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22 Best Free Online History Courses

Our Favorite Free Online History Course

The Holocaust - An Introduction (II): The Final Solution

The Holocaust (II)

This course is in English and has subtitles in 5 different languages. The Holocaust is recorded in history as one of the most horrific incidents that defies description and understanding as to how this human tragedy could ever have happened or spread with the fervour that it did. This course was put together by Yad Vashem (The World Holocaust Remembrance Center) and Tel Aviv University. Over 3 weeks it covers The Final Solution, Jewish and Non-Jewish responses to the Holocaust and in the final week The End of the War. The course is offered in a multi-level format. Through comprehensive lectures with a host of view points, documentation, photos, testimonies and art.Duration: Approx 7 hours over 3 weeks. Rating: 4.9/97%

What are the Top Free Online History Courses

After much research on all online History Courses on offer, we have found the top 22 History courses to make it easier for you to choose

22 Ireland in Rebellion (1782-1916)

Ireland in Rebellion

This course is in English and covers the making of Modern Ireland looking at the period 1782-1916 and beyond. It starts with the gaining of legislative independence and looks at the apposing forces of Constitutional Nationalism and Radicalism and the subsequent forces which led to the creation of the Independent Irish State. Some of the lectures cover events like the impact the French Revolution had on Ireland, it looks at the Bantry Bay Invasion in 1796, the uprising in 1798, the Act of Union, the Catholic Emancipation, the Scandals of the 1830’s, the Famine and other notable events. Duration: 69 videos over a period of 14 weeks/each video approx 15 minutes. Rating: 172 000 views

21 The American Revolution

The American Revolution

The course is in English and covers, simplistically, how a group of British colonists became American Revolutionaries and a group of Colonies became a confederation of states with a common vision. As quoted by John Adams “The Revolution was in the minds of the people… before a drop of blood was drawn at Lexington”. The course examines the revolution from this perspective following the immigrants sense of themselves as British subjects, then Settlers, Revolutionists,and finally as Americans. The videos cover topics Resistance or Rebellion, Who were the Loyalists, Independence, Civil War, the Importance of George Washington, Confederation,a Constitution, Creating a Nation. Duration: 25 lectures each video is approx 45 minutes. Rating: 444 750 views

20 The Early Middle Ages 284 - 1000

The Early Middle Ages, 284-1000

The course is in English with videos.  This course covers the major political social and religious events in the History of Western Europe, from the Accession of Diocletian to the feudal transformation. Topics covered include the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of Islam and Arabs, the “Dark Ages”, Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance, and the Viking and the Hungarian invasions. Duration: 22 videos each approx 50 minutes. Rating: 1 691 355 views

19 China X: China’s Past, Present and Future

ChinaX

This series is in English and introduces you to the history, geography, and culture of China. You will study about China’s earliest dynasties to note the impact of physical geography and how it impacted the inhabitants and how the diverse ethnicities affected Chinese identity. Chinese origins as told through theological explorations and ancient texts will be explored. You will come to grips with the first dynasties during the Bronze Age, Confucianism, and competing schools of thought. Most of Chinese culture as it is today was born in this era. Duration: Approx 1 - 3 hours per week for 15 weeks self paced

18 The Changing Landscape of Ancient Rome, Archaeology and History of the Palatine Hill

The Changing Landscape of Ancient Rome

The course is only in English, it is a beginner course. The nature of the archaeology finds from ancient cities are fragmented in nature due to their incompleteness. To fully understand the history one has to rejoin and acknowledge the components of the urban landscape. These are vital to understanding any national heritage. This course will cover how we have reflected historically over the last 20 years. And how we are still leaning about the past of our major cities in particular the ancient Mediterranean world. The course looks at the topographical construction of the most relevant parts of Rome. Duration: Approx 8 hours over 4 weeks. Rating: 4.4/95%

17 Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims

Coexistence in Medieval Spain 

This course is in English with subtitles in 4 different languages. You will learn about Jewish, Christian and Muslim relations in Iberia from the 6th century to the 15th century. The identities of the peninsula known as Christian, Hispania, Jewish Sefarad, and Islamic al-Andalus is explored. The origins and path of the conflict between these communities including the Muslim conquest, the Christian Reconquista prohibitions of inter-marriage, and expulsions. Also covered is the tensions within each of these groupings as well as the collaborations and coexistence between these communities. The intermediary role played by the Jewish community between the Muslim and Christian communities.  Throughout the course you will investigate through processes involving viewing, reading, analyzing and reflecting on peoples places, events and artifacts. Duration: Approx 27 hours over 5 weeks. Rating: 4.5/97%

16 The Kennedy Half Century

The Kennedy Half Century

The course is in English and has subtitles in 4 other languages. Thus course explores the presidency assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. You will learn about how his life, administration and death influenced the public, the media, and the Presidents who have followed. Knowing more about his legacy and what he stood for as seen in modern politics helps us to understand the problems that developed over the last half century and many of the challenges we face today. Every President since Kennedy has used his words and actions to craft their own image. Why this influence persists and what are the results are addressed in this course.

Duration: Approx 9 hours over 4 weeks through videos. Rating: 4.6/96%

15 Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe

Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe

This course is in English and has subtitles in 4 different languages. It is a beginners course. The illuminated Medieval manuscripts decorated with images and pigment, gives one a glimpse into the lost world of Kings and Queens, ladies, faith, culture and war, and communicates powerful visual narratives of early Europe. You will investigate and acquire an introduction to the characteristics, the cataloging and dating of these manuscripts together with their historical context and value. 

Duration: Approx 45 hours over 7 weeks. Rating: 4.6/96%

14 Magic in the Middle Ages

Magic in the Middle Ages

The course is in English and has subtitles in 10 different languages. It is a beginners course. Through this course you will be introduced to the Middle Ages through a wide origination of magic. Learned magic including alchemy, geomancy and necromancy as well as popular magic is covered together with how Eastern texts and practices have influenced Western Culture. By the end of the course you will be familiar with historical documentation and its analysis to discovery the most common patterns of juridical documents regarding witchcraft, overcome prejudices about the Middle Ages and be able to distinguish between popular magic and the magic of the learned people. Skills Acquired: Middle East, Astronomy, History and Anthropology

Duration: Approx 9 hours over 5 weeks. Rating: 4.6/98%

13 Introduction to Ancient Egypt and its Civilization

Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization

This is an intermediate course in English with subtitles in 10 different languages. People have been captured in almost every generation by the pyramids, temples, hieroglyphs, pharaohs and mummies and the strange Gods of the ancient Egyptians. Neighboring cultures including the Greeks and the Romans spoke of the God-like Kings and endless supply of gold. Since Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt interest in Egypt has soared and since the deciphering of the hieroglyphics a lot has been learnt which has further fueled the interest in this country. This online course set in the galleries of various museums has provided the artifacts as a backdrop to his lectures as he guides students through their journey of this fascinating culture. Skills Acquired: Art History, Art, History, and Methodology

Duration: Approx 8 hours over 6 weeks. Rating:4.6/98%

12 Age of Jefferson

Age of Jefferson

This beginners course in English with subtitles in 5 different languages provides an overview of Thomas Jefferson, his work. The course covers how he was one of the most polarizing and controversial people in American history. You will uncover why some found him to be passionate about his ideas while others viewed him with scepticism. You will closely examine Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and you will explore the context in which Jefferson lived and worked and how this influenced the forms his Declaration takes. You will look at Jefferson and his philosophies on slavery, religion and education. And how the figure 19 features prominently in his thinking. Duration: Approx 10 hours over 7 weeks. Rating: 4.7/95%

11 The Ancient Greeks

The Ancient Greeks

This course is in English with subtitles in 10 different languages and covers Greek history fro the Bronze Age to the death of Socrates in 399BCE. Included in the study are important events, people, and issues of a political and cultural value nature. You will cover a pre history until the time of Homer followed by the Archaic Age where the Greeks acquired their distinctive cultural identity. It then covers the 2 City-States of Sparta and Athens, the former being very strict in discipline and military ability while Athens showed the first traces of democracy. Also covered is Athens declaration of Democracy, the Persian wars, and the Great 50 years, featuring the Peloponnesian war. 

Skills Acquired: Art History, Greek Mythology, History and Ancient Greece. Duration: Approx 20 hours over 7 weeks. Rating: 4.7/95%

10 The Cosmopolitan Medieval Arabic World

The Cosmopolitan Medieval Arabic World

The course is in English and has subtitles in 5 different languages. You will learn about the history of the Arabic Medieval world, through the Middle Ages beginning in 8th century Baghdad to places like Mecca, Jerusalem, and Najaf. Also you will be exposed to the flourishing wide spread slave trade and explore the Harem of the caliph, along with the palace of the Manluk Sultan. You will see manuscripts describing the achievements of scientists and medical doctors of this era while being presented with historiographically debates and dilemmas. You will be transported back and forth in time to unravel how the events of the past shape today’s world. Duration: Approx 25 hours over 6 week. Rating:4.7/96%

09 Age of Cathedrals

Age of Cathedrals

The course is in English and has subtitles in 5 different languages. It is an introduction to Gothic Cathedrals. You will study the art, literature, economics, intellectual life and social arrangements that arose at this time. The course teaches appreciation of the High Middle Ages and covers Saint - Denis, architectural innovation, the Notre Dame, Intellectual and every day life, Our Lady of Chartres. 

Duration: Approx 18 hours over 9 weeks. Rating: 4.7/96%

08 Russian History: From Lenin to Putin

Russian History: from Lenin to Putin

The course is in English and has subtitles in 8 different languages. It explains events in Modern Russian history together with all the historic figures from Valimir Lenin to Valimir Putin. You will cover is the history from the 9th century to the 1920’s, pre and post Great Patriotic War. And then ends in week 3 with Reform, Stagnation, Collapse, Rebirth? Duration: Approx 12 hours over 3 weeks

Rating: 4.7/97%

07 America through Foreign Eyes

America Through Foreign Eyes

This course is in English and is a beginner course with subtitles in 4 different languages. The United Stares has been a keen interest both appealing and disgust for people in some countries such as Mexico, France, China, and some African countries. This course focuses on the perceptions of America from the above mentioned countries and consists of 5 modules covering the interactions and perceptions of America, Americans and Americanization from these regions. The modules are America through African eyes, America through Chinese eyes, America through French eyes and America through Mexican eyes and finally America through Russian eyes. It concludes with reversing the gaze, so looking at American perception of these same countries. Duration: Approx 34 hours over 7 weeks. Rating: 4.7/97%

06 The Modern World Part II: Global History since 1910

The Modern World Part 11

The course is a beginner and is in English, subtitles in 10 other languages. It is a survey of history in the modern era from a global perspective. This part begins in the 20th century as the old gives way to an era of catastrophic struggles over what will take place in the future. It concludes in current times as communities transition into a new era as we again struggle to grasp what is happening. You will explore key choices made at pivotal moments by individuals and communities. The course covers such items as crackup (1905-1917) new orders emerging from (1917-1930) the world crises (1930-1940) total war and the aftermath (1949-1950) the return of wartime (1950-1968) and decay and renaissance (1968-1991) and finally the next phase (1991-2013). Duration: Approx 21 hours over 7 weeks. Rating: 4.8/93%

05 The Modern World Part I: Global History from 1760 - 1910

The Modern World, Part One

This course is in English and has subtitles in 10 other languages. It surveys modern history from a global perspective and this section begins with the political and economic revolutions and of the late 1700’s and tracks world transformation experienced in the 1800. It concludes at the time when this exponential development has gone beyond the capability of the institutions to handle them. Through the course we will try to get a handle on what was happening and ask the why question to discover the answers which often turn on human choice. The course covers commercial and military revolutions (1760-1800), the democratic revolution of the Atlantic World (1760-1800), The Revolutionary Wars from (1800-1830), The World Transformed (1830-1870), The Rise of National Industrial States (1830-1871), The Rise of National Industrial Empires (1871-1900) and finally he Great Acceleration (1890-1910). Duration: Approx 15 hours over 7 weeks. Rating: 4.8/94%

04 The Holocaust - An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World

The Holocaust - An Introduction (1)

This course is in English and has subtitles in 11 different languages. The Holocaust is recorded in history as one of the most horrific incidents that defies description and understanding as to how this human tragedy could ever have happened or spread with the fervour that it did. The course covers from hatred to core ideology where you will explore Nazi ideology and the centricity of the Jewish nation to it. Also looked at is how the National Socialist Party converted the Democracy into a totalitarian regime. You will learn about the Jewish world under various Nazi influences and occupations and examine the broader context of the Holocaust of a part of World War 2. Finally,  Jewish life in the ghettos as a segregated people will be revealed. Duration: Approx 7 hours over 3 weeks. Rating: 4.8/97%

03 The French Revolution

The French Revolution

This course is in English and is a beginners course with subtitles in 3 other languages. In the course you will examine the origins, the course of the revolution and its outcomes, as this is regarded as one of the most important lessons to learn in world history. The course is packaged for you to self study as the resources and learning activities are completely comprehensive. Part of the required reading for this course is Peter McPhee’s text book The French Revolution. The course covers France in the 1780’s, The Revolution of 1789, The Reconstruction of France (1789-1792), The Republic in Crises (1792-1793), ending the terror and ending the revolution and finally, change and continuity. Duration: Approx 24 hours over. Rating: 4.8/98%

02 The Book of Kells: Exploring and Irish Medieval Masterpiece

The Book of Kells

The course in English. You will learn is where and how the manuscript was made, the social context surrounding its emergence including Medieval faith and politics. You will explore the artistic interpretation and the theology of the text, how and why it has survived and how it influences modern culture. By the end of this course you will be able to explain the function and meaning of Medieval Irish art and understand how these scripts were made and translated. You will have knowledge about the features of the Irish church at this time. And be able to appraise Medieval material culture. Skills Acquired: Ireland, Medieval Studies, History, Art, Religion and Irish Culture

Duration: Approx 4 hours weekly for 4 weeks. Rating: 4.9

01 The Holocaust - An Introduction (II): The Final Solution

The Holocaust (II)
This course is in English and has subtitles in 5 different languages. The Holocaust is recorded in history as one of the most horrific incidents that defies description and understanding as to how this human tragedy could ever have happened or spread with the fervour that it did. This course was put together by Yad Vashem (The World Holocaust Remembrance Center) and Tel Aviv University. Over 3 weeks it covers The Final Solution, Jewish and Non-Jewish responses to the Holocaust and in the final week The End of the War. The course is offered in a multi-level format. Through comprehensive lectures with a host of view points, documentation, photos, testimonies and art. Duration: Approx 7 hours over 3 weeks. Rating: 4.9/97%

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