Skip Navigation

Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: HIST306 Course ID: 3056 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course examines the British Empire from the late 18th century to the 1960s. It includes the settler colonies, the colonies inhabited almost exclusively by non-European peoples, and the "informal empire" of trade and investment as well as the impact of the Empire upon the British Isles. (Prerequisites: HIST300/HS334 for History and Military History majors only)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/26/20 - 04/02/21 04/05/21 - 05/30/21 Spring 2021 Session B 8 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

• Evaluate the origin of the British colonial system.
• Analyze the major economic and social features of the British Empire and how those features changed over time.
• Discuss the strategic and diplomatic situation of the British Empire relative to other European, Mediterranean and Asian powers.
• Interpret the importance of sea power to the establishment and continuance of the British Empire.
• Assess the influence of British norms and institutions on colonies and former colonies.
• Measure the role played by colonies in 20th century political and military strategy.
• Debate the causes and effects of decolonization following World War II.

There are several types of assignments to complete for this course. In the lesson section of the class, under the tab Assignment, are detailed expectations for each assignment. Here, in the syllabus, I am providing a brief description of each assignment and the grading in general terms.


Week One’s Discussion is the only one during the course that is not graded with a numerical grade, it is Pass/Fail. All other Discussions are graded on a 100-point system.

  •  Thoroughness / Length of Original Post (40 points): There is no specific length requirement, but a well-organized and well developed post will typically be two-three healthy paragraphs long (assuming a minimum of five sentences per paragraph). If you explain your ideas clearly and use specific details to support them, your post should reach an appropriate length. These posts should be your own ideas. That being said, you are free and welcome to use quotations from our sources to support your opinions. However, you must cite them appropriately if you do.
  •  Thoroughness of Peer Responses (40 points): Again, there is no limit, but your entry must have substance. Your responses should add to the conversation. Simply saying, "I agree" or "I disagree" is not good enough. Explain whether you agree and why. Bring up another related point, or ask a question. If you choose to ask a question, though, be sure to give your own answer as well. As a general rule, a thorough response will be one-two paragraphs long (again, assuming a minimum of five sentences per paragraph). You will respond to at least three of your classmates during each forum. You will complete 4 of these peer Discussion.
  •  Thoroughness of Follow-Up Question (20 points): Same requirements as your original response.

Short Source Response

Throughout the course, you will complete 2 short source responses. This is basically an assignment where you will be given a primary source document to read. You need to write a short (about 3 page) response to the document. In your response, just react to what you see in the document, what questions arise in your mind as you read it, what connections you make with other sources or issues from your text, etc.

Research Paper Discussion

Each week from 2-6 you will post an update on the this fDiscussion to judge your progress in the writing and researching of your paper.

Research Paper

For this course, you are required to write an 8-10 page research paper which will be due by the end of Week Seven. Your papers must conform to the Chicago Manual of Style for citations and layout. This includes a title page, footnotes, and a bibliography. These “special” pages do not count towards the 8-10 page requirement. In the Course Materials section above, I provided a list of books that will help meet the Chicago style requirement.

As an APUS student, you have access to numerous resources at the Online Library’s Tutorial & Student Studies Center that will not only help with Chicago style, but will also help polish grammar skills, organize your papers and help you to avoid plagiarism. I encourage you to examine these resources, especially before beginning your research paper, but also as often as you feel is necessary during the actual writing process. The exact breakdown of the grade for this assignment is within the assignment section for week seven.

Final Exam

For this course, you will complete a final comprehensive final exam.

Weighting of Assignments

I will post your grades for each assignment within five days of the due date or within five days of when you submit it if submitted after the due date. I will provide detailed feedback about what you did well, and what may need improvement. If you have any questions about a grade or need clarification on the feedback, please feel free to email to discuss your concerns.

Required Course Textbooks

Johnson, Robert. British Imperialism. New York: Palgrave. 2003. (Available through the APUS Online Library)

James, Lawrence. Rise and Fall of the British Empire, 3rd Ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997

Additional Resources

  • The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Purchase Optional.
  • Turabian, Kate L. Manual for Writers of Term Papers, 6th Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Purchase Optional.

Important Note: The Director of the Undergraduate History, Military History, Western & World History Programs requires conformity with the traditional citation method used by Historians. This is the University of Chicago Style Manual and its Turabian offshoot. Citations will follow traditional endnote attribution. Do not use parenthetical (APA / MLA) variations. Students in cannot use Wikipedia or encyclopedias (this includes online encyclopedias) as references for any form of assignment. You may use dictionaries for specific definitions when necessary.

Recommended References:

The APUS Online Library, in the Tutorial & Student Studies Center provides a link to the Chicago Style Manual – Online. If you are majoring in History or Military History, then it is highly recommended that you purchase a bound version of this style manual because you will need to be required to follow this citation manual in all of your History, Military History and Military History courses.

Microsoft Word (if you do not have MS Word, please save all files as a Rich Text Format (.rtf). NOTE - The classroom only supports .doc, .docx, and .rtf files. Please visit Adobe for a free copy of Adobe Reader.

Book Title:The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830-1970 - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Author:Darwin, John
Unit Cost:$43.31
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.