History of Communism

This course is comprised of three mods that can be taken independently. It is recommended that the mods be taken in sequential order; they can be taken over multiple years.

In the Origins of Communism mod, students examine the origins of communism, beginning with the earliest phases of the “Utopian Socialist” movement. The course then moves through the expansion of communism during the years of the Cold War, particularly in Asia and Cuba. The focus of assessment in this class is on honing history skills of causation, comparison, and continuity and change over time through essay writing.

The Communism in Crisis mod class focuses on challenges for communist states during the years 1976-1989. Topics iinclude the struggle for power following the death of Mao Zedong, China under Deng Xiaoping, domestic and foreign problems of the Brezhnev era, Gorbachev and his aims/policies, and the consequences of Gorbachev’s policies for Eastern Europe. The focus of assessment in this class is on document evaluation and analysis.

In the Researching Communism mod, students collaborate with the instructor, librarians, and classmates to produce two substantial research projects: a Project Based Learning Gold Standard presentation and a traditional research paper. It is recommended students take either The Origins of Communism or Communism in Crisis prior to this mod.

Min-Max Credit Hours: 1.0-3.0