HST206: Modern World Studies

This list is representative of the materials provided or used in this course. Keep in mind that the actual materials used may vary, depending on the school in which you are enrolled, and whether you are taking the course as Independent Study.

For a complete list of the materials to be used in this course by your enrolled student, please visit MyInfo. All lists are subject to change at any time.

Scope & Sequence : Scope & Sequence documents describe what is covered in a course (the scope) and also the order in which topics are covered (the sequence). These documents list instructional objectives and skills to be mastered. K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

Course Overview

Students are able to gain credit if they have previously completed this course but did not successfully earn credit. For each unit, students take a diagnostic test that assesses their current knowledge of fundamental content. The results of these tests help students create individualized study plans.

Students review the history of the world from approximately 1870 to the present. The course begins with a look back at events leading up to 1914, including the Second Industrial Revolution and imperialism. Their focus then shifts to the contemporary era, including the World Wars, the Great Depression, and global Cold War tensions. Students also explore topics in physical and human geography, and investigate issues of concern in the contemporary world.

back to top

Course Length

Two Semesters

back to top


K12 middle school Intermediate World History A and B, or equivalent.

back to top

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 of these 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
  • Judeo-Christian Influences on Democratic Thought
  • Expanding Rights in England
  • Democratic Ideals Emerge
  • Democratic Ideals Flourish
  • Analyzing the Declaration of Independence
  • A Revolution in Industry
  • New Demands for Power

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
  • Classes
  • Geography Plays a Part
  • Industry and the Rise of Germany
  • Germany Moves Ahead
  • The Impact of the Second Industrial Revolution
  • Germany Rising: A Review

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.

  • The West Looks East
  • Modernization and the Rise of Japan
  • In East Asia
  • Earthshaking
  • Imperialism in Asia
  • Strife in China
  • Nationalism in China
  • Where in the World

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
  • Europe Goes to War
  • The War Goes On
  • Total War
  • A War for Minds and Hearts
  • Propaganda
  • Unrest in Russia
  • From Russia to USSR
  • Challenges of Geography
  • War's Tide Turns
  • War's End
  • What Kind of Peace?

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
  • Certainties Challenged
  • A World in Flux
  • Nationalism and Islamism in the Middle East
  • Forging Nations in the Middle East
  • Report from the Middle East
  • Geography of Borders
  • Desperate Times and Communism
  • Desperate Times and Fascism
  • Power Above All

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
  • Leadership
  • Qualities of a Leader
  • Strategies for Victory
  • Horror
  • Victory
  • Difficult Decisions
  • Graphing World War II Statistics
  • Personal Views of War
  • Putting It into Words
  • Never Again
  • A New Path
  • A Woman for All Times

Unit 7: 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
  • Containing Communism
  • China Under Mao
  • Communism in the Americas
  • On the Brink
  • Crisis
  • Making a Case

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
  • Saving Lives
  • A New Global Culture
  • Geography of South Asia
  • India and a Man of Peace
  • Paths to Independence
  • For Their Countries
  • Strife in the Middle East
  • Wars for Religion and Resources
  • Peace Work

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
  • Rainforest in Peril
  • Cracks in the Wall
  • Voices for Change
  • 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 electronics—computers, the Internet, the World Wide Web—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
  • A Dictator in Iraq
  • Terrorism Strikes the United States
  • The Iraq War
  • Difficult Questions
  • Electronics and the Information Revolution
  • New Ways to Communicate
  • A Shrinking World
  • Seeking Equality
  • Democracy's Continued Spread
  • Steps Forward and Steps Back
  • 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
  • Assessing Wealth
  • Asia Rising, India
  • Asia Rising, China
  • Persistent Poverty
  • Migrations
  • The Meaning of Globalization
  • Following a Global Product
  • Women and Globalization
  • The Price of Progress
  • Fueling Progress
  • Viewpoints
  • 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.

back to top

Lesson Scheduling

back to top

K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

  • Course Overview (as seen above)
  • Course Outline
  • Lesson Time and Scheduling