World history in the early modern era

This micro-course examines major historical events and developments during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This course includes examination of the political revolutions at the close of the early modern period.
What’s it about?

The Early Modern period was a time of great change and development in the world. In this period we see the beginnings of many of the social, political, cultural, technological, and economic changes that created the modern world. In this course you can examine key developments in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries from a comparative, global perspective. 

What will I learn?

In this micro course you will:

  • Learn about the Atlantic World and global networks of exchange
  • Examine the conflicts and changing balance of power in this period
  • Learn how the slave trade operated
  • Discover how colonies and empires were built
  • Learn how the Enlightenment created new ways of thinking about society
  • Find out about the political, scientific, and industrial revolutions during this period
What’s involved?

There are 10 learning pathways each containing multiple resources, such as videos, readings and primary source material. Each learning pathway begins with an overview and concludes with a review quiz. The learning pathways are:

  • The Atlantic World in the 1600s
  • Global Trade: Europe, the Middle East and Asia
  • The Impact of Global Trade
  • Changing Political Systems and Colonial Conflicts
  • Absolutist Political Systems
  • Reformation and Counter-reformation in Europe
  • The Spread of Islam in Africa, the Middle East and Asia
  • The Enlightenment
  • Political Revolutions
  • Scientific and Industrial Revolutions

The micro-course can be completed in approximately 40 hours, including preparation for assessment. 


To be confirmed 

World History in the Early Modern Era is one of three micro-courses required for formal credit towards World History from 1600-present, a 1st year-level Bachelors course at Thomas Edison State University. Each micro-course can be studied independently in any sequence. 

WHME101 World history in the early modern era
WHME102 Imperialism and war
WHME103 World War II to the present


Image credit: Clipper Ship Lightning, licensed under  Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic

Course Code: WHME101
Estimated Start: 2019Q2
Duration: 4 Weeks, 10 hours per week
Type: Micro course

Credentialing: Official course credit
Course Credit: World History in the Early Modern and Modern Eras
Credential: Certificate in General Studies
Level: 1st year Bachelor’s

Who are the developers:
Dr. Deborah Mayersen, Deborah Mayersen is an historian based at the University of Wollongong. Her research expertise is in comparative genocide studies, including the Armenian Read More

The course materials for this micro-course (WHME101) were proudly remixed for the OERu from the Saylor Academy course on World History in the Early Modern and Modern Eras  published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported  license.