Course Readings – HS 2322 World History since 1450

Early Modern World HistoryModern World HistoryGlobal World History

Ferdinand and Isabella: The Making of the First World Power

Christopher Hohman

In April of 1451, at a secluded palace in Northern Spain, a young baby by the name of Princess Isabella of Castile was born. From the moment she was born the world was aligned against her. In truth, there were very few people who cared

Sir Francis Drake: Knight and Explorer, Slave Trader and Pirate

Cameron Adelman

Although the 1519 voyage of Ferdinand Magellan is openly acknowledged to be the first successful expedition to circumnavigate the globe, it is also commonly known that Magellan did not survive the undertaking, having been killed in the Philippines during a local political dispute in 1521.1

Cabeza de Vaca: Getting Lost and Captured in Spanish America

Antonio Coffee

The stories of the Spanish conquistadors, of men that believed themselves to be conquerors fighting and exploring for God and gold, are well known. While many of those conquistadors may have seen themselves as bringing civilization to a savage new land, there are those who

The Golden Age of Piracy: The Real Pirates of The Caribbean

Elliot Avigael

The Caribbean Islands, 1715: Blood on the water. The black flag flies proudly as pirates plunder and pillage the high seas seemingly without consequence, bringing world empires to their knees. Adventurers and swashbucklers from all over the world flock to the islands eager to pursue

The groups of Franciscans

“Ite et Vos”: The origins of the modern Franciscan legacy

Roberto Macias-Marin

Picture yourself in medieval Rome, sitting on a balcony overlooking one of the piazzas enjoying a cup of coffee, when suddenly you start to see a large group of friars leaving one of their convents. At first you think nothing of it; it is Rome

Martin Luther: Rebel or Reformer?

Teresa Valdez

In 1517, when the 95 Theses were first posted, Martin Luther had no intention of breaking from the Roman Catholic Church. Rather, he sought to reform the Church’s view on indulgences, believing that no one could buy their way into heaven. Believing that his view

Heliocentrism: Galileo’s Battle With the Church

Jose Figueroa

February 13, 1633 was the final day of the trial led by the Holy Office. Galileo once again walked into the same dim, candle-lit room in one of the beautiful churches of Rome. The eyes of the paintings, statues, and members of the Holy Office

Wicked Witches of the West: Witch Hunts in Early Modern Europe

Victoria Sanchez

In today’s world, when someone thinks of a witch, they normally picture one of a few things: the infamous Wicked Witch of the West that was out to get our beloved Dorothy; Bette Midler’s crazy looking character in Hocus Pocus; or a sparkly, purple and black ‘Party

Salem Witch Trials: A Pressing Time in History

Sabrina Drouin

Imagine you are walking through your town, practically oblivious to the drama that is quickly unfolding, only to look up at Gallows Hill to see a supposed witch hanging from a tree. This could be enough to put someone into shock, but for the townspeople

Bloody Mary in the Mirror

Nicolas McKay

Winner of the Fall 2016 StMU History Media Awards for Article with the Best Title o one can say who history will choose to remember, or for what they will be remembered. Sometimes a lifetime of achievement can be forgotten because of a single misdeed. Few historic

How Catherine II became Catherine the Great

Cameron Ramirez

World history has generally been led by men, and very rarely, women. Although women have had little presence in the leadership of the great governments, when they did, they did it with an impressive force, such as Queen Victoria of England, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt,

La Malinche: Traitor or Survivor?

Mariana Sandoval

Winner of the Fall 2016 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “People” Best Article in the Category of “World History” Largely due to the importation of disease and use of superior weapons, the Spaniards were able to conquer the Aztec capital

Cuauhtémoc: The Last Aztec Emperor

Citlalli Rivera

Cuauhtémoc, although murdered in defeat, left a legacy as the last Aztec emperor who led Tenochtitlan in defense against Hernán Cortés and the Spanish invaders. The young warrior was initially selected to serve as emperor because of his fierce opposition to the Spanish invasion, which

How the Nahuatl Language Survived the Spanish Conquest of Mexico

Emilia Caballero Carmona

Many of us know that the Spanish conquest of Latin America brought tremendous change to those regions. In Mexico specifically, Spanish conquest ended one of the most powerful and developed empires in Latin America, which was the Aztec empire. This led to many changes and

Rebecca Rolfe: How Pocahontas Got Her New Identity

Maria Luevano

We all know Pocahontas as the Disney princess who fell in love with John Smith and lived happily ever after. However, her actual story is nothing like the Disney movie. The first we hear of the historical Pocahontas was in 1607, when John Smith, the

Queen of all Trades: Nzinga Mbande, Queen of Ndongo and Matamba

Rosario Moreno

Queen Njinga was the ruler of the Kingdom of Ndongo and the Kingdom of Matamba, a Queen of two nations, an enemy of the Portuguese, and a warrior to her people. Through a long-standing conflict between the Kingdom of Ndongo and the Portuguese, Queen Njinga

The Battle of a Nation, and the Rise of a New Shogun

Raul Colunga

The Battle of Sekigahara took place in Japan near the end of the Sengoku Jidai or The Warring States Period (1467-1615). These nearly 150 years were the most violent times in Japanese history, where warlords battled each other for land and power. Since this period

Power To The People: Abbè Sieyès And The Third Estate

Bailey Rider

Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, also known as the Abbè Sieyès, was a major player of the French Revolution. During this period he challenged the ancien régime system of unequal representation in the Estates-General and fought against the traditional privileges held by the aristocracy and clergy. He believed that

Painting the Town Red: Jacques Louis David and Revolutionary France

Teresa Valdez

The French Revolution is perhaps the most famous revolution in all of history. In 1789, the French people, suffering from starvation, excessive taxation, and governmental bankruptcy, began a process that led to the overthrow of the French monarchy. The years that followed marked a violent, bloody period

The Execution Of Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen Of France

Amelia Hew

t eleven in the morning on October 16, 1793, the prison gate of the Conciergerie opened and the Widow Capet strode out. The armed force had been mobilized, cannons lined the squares and intersections; patrols scoured the street. Thirty thousand men accompanied the Queen of

Slave Revolt: the Creation of Haiti

Ana Gonzalez

The success of the American and the French Revolutions echoed through the people of the new and the old world. These events, powered by the Enlightenment ideas of popular sovereignty, individual freedom, and equality, proved that parting from powerful and oppressive rulers was possible.1 For

The Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck: A Quest for German Unity

Alexis Soto

Otto von Bismarck was arguably the most dominant political figure in Europe during the latter half of the nineteenth century. He orchestrated a series of European wars that culminated in the creation of a unified German Empire with himself as the new Chancellor and Prussian

The British Working Class Participation in the Cult of Domesticity

Teresa Valdez

The Industrial Revolution changed the world in many ways. It brought capitalism and consumerism into being, changing the world’s outlook on wealth creation. It revolutionized technology, allowing the innovation of mass production to expand exponentially. Jobs in factories shifted labor from farming to factories. With

Luddites: Victims of the Industrial Revolution

Mario Sosa

The early nineteenth century brought drastic change to manufacturing. As the Industrial Revolution moved into full swing, factories and industries boomed and there was a sharp increase in jobs.1 Although many people in England were adapting to this industrial lifestyle, one group, known as the Luddites,

The Mysterious Death of David Crockett

Kenneth Gilley

Cannons roar, rifles crack, and bayoneted soldiers scream. It was March 6, 1836, and the Alamo was about to fall under the viscous assault of Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. He had declared that he would take no quarter: every soldier in the

San Antonio Royalty: The Reign of the Chili Queen

Sara Ramirez

the nightly encampments upon the historic Alamo Plaza, in the heart of the city, had been a carnival, a saturnalia that was renowned throughout the land.1 In the town of San Antonio, the Alamo Plaza transforms from a daytime marketplace into a lively nighttime fiesta.

Charles Darwin: What He Really Said

Tyler Sleeter

Charles Darwin was a naturalist that proposed the theory of natural selection and the theory of evolution still studied and widely accepted as true today. He wrote many books during his life, but the two most well-known books, The Origin of Species by Means of

For a moment there was peace: The Christmas Day Truce of 1914

Edgar Ramon

The chilling cold was inescapable and constant along the trenches. This was only worsened by the rain-water flooding the muddy walls and floors. Some months had passed since the beginning of World War I, and it was now December of the year 1914. Being “home

Triumph and Tragedy: The Loss of the Lusitania

Christopher Hohman

The 1890s was a remarkable time for transatlantic travel. For the better part of a century, the British had ruled the waves both militarily and commercially. All this, however, changed in the blink of an eye. In September of 1897, the German vessel Kaiser Wilhelm

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The Life and Death of Edith Cavell: A War Heroine

Karla Fabian

In the cold, dark cell of St. Gilles prison, Edith Cavell waited for a decision on whether she would live or die. After a lifetime of virtuous deeds, service work, and taking care of those most in need, Edith Cavell never expected to end up

Manfred von Richthofen: Der Roten Baron

Seth Roen

Imagine the western front during the spring of 1917. The sound of the whistleblowing indicated the start of an assault. Masses of soldiers crawled out of their trenches and into No Man’s Land. They rushed across the field full of mud, craters, and remnants of

The Failed “Beer Hall Putsch” of 1923 in Bavaria

Dayna Valdez

On November 8, 1923, at around 8:30 pm, Adolf Hitler and his armed bodyguards of the SA surrounded the Bürgerbräukeller Beer Hall in Munich, Germany. Along with his bodyguards, when Hitler barged into the Beer Hall, he immediately fired his gun into the ceiling and

Cold. Red. Fear. Death: Holodomor

Madeline Chandler

Crunch: the sound of cracking frozen ground underneath one’s foot walking in subzero temperatures. Burning wood: the smell escaping chimneys in the distance where people struggle to keep warm. White clouds around anyone who dares to step outside when their breath freezes in the air

Guernica 1937

Daniel Gimena

It was 4pm in the Spanish city of Guernica. It was another day in that Spanish civil war that seemed to not have an end. Suddenly, the noise of airplanes approaching from the north, hopefully only war planes crossing the city on their way to

Fighting Soviet Socialism With Music: Shostakovich

Amanda Uribe

What really happened on December 11, 1936 will forever be a mystery to the music world. At the height of Soviet oppression of the arts, Dmitri Shostakovich, a very influential composer in the early twentieth century, took a strong stance against the Soviet Union and

Che Guevara: Road to Radical

Alexander Manibusan

His face is known all over the world. With his long thick hair and charismatic stare, Che Guevara is globally recognized as a symbol for revolution and rebellion. He was the young medical student who sought to free the world not only from disease but

Quem era Carmen Miranda? Who was Carmen Miranda?

Gabriela Medrano

Does the name Carmen Miranda sound familiar? What about “the lady in the tutti-frutti hat?” If not, do not feel ashamed, for many have forgotten the excellent Brazilian performer. No Brazilian artist, however, has achieved the international recognition that Carmen Miranda has, especially in Latin

Diego Rivera the Muralist: A Different Working Mexican

Gabriela Medrano

Winner of the Spring 2017 StMU History Media Awards for Best Article in the Category of “Culture” When entering a Mexican restaurant today, one takes notice of the different aromas, both sweet and savory; one notices the patrons often speaking their language of Spanish; one hears the

The U.S. Key To Victory: The Navajo Code Talkers Of WWII

Lorenzo Rivera

“Jó áádóó Laman bidineʼé ałdóʼ tʼáá bí ałkʼiijééʼ; dóó díí kéyah tʼáá ałtso bikááʼgóó diné ndaʼahiltseedgo hahoolzhiizh; doo díí daʼahijigą́ ndootʼihígíí éí doo bił bééhózin da.”“And behold also, the Lamanites are at awar one with another; and the whole face of this land is one

Alan Turing: His Mathematical Turning Point with Enigma

Nathan Castillo

The dark cloud of war was glooming over Britain in the year 1939; Germany had recently begun its assault on Poland after Hitler and Stalin had signed their non-aggression pact, dividing Poland between them, as Hitler continued his rise to power.1 In 1940, the war

A Dreaded Nightmare: Reinhard Heydrich and the Start of the Holocaust

Amelia Hew

Winner of the Fall 2019 StMU History Media Award for Best Article in the Category of “World History” In the evening of November 9, 1938, the state-sponsored pogrom on the German-Jewish community occurred throughout Germany that would subsequently be called Kristallnacht. It occurred under the

The Red Crown: The Story of Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s Sacrifice

Alexander Avina

n September 1939, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany, an event that marked the beginning of one of the most devastating periods in human history. The Polish people witnessed the brutality of a war that quickly made its way to Warsaw, and those who were

Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Student Resistance Movement

Brianda Gomez

Have you ever thought, why didn’t anyone try to stop Adolf Hitler? Were any Germans ever against him? Was the German community aware of the harm that Hitler was causing to innocent people? Indeed, there were. But who were the people behind these courageous acts?

A Company of Heroes: The Story of the Band of Brothers

Amanda Gutierrez

World War II began in September of 1939 when Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany after its invasion of Poland. Although other allied nations, such as Canada and Australia, joined Britain and France in their battle against Germany, the United States remained uninvolved.

Eisenhower’s Yes: Operation Overlord

Antonio Coffee

General Dwight D. Eisenhower knew he was fast approaching a crucial moment in the Western theater of the Second World War. In the early morning hours of June 5, 1944, Eisenhower was faced with one of the hardest decisions of his life, and one of

The Candy Bombers of the Berlin Airlift

Tyler Sleeter

“Remember us children and we will remember you our whole life”                                                                         -ten year old Helma Lurch 1 Near the end of World War II, the Allied Powers had to decide what to do with Germany and its largest city, Berlin. At the Potsdam Conference in

The Pacification of My Lai

Sterling Henarie

A Buddhist monk, donning a stark-white robe with graying hair on his face, was bent over a sick elderly woman, praying, when he heard the gruff voice of an American soldier demand, “VC Adai?” Not knowing where they could find the Viet Cong (VC), he

“Ab Sofort”: The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Eduardo Foster

The evening of November 9, 1989 quickly became a historical one as Günter Schabowski, an official of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany, announced in a press conference that the inhabitants of East Germany could now travel to the West German side of the

A Dangerous Request: Mother Teresa’s Call to Calcutta

Edith Santos Sevilla

On September 10, 1946, Mother Teresa felt her second vocational calling. She had been doing missionary work with the Loreto Sisters for eighteen years. But on this day, she felt what she called “a call within a call.” It was the moment when she received

The Season Of Reform – The Prague Spring of 1968

William Ward

“In the service of the people we followed such a policy that socialism would not lose its human face” –Alexander Dubcek 1 The Prague Spring began earlier in the year, but in August 1968, this season of reform in Czechoslovakia came to a screeching halt.

The Corpse Without Peace: Evita

Marina Castro

Winner of the Fall 2018 StMU History Media Award for Best Descriptive Article The echo of her name still resonates in the hearts of Argentinians and others inspired by her. In life and in death, she was the vivid fire and image of revolution that