A Few Words that Changed the World is a digital primary source reader of short documents from around the world that have had deep influence in shaping the world in which we live. Drawing on full text documents that are either out of copyright, or published under copyright that allows for the reproduction and reuse, the reader challenges students to think about the rise of European empires between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, and their impact around the globe.
The reader itself is structured chronologically. Each part of the book includes a brief introduction and then the full text of the document itself. The main reason for putting this resource together, though, is the use of the Hypothes.is annotation tool, which allows students to annotate the book’s pages will additional information and questions about the text. If you are using this book for a course, please register your class through Hypothes.is in order for your students’ annotations to remain private.
Initially designed as an Open Educational Resource for students taking HIS 1808: A Few Words that Changed the World at Huron University College, we hope that this resource will grow and expand over time. 1808 is a global history course that focuses specifically on introducing students to key themes in the 15th to 19th century expansion of European empires. With time, we hope to see this resource grow more diverse in its scope. The whole purpose here is to provide students with short full-text primary documents that have brought about – or represent – substantive change on a global scale.
To suggest a document to be included in this resource, send an e-mail to Thomas Peace with a draft introduction and a full text of the document itself. Please be sure that the document can be reprinted without violating its copyright.
Cover Image: Le 1er. Juillet , Toussaint-L’Ouverture, chargés des pouvoirs du peuple d’Haïty et auspices du Tout-puissante, proclame la Gouverneur général, assisté des mandataires légalement convoqués, en présenceet sous les Constitution de la république d’Haïty / lith. de Villain, r. de Sèvres No. 11. Haiti, 1801. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2004669332/.