History of Europe in the Modern World

Europe's role in modern history has been a prominent one - from colonial empires to nation building to cultural transitions. Specific features of these courses include:

  • a broad context of social transformations
  • maps, charts, chronological tables, and lists of rulers and regimes
  • brief excerpts from the writings of influential historians that show how historical

knowledge develops over time.

  • concise text that focuses on the interactions between Europeans and people in other


  • summaries of recent challenges and changes

It's been a long time since I've picked up what is undoubtedly a detailed history textbook and wanted to dig in and study. But it happened with these two volumes. First of all, each volume is a manageable size - about 125 pgs, pb. Secondly, some of the basic note-taking is done for you - highlighted sidebar designations help you to easily see the topic. While not numerous, there are enough illustrations, maps, photos, and art work to provide interesting counterpoints to the text. Each chapter lists its main sections at the beginning, followed by headings throughout the text. It's readable - and that's what I enjoyed the most. Detailed, with biographical sketches, it follows the development of thoughts as well as politics and events.

Organization and structure for the course is simple. Read the text, respond to comprehension questions, engage in discussion/dialogue with others about the content, and take the trimester finals. You'll have to supply your own weekly breakdown for the ten chapters of Volume 1 (three weeks per chapter, maybe). The remaining fourteen chapters of Volume 2 are segmented up a bit more providing 25 weeks of reading assignments plus one week for beginning review. Each volume is a one-year study.

The Student Guides provide brief teaching guidelines. I have to say that I really appreciate both the succinctness of these guidelines and the fact that they manage to convey the main scope and focus of the course - "the opportunity to dialogue with the greatest minds from the greatest cultures of preceding civilizations." Comprehension questions for each text segment explore three major components - the history of ideas, biographical studies, and key cultural developments. Space is provided for writing and most questions require brief essay-type answers. It's hoped that homeschool "class discussion" in some form will flow from these questions. About 40 pgs, pb.

The Teacher Guides include the same brief teaching guidelines found in the Student Guide plus a set of three tests with answer keys - the trimester finals. The remainder of the Guide is a replica of student book with answers filled in. About 60 pgs, pb ~ Janice

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