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HST 232: History of the Middle East from 1453 to the Present

Course Prefix

Course Number

Course Title


Credit Hours



History of the Middle East from 1453 to the Present



Course Description

Surveys the History of the Middle East from 1453 to the present. Emphasis is placed on social, political, economic, religious, and military institutions that shape the region. The establishment of colonial rule is highlighted along with the struggle for independence, modernization, and development. IAI S2-919-N

Topical Outline

  1. Traditional Cultures and Islamic Foundations
  2. End of the Mamlouks
  3. Rise of the Ottomans
  4. Thesis of Marshall Hodgson – Military Patronage, State to Gunpowder Empires
  5. Western Imperialism 
  6. Arab Nationalism
  7. Zionism
  8. WWI
  9. Postwar Settlement
  10. End of the Ottomans 
  11. France and Great Britain in the Middle East 
  12. Emergence of Secular States 
  13. Struggle for Independence to WWII 
  14. WWII
  15. Struggle for Independence-Post WWII
  16. Mandate Palestine
  17. 1948 Arab-Israeli War 
  18. Nasser and Pan-Arabism
  19. Radicalization of Arab Politics
  20. Arab-Israeli Wars – 1967 forward 
  21. Europe and the Middle East – 1970’s 
  22. Oil and Politics
  23. Lebanon and the West Bank 
  24. Secularism and Islam in the Arab World 
  25. Peace Process 
  26. Iran-Iraq War 
  27. Iranian Revolution 
  28. PLO 
  29. Search for Peace
  30. A Region in Disorder
  31. Gulf War 
  32. 9-11

Method of Presentation

  1. Lecture and discussion
  2. Designated readings
  3. Cooperative learning
  4. Oral reports
  5. Simulations 
  6. Debates
  7. Appropriate media and selected films

Student Outcomes (The student should…)

  1. explain the contributions and significance of the Mamluks.
  2. explain the contributions and significance of the Ottomans.
  3. trace the rise of Western Imperialism in the Middle East. 
  4. explain the rise of Arab Nationalism. 
  5. explain the role of the Middle East in WWI and WWII.
  6. explain the decline of the Ottomans. 
  7. explain the rise of secular states in the Middle East. 
  8. explain and trace the struggle for independence and self-determination in the Middle East.
  9. explain and trace the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  10. explain the influence of Islam in the Middle East.
  11. explain post WWII state building in the Middle East.
  12. explain the conflict between power and culture in the Middle East.
  13. explain the fragmentation of the 1970’s and 1980’s.
  14. trace the origins of splinter groups in the Middle East.
  15. explain the peace process since the 1967 War.
  16. evaluate the current state of affairs in the Middle East.

Method of Evaluation

  1. Three (3) essay examinations
  2. Three (3) 5-page position papers
  3. One 5-page document-based case study
  4. One 15-page primary source research paper


Cleveland, William, A History of the Modern Middle East, 2004.

Goldschmidt, A., A Concise History of the Middle East, 6th edition

Quataert, D., The Ottoman Empire, 1700 - 1922

Smith, C.D., Palestine and the Arab Israeli Conflict

Yapp, M.E., The Making of the Modern Middle East

Yapp, M.E., The Near East Since the First World War

Prepared by: Michael Harkins, Fall, 2008