Phone: 855.637.1434 Cart

You do not have any courses in your Wish List. Choose from popular suggestions below or continue with Subject or Grade


Product was successfully added to your Cart.

Summit Modern World Studies, Semester 1 (HST203A)

Summit Modern World Studies, Semester 1 (HST203A)

Add to WishList

Quick Overview

In this comprehensive course, students follow the history of the world from approximately 1870 to the present. They begin with a study of events leading up to 1914, including the Second Industrial Revolution and the imperialism that accompanied it. Their focus then shifts to the contemporary era, including two world wars, the Great Depression, and global Cold War tensions. Students examine both the staggering problems and astounding accomplishments of the twentieth century, with a focus on political and social history.

Teacher-Led Course (one-time payment)   $450.00

Monthly Fees: Due Today:

* Required Fields

Price as configured: $0.00


Course Overview

In this comprehensive course, students follow the history of the world from approximately 1870 to the present. They begin with a study of events leading up to 1914, including the Second Industrial Revolution and the imperialism that accompanied it. Their focus then shifts to the contemporary era, including two world wars, the Great Depression, and global Cold War tensions. Students examine both the staggering problems and astounding accomplishments of the twentieth century, with a focus on political and social history. Students also explore topics in physical and human geography, and investigate issues of concern in the contemporary world. Online lessons help students organize study, explore topics, review in preparation for assessments, and practice sophisticated skills of historical thinking and analysis. Activities include analyzing primary sources and maps, creating timelines, completing projects and written assignments, and conducting independent research.

Course Outline


Unit 1: Setting the Stage: Before 1850

The modern world owes a great deal to earlier peoples and ideas. Concepts of democracy, a belief in the worth of the individual, rule by the people, all developed over the course of many centuries. To prepare for a study of the modern world, students begin with a look back to ancient Greece and Rome, to the legacy of Judeo-Christian thought, and to the growth of democratic ideals in England. Students enter the modern world with a brief review of democratic revolutions and the Industrial Revolution.

  • Semester Introduction
  • Early Seeds of Democracy (Ancient Greece and Rome)
  • Judeo-Christian Influences on Democratic Thought
  • Expanding Rights in England
  • Democratic Ideals Emerge (The Enlightenment)
  • Discuss: Introduction
  • Democratic Ideals Flourish (American and French Revolutions)
  • Documents of Liberty
  • A Revolution in Industry
  • Romanticism: A Creative Revolution

Unit 2: Europe and the Second Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution began in England, but other nations soon followed and even surpassed Great Britain in industrial output. Resources, governments, and visionary business owners all played a part in developing innovative ways of producing goods. New materials and fuels led to a second revolution in industry and to new products and ways of life. But not everyone shared in the prosperity, and government leaders, workers, business owners, and philosophers looked for solutions to society's new challenges.

  • The Challenges of Industrialization
  • Solutions (Marx's theories, labor unions, Bismarck's Germany)
  • Classes (working, middle, and upper classes)
  • Geography Plays a Part (physical geography of Central Europe and Great Britain)
  • Industry and the Rise of Germany
  • Germany Moves Ahead
  • Discuss: Impacts
  • The Impact of the Second Industrial Revolution
  • A Demographic Look at Western Europe (geography and population)

Unit 3: The New Age in Asia

By the late nineteenth century, European nations controlled many parts of the world. They sought raw materials for their factories, and markets for their products. They also sought to spread their own cultures. Both China and Japan resisted the Europeans, but in different ways. Their actions would set the stage for much that happened in the twentieth century.

  • Modernization and the Rise of Japan
  • Powerhouse in Asia (Meiji Japan)
  • In East Asia (physical geography of East Asia)
  • Earthshaking (geography of the "ring of fire")
  • Discuss: Prepared
  • Imperialism in Asia
  • Strife in China
  • Nationalism in China
  • Where in the World (the geography of imperialism)

Unit 4: World War and Revolution

People all over Europe were certain that the war that started in August of 1914 would be over by Christmas. Four long years later, when the Great War finally ended, millions of soldiers and civilians lay dead and millions more were maimed and disabled. The hope and prosperity of the first decade of the twentieth century turned to exhaustion and despair. In Russia, social upheavals led to the world's first communist nation.

  • Igniting the Powder Keg (the start of World War I)
  • Europe Goes to War
  • The War Goes On
  • Total War (new roles for government and civilians)
  • A War for Minds and Hearts (analyzing propaganda)
  • Propaganda (writing about propaganda)
  • Geography of Russia
  • Unrest in Russia
  • From Russia to USSR
  • Challenges of Geography (the Trans-Siberian Railroad)
  • War's Tide Turns
  • War's End
  • What Kind of Peace? (The Treaty of Versailles)
  • Discuss: 1918 Treaty

Unit 5: Between Wars

After the Great War, people in Europe and the United States questioned their earlier optimism and their deepest beliefs. Artists, musicians, and writers grappled with a new sense of reality. In the Middle East, as people threw off their colonial rulers, they faced the challenges of forming new nations, as well as tensions between old values and new ways. As economies failed around the world, dictators took advantage of people's fear and desperation, especially in Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union.

  • The Art of Uncertainty (WWI influences the arts)
  • Certainties Challenged (economic boom and the Roaring Twenties in the U.S.)
  • A World in Flux (analyze works of art to assess the impact of WWI)
  • Nationalism and Islamism in the Middle East
  • Forging Nations in the Middle East
  • Report from the Middle East (write about the new nations of the Middle East)
  • Geography of Borders
  • Discuss: Boundaries
  • Desperate Times and Communism
  • Desperate Times and Fascism
  • Power Above All (totalitarianism)

Unit 6: Another World War

Students examine the main causes of World War II, the most devastating war in history. Millions died to halt the advance of dictators and preserve a democratic way of life. This war introduced weapons of almost unimaginable power, as well as the horrors of the Holocaust. The peace that followed brought its own daunting challenges.

  • The Road to War
  • Global War (World War II spreads to Africa, the USSR, and the U.S.)
  • Leadership (Churchill and Roosevelt during WWII)
  • Qualities of a Leader (write about the qualities of leadership)
  • Strategies for Victory
  • Horror (discovering the Holocaust)
  • Victory (Allied strategies to end the war)
  • Difficult Decisions (write about the decision to use the atom bomb)
  • Discuss: Atomic Bomb
  • Graphing World War II Statistics (graph the impact of WWII on various populations)
  • Personal Views of War (read firsthand accounts of WWII)
  • Putting It into Words (write a "memoir" of WWII)
  • Never Again (the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials)
  • A New Path (the United Nations and the founding of Israel)
  • A Woman for All Times (Eleanor Roosevelt and human rights)

Significant Times

  • Timelines are useful tools for historians. Students create timelines of the eras they have studied during the semester.
  • Looking Back, Part 1
  • Looking Back, Part 2
  • Looking Back, Part 3
  • Looking Back, Part 4
  • Looking Back, Part 5

Unit 8: Semester Review and Test

Students prepare for and take the semester test.


Unit 1: Tensions in the Post-War World

Even before World War II had ended, it was apparent that the Allies would not remain friends in the post-war era. Mistrust and disagreements between the USSR and the Western democracies led to decades of perilous tension known as the Cold War. Both sides searched for ways to gain support around the world and defeat the other side without launching a potentially catastrophic war using nuclear weapons.

  • Semester Introduction
  • Cold War in the West
  • Cold War in the East
  • Continuing Tension (Khrushchev, the Berlin Wall)
  • Containing Communism (write about an event of the Cold War)
  • China Under Mao
  • Discuss: Primary Sources
  • Communism in the Americas (Cuba)
  • On the Brink (the Cuban Missile Crisis)
  • Crisis (conduct research on the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis)
  • Making a Case (develop essay outlines on the roles of Khrushchev and Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis)

Unit 2: Many Kinds of Revolution

Science, technology, cultures around the world, all experienced dramatic change during the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. More nations gained independence from colonial powers, though their paths to self-rule varied widely. At the same time, tensions in the Middle East led to a series of wars and still-unresolved tensions.

  • Revolutions in Technology (television, the space race)
  • Discuss: Space Exploration
  • Saving Lives (the green revolution, polio vaccine)
  • A New Global Culture (the Beatles and the spread of pop culture)
  • Geography of South Asia
  • India and a Man of Peace (Gandhi)
  • Paths to Independence (Ho Chi Minh, Nasser, Kenyatta)
  • For Their Countries (Nelson Mandela and apartheid; nationalist leaders of the post-WWII era)
  • Strife in the Middle East
  • Wars for Religion and Resources (the Middle East)
  • Peace Work (attempts to resolve the conflicts)

Unit 3: Cold War Conflict and Conclusion

During the Cold War, the world's superpowers avoided war with each other, but the tensions between them erupted in armed conflict elsewhere. The U.S. and the USSR vied for allies in other ways as well. Eventually, economic problems and pressures from within and without the Soviet Union brought about the collapse of communism in Europe.

  • Geography of Southeast Asia
  • The United States in Vietnam
  • The Soviet Union in Czechoslovakia
  • Vying for Latin America
  • Geography of Latin America
  • Discuss: Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Rainforest in Peril
  • Cracks in the Wall (economic problems and human rights issues in communist nations)
  • Voices for Change (protests against communism)
  • The End of the Cold War

Unit 4: Issues for the Twenty-First Century

As they approach the present day, students examine the rise of a new and deadly threat: terrorism. They consider how innovations in technology, computers, the Internet, have set off an Information Revolution that has transformed the way many people live and work. They also examine the ongoing struggle for democracy and human rights, with a focus on women's rights.

  • The Rise of Terrorism in the Middle East
  • Extremists Take Control (Iran, Hamas, Taliban)
  • A Dictator in Iraq (Saddam Hussein)
  • Terrorism Strikes the United States (September 11, 2001; Osama bin Laden)
  • The Iraq War
  • Difficult Questions (conduct research on issues of terrorism)
  • Discuss: Terrorism
  • Electronics and the Information Revolution
  • New Ways to Communicate
  • A Shrinking World (economic dimensions of the Information revolution; globalization of business)
  • Seeking Equality (the spread of representative government)
  • Democracy's Continued Spread (the women's movement)
  • Steps Forward and Steps Back (repressive governments, human rights violations)
  • Epilogue

Unit 5: Challenges for the Twenty-First Century

The twenty-first century presents both problems and promises. Never before have people had so much access to information and to each other. Never before has the potential to eradicate disease and hunger, eliminate poverty, and understand the world around us been so great. Globalization is transforming the ways in which many people live and work and do business. The opportunities are enormous, but so are the challenges.

  • Growing Wealth (standards of living world-wide)
  • Assessing Wealth
  • Asia Rising: India (the growth of new economies)
  • Asia Rising: China (the growth of new economies)
  • Persistent Poverty
  • Migrations (emigration, urbanization)
  • The Meaning of Globalization
  • Following a Global Product
  • Women and Globalization
  • The Price of Progress (environmental distress)
  • Discuss: Globalization
  • Fueling Progress (sources of power)
  • Viewpoints (differing viewpoints on environmental issues)
  • Where Do You Stand?
  • Persuasion

Unit 6: Research Project

Students conduct research and complete a final course project.

  • Your Case Study
  • Using the Internet
  • Research, Part 1
  • Research, Part 2
  • Research, Part 3
  • Research, Part 4
  • Research, Part 5
  • Research, Part 6
  • Research, Part 7
  • Research, Part 8
  • Research to Presentation
  • The Presentation, Part 1
  • The Presentation, Part 2

Unit 7: Semester Review and Test

Students prepare for and take the semester test.

Additional Information

Course Length 4 Months
Prerequisites N/A
Course Materials No
Course Start Date

Courses Taught by a K12 Teacher

Courses with a teacher have designated start dates throughout Fall, Spring, and Summer. Full-year courses last 10 months and semester courses last 4 months. Courses are taught by teachers in K12 International Academy. For details on start dates, click here.

Teacher Assisted Yes, this course is taught by a K12 International Academy teacher. If you are looking for a teacher-supported option with additional flexibility and year-round start dates, click here to learn about the Keystone School, another K12 online private schooling option.
  1. Be the first to review this product

To use this course, you'll need a computer with an Internet connection.  Some courses require additional free software programs, which you can download from the Internet.

Hardware and Browsers (Minimum Recommendations)

Windows OS

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher

  • At this time our users are encouraged not to upgrade to Windows 10 or Edge (the new browser)


Mac OS

  • CPU: PowerPC G4 1 GHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster processor

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher (Safari is not supported!)

Internet Connections

It is highly recommended that a broadband connection be used instead of dial up.


By requesting this information, you agree to have a K12 or school representative contact you directly at the number provided, whether by person or a device that will automatically dial your home or cell phone. Consent not required for purchases.

K12 Store

We have received your inquiry and you will start to receive additional information about our school offerings and programs. An enrollment consultant will contact you shortly.