World History: The Early Modern Period is a free micro Open Online Course (mOOC) designed for students who would like to learn more about the forces that shaped the modern world. This course will help you to:

  1. Understand the patterns of commerce that dominated in the 1600s.
  2. Examine how global trade during this period had major economic, political, social, cultural and ecological impacts.
  3. Learn about the rise of absolutism, how absolutist political system functioned and the challenges they experienced.
  4. Understand how colonialism developed.
  5. Explore how the Reformation challenged the hegemony of the Catholic church, and how the church responded.
  6. Learn about Islamic empires during this period, and how trade contributed to the spread of Islam.
  7. Reflect on the new ways of understanding the world that developed during the Enlightenment.
  8. Examine the origins, events and impacts of the American and French Revolutions.
  9. Consider how the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions helped create the modern world.


Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Understand the major factors that shaped world history during the early modern era.
  2. Think critically about how key developments functioned individually and in concert to create different outcomes.
  3. Assess the role of trade in contributing to religious, political, economic and cultural change.
  4. Understand the important role of religion in global affairs during this period.
  5. Identify the origins and assess the consequences of the political, scientific and industrial revolutions.
  6. Reflect on how European imperialism and the slave trade changed the face of the globe.
  7. Consider how the Enlightenment led to fundamentally different ways of conceptualizing society.