University of Ghana - UG Course Outlines

Courses Under BA. HISTORY University of Ghana – UG

HIST 111:            Earliest Civilizations

This course surveys the succession of major civilizations that flourished in the Ancient World of the Middle East, Africa and Europe from the earliest times through the fifth century A.D. It emphasizes the diversity of cultural heritages, their origins and development, as well as the evolution of ideas ± social, religious and political ± that have contributed to the shaping of the world societies of today.


HIST 112:            Selected Topics in World History

It is mainly a selection of topics in World History necessary in forming a global historical perspective. The course seeks to give students basic knowledge of some important recurrent themes, issues and concepts in history.


HIST 211:            Historiography

The course seeks to define history: it shows the basic concerns and justification in studying History.  It looks at the development of History including the Pre-Greek situation; historical thinking in a world of determinist political and social philosophies; history in Egypt and the ancient Middle East; the Greek foundations of Western historical methodology, Herodotus and Thucydides and the Western Historical tradition; Tacitus and the classical tradition; Eusebius and the alternative tradition, the Medieval chronicle and the decay of the classical tradition of historical writing.


The course also looks at the Renaissance and Historical Enquiry;  restoration of classical canons of historical writing; source material; flexibility and accommodation in approach to informed criticism as elements in historical investigation; new techniques and new skills as th Century watershed:  Gibbon and the fusion of the antiquarian and classical traditions of historical work; the 19th Century revolution in historical methodology and the 20th Century developments: Namier and the school of structural analysis.


HIST 212:            Historical Methodology

The course looks at the present and the past:  time and historical perspective; contemporary pre-occupations, dominant trends in historical thinking; changing historical methodologies etc. historian facts and reconstruction of the Past and facts or evidence:  scales of certitude; facts and their making the past a living and immediate experience; framework and standards of assessment,  historical sources: written documents (primary and secondary sources); oral tradition; linguistic material and reconstruction of the past, causation in history:  explanation in history; narrative and analysis; the individual and society; hindsight in historical explanation; determinism and freewill in the context of historical causation,  the Marxist view of History;  the question of objectivity in history, the Whig interpretation of history and the relationship between history and other disciplines.


HIST 213:            Africa and the Wider World in the 19th Century

The course is a survey of the cultural and political regions of Africa at the beginning of the 19th century. It will focus on the following aspects of African History:

  • The Sudan Belt
  • The Forest areas of West Africa
  • The Congo Basin
  • South Africa
  • East and Central Africa
  • The Nile valley and Ethiopia
  • The Maghreb


HIST 214:            Africa in the International Setting in the 20th century

The course will focus on the following aspects of African history in the 20th Century:

  1. Africa under Colonial Rule
  2. The Independence Revolution in Africa
  3. Africa and the United Nations Organization
  4. The African Union (formerly O.A.U.)
  5. Post Colonial Political Systems in Africa
  6. Neo-Colonialism 7. Economic Issues:
    • Africa and International Trade
    • The Search for Economic Development (c) The Debt Problem.


*HIST 215:          The History of Western Medicine in Ghana

This course describes the pre-colonial and post-colonial systems of healthcare.  It describes the laying of the foundation of Western practice of medicine and the further development of the system since the country became politically independent.  It emphasizes the changes that medical policy has undergone since the late 19th Century, the reasons and impact of these changes, the contributions of individual employees (Ghanaian and expatriate) to the present structure of the Medical Services, and the establishment of the Ghana Medical School.  The course will describe how several major diseases have been eradicated or suppressed with reasons which explain the success and failures.

*To be taught exclusively to students of Level 200 Biological science


HIST 311:            History of Ghana up to 1800

This is a basic course on the early history of Ghana.  It studies the people of Ghana, their origins, migration and cultures.  The geographical background, the early states of Ghana,  the rise and spread of Islam, the traditional economy, pre-European trade and the decline of the Trans Saharan Trade, the arrival of the Europeans and the rise and development of the Trans Atlantic Slave trade will be discussed, as will the expansion of Denkyera, Akwamu, Akyem, Fante and Asante.  Social and economic developments in the 17th and the 18th centuries will also be dealt with.


HIST 313:            History of Africa up to 1500

This is a sweeping survey of the cultural, religious and commercial developments in ancient Africa.  It explores the cultures of Pre±dynastic Pharaonic Egypt, the legacy of Egypt, Kush and Meroe. Axum: monophysite Christianity, the ivory, gold and slave trade in East Africa, the Arab conquest of North Africa and the Beber reaction on the Almoravid and Almohad states, the Great Zimbabwe Culture, the Mwena Mutapa empire and the Rosvi States of East Central Africa,  religion, trade and State in the Western Central Sudan,  Ghana, Mali and Kanem will be explored


HIST 315:             The Black Diaspora

…..of the Black race, leading to the present distribution of the Black race in the world, the causes for migration and routes along which they traveled, Blacks in South America, in the Caribbean and in other parts of the world, the Blacks and Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries and the Black Renaissance.


HIST 317:             Economic History of West Africa: 1700 to 1890

sources; technology, Economic activity, interpretations; production and distribution, trade within West Africa, the Trans-Saharan and Trans-Oceanic trade,  the social organizations of economic life and the material basis of political power, the organization of labour and of trade,  the source of State revenue and of trade.


HIST 319:            Aspects of Early Modern European History 

This course highlights some aspects of this vast subject without pretending to give a complete overview. Topics to be treated include the significance of the Fall of Constantinople: the shift from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic World, its effect on the Italian Renaissance, humanism in the North, New learning and criticism of the church, Europe and a Wider World.


HIST 321:            Islam and Christianity in Africa

In this paper an attempt will be made to strike a balance of the influences of the two great monotheistic religions on Africa.  The topics include Early Christianity in North and NorthEastern Africa, Islam and the conquest of North Africa, Islam and Christianity in Ethiopia,

Islamic expansion in West Africa and East Africa, the growth of Islamic influence through the Sufi Orders, the influence of Christian pietism, i.e., Evangelical revival and the Missionary movement,  Islam and reform in the 19th Century:  Mahdism in the Sudan, Muslim society and the imposition of European (colonial) rule, the church and the growth of nationalism, Ethiopianism,  self rule and church-independence,  Church and State in post-colonial Africa.


HIST 323:             Colonial and Modern India Studies

This unique programme is designed to enable students both to develop an understanding of

Indian history from the 18th to the 21st provide an opportunity to understand the emergence of interdisciplinary approach to Indian society through critical historical studies. Covering over 300 years of Indian history since 1700, the course will examine the history of India to understand how colonialism shaped, changed, and brought together over time modern India. Concepts such as caste, gender, power, and nationalism and their importance in contemporary Indian society will be examined.  In short, this course is aimed to introduce students to the emergence of modernity on Indian subcontinent and its various historical dimensions.


HIST 322:             Ghana in the 19th and the 20th Centuries

This course traces the history of Ghana in considerable detail, the many influences to which Ghana was exposed throughout its existence, before as well as after its independence, the Christian mission, education and social change.  The growth of British colonial power and jurisdiction and Ghanaian reactions to it, as well as the Anglo Asante wars and the era of the

Other topics include Ghana under British rule, social, political and economic developments in ancient Africa, the rise of nationalism between 1900 and 1945, and the impact of World War II.  The struggle for Independence, Ghana since 1957: Kwame Nkrumah, the period of the coups: 1966 to 1981 and the Second, Third and Fourth Republics.


HIST 324:            History of Europe, 1798 – 1945  

This is an in-depth study of the political development of Modern Europe:  the French Revolution, Napoleon and Europe, the Vienna settlement and the Congress system, the  th century, the international alignments of 1870-1914 and the first World War, the Versailles settlement and its consequences, the Russian revolutions, Communist and Nazi dictatorship, from the League of Nations to the United Nations


HIST 326:            History of Africa up to 1800

The course treats in considerable detail a wide variety of subjects, including the East African and Indian Ocean trade. Topics to be treated include trade and politics in the Zambesi valley, the Trans- Saharan trade, the Sudanic states and the Moroccan invasion, developments in the Mahgreb during Ottoman rule, religion and conflict in Ethiopia,  the inter-lacustrine cluster of States:  Iwo, Bacwezi, Bunyoro and Buganda,  the Luba and Lunda states,  Pre-European trade and society in Southern Africa: Sana and Khoikhoi, the Nguni and Sotho chiefdoms, Dutchto the Mfecane and the Great Trek.


HIST 328:            Economic History of West Africa: 1890 to 1960

The course will deal with Interpretations of colonialism and imperialism, the economic aspects of partition: the respective roles of economic and non-economic, and of peripheral and metropolitan influences, the early colonial economy, 1890-1930; the rule of the colonial administration and of foreign capital,  causes and mechanics of the cash including the rule of indigenous enterprise, change and continuity in the social organization of colonial life; rural indebtedness, the expansion of migrant wage labour, and the position of women slaves;  chiefs, traders and educated elites,  the economic context of political independence; depression and conflict in colonial economy, 1930-40,  economic decolonisation, or transition to neo-colonialism, 1940-60, and the  expansion of government intervention, 1910-60.


HIST 332:            The History of Western Medicine in Ghana

This course describes the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial systems of healthcare. It describes the laying of the foundations of Western Medical practice and the further development of the system since the country became politically independent.  It emphasises the changes that medical policy has undergone since the late 19th Century, the reasons and impact of these changes, the contributions of individual employees (Ghanaian and expatriate) to the present structure of the Medical services, and the establishment of the Ghana Medical School. The course will describe how several major diseases have been eradicated or tamed with reasons which explain the successes and failures. There shall be considerably less emphasis on disease causation and medical terminology.


HIST 334:            Women in History

Ancient period to the modern period.  The scope of the course necessitates selections from various time periods and geographical/national areas.  These selections have been chosen to first part is a general looks at Women in the Ancient World.  The third part examines Women in the Middle Ages with respect to their role in the prevailing economic, political and social order.  The fourth part focuses on Women in the Modern World with some emphasis on the African Woman.


HIST 336:             History of Pan-Africanism

This course looks at all aspects of the Pan-African movement, from its origins in the Black Diaspora to its twenty-first century expression. The topics will include the Pan-African Congresses, the repatriation or Back-to-Africa movement, the African personality, African Diaspora into the AU as the Sixth Region.


HIST 421:            Aspects of Intellectual History from 1500 to the Enlightenment This would cover the following:

  1. Machiavelli and Italian Renaissance Thought.
  2. The Social Contract Theories: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau
  3. Catholic Philosophy and view of World History, Bossuet
  4. Enlightenment Philosophers: Newton, Vico, Bentham, Voltaire.


HIST 422:            Modern Trends in Intellectual History This course will cover the following:

  1. The Idealist School of thought. Hegel, Kent, Fichte, Schelling
  2. Theories of Evolution, Social and Political change: Mazzini, Darwin, Marx Engels,


HIST 423:  History of Science and Technology up to the Industrial Revolution.  achievements, without too much technical detail.   It explores the development of science and technology in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome; the collapse and revival of Western Civilisation, Humanism and the Renaissance, discovery of the heavens, of the earth and its creatures.  The Age of Reason, the academies; enlightenment, classification and order, popularisation of science and experiments will be explored.


HIST 424:            History of Science & Technology since the Industrial Revolution

Topics to be treated include the Industrial revolution and the communications revolution, Victorian England, the New sciences, new forces and new attitudes, science, technology and business, the challenge of the 20th century: super science and technology, and the age of waste and destruction.


HIST 425:            History of Political thought up to St. Augustine The following courses are to be treated:

  1. Accounts of the main political ideologies and of the main views on the evolution and nature of society, law and government current in the Ancient world and Medieval Christendom.
  2. Greek speculation on the Greek polis: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. 3. Ancient Thought after Aristotle. Stoicism and Epicureanism
  3. Theory of church-state relations up to AD. 450.


HIST 426:            History of Political Thought since St. Augustine The course will deal with the following:

  1. Political Theory of Italian Renaissance.
  2. 17th and 18th Centuries expositions of social contract theory.
  3. French and English constitutional ideas in the century 1770-1870
  4. The main European political theories on the 20th


HIST 427:            Colonial Rule and African Response: Partition or Pacification

Topics treated will include the scramble, the Berlin Conference and the Partition of Africa:  causes, result etc., the establishment of Colonial Rule:  North, West, East, Central and Southern Africa; wars of conquest, resistance and pacification, systems of colonial rule:

HIST 428:             Colonial Rule and African Response:  Nationalism and Independence

This course will deal with African reaction to colonial rule 1914-1945:  political economic and social grievances; proto ± nationalism and nationalism:  the impacts, of Pan-Islamism, World War II and Pan ±Africanism, Decolonization and African Unity.


HIST 429:            History of Latin America

This course offers a survey of the history of the South American continent from the pre- Columbian empires (Maya, Aztec and Inca) to the early 20th century.  The Imposition of Spanish and Portuguese colonial governments; settlement patterns, the power of the church, mineral and agricultural exploitation,  Slavery and the slave trade and Dutch competition.


HIST 431:            History of Modern China and Japan, ca. 1800 – 1900

This is a comparative study of the history of China and Japan since the 19th Century, at a time century, the opium war and the arrow war, the Treaty Port system, unrest within china,  Taiping, Muslim and other rebellions, Self-strengthening movements; Industrialization,  the Tokugawa state and the Meji restoration, the 1857-8 Treaties and their repercussions, the new order, the first phase of Japanese modernization 1870-1900,  implications of military, educational and technical reforms.  The course also analyses of the Meji constitution and examines China under foreign pressure; the 1880-90 wars and reforms


HIST 432:            Latin America since the Haitian Revolution

This course will examine the era of the revolutions in Latin America:  Haiti, Venezuela, Buenos Aires, military achievements and political failures of San Martin and Bolivar, independence of Mexico, conservatism of the Latin American Independence movement. 19th century Mexican dictators; the revolution of 1910, British economic dominations,  U.S. interference, the banana republics of Middle America, the Venezuelan oil industry and socialist and capitalist industrialization.


It will also examine Monarchic government in independent Brazil, the rise of the coffee industry; the growth of industrial cities, Argentina: the agricultural basis of prosperity, landowners and wage-earners and the significance of Peron


HIST 433:            History of Modern Russia & U.S.A: 1700-1860

This will deal with Russia from the accession of Peter the Great (1682) and U.S.A. from 1763 to 1860; Enlightenment in Russia and the U.S.A ± ideas of Catherine II vs. those of Thomas Jefferson, the role of personality and leadership in the respective growths of Russia and America; territorial expansion; eastward expansion into Asia, the Baltic and the Balkan coasts vs. American westward expansion to the Pacific Coast.


HIST 434:            History of Modern China and Japan since 1900

This course will examine the Boxer Uprising, abdication of the Manchu, the second phase of Japanese modernization, 1900-30, heavy industries, the Zaibatsu, Anglo-Japanese friendship and the Russo-Japanese war, the Annexation of Korea, Japanese imperialism 1930-45, the politics of violence,  China between revolutions, 1911-45,  the war lords, Kuomintang versus Communists,  China and Japan since 1946, the Cold War in the far East,  the Korean War the Africa.


HIST 435:            Aspects of World History: 1914-1945

This course will include a brief introduction of the causes and effects of the First World War from around 1907, Topical events in World history: 1919-1950; the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations ± its structure, aims, achievements and failures,  Russian communism:

1917-1939,  Hitler and Nazism; Mussolini and Fascism, World Economic Depression: 19291933, the Commonwealth of Nations;  the Statute of West-minister (1930), the world situation in 1939: causes of tension in Europe and outbreak of the Second World War, the role of the U.S.A. and Japan in the War Colonisation of Africa to 1950 and the role of Africa in the Second World War and the structure and aims of the United Nations.


HIST 436:            History Modern Russia & U.S.A: 1860-1939

This course will cover areas such as the emancipation of serfs in Russia and of slaves in the U.S.A; methods of securing political, economic and social rights after emancipation; Economic and industrial development in Russia and U.S.A. from 1870-1914, territorial expansionism of Russia and the U.S.A; Russia and U.S.A. in the first World War; Isolationism of Russia and the U.S.A. – from 1920 to 1939.


HIST 437:            Conflict in Southern Africa

This course will examine at the history of Southern Africa over the past three and a half Reconciliation Commission that followed independence) with an emphasis on South Africa and its influence in the region.  The course will also examine the economic, social and cultural histories of the region so as to interrogate reasons why there was considerable delay in the independence of the region; the relationship between colonialism and neo-colonialism; and the relationship between colonialism and culture It will also address issues such as the impact of racialized rule.


HIST 438:            Aspects of World History since 1945

The course will cover the emergence of the Super Powers, the Cold War, the spread of soviet influence and American reactions; NATO, the Warsaw Pact, and the Eastern Bloc, the Nuclear arms race; the German problem;  developments in Asia: Civil war and communist victory in China; Tibet, the communist uprising in Malaya; the Korean War (1950-3), the French withdrawal from the 1954 settlement in Indo-China, SEATO (to the 1970s); the Vietnam War, divided Vietnam 1954-76,  the Middle East:  Foundation of Israel 1948; the Palestine problem, Arab League 1947, the Baghdad Pact 1955; The Suez Crisis, 1956.  The Non-Aligned movement,  the rise of Nationalism in Asia and Africa and its consequences; reconstruction of

Japan after 1946, groupings in Africa; Monrovia and Casablanca powers (1961), O.A.U 1963: East African Community (1967), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (1976),  Apartheid and World reaction, United Nations since 1950 and the Commonwealth of Nations.


HIST 442:            The Atlantic World

The course will examine the nature and extent of the encounters and exchanges of people, ideas, goods, cultures, disease, flora and fauna over and across the ocean bordering Europe, Africa and the Americas. The course will emphasize how these encounters and exchanges have helped to shape the world. It will help students to understand the historical underpinnings of the new world order of the modern age through the processes of expansion of economy, political power, culture, population, etc. of western European nations on one hand; and the system of creative and adaptive connections, and interactions among Europeans, Africans and Native Americans along the vast and seemingly endless rim of the Atlantic basin from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.


**HIST 481:        Special Paper:

Fante States in the 17th Century/ Dutch Documents Relating the Gold Coast and the Slave Coast (Coast of Guinea) 1680 -1740/Politics in Akyem Abuakwa, 1874 ± 1930/ Economic History of the Gold Coast, 1874 ± 1900.

This is a special paper, based on original English and translated Dutch primary source materials dealing with the above themes in the history of the Gold Coast.  In any one semester only a select collection of primary source materials dealing with a specific theme would be explored.

 ** Available ONLY to students taking a MAJOR in History


**HIST 482:         Special Paper:

Fante States in the 18th Century/ Elmina and Its Neighbours, 1836 -1876/Economic and Social

Change in Akyem Abuakwa, 1874 ± 1930/Economic History of the Gold Coast, 1900 ± 1914. This is a special paper, based on original English and translated Dutch primary source materials dealing with the above themes in the history of the Gold Coast.  In any one semester only a select collection of primary source materials dealing with a specific theme would be explored.


** Available ONLY to students taking a MAJOR in History



Peter N. Djangmah is a multifaceted individual with a passion for education, entrepreneurship, and blogging. With a firm belief in the power of digital education and science, I am affectionately known as the Private Minister of Information. Connect with me
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