UCSB Hist 4C, Spring 2000 Prof. Marcuse
Western Civilization, 1715-present HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Buchanan 1910, T-Th 9:30-10:45 marcuse@humanitas.ucsb.edu
www.history.ucsb.edu/classes/s00/hist4c Office hours: Tues. 3-4, Wed. 11-12


note spring 2003: I am now teaching Hist 2C (link) instead of this course.


I don't think of history as a lot of information that "everyone should know." For me, it is a wealth of experiences, some of which are interesting and entertaining (like good books or movies), and some of which help me to understand and evaluate what is going on in the world around me. In this course we will study some of the historical experiences I have found to be both interesting and helpful in understanding the present (we won't pass judgment on the entertainment value). Some of those experiences are the lives of exceptional people, some of ordinary people. Some are great cataclysmic events such as revolutions or wars. And some are ideas (or systems of beliefs) that have helped people to see the world around them in new ways, and have led to monumental changes in the way they--and we--live.

Along the way of learning about these experiences, we will also learn and practice some skills, such as how to read and "digest" books in order to draw on their contents in our own lives, how to think beyond the obvious level of a story to its deeper meanings, and how to express our thoughts clearly in discussion and in writing.

I realize that within a few months after a course most students will remember only a small fraction of the content of that course. (I know that even I forget many details after I am done teaching the course.) Thus in grading I give less weight to remembering facts, and emphasize instead the mastery of skills in research, analysis, organization, and expression.

  1. Effort. Take ownership of this course! It is yours-think of me as a facilitator who will help you explore some new terrain--in time and space.
  2. Lectures. Attendance is required. Lectures include slides, music, videos, and information not available elsewhere in the course. Please come on time. Arriving late distracts me and disturbs other students. If you must come late or leave early, sit in the very back rows.
    In lecture I do not rehash the basic information and context (that is the purpose of the textbook). Rather, I focus on more specific issues and aspects in an attempt to model how someone can interact with the material and find it relevant.
  3. Discussion Sections (20%). Attendance is mandatory and TAs must call roll. Preparation for section is crucial! Each week you will receive a grade for section participation.
  4. Readings and film. Required: a short reader, a textbook, 4 paperbacks, and an evening film.
  5. Writing Assignments: This course fulfills the General Education writing requirement. If you do not submit all writing assignments, you cannot receive credit for this course.
    1. Five weekly assignments (20%): five short (400 word) papers, three about the assigned books, and two preparing for your term paper. For more information, see below.
    2. Term paper (10%). A 1000-word (3-4 page) paper, due week 8 in section. In this essay you will use insights and arguments from history to enlighten your readers about a present concern. These essays will be presented in section and on the internet.
    3. Term paper rewrite (10%). In this version you will incorporate suggestions made by your TA on the first version. In order to receive credit, you must attach that graded version to it! Due week 10 in section.
  6. Examinations. There will be two midterms and a final.
    1. Practice midterm (10%). One hour typed take-home with two ID terms, one source interpretation, and one essay question. Distributed on Tuesday of week 3, due Thursday.
    2. In-class midterm (10%). Same format, but in class with a section-prepared "cheat sheet."
    3. A two-hour final examination (20%) will have 3 IDs chosen from 9, one source interpretation, one post-midterm and one comprehensive essay question, each chosen from two. A study guide will be distributed before the last class.

Grading Section 20%
5 weekly assignments 20%
Practice midterm 10%
Midterm 10%
Paper version 1 10%
Paper version 2 10%
Final Exam 20%
All grading will be done by your TA. If you feel your work was graded inappropriately, you must discuss this first with your TA. If you are still unsatisfied, you may write an explanation, have it initialed by your TA, and submit it to me, with the work in question, for appeal. I reserve the right to lower a grade as well as raise it.

You must officially enroll in the section you are attending, no exceptions. Enrollment after the first day of classes is only possible with an RBT code from the TA in charge. Students who have not attended the first two meetings of the section in which they are enrolled will be dropped automatically if other students are waiting to enroll.

You must prepare yourself for each section meeting. Please bring the appropriate texts with you, as well as some thoughts and questions about them. This is one of the most important parts of the course--your participation in section counts as 20% of your final grade.

I will teach an honors section on Wednesdays, 2-3pm, for students interested in more intensive discussions of the course content. This section carries 1 credit unit and requires extra reading and writing. Interested students should talk to me (Prof. Marcuse) at the end of the first lecture.

TAs: Rob Bromley, David Burden, Alex Epstein, Jason Kelly, Greg Whitesides.


Professors and students often see things quite differently, and I am very interested in feedback from you. There will be time for questions during lecture. After lecture you are welcome to come up and talk, or walk back to the HSSB with me. I'm available during my office hours, and I encourage you to contact me on e-mail (marcuse@humanitas).

Additionally, the course web site has a bulletin board, a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section, and a chat room. I will check the site at least every Thursday in the early afternoon (e-office hour). To log on: go to www.metacollege.com/Access/FindCourse.asp. Then type in the course code given in lecture, submit, fill in the six items, and you're in. Next time, just go to the metacollege homepage with your login name and password. P.S. Don't forget to logout at the end, so that no one can post things to the site in your name.

I will also be attending sections throughout the quarter to find out how things are going in the course and to hear your concerns--don't hesitate to talk to me in section, either!


The textbook chapters correlate roughly with the lecture topics. you should be sure to read the assigned chapter each week, or you will fall behind. At a slow 15 pages/hour the textbook readings should take you less than 2 hours each week.
The paperbacks must be read BEFORE YOUR SECTION MEETING that week. I recommend that you read them over the weekend. Depending on how focused you are while reading, you will probably need about 3 hours each for the short books (Candide, Communist Manifesto), 5-6 hours for Love of Worker Bees, and 8 "quality" hours for Equiano's Interesting Narrative.

REQUIRED BOOKS (available at the UCSB and Isla Vista Bookstores, some also on reserve)
  • Reader (34pp.) at the Alternative Copy opposite the IV Bookstore on Pardall Road in IV, ca. $3.
  • Jerry Bentley and Herbert Ziegler, Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past, vol. C: 1750-present (1994), $30 used/$40 new. This textbook situates the West in the broader world perspective, emphasizing interactions between cultures.
  • Voltaire, Candide or Optimism (1758), (Penguin edition), $4/7. PQ2082.C3E5
    A biting satire of life in the 1700s by a master writer of the Enlightenment.
  • Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789), (Penguin edition), $9/11. An antislavery autobiography by a formerly enslaved Nigerian.
  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1848)(1998 C.H. Kerr anniversary edition, a facsimile of the 1888 English edition), $5. HX276.M32
    A radical analysis of social relations by the founders of Communism.
  • Alexandra Kollontai, Love of Worker Bees (1923), $7.50/10. PG3476.K58 L513
    Tells how a female revolutionary comes to terms with a revolution in private life.

Late policy: grades will be reduced 5% per day, beginning at the start of section or lecture.

Formalities: All work must be typewritten and carefully proofread. Use your spell checker!
At the beginning of each assignment you should write: a) your name, b) your TA's name and the section time, c) what it is (e.g. assignment 3, term paper), d) the date, and e) the word count.

The four paperbacks (and reader nos. 1, 6 and 7) were written by authors trying to change their society. The books were written to be read by broad audiences, and to influence the opinions of their readership. In each case the authors use historical arguments to make their case.
Your term paper assignment is similar, except that it is much shorter, like an op-ed piece in a newspaper. The weekly assignments build toward the term paper. Let us number them 1-5.

  1. Analyze Candide as a pamphlet criticizing attitudes in 18th century France. In a sentence or two each, outline four issues Voltaire is concerned about, and then go into depth on one of them. What does Voltaire think is wrong? How does he demonstrate this? Does he suggest a remedy? If so, which? (due in section week 2)
  2. Equiano wrote his autobiography to expose the evils of slavery. Often he anticipates criticism and counterarguments. Can you pick out the justifications of slavery that he refutes? Outline three of the arguments he makes against slavery. Then pick one and tell why it convinces or does not convince you. (due in section week 3)
  3. Kollontai wrote her novel to give advice to women who were having difficulty combining their political engagement with their private relationships. What are the advantages of putting political ideals first? (due in section week 5)
  4. Read some local, national, or international newspapers/news services, and select two or three issues that you consider especially important. Write a few sentences summarizing each issue, and then explain why it is important. (due in section week 6)
  5. Pick one of the issues you discussed in entry 4 and research it (in the library, and/or on the web--if you need help, ask your TA or me). List as many examples and arguments pro and contra as you can, explaining each briefly. Pay special attention to the historical dimension of the issue. (due in section week 7)

For your 1000-word (3-4 page) paper, you will try to convince your readership of your own standpoint on this issue, using examples and arguments drawn from history. There will be an additional handout for this assignment.


Apr 4.

Apr. 6


Section: What do historians do?
Introduction: What is (the use of) history?

"Paradigms" of the 18th Century

R1: Nietzsche, "Uses of History"
R3: Kuhn, On Paradigms
Voltaire, Candide

Apr. 11

Apr. 13


Section: discuss Voltaire, Candide (A1 due)
The Enlightenment: A Shift in Paradigm?

Theories of Revolution, Practice of Revolution: France
R4: textbook chap. 23: Enlight.
R5: textbook chap. 25: slavery
Textbook chapter 29 (to p. 748)
Equiano, 31-220, skim ch. 4,5,8-11
Apr. 18

Apr. 20


Section: Equiano, Interesting Narrative (A2 due)
Envisaging a New Society

Another Revolution: Economic (a.k.a. "industrial")
A2 due
Textbook chapter 30 (31 optional)

Marx & Engels, Comm. Manifesto


Apr. 25

Apr. 27


Section: Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto
People and Ideas I: Isms of the 19th Century
Practice midterm (Tuesday, due Thursday)
People and Ideas II: Karl Marx's Communism

Textbook pp. 748-54; skim ch. 32
Practice midterm
Kollontai, Vasilisa Malygina, 7-181


May 2
May 4


Section: Kollontai, Vasilisa Malygina (A3 due)
Building States and Empires: The Imperial Project
7-9pm: Film (2 hrs.): The White Rose
The First Great War: World War I
A3 due
Textbook chapter 33

R7: Leaflets of the White Rose


May 9

May 11


Section: White Rose leaflets; midterm prep. (A4 due)
Another Revolution: Russia

Making Peace? The Versailles Treaty of 1919
A4 due
Textbook chapter 34

work on Assignment 5

May 16

May 18


Section: discuss paper topics, midterm sheet (A5 due)
People and Politics between the Wars

In class midterm
A5 due
Textbook chapter 35
midterm study sheet
In class midterm


May 23

May 25


Section: paper presentations and discussions
Fascism: A New Paradigm?

Auschwitz and Western Civilization
Term paper due in section
Textbook chapter 36
R6: Hitler, Mein Kampf

May 30

June 1


Section: Presentations
Making Peace again: The Potsdam Conference

Karl Marx vs. Henry Ford: The Cold War

Textbook chapter 37

Textbook chapter 38


June 6

June 8


Section: presentations (exam fact sheet?)
Re"f"olutions end the Cold War

Conclusions: What is the Use of History for Life?
Revised term paper due in sect.
Textbook chapter 39

June 12
Monday, 8:30-10:30am: Final Examination bring a large blue book  

created Apr. 1, 2000 by H. Marcuse; last modified Apr. 23, 2000, new formatting applied 6/9/04