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Modern History

United States and World History from 1850 to Present



Jennifer Edmunson


Class size:

minimum 8, maximum 16


Additional fees:



Class time:

(Wed-3) 12:05-1:25


Pre-requisites for class:



Graduation requirement:

1 history credit 

  • Course Description

United States history is best studied in the context of the greater world in which it resides.  While history doesn't repeat itself, it does rhyme and we can learn to see themes that cross across centuries and millennia and apply those to current World situations.


Some of the events covered include the Victorian Era; North versus South; Before the Great War; World War 1; Between the Wars; World War II; The Cold War; and Wars in the Middle East. 

While this class can stand alone, there is an overall goal for all history students.  In taking all four years of history, students will have an overall understanding of human history from the beginning through the year 2000. Understanding history includes understanding different perspectives, motivations, biases, even location. Students will learn to sift primary and secondary sources, determine a viewpoint that is consistent with known understanding of events, grasp the subject in order to participate in intelligent discussions, and understand this subject across multiple contexts including literature, philosophy, natural sciences, and even our common culture/literacy.


In addition to studying our text, each year will also have an additional focus:


  • Ancient - Confessions by St. Augustine

  • Medieval - The Comedies by Dante

  • Early Modern - Multiple Passages of Memorization

  • Modern - 12 Years a Slave, The Great Gatsby, Unbroken, Anthem

  • Classwork / Homework

Students will engage in presentations/lectures, learn note taking, class discussion, independent study, classical literature, original texts, memorization, and even food, to use the past as a lens to understand our current world. Students will print homework assignments from our Google classroom to complete weekly assignments.   Each student will also keep a binder of all notes, maps, homework, timeline, handouts, for a final grade.

To aid your Student in the above task, it is imperative you have a working printer as there will be documents that must be printed each week and brought to class.  The instructor will provide certain handouts, maps, exams, and class activities, and students will be required to print some pages at home.

Approximate homework: 2+ hours

Contact the instructor if you have additional questions.
  • Required Books & Materials

*New edition released 6/2024


Year 4 Modern History Companion

available in e-book or hardcopy


(There will be a 15% discount code when its time to purchase.)


Twelve Years a Slave

by Solomon Northop


The Great Gatsby

by F Scott Fitzgerald



by Laura Hillenbrand

(NOT the Young Adult version)

*Other texts to be determined by June

  • 3 ring binder

  • Reinforced notebook paper - No spiral notebooks

  • Writing utensils

  • Binder pocket dividers (4)

  • Map pencils or fine markers

  • Scissors

  • Clear Box tape (not transparent wrapping tape)

  • Electronic device to take quiz in class each week

    • Phone, iPod, Tablet, Laptop, iPad

    • I have 2 devices that may be used in class for quizzes

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