For your final project, you will do the work of a historian. Do you remember what it means to “do history”? History is asking and answering questions. Historians use evidence to tell a story that answers some sort of question.  If you need a refresher, go back and read the “What Is History?” document in Module 1 and watch the video about history not being the same thing as the past.

Before we begin researching and looking for evidence, we need a question. Asking good questions can be difficult.  To help you with determining a good question to research, a list of possible questions has been developed which can be accessed via the hyperlink below.  

To complete this journal assignment, you will do the following tasks:

  1. Review the list of possible topics for your project.
  2. Choose three topics that you’re interested in. (The three you choose must come from different subheadings.)
  3. Do some preliminary reading on these topics in your textbook, and write up your thoughts on each of the three topics after doing your preliminary research.

This journal assignment should a minimum of 300 words, 100 words for each topic you chose. You may compose your assignment in either the submission text box in the journal assignment or via a Word document. If you type your journal assignment in MS Word, make sure you format it using one-inch margins and double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font. Include a works-cited page if you have used resources to build or support your writing content.

In Module 6, you will research one of these topics more fully and create an annotated bibliography. You will want to get an early start on the Module 6 assignment.

Note: Essay completed

Ancient near East

Why did the Peloponnesian War begin?

The Peloponnesian War happened between Athens and Sparta (431-404 BCE) to end the Golden Age. The war matched Sparta’s Peloponnese-based alliance against Athens and Delian League. One of the issues that led to the war was the growth of the Athenian power, which alarmed the Spartans. According to Thucydides, the people of Sparta feared that their interests and allies would fall into the restless energy of the Athenians. Secondly, Athens had placed many restrictions on the city-states that allied with Sparta. The conditions influenced the Sparta leaders to strike in the war to keep Athenians from using their offensive power and naval forces to destroy their control.

Ancient Rome           

How did Constantine’s conversion to Christianity change the Roman Empire? 

Constantine influenced many changes in the Roman Empire. His conversion to Christianity ended the persecution of Christians and offered his support to the new faith with the imperial funds. Constantine advocated for a policy change that recommended religious freedom, and after one century, Christianity became a state religion. It was difficult to enact the change because most of the Romans cling on their ancestral beliefs. The conversion also influenced the perception of the Roman Empire towards winning back divine favor to enhance people’s safety.

Middle Ages

What was the goal of scholastic theologians?

In the early 13th century, the church aimed at regulating the worldly life per God’s plan for salvation. The scholars wrote various treaties that reconciled faith with reason. The existing world contradictions influenced scholars to communicate about the orderly image of this world and the next. One of the scholastics goals was to demonstrate harmony by providing a systematic exposition of the answer to every possible question about human morality, the physical world, society, belief, action, and theology. Another goal of the scholastic theologians was to preach the conclusions of these treatises.


Hunt, Lynn, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, and Bonnie G. Smith. Making of the West, Volume I: To 1750: People and Cultures. 2018.


Historians answer questions by taking evidence and putting it in a story. This week you will begin collecting your evidence for your final project, and you will think about how you want to present your answer.

To complete this assignment, you will complete the following tasks: 

  1. You will narrow your final project to one of the topics/questions that you investigated in Module 4.
  2. You will create an annotated bibliography for your chosen question.You will choose how you want to present your final project. You have three options. Essay, Presentation, or Video Documentary. See the attached document that outlines the expectations for each option. 
    1. In your annotated bibliography, you will present the current state of your research by providing a bibliographic entry for each source you think you might use. You should also include a few sentences about the contribution that each source will make.
    2. You will have at least six sources which include at least one primary source, one journal article, and one book published by a university press.
    3. Be careful with Internet sources. You should avoid blogs, personal websites, and wikis in order to ensure you have high-quality evidence. If in doubt about a website, ask your instructor.
    4. Your bibliography will follow Turabian/Chicago style. You will complete the assignment in a MS Word document. Make sure you format it using one-inch margins and double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font.

NOTE: After you have completed and submitted the annotated bibliography assignment, it is highly recommended that you begin your final project right away.  Do not wait until the week in which it’s due (Module 8) to begin the project.    

NOTE; Essay completed

Why did the Peloponnesian War begin?

Greenwald, Bryon. “Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.” Marine Corps Gazette (2016)

Greenwald’s article is very vital in understanding what resulted in the Peloponnesian War because the analysis focuses on understanding how the War relates to the issues happening in the world today. Some of the aspects covered in the article are the difference between the various accounts provided on the Peloponnesian War and the Thucydides accounts. It also evaluates the controversies emerging around the War and the factors that could have stimulated the War. The author, Greenwald is a professor of Military Theory and History, he states that studying the Peloponnesian War provides the military and civilian leaders with a capacity to comprehend the unchanging nature of War and issues that compel countries or organizations to go to War. The article challenges the reader’s understanding of topics such as moral and ethical reasoning, which exposes people to international relations. The author also cites scholars such as Kagan, who provided a summary of Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian War. He states that the simplified form provides background and framework which can be used by professionals to think about the future of War as a warfare activity.



Lynn Hunt, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, Bonnie G. Smith. The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures. Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2016. 5th Edition Combined. 

The book is important in this study because it is the primary source used in this unit. The source provides a wider scope of analyzing the topic compared to the other sources used. The authors argue that the Peloponnesian War marked the end of the Golden Age, and the aftermath led to division and bankruptcy in Athens. The War was a reflection that power politics is not divine intervention but a primary force of history. The resources highlight how the wars had harsh effects on the people. The authors suggest that the conflict was termed as the Peloponnesian War because it matched Sparta’s Peloponnese- a based alliance against Athens and the Delian League. The book emphasizes that the War broke out because the Spartan leaders believed that they had to take action to fight now to keep the Athenians from using their superior long-distance offensive power. The War took longer than expected because the Athenians were not willing to make negotiations with Sparta when it had the opportunity.

Nash, John. “Sea Power in the Peloponnesian War.” Naval War College Review 71, no. 1 (2018): 119-139.

According to Nash, the Peloponnesian War was one of the ancient Greek World conflicts that occurred between 431- 404. The article focuses on sea power capacity during the Peloponnesian War. It emphasizes that the majority of the scholars acknowledge that the Athenian war strategy was primarily a maritime strategy and that Sparta only defeated Athens once the former had embraced the use of sea power against the latter. The article is essential in the study because it highlights the factors that stimulated the War and the strategies adopted. The Athens strategy under the leadership of Pericles was maritime. Therefore, the Athenians avoided land battles and would import most of their food. While analyzing strategies, the author states that even though sea power was an essential structure, the limitations caused by technology resulted in significant challenges.

Novo, Andrew R. “Where we get Thucydides wrong: The fallacies of history’s first “Hegemonic” War.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 27.1 (2016): 1-21.

The article emphasizes that Thucydides provides the foundation of history based on the claims within international relations theory. The historical perspective underpins Thucydides with a complex view of rivalry between Athens and Sparta. The author provides a view that the Peloponnesian War started because of the significant growth of Athenian power and the resounding fear it caused in Sparta resulted in the War. The article serves as an essential resource for the topic because it provides an in-depth account of the Peloponnesian War by evaluating issues that rose before the War and the aftermath. In the article, the author outlines that the Peloponnesian War was not the first or the last military confrontation that occurred between Athens and Sparta. It emphasizes that the root cause of conflicts is dated back to the aftermath of the Persian Wars of 492 to 449 BC. A tension emerged between the two states because of the enmity between Athens and Sparta’s ally Corinth which raised a concern about the capacity of Sparta to maintain its primacy within the alliance network.

Rhodes, Peter J. “Thucydides on the Causes of the Peloponnesian War.” Hermes, 115, no. H. 2 (1987): 154-165

Rhodes argues that the Peloponnesian War was the greatest among its predecessors in early Greece. The War is believed to have started after a thirty years peace that was made by Athens and Sparta after they had captured Euboea. One of the reasons behind the start of the War was that the Athenians were becoming more powerful, which made the Spartans fear and drove them to War. He argues that most studies have concealed this reason. The account provided by this translation is quite analytical, thus providing a detailed account of the Peloponnesian War. The study reveals that the most commonly mentioned reason about the start of the War is that Sparta and Athens broke their peace and started a war. One of the primary reasons that caused the War is when Athens came into conflict with Corinth, the affair of Corcyra, and the affair of Potidaea. After the Potidaea battle, Corinth invited members of the Peloponnesian League to send deputations to Sparta, resulting in other grievances.

What were the causes of the Peloponnesian War?

The website is very informative about the history and provides reliable information. Similar to the other sources, the article suggests that the War marked the end of the Golden Age of the Athenian culture, and it started after the Persian Wars. The study argues that the War could have been caused by the struggle between the two states to agree on their spheres of influence. Athens was very ambitious, and this resulted in much instability in Greece as they gained enormous power. Initially, Athens was a city-state, but it was transformed into an Empire after the Persian Wars, which made it a major trading center and maritime power. The website article cites various scholars that authenticate the information provided. Athens had expanded to the extent that it dominated the trade routes in the Mediterranean. The power gained led to an upset in the traditional balance of power in Greece. Spartans were the first in War because the state was known for its military power in Greece, which served as its main source of power.




“You were supposed to write about Thucydides and the Peloponnesian. War. This is a subject geared towards an American History course.”

Beginnings and endings are important too, but both probably ought to be written last. After you’ve written a couple of drafts of your project, you might be ready for an introduction. Don’t begin with something boring. Find an interesting idea or an example that will grab your audience’s attention. Under no circumstances should you begin with the tired words, “Throughout history…” 

Your instructor will grade your project into four categories: 

  1. Thesis: Does your project have an argument or point? Is it obvious what question you tried to answer? Does your project successfully answer your question or argue your point?
  2. Organization: Does your project have coherence, or is it a random collection of facts? Is there a logical or chronological progression to the narrative? Does the organization highlight the thesis?
  3. Style: What is the project’s overall quality? Does the project exhibit the best practices for its format (i.e., essay, lecture, or documentary)?
  4. Research: Does the project demonstrate that the student did an appropriate amount of research? Did the student base the project on both primary and secondary sources? 

If you have any questions about putting your final project together, contact your instructor as soon as possible. 

The format options in which you may choose to complete your final project can be found in the above-attached document.


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