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Turning Points in Modern History
Tuesday, January 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
An event every week that begins at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until Wednesday, March 22
Turning Points in Modern History takes you on a far-reaching journey around the globe—from China to the Americas to New Zealand—to shed light on how two dozen of the top discoveries, inventions, political upheavals, and ideas since 1400 have shaped the modern world.
A Unique Understanding of Our Shared Past
Some of the events presented in Turning Points in Modern History, including the discovery of the New World and the fall of the Berlin Wall, will immediately resonate as watershed moments. The global significance of other pivotal events may only become apparent through the professor’s guidance, such as the publication of the Enlightenment-era Encyclopédie and the Russo-Japanese War—which has been historically overshadowed by the two world wars that followed.
Whether the events are familiar or surprising, you’ll encounter a wealth of eye-opening insights throughout.
- The voyages of Christopher Columbus: Despite what you may have learned in school, almost no educated European thought the world was flat in Columbus’s day.
- The printing press: Gutenberg’s machine played a major role in launching the Protestant Reformation. For centuries, calls for reform within the church were slow to gain acceptance or were ignored. The printing press allowed Martin Luther’s message to spread and take hold instead of quickly evaporating.
- The American Revolution: Even by the time of the Boston Tea Party, few colonists were driving for independence. Most wanted the restoration of their rights as Englishmen.
- The theory of evolution: Many people actually speculated on evolution before Charles Darwin. After he introduced his ideas, the Nazis and others took the concept in directions he would not have endorsed.
While any one of these or the other turning points featured are fascinating enough to warrant an entire course, this unique format allows parallels and links to be made across centuries and continents. You’ll see how the building of the Berlin Wall intersects with the space race; trace how the Anglo-Dutch trade wars led to China’s subjugation; and consider whether the Westphalian system of territorial sovereignty established in 1648 still applies in cyberspace as the Internet nullifies borders.
How to Attend
Meetings are online (over Zoom) Tuesday Evenings at 7:00 p.m. January 3-March 21
To join the class, use the following link: https://rebrand.ly/zhzte8a