North Central College - Naperville, IL

History Courses

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

HST 101 Western Civilization I (3.00)
The development of ancient Western civilization, from its cultural origins to the sixth century of the Christian era. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 104 Western Civilization II (3.00)
The development of European civilization from the Middle Ages to early modern Europe. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 108 Western Civilization III (3.00)
The development of Western capitalism, industrialism, and Enlightenment ideas and values; the challenge to these in the 20th century; and the worldwide expansion and contraction of European power. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 115 Topics in U.S. History (3.00)
This course provides an opportunity to explore a specific topic in U.S. history with particular attention to cultural, social, and political favors. Topics may include significant figures in American history (i.e. Abraham Lincoln, Jane Addams), time frames (i.e. 1960?s, 1850?s), themes (i.e. gender, religion), or places (i.e. the West, Chicago). Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 120 Chicago History (3.00)
This introduction to Chicago history explores the development of the metropolitan area through a variety of media, including sports, literature, social criticism, architecture, economics, business, and the built environment. Class time is devoted to discussion on the readings, videos, and tours. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 140 Modern Ireland (3.00)
An overview of the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in Irish history from 1600 to the present. Topics include the rise of violent nationalism, the Great Famine, the war for independence/civil war, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 154 Global Perspective: Premodern Era (3.00)
This course provides a broad historical perspective of the world before c. 1800. The course surveys long distance trade, the rise of slavery in the Western Hemisphere, and the colonization that occurred in the New World, Africa, and Asia. Particular attention is paid to the economic, social, and political factors that led to these developments, as well as to the cultural and artistic achievements that flowed from them. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 155 Global Perspectives: Modern Era (3.00)
Colonialism, urbanization, nationalism, globalization, and the interconnection of trade and immigration patterns are considered in this overview of modern world history. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 165 Introduction to East Asia (3.00)
An introduction to major themes in the cultural history of China and Japan. Foundational texts of East Asian philosophy, religion, and literature are read and discussed in their historical context. Important works of East Asian art and film are viewed and analyzed. The goal is to develop a basic familiarity with the evolution of Chinese and Japanese civilizations from their ancient foundations to their modern manifestations. Same as: EAS 165, HTB 165. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 175 Latin American History (3.00)
Overview of Latin-American history from pre-Columbian times to the present. Attention is given to the heritage of native cultures, the legacy of colonialism, the impact of modernization and urbanization, and relations with the United States. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 185 Peoples and Cultures of Africa (3.00)
An introductory survey of the cultural diversity and complexity of sub-Saharan Africa. Attention is given to the long period of independent development of traditional societies, the forms and extent of European domination, and the post-1945 struggles to regain independence and create new cultural identities. Same as: SOA 185. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 200 Historical Methods (3.00)
This course introduces students to working with archival material, both in physical and virtual settings. Upon completion of the course, students are prepared to complete research in advanced history seminars and the HST 470 capstone course as well as compete successfully for internships in archives, historical societies, and museums. Prerequisite: One 100 or 200 level HST course.

HST 210 City Life (3.00)
Survey of the living environment of the modern city, to focus on ways in which writers, thinkers, architects, planners, and artists have conceived of the conditions of life in urban areas, and ways in which those conditions could be improved. Same as: HTB 210. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 221 U.S. History to 1865 (3.00)
The development of American society from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War. Attention to the political, social, cultural, and intellectual life of the United States during the colonial period, the revolutionary era, the early Republic and the Civil War. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 223 U.S. History from 1865-1945 (3.00)
This course examines the major political, economic, and social developments in the United States from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War II in order to understand the creation of modern America. During this critical period, the United States was transformed from a rural nation into an urban and industrial nation. In the late nineteenth century, America had little involvement in world affairs, but by the end of World War II, it was the most powerful military and economic force in the world. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 225 U.S. History since 1945 (3.00)
This course examines the major events in social, economic, political, and cultural history in the United States since World War II. The topics we will analyze include the Cold War and American prosperity in the 1950's, the Civil Rights movements by African Americans and others in the 1960's, and the impact of the Vietnam War. We will also study the collapse of the New Deal coalition, conservative responses to this era's upheavals, the shift from an industrial economy to a service economy, and America's role in the world since the end of the Cold War. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 245 Illinois History (3.00)
A history of Illinois from the French colonial period to the 20th century with a focus on its social and economic aspects. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 248 American Environmental History (3.00)
This broad survey of American history from an environmental perspective examines the ways that different groups of Americans adapted to and changed the landscape, and analyzes their ideas about nature. Major themes include the new perspective of environmental history, reading the landscape, the role of region in America, and knowing nature through labor. Same as: ENV 248. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 249 African-American History (3.00)
History of African-Americans, including the background of Africa, slavery, emancipation, and the current struggle for racial equality. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 250 U.S. Women's History (3.00)
A survey of American women's history from colonial times to the present. An examination of women's legal and political status, educational and occupational opportunities, family relations, and health with special attention on how and why lives and experiences of women have changed over time. An exploration of the history that women share as a group as well as differences among specific groups of women. Same as: GWS 250. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 255 Greek and Roman History (3.00)
The rise, predominance, and fall of Greece and Rome, with emphasis on the workings of their governments. Same as: CLS 255. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 256 Medieval and Renaissance Europe (3.00)
An introduction to late medieval Europe, discussing the twelfth-century Renaissance; urbanization; social and political transformations; the Black Death; the Italian Renaissance; and political, social, and artistic changes in Northern Europe. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 257 Reformation Europe (3.00)
This course examines the forces and influences in the late middle ages that led to the break with the Medieval Church in the early sixteenth century. The course focuses on the theological, political, social, and cultural effects of the Reformation in the regions of Europe most affected by this event: Germany, France, and England. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 258 Early Modern Europe (3.00)
This course examines the history of early modern Europe in the generations that followed the Reformation, c. 1550-1792. The course focuses particularly on the social and cultural changes that resulted from the Reformation with particular emphasis on the regions that experienced the greatest growth, expansion, and influence during the period: the Netherlands, England, and France. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 261 Traditional China (3.00)
A survey of the political and cultural development of Chinese civilization from prehistory through to the Ming dynasty (17th century). Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 263 Japanese History (3.00)
An examination of the political and cultural evolution of Japanese civilization from prehistory to the present. Some of the themes explored are Japan's traditional pattern of adapting Chinese political and cultural forms according to contemporary needs, the role of the samurai in Japanese history, and the modernization of Japan from 1868 to the present. Same as: HTB 263. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 265 Modern China (3.00)
An examination of China's transition from the traditional civilization of the dynastic period (up to 1911) to the modern nation that has emerged in the 21st century. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 267 Topics in Global History (3.00)
This course provides an opportunity to explore a specific topic in global history. Topics may include urbanization, industrialization, nationalism, warfare, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, or migration patterns. Particular attention is paid to the economic, social, and political factors related to the chosen topic, as well as to the cultural and artistic achievements that flowed from them. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 268 India Since 1750 (3.00)
This is a survey of the history of India from 1750 to the present. Topics include British rule in India, the nationalist movement, issues of race and gender, and India-Pakistan since independence. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 270 U.S. Diplomatic History (3.00)
After examining the early history of American diplomacy, this course focuses on the modern era. Topics discussed include the emergence of the United States as a great power, American participation in the World Wars, the Cold War era and the process of decolonization, and Vietnam. The relationship between domestic politics and American diplomacy is also explored. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 271 Modern Middle East (3.00)
Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798 to the present, with special attention to nationalistic movements, pan-Islam, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 280 Europe's Age of Mass Hysteria (3.00)
This is a survey of the rise of modern nationalism, imperialism, class conflict and war in Europe during what historians call the long nineteenth, century from 1789 to 1918. Topics emphasized are the French Revolution; the creation of nations; issues of class, gender, and race; the new Imperialism; and the First World War. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 281 Europe's Age of Mass Destruction (3.00)
This is a survey of Europe since 1918. Topics emphasized are the impact of the First World War and Russian Revolution, the rise of fascism, analysis of the Nazi regime, and changes in Europe since 1945. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

HST 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

HST 299 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

HST 312 Immigration and U.S. Ethnic Identity (3.00)
Examination of the U.S. immigration history from colonial times to the present. Exploration of the world conditions that led to the major waves of American immigration. Comparison of immigrant experiences to those of African-Americans and Native Americans opens to wider focus on the concept of ethnic identity in U.S. history. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in HST, PSC, SOA, or ENG.

HST 315 Research and Local History (3.00)
Introduction to the study of local history. Emphasis is placed on both the study of individual communities over the course of their history and the ways in which individual communities are a part of the wider sweep of historical trends and events. Prerequisite: One 200-level HST course.

HST 320 U.S. Social Movements (3.00)
A detailed examination of major social movements in the modern United States. Emphasis on the African American civil rights movement, the women's movement, the environmental movement, and recent conservative movements. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in HST, PSC, SOA, or ENG.

HST 323 History of Ideas in America (3.00)
An examination of broad intellectual and cultural developments in American history. Major themes include the creation of the United States as an agrarian republic, efforts to reform social and economic systems including slavery, responses to urban-industrial transformations, tensions between religious traditions and modern science and technology, and debates about the role of government in American life. Primary texts, including literature and art, are used as sources. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in HST or instructor consent.

HST 325 American Cities and Suburbs (3.00)
Topics discussed include the development of an urban network, the expansion of city services, the drive-in culture of modern suburbia, and the enduring problems of urban poverty. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in HST, PSC, SOA, or ENG.

HST 330 East Asian Thought (3.00)
An historical survey of the East Asian intellectual tradition based on the reading of primary sources in translation and focusing on the cross-fertilization of ideas between the three major intellectual traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. ACR: Intercultural.

HST 345 European Intellectual History (3.00)
An examination of the role of education and learning from antiquity to the modern era, with a particular emphasis on historical knowledge and education. Past topics include, but are not limited to, the lost library of Alexandria, the Dead Sea Scrolls, medieval universities, Renaissance humanist academies, and modern historical assumptions and techniques. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in HST or instructor consent.

HST 347 Science, Religion, and Magic (3.00)
An examination of the relationship between science and religion with particular attention to late medieval and early modern Europe. Core primary texts as well as current historical studies are the foundation for discussion and research. The roles of astrology, alchemy, heresy, and witchcraft in the context of religious belief and scientific thought are also considered. The goal of this course is to provide a broad historical understanding of the theological, philosophical, and intellectual crises and debates that occurred as a result of the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in HST or instructor consent.

HST 348 The Age of Discovery: Europe 1300-1700 (3.00)
This course examines the concept of discovery, broadly defined, from the years 1300-1700. It examines the impact and consequences of European exploration of the East and West. The course moves beyond the scope of exploration to consider intellectual discoveries in science and theological and social discoveries that define and clarify concepts such as, but not limited to, rationality and belief, and orthodoxy and heresy. Prerequisite: One 200 level HST course or instructor consent. ACR: Intercultural.

HST 370 Seminar in Global History (3.00)
This seminar examines history on a global scale, with a focus on the period since World War II. Special attention is paid to cultures outside the U.S., as well as to an interdisciplinary perspective, through themes that can include exploration, religion, women's studies, urbanization, or economic development. Prerequisite: Junior standing. ACR: Intercultural.

HST 385 The World Wars of the Twentieth Century (3.00)
World War I ended Europe's global domination, brought the U.S. to world leadership, and sowed the seeds of subsequent political crises from Nazism to the breakup of Yugoslavia. This seminar considers reasons for the outbreak of war in 1914 and the impact of that struggle both short-term and long-term. The focus here is primarily on political questions. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in HST or instructor consent. ACR: Intercultural.

HST 392 Seminar: Holocaust (3.00)
The study of the unique and universal aspects of the Holocaust with an emphasis on the relationship among the perpetrators, the victims, and the bystanders. Same as: HTB 392. Prerequisite: Junior standing. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

HST 395 Advanced Research in Local History (1.50-3.00)
Advanced work in the methods and outlooks of historians engaged in local research in primary sources. Independent research project required. Prerequisite: HST 315 or instructor consent.

HST 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

HST 399 Independent Study (1.00-3.00)
Instructor consent required.

HST 470 Capstone Seminar (3.00)
This capstone course for the history major includes advanced investigation of the ways in which historians have approached their materials and craft, including issues related to leadership, ethics, and values. Course centers on an individualized research project. Prerequisites: Senior standing, history major. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

HST 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

HST 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.