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Back to The Modern World, Part One: Global History from 1760 to 1910

Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Modern World, Part One: Global History from 1760 to 1910 by University of Virginia

2,320 ratings
608 reviews

About the Course

This is a survey of modern history from a global perspective. Part One begins with the political and economic revolutions of the late 1700s and tracks the transformation of the world during the 1800s. Part One concludes as these bewildering changes seem to be running beyond the capacity of older institutions to handle them. Throughout the course we try to grasp what is happening and ask: Why? And the answers often turn on very human choices....

Top reviews

Nov 5, 2018

Dear Professor,\n\nI am fascinated with week one, even though I work in the scientific side, also like history, nothing more rewarding than visiting and ancient place and know what happened... Thanks

Jan 24, 2021

Very interesting and fun course\n\nDr. Zelikow really captivates the attention of the students and brilliantly explains complex situations to the layman audience.\n\nLook forward to Part II !\n\n:)

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Loved it

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Oct 21, 2020

so good

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By Timothy K

Mar 17, 2020

This is the longest course that I have completed thus far on Coursera. I have to say, overall, this course was a comprehensive, intriguing and informative experience. The professor comes off as very engaging and knowledgeable. I would never tire of listening to his way of explaining things. He does a great job at breaking down events in history into digestible chunks that link together cohesively. He really made me see history as a series of events and decisions that all build up on one another. One particular aspect I appreciated was his use of art as examples. He did a great job selecting art pieces and contextualizing them to the topic we were covering. It definitely gave me a deeper sense of the concept that he was addressing. Moreover, I appreciated the fact that this wasn't as Euro-centric as a lot of world history courses tend to be. He introduced me to some things I either never heard of (King Leopold's atrocious plundering of the Congo) or things that have never really been fully fleshed out for me (the slave revolts in Haiti ). He does a great job at making those key connections that help you explain why it something happened. For example, how the Louisiana purchase was not just sold by France willy nilly but that it was due to their defeat in Haiti that led them to sell the territory to the United States.

Moving on to some cons that attributed to my 4-star rating, I'd like to point out two cons. The first is that I felt there wasn't much in the course besides watching the lectures. As insightful as they may be, I would have liked more reading material to follow up on topics discussed. Additionally, I would have liked discussion prompts here and there so the learner can make sense of the information by writing it out and discussing it with others. There were times I felt it was much too passive. I know there are discussion boards for this course, but it's not the same as them appearing after lectures like in other Coursera courses. Lastly, the other con that I'd like to mention is the way the quizzes are. A lot of the questions were about overly specific dry facts like numbers, percentages and dates. I would have appreciated more concept-checking questions to see because that's what can really help in assuring the content was received well.

Overall, I thought this is a great overview of some major transitions that all seem to lead into the significant clashes of the 20th century. I look forward to taking the follow up course and I thank the professor for taking his time to make all these lecture videos.

By Martin G

May 24, 2021

Interesting way of looking at History, I liked the 'What Happened' and 'Why' concept as it put specific parts of History in a different perspective. And no a dull summary of events, years, and 'famous' historical figures. It might be worthwhile to include in the Introduction a short summary like done in the end 'Big Picture Presentation' in order to set the overall structure of the course. Being a non-native English speaker it was somethings a challenge to see the overall structure and the connection between certain elements. The final big picture presentation with its summary was a real good overview. There was one presentation I thought was somewhat out of place and that was the 'Dynamo and the Virgin' presentation, I understand its basic concept BUT I feel it has not much significance in the bigger scheme of things. Overall a very good course. I really enjoyed it. Cheers