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A History of Western Society, Value Edition, Volume 1

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  • ISBN13:


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  • Edition: 13th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-10-03
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Supplemental Materials

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Praised by instructors and students alike for its readability and attention to social history, the Value Edition of A History of Western Society is a brief, affordable text that brings the past to life. The two-color Value Edition includes the full narrative of the comprehensive edition and select maps and images. This edition features a new question-driven narrative, five chapters devoted to the lives of ordinary people that make the past real and relevant, and the best and latest scholarship throughout.

Available for free when packaged with the print book, the popular digital assignment options for this text bring skill building and assessment to a highly effective level. The active learning options come in LaunchPad , which combines an accessible e-book with LearningCurve, an adaptive and automatically graded learning tool that—when assigned—helps ensure students read the book; the complete companion reader with quizzes on each source; and many other study and assessment tools. For instructors who want the easiest and most affordable way to ensure students come to class prepared, Achieve Read & Practice pairs LearningCurve adaptive quizzing and our mobile, accessible Value Edition e-book, in one easy-to-use product.

Table of Contents

The Combined Volume includes all chapters.

Volume 1 includes Chapters 1-16.

Volume 2 includes Chapters 14-30.  


1 Origins To 1200 B.C.E.

What do we mean by "the West" and "Western civilization"?

Describing the West

What Is Civilization?

How did early human societies create new technologies and cultural forms?

From the First Hominids to the Paleolithic Era


Implications of Agriculture

Trade and Cross-Cultural Connections

What kind of civilization did the Sumerians build in Mesopotamia?

Environment and Mesopotamian Development

The Invention of Writing and the First Schools

Religion in Mesopotamia

Sumerian Politics and Society

How did the Akkadian and Old Babylonian empires develop in Mesopotamia?

The Akkadians and the Babylonians

Life Under Hammurabi

Cultural Exchange in the Fertile Crescent

How did the Egyptians establish a prosperous and long-?lasting society?

The Nile and the God-King

Egyptian Religion

Egyptian Society and Work

Egyptian Family Life

The Hyksos and New Kingdom Revival

Conflict and Cooperation with the Hittites




2 Small Kingdoms and Mighty Empires in the Near East 1200–510 B.C.E.

How did iron technology shape new states after 1200 B.C.E.?

Iron Technology

The Decline of Egypt and the Emergence of Kush

The Rise of Phoenicia

How did the Hebrews create an enduring religious tradition?

The Hebrew State

The Jewish Religion

Hebrew Family and Society

How did the Assyrians and Neo-Babylonians gain and lose power?

Assyria’s Long Road to Power

Assyrian Rule and Culture

The Neo-Babylonian Empire

How did the Persians conquer and rule their extensive empire?

Consolidation of the Persian Empire

Persian Religion

Persian Art and Culture




3 The Development of Greek Society and Culture ca. 3000–338 B.C.E.

How did the geography of Greece shape its earliest kingdoms?

Geography and Settlement

The Minoans

The Mycenaeans

Homer, Hesiod, and the Epic

What was the role of the polis in Greek society?

Organization of the Polis

Governing Structures

Overseas Expansion

The Growth of Sparta

The Evolution of Athens

How did the wars of the classical period shape Greek history?

The Persian Wars

Growth of the Athenian Empire

The Peloponnesian War

The Struggle for Dominance

Philip II and Macedonian Supremacy

What ancient Greek ideas and ideals have had a lasting influence?

Athenian Arts in the Age of Pericles

Households and Work

Gender and Sexuality

Public and Personal Religion

The Flowering of Philosophy




4 Life in the Hellenistic World 336–30 B.C.E.

How and why did Alexander the Great create an empire, and how did it evolve?

Military Campaigns

The Political Legacy

How did Greek ideas and traditions spread to create a Hellenized society? Urban Life

Greeks in Hellenistic Cities

Greeks and Non-Greeks

What characterized the Hellenistic economy?

Rural Life

Production of Goods


How did religion, philosophy, and the arts reflect and shape Hellenistic life?

Religion and Magic

Hellenism and the Jews

Philosophy and the People

Art and Drama

How did science and medicine serve the needs of Hellenistic society?






5 The Rise of Rome ca. 1000–27 B.C.E.

How did the Romans become the dominant power in Italy?

The Geography of Italy

The Etruscans

The Founding of Rome

The Roman Conquest of Italy

What were the key institutions of the Roman Republic?

The Roman State

Social Conflict in Rome

How did the Romans build a Mediterranean empire?

The Punic Wars

Rome Turns East

How did expansion affect Roman society and culture?

Roman Families

New Social Customs and Greek Influence

Opposing Views: Cato the Elder and Scipio Aemilianus

What led to the fall of the Roman Republic?

The Countryside and Land Reforms

Political Violence

Civil War and the Rise of Julius Caesar




6 The Roman Empire 27 B.C.E.–284 C.E.

How did Augustus and Roman elites create a foundation for the Roman Empire?

Augustus and His Allies

Roman Expansion

Latin Literature

Marriage and Morality

How did the Roman state develop after Augustus?

The Julio-Claudians and the Flavians

The Nerva-Antonine Dynasty

What was life like in the city of Rome and in the provinces?

Life in Imperial Rome

Approaches to Urban Problems

Popular Entertainment

Prosperity in the Roman Provinces

Trade and Commerce

How did Christianity grow into a major religious movement?

Factors Behind the Rise of Christianity

The Life and Teachings of Jesus

The Spread of Christianity

The Growing Acceptance and Evolution of Christianity

What political and economic problems did Rome face in the third century c.e.?

Civil Wars and Military Commanders

Turmoil in Economic Life




7 Late Antiquity 250–600

How did Diocletian and Constantine try to reform the empire?

Political Measures

Economic Issues

The Acceptance of Christianity

How did the Christian Church become a major force in the Mediterranean and Europe?

The Church and Its Leaders

The Development of Christian Monasticism

Monastery Life

Christianity and Classical Culture

Christian Notions of Gender and Sexuality

Saint Augustine on Human Nature, Will, and Sin

What were the key characteristics of barbarian society?

Village and Family Life

Tribes and Hierarchies

Customary and Written Law

Celtic and Germanic Religion

How did the barbarian migrations shape Europe?

Celtic and Germanic People in Gaul and Britain

Visigoths and Huns

Germanic Kingdoms and the End of the Roman Empire

How did the church convert barbarian peoples to Christianity?

Missionaries’ Actions

The Process of Conversion

How did the Byzantine Empire preserve the legacy of Rome?

Sources of Byzantine Strength

The Law Code of Justinian

Byzantine Learning and Science

The Orthodox Church




8 Europe in the Early Middle Ages 600–1000

What were the origins of Islam, and what impact did it have on Europe as it spread?

The Culture of the Arabian Peninsula

The Prophet Muhammad

The Teachings and Expansion of Islam

Sunni and Shi’a Divisions

Life in Muslim Spain

Muslim-Christian Relations

Cross-Cultural Influences in Science and Medicine

How did the Franks build and govern a European empire?

The Merovingians

The Rise of the Carolingians

The Warrior-Ruler Charlemagne

Carolingian Government and Society

The Imperial Coronation of Charlemagne

What were the significant intellectual and cultural developments in Charlemagne’s era?

The Carolingian Renaissance

Northumbrian Learning and Writing

How did the ninth-century invasions and migrations shape Europe?

Vikings in Western Europe

Slavs and Vikings in Eastern Europe

Magyars and Muslims

How and why did Europe become politically and economically decentralized in this period?

Decentralization and the Origins of "Feudalism"

Manorialism, Serfdom, and the Slave Trade




9 State and Church in the High Middle Ages 1000–1300

How did monarchs try to centralize political power?



Central Europe


The Iberian Peninsula

How did the administration of law evolve in this period?

Local Laws and Royal Courts

The Magna Carta

Law in Everyday Life

What were the political and social roles of nobles?

Origins and Status of the Nobility

Training, Marriage, and Inheritance

Power and Responsibility

How did the papacy reform the church, and what were the reactions to these efforts?

The Gregorian Reforms

Emperor Versus Pope

Criticism and Heresy

The Popes and Church Law

What roles did monks, nuns, and friars play in medieval society?

Monastic Revival

Life in Convents and Monasteries

The Friars

What were the causes, course, and consequences of the Crusades and the broader expansion of Christianity?

Background and Motives of the Crusades

The Course of the Crusades

Consequences of the Crusades

The Expansion of Christianity





10 Life in Villages and Cities of the High Middle Ages 1000–1300

What was village life like in medieval Europe?

Slavery, Serfdom, and Upward Mobility

The Manor


Home Life

Childbirth and Childhood

How did religion shape everyday life in the High Middle Ages?

Christian Life in Medieval Villages

Saints and Sacraments

Muslims and Jews

Rituals of Marriage and Birth

Death and the Afterlife

What led to Europe’s economic growth and reurbanization?

The Rise of Towns

Merchant and Craft Guilds

The Revival of Long-Distance Trade

Business Procedures

The Commercial Revolution

What was life like in medieval cities?

City Life

Servants and the Poor

Popular Entertainment

How did universities serve the needs of medieval society?


Legal and Medical Training

Theology and Philosophy

University Students

How did literature and architecture express medieval values?

Vernacular Literature and Drama

Churches and Cathedrals




11 The Later Middle Ages 1300–1450

How did climate change shape the late Middle Ages?

Climate Change and Famine

Social Consequences

How did the plague affect European society?


Spread of the Disease

Care of the Sick

Economic, Religious, and Cultural Effects

What were the causes, course, and consequences of the Hundred Years’ War?


English Successes

Joan of Arc and France’s Victory


Why did the church come under increasing criticism?

The Babylonian Captivity and Great Schism

Critiques, Divisions, and Councils

Lay Piety and Mysticism

What explains the social unrest of the late Middle Ages?

Peasant Revolts

Urban Conflicts

Sex in the City

Fur-Collar Crime

Ethnic Tensions and Restrictions

Literacy and Vernacular Literature




12 European Society in the Age of the Renaissance 1350–1550

How did political and economic developments in Italy shape the Renaissance?

Trade and Prosperity

Communes and Republics of Northern Italy

City-States and the Balance of Power

What new ideas were associated with the Renaissance?



Political Thought

Christian Humanism

The Printed Word

How did art reflect new Renaissance ideals?

Patronage and Power

Changing Artistic Styles

The Renaissance Artist

What were the key social hierarchies in Renaissance Europe?

Race and Slavery

Wealth and the Nobility

Gender Roles

How did nation-states develop in this period?







13 Reformations and Religious Wars 1500–1600

What were the central ideas of the reformers, and why were they appealing to different social groups?

The Christian Church in the Early Sixteenth Century

Martin Luther

Protestant Thought

The Appeal of Protestant Ideas

The Radical Reformation and the German Peasants’ War

Marriage, Sexuality, and the Role of Women

How did the political situation in Germany shape the course of the Reformation?

The Rise of the Habsburg Dynasty

Religious Wars in Switzerland and Germany

How did Protestant ideas and institutions spread beyond German-speaking lands?


Henry VIII and the Reformation in England

Upholding Protestantism in England


The Reformation in Eastern Europe

What reforms did the Catholic Church make, and how did it respond to Protestant reform movements?

Papal Reform and the Council of Trent

New and Reformed Religious Orders

What were the causes and consequences of religious violence, including riots, wars, and witch-hunts?

French Religious Wars

The Netherlands Under Charles V

The Great European Witch-Hunt




14 European Exploration and Conquest 1450–1650

What was the Afro-Eurasian trading world before Columbus?

The Trade World of the Indian Ocean

The Trading States of Africa

The Middle East

Genoese and Venetian Middlemen

How and why did Europeans undertake ambitious voyages of expansion?

Causes of European Expansion

Technology and the Rise of Exploration

The Portuguese Overseas Empire

Spain’s Voyages to the Americas

Spain "Discovers" the Pacific

Early Exploration by Northern European Powers

What was the impact of European conquest on the New World?

Conquest of the Aztec Empire

The Fall of the Incas

Portuguese Brazil

Colonial Empires of England and France

Colonial Administration

How did Europe and the world change after Columbus?

Economic Exploitation of the Indigenous Population

Society in the Colonies

The Columbian Exchange and Population Loss

Sugar and Slavery

Spanish Silver and Its Economic Effects

The Birth of the Global Economy

How did expansion change European attitudes and beliefs?

Religious Conversion

European Debates About Indigenous Peoples

New Ideas About Race

Michel de Montaigne and Cultural Curiosity

William Shakespeare and His Influence




15 Absolutism and Constitutionalism ca. 1589–1725

What made the seventeenth century an "age of crisis" and achievement?

The Social Order and Peasant Life

Economic Crisis and Popular Revolts

The Thirty Years’?War

State-Building and the Growth of Armies

Baroque Art and Music

Why did France rise and Spain fall during the late seventeenth century?

The Foundations of French Absolutism

Louis XIV and Absolutism

Life at Versailles

Louis XIV’s Wars

The French Economic Policy of Mercantilism

The Decline of Absolutist Spain in the Seventeenth Century

What explains the rise of absolutism in Prussia and Austria?

The Return of Serfdom

The Austrian Habsburgs

Prussia in the Seventeenth Century

The Consolidation of Prussian Absolutism

What were the distinctive features of Russian and Ottoman absolutism?

Mongol Rule in Russia and the Rise of Moscow

Building the Russian Empire

The Reforms of Peter the Great

The Ottoman Empire

Why and how did the constitutional state triumph in the Dutch Republic and England?

Religious Divides and Civil War

The Puritan Protectorate

The Restoration of the English Monarchy

Constitutional Monarchy

The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century




16 Toward a New Worldview 1540–1789

What revolutionary discoveries were made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?

Contributions from the Muslim World

Scientific Thought to 1500

The Copernican Hypothesis

Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo: Proving Copernicus Right

Newton’s Synthesis

Natural History and Empire

Magic and Alchemy

What intellectual and social changes occurred as a result of the Scientific Revolution?

The Methods of Science: Bacon and Descartes

Medicine, the Body, and Chemistry

Science and Religion

Science and Society

How did the Enlightenment emerge, and what were major currents of Enlightenment thought?

The Early Enlightenment

The Influence of the Philosophes

Enlightenment Movements Across Europe

How did the Enlightenment change social ideas and practices?

Global Contacts

Enlightenment Debates About Race

Women and the Enlightenment

Urban Culture and Life in the Public Sphere

What impact did new ways of thinking have on politics?

Frederick the Great of Prussia

Catherine the Great of Russia

The Austrian Habsburgs

Jewish Life and the Limits of Enlightened Absolutism



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