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ECO 321 The Rise and Fall of World Empires

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing required. New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge III. This is a writing-enhanced course.

Course Description: What causes empires to rise and fall? This course will cover the rise and fall of major empires and the impact on civilizations over the last 7000 years. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it will look at the developments in culture, economics, politics, technology, religion and the environment as they have been related to the rise and fall of great powers. The course will examine the empires of Persia, Rome, China, Mongols, Ottoman, Spain, Britain, and Russia. It will also link the growth and development of the world economy to the changes in world dominance of the various empires and civilizations over time. Toward the latter part of the course, the students will examine the United States' future role in the world. Is the US now in the declining stage of its empire? It will examine the US's role as superpower in the 20th century and analyze the future of the US from the lessons learned from the examination of past rises and falls of empires. The course will also include the use of the PBS series on Dynasties (Persia, Greece, Rome, Britain, Germany and Japan) and the BBC TV series (the Mongols and the Mughals). In addition, the course will be writing enhanced with such writing assignments as multiple revisions of a final paper, three shorter essays, and précis writing every other week.


3 credits