embarked on a long period of economic, intellectual and cultural growth. This was the time of the Crusades, chivalry and scholasticism. Beginning in 1300, however, Europe faced new crises characterized by some as the horseme n of the Apocalypse: famine, plague, war and death. Yet out of this disastrous period of history, new intellectual and artistic growth occurred, leading to the Renaissance. This course traces the history of medieval Europe through the highs and lows discussed above. Three credits.Not offered 2023-2024.

Algerian Prince Abdul Qadir Al-Jazairi wearing the sash of the French Légion d'Honneur, circa 1850s. (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])
233     French Imperialism
This course examines the history of French Imperialism during the 19th and 20th centuries in the Maghreb, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. It explores various themes associated with colonial politics, society, economy, and culture, including the historiography of French imperialism, the construction and maintenance of the colonial governing system, the gendered nature of colonial discourse and practice, the social impact of religious customs in various locations within the empire, racial hierarchies and concomitant administrative repression, colonial representations in metropolitan French culture, and nationalist movements and revolts before and during the era of decolonization. Prerequisite: 6 credits HIST at the 100 level or permission of the instructor. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.

HIST 235 - Manuscript detail: The marriage procession of Dara Shikoh, 1740s. (Credit:Wiki [Public domain])
235     Introduction to South Asian History
The Indian sub-continent has been a crossroads of people and cultures throughout human history and its diasporas provide working communities, successful business models, rich history and beautiful culture from yoga to Freddy Mercury. South Asia is of central geopolitical, economic and cultural importance in the modern period. This course begins with the arrival of the Mughals in the 16th century and ends with decolonization and partition in 1947. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.
236 Vikings! The Course
Vikings did more than plunder and pillage - they explored, farmed, and traded along vast travel networks that stretched from the east coast of Canada to the sophisticated cities of Constantinople and Baghdad in the East. Vikings! The Course will survey the spread of Norse influence and culture from their initial steps out of Scandinavia in the 8th century - attacking monasteries and cities - to the founding of Norse kingdoms in Normandy, Sicily and Novgorod. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.

HIST 242 - Image to depict how to transport slaves in a ship (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])
242     The United States Before 1865
Survey of the US from colonial times to the Civil War, with emphasis on aboriginal beginnings and civilizations; colonization; the rise of slavery and racism in British North America; the place of the colonies in the British Empire; the War of Independence; territorial expansion; the beginning of industrialization and its effects on the Jeffersonian notions of republicanism; the “problem” of slavery and growing sectionalism; and the road to Civil War and disunion. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.

HIST 244 -  Mulberry Street, New York City, ca. 1900. (Credit:Library of Congress via Wiki [Public domain]
244     The United States After 1865
Topics emphasized are the Civil War as a black freedom movement; the federal government’s brief and grudging commitment to black citizenship during Reconstruction; the abandonment of Reconstruction and the imposition of segregation in the late 19th century; industrialization and age of fabulous robber barons and desperate immigrants; the Depression and the coming of the New Deal; the civil rights movement and Vietnam and its sequels. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.

HIST 247 - First Crusade by Saint-Jean d’Acre (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])
247     Crusades and Their Cultures
This class explores history of the medieval religious wars that are now known as the crusades. Although often treated collectively, these wars differed greatly in character, from penitential crusades to the holy land to disciplinary crusades against the Cathars and Hussites, to the economic war of aggression that was the Fourth Crusade. Organized as a brief chronological survey of the crusades from 1096 to 1430. This course will also examine various themes in recent crusade historiography. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.
250     A Survey of German History from 1648 to the Present
This survey of German history emphasizes the 19th and 20th centuries. It includes topics such as the rise of Brandenburg Prussia; German nationalism; Bismarck and the unification of Germany; the industrial revolution and organized labour; the coming of the war in 1914; the revolution of 1918; the trials of democracy in the Weimar Republic; Hitler and Nazism; and Germany in a divided world. Six credits. Not offered 2023-2024.
255     History of Colonial Latin America
Surveys Spanish and Portuguese America, 15th to the 19th centuries. Themes include the indigenous, African and Iberian heritages of Latin America; the clash of civilizations and conquest in the Americas; the interaction of diverse cultures and the creation of new societies; the social, economic and cultural evolution of colonial Latin America; the age of piracy and challenges to the Spanish and Portuguese empires; the rise of hierarchies and inequalities based on gender, sexuality, ethnicity and class; and the struggle for independence. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024 and alternate years.

HIST 255: O'Higgins leading the Chilean troops in the Battle of Rancagua (1814). (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])

HIST 256: Fidel Castro meets cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, June 1961. (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])

256     History of Modern Latin America
Introduces the political, social, economic and cultural history of Latin America from independence to the present. Themes include the struggles for independence; the creation of new nations and cultures in the 19th century; the abolition of slavery; the struggles of indigenous peoples to preserve their culture; modernization in the late 19th century; the evolution of social classes and ideas about ethnicity, gender, and sexuality; economic dependency and neocolonialism; nationalism and revolution; foreign intervention in Latin America; and the contemporary impact of democratization and globalization. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.

HIST 257 A group of soldiers from different Commonwealth nations march together. (Hennepin County Library MP00370)

257  Canada and the "Global South": Connections and Disconnections in the 20th Century
This course examines economic, political, military, and cultural ties between Canada and the Global South during the 20th century.  The course explores how Canada's relationships with the Global South was shaped by its own colonial history and then examines different aspects of governmental, organizational, and person-to-person relations.  Topics will include: policies on immigration and refugees, business investments, concerns related to human rights, and international aid.  Cross-listed as DEVS 257. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.

Locomotive built by George Stephenson (Credit: Wiki [Public Domain])

261     Europe in the 19th Century
A survey of the European “long” 19th century from the French Revolution until the Great War. The course covers a variety of political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual themes, including: Revolutionary/Napoleonic France, the Industrial Revolution, the age of ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, socialism), bourgeois and working class society and culture, Italian/German unification, the evolution of gender roles, the rise of consumerism/material culture, scientific/technological/intellectual trends, the “new” Imperialism, and the origins of the Great War. Three credits.Offered 2023-2024.
HIST 262:   The Beatles, June 1964. (Photo(crop): VARA (Beeld en Geluidwiki)/ CC BY-SA 3.0 nl)  
262     Europe in the 20th-Century
A survey of the European “short” 20th century from the Great War to the collapse of the USSR. The course covers a variety of political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual themes, including: the Great War/Russian Revolution, European society and culture during the “roaring 1920s”, the Great Depression, interwar dictatorships (Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Russia), World War II/the Holocaust, the Cold War, Decolonization, post-1945 economic prosperity and social change, intellectual/cultural trends and protest during the 1960s, and the fall of the Soviet Union. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 262 or HIST 260. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.


282     Cool Brittania: Four Nations & One State
This course surveys the political, social and economic history of Great Britain from the Acts of Union until the present. Over this period Britain shifted from an agrarian society ruled by aristocratic landowners to an industrialized nation comprised of distinct but complicated classes with competing interests. It also became an imperial power with possessions circling the globe. By the mid-20th century empire ended formally but this past still reshapes the social and political climate of Britain. Three credits. Not offered 2023-2024.

HIST 282: Etching representing British public’s appetite for conquest. Published after Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile. (Credit: Wiki [Public domain])

HIST 283   Armoured elephant, Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, England.  (Photo(crop): Jamie Dobson / CC-BY)
283     Making Britain Great
Britain was the world’s first modern superpower. From the late 18th century it dominated the world. This course will examine both the measurable of imperial domination, but also the intangibles; Britons themselves came to believe that they exemplified national characteristics that denoted imperial rulers. What led to that mindset, and how was it viewed by subject populations. Regional studies enable us to understand relationships between the metropole and the settlers, administrators and people of British colonies. Three credits. Offered 2023-2024.



292   World War II: Causes & Battles
This course will study the political, economic, cultural, and social origins of the Second World War - the largest and most deadly conflict in human history.  Indeed, combat on the seas, in the skies, and on the land ranged from virtually every corner of Europe as well as from the steaming jungles of Southeast Asia to the icy Aleutian Islands in Alaska. This course is both chronological and thematic in nature and built primarily around lectures; the latter will be complemented by audio-visual experiences, handouts, and discussions. Three credits. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 292, HIST 297 (2020-2021) or HIST 299 (2017-2018). Three credits. Not offered 2022-2023.


297  Selected Topics: Historical Methods

The topic for 2023-2024 is Historical Methods.  What do historians do and how do they do it? This course introduces history students to the essential methods and practices within the historical discipline. It emphasizes skills in research, methods for assessing evidence and analyzing sources, and the tools that historians use for conducting research. In this course, students are asked to think about how and why history is written, and to evaluate how historians conduct their craft in the twenty-first century.

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