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"History! It's the most fun you can have in school!"


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THEMATIC ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR THE ENLIGHTENMENT



1. Compare and contrast the works of Sir Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes and Galileo.


2. Compare and contrast the works of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau.


3. In what ways did the expansion of the natural sciences during the Age of Enlightenment affect the intellectual and political culture of the period?


4. Choose two of the following figures from the Age of Enlightenment: Carl Linnaeus; George, Count of Buffon; Antoine Lavoisier; Edward Jenner; Captain James Cook.

For each individual chosen, discuss the importance of his work not only upon his direct field of study but also upon the fields of economics, politics and religion.


5. To what extent did the philosophic writings of men such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Voltaire and Jean Jacques Rousseau reflect their social status within their respective societies? Discuss and explain.


6. What impact, if any, did the philosophers and scientists of the Age of Enlightenment have upon the religious ideology of the times?


7. To what extent could the writings of Adam Smith be viewed as an extension of the ideas developed by Newton, Locke, or Voltaire?


8. What were the essential concepts of humanitarianism and cosmopolitanism and to what degree did they reflect the philosophic and scientific developments of the period?


9. Discuss the ways in which the writings of the philosophers and scientists of the period affected the political actions and policies of European monarchs.


10. In what ways did the popular art from the Age of Enlightenment reflect the change in popular philosophic ideologies?


11. To what extent could the Enlightenment be viewed as a Second Renaissance?


12. How did social and political conditions in eighteenth century Western Europe prior to 1788 influence the ideas of the Enlightenment?


13. In what ways did Enlightenment thinkers build on or make use of ideas of Newton and Locke?


14. "Newton inspired the Enlightenment, Locke provided the blueprint, the philosophes shaped it." Assess the validity of this statement.

15. Contrast and compare Hobbes’, Locke's and Rousseau's concept of the social contract.


16. "The Enlightened Despots were more despotic than enlightened."

Defend or refute this statement.


17. To what extent and in what ways is Deism a logical offshoot of the theory of "natural law?"


18. Analyze the relationship between the Newtonian Revolution and the Enlightenment.


19. "In the 18th c. people turned to the new science for a better understanding of the social and economic problems of the day." Assess the validity of this statement by using specific examples from the Enlightenment era.


20. Analyze the ways in which specific intellectual and scientific developments of the 17th and 18th c.'s contributed to the emergence of the religious outlook known as "Deism."


21. Analyze the ways in which the Enlightenment thought addressed religious beliefs and social issues in the 18th c.


  1. To what extent did the Enlightenment express optimistic ideas in eighteenth-century Europe? Illustrate your answer with reference to specific individuals and their works.




  1. “The French Enlightenment was a fountainhead of humanitarian and libertarian principles. It articulated grievances and sought alternatives. The German Enlightenment was more abstract and less practical.” Analyze and assess the validity of this statement, citing specific individuals.




  1. Describe and compare the political beliefs of the 18th century French philosophes Voltaire and Montesquieu.




  1. Identify features of the Agricultural Revolution and analyze its social and economic consequences.
^

THEMATIC ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR FRENCH REVOLUTION



1. How did the French Revolution embody the ideas of the Enlightenment?


2. What grievances did the bourgeoisie, the sans culottes and the peasants have against the Ancien Regime?


3. How did the Revolution contribute to French nationalism?


4. Contrast the views of Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke on the French Revolution.


5. Choose two or more modern historians and show how their views on the causes and events of the Revolution differ.


6. Discuss the role of women in the French Revolution?


7. Did the French Revolution retard the economic development of France?


8. During the 18th Century, conditions in Eastern Europe were far worse for most people than they were in France during the same period. Yet the Revolution broke out in France and not in Eastern Europe. How do you account for this?


9. At the very moment feudal privileges were being abolished in France, Leopold II was reestablishing serfdom in Austria. How can these movements in opposite directions be accounted for?


10. Describe the opposition, French and non-French, to the French Revolution. How did the Revolutionary government(s) deal with enemies?


11."The French Revolution, in both its causes and its course, can no longer be thought of as simple a struggle between the bourgeoisie and the nobility. It was much more complicated than that." Discuss the validity of this statement citing relevant historiographical studies.


12. "Robespierre symbolized all that was good and all that was tragic in the French Revolution." Evaluate this statement.


13. To what extent and in what ways was the French Revolution during the period 1789 through the Reign of Terror (1794) an attempt to create a government based on Enlightenment ideals?


14. "The essential cause of the French Revolution was the collision between a powerful rising bourgeoisie and an entrenched aristocracy defending its privileges." Assess the validity of this statement as an explanation of the events leading up to the French Revolution of 1789.

15. "Political leaders committed to radical or extremist goals often exert authoritarian control in the name of higher values." Support or refute this statement with reference to the political and cultural policies of Robespierrre during the French Revolution.


16. Identify the major social groups in France on the eve of the 1789 Revolution. Assess the extent to which their aspirations were achieved in the period from the meeting of the Estates-General (May 1789) to the declaration of the republic (September 1792).


17. Contrast and compare the stages of the French Revolution


18. Analyze the way Louis XVI's attempt to raise taxes to pay off his government's debts precipitated the French Revolution.


19. "The accomplishments of the French Revolution were not worth the violence, instability and war it led to." Defend or refute this statement.


20. In what ways did international diplomatic, military and political events affect domestic policy in France from 1789-1804?


21. Discuss legislation enacted by the different governments of France from 1789-1815. How does it reflect ideological or political changes?


22. Discuss the changing roles of and support for the RCC in France from 1789-1804.


  1. Discuss the participation of women in various Revolutionary activities and events, and relate this participation to the different ideologies about women prevalent at that time.




  1. Discuss and analyze the ideological legacy of the French Revolution of 1789.




  1. Discuss the complaints and aspirations of the various social classes in France on the eve of the French Revolution.




  1. Discuss the social, ideological and economic causes of the French Revolution




  1. How did the changes in political power in the French Revolution from 1789-1799 reflect the social, political and economic aspirations of the bourgeoisie?




  1. Analyze the class conflicts that precipitated the French Revolution, the subsequent changes in political power and the resulting governments from 1789-1799.

29 . “Enlightened ideas were more expressed in the French Revolution from 1789-1792 than from 1792-1795.” Assess the validity of this statement.


30. “What is the Third Estate? It is the Whole!” ---Sieyes

Assess the validity of this statement in reference to all the stages of the French Revolution.


31. What social and economic factors precipitated and prolonged the French Revolution?


32. To what extent were the discontents of the lower classes addressed in the French Revolution?


  1. According to Crane Brinton “...power [during a Revolution] passes on from right to left until it reaches a limit usually short of the most extreme or lunatic left.” Evaluate the validity of this statement.

  2. How were the values of the Enlightenment reflected in the different stages of the French Revolution?

  3. What reasons did members of different social and economic classes have to support or not support the French Revolution between 1789-1799?

  4. “The French Revolution lived up to its motto of ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’.” Assess the validity of this statement.

  5. How and to what extent did Enlightenment ideas about religion and society shape the policies of the French Revolution in the period 1789 to 1799?

  6. How did Enlightenment ideas that fueled the French Revolution conflict with the religious and economic needs of the people?

  7. To what extent did the French Revolution reflect Enlightenment ideas in practice and in theory?

  8. How did the various governments during the French Revolution address the political and economic needs of different groups of people and to what extent where these problems resolved?
^

THEMATIC ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR NAPOLEON


1. To what extent and in what ways did Napoleon continue the ideals of the Revolution? What impact did Napoleon's reforms have on the subsequent history of France?


2. "In exchange for equality and fraternity, order and unity, Napoleon deprived the French of their liberty" Discuss this statement.


3. How did Napoleon deal with opposition to his regime?


4. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Peace of Vienna. How similar was the peace process to that of the Peace of Westphalia or Utrecht? Did it lead to conflicts in the future?


5. Napoleon is sometimes called the greatest enlightened despot. Evaluate this assessment in terms of Napoleon I's policies and accomplishments. Be sure to include a definition of enlightened despotism in your answer.


6. Discuss Napoleon as a parvenu, or social climber, who wanted to turn himself into a legitimate monarch. How did this aspect of his character affect his foreign and domestic policies?


7. How did Napoleon's policies, and the settlement at the Congress of Vienna, contribute to the development of nationalism in Europe?


8. "Napoleon was a child of the Enlightenment." Assess the validity of the statement above. Use examples referring both to specific aspects of the Enlightenment and to Napoleon's policies and attitudes.


9. "Napoleon's very successes in battle awakened the nationalistic forces that defeated him." Assess the validity of this statement.


  1. To what extent and in what ways did the Congress of Vienna restore the Old Order in Europe?




  1. In what ways was Napoleon an old-fashioned Absolute Monarch (like Louis XIV) , an Enlightened Despot and a Romantic Leader?




  1. In what ways did Napoleon represent the ideals of the French Revolution and in what ways did he betray them?




  1. Describe and analyze the reasons for Napoleon’s most significant successes.




  1. To what extent was Napoleon an effective ruler and in what ways did he command the respect and admiration of the French people.




  1. To what extent did Napoleon implement revolutionary ideas and what were his motves?




  1. To what extent did Napoleon fulfill his promises to uphold the principles of the Revolution and maintain order?

  2. “Napoleon’s rule was characterized by policies that appealed to the widest spectrum of interests represented in his Empire.” Evaluate this statement.
^

THEMATIC ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION


1. Identify three major inventors for the Industrial Revolution and discuss their works and the effects their inventions had upon the development of industrialization.


2. What was the significance of the Reform Bill of 1832? To what extent was the Duke of Wellington justified in his comment: "The revolution is made?"


3. Explain and discuss the relationships among the Combination Act, the Bubble Act and the Lowes Act. In what ways were they vital to the future development of industrialization?


4. What were the immediate social effects of industrialization upon British society? To what extent did conditions improve over earlier feudal periods?


5. In what ways did the Chartists differ from the Socialists and in what ways did the success of the former effect the future of the latter?


6. To what extent did the theories espoused by economists such as David Riccardo and Thomas Malthus reflect the spirit of laissez-faire capitalism?


7. In what ways did scientific socialists such as Karl Marx differ from utopian socialists such as Robert Owen?


8. Why was England able to avoid much of the revolutionary activity that shook the European continent during the 1840's?


9. Discuss and explain the relationship of liberalism like that espoused by John Stuart Mill to the growth of industrial capitalism.


10. Use your knowledge of Parliamentary legislation in 19th c. England to discuss and evaluate the validity of the following statement from a Parliamentary committee of 1851;

"The course of modern legislation seems to have been gradually to remove restrictions on the power which everyone has in the disposal of his property, and to remove those fetters on commercial freedom which long prevailed in this country."


11. What factors enabled England to take the lead in industrialization?


12. Evaluate the effectiveness of collective responses by workers to industrialization in Western Europe during the course of the 19th century.


13. Describe and analyze the issues and ideas in the debate in Europe between 1750 and 1846 over the proper role of government in the economy. Give specific examples.

14. Between 1750 and 1850 more and more Western Europeans were employed in cottage industry and in factory production. Analyze how these two types of employment affected employer-employee relations, working conditions, family relations and standard of living during this period.


15. Discuss the effects of the industrial economy on Western European peasant women and working-class women from 1830-1914.


16. To what extent and in what ways was the light of Adam Smith's economic optimism dimmed by the "dismal science" of Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo?


17. Explain why the monarchs of Europe favored mercantilism.


18. "It is no accident that the Industrial Revolution occurred in late 18th century England." Assess the validity of this statement.


19. "The Industrial Revolution diminished the quality of life of the common person in Europe." Defend or refute this statement.


  1. Explain how Marx's theories offer both a reason for and a solution to mass poverty in the industrialized world.




  1. Describe and analyze the effects of the Industrial Revolution on European society in the 19th century.

  2. Discuss three developments that enabled Great Britain to achieve a dominant economic position between 1700 and 1830.

  3. Identify features of the 18th century Agricultural Revolution and analyze its social and economic consequences.
^

THEMATIC ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR REACTION, ROMANTICISM AND NATIONALISM



1. "The European State System established by the Congress of Vienna gave the world a hundred-year peace." Discuss the validity of this statement.


2. "The reactionary agreements signed at the Congress of Vienna made the revolutions of 1848 predictable. Discuss this statement and the philosophy of history it represents.


3. How did Great Britain avoid the convulsions that shook continental Europe in 1848?


4. Was industrialization a factor that promoted or impeded revolution? Discuss this question from the point of view of a Liberal and a Marxist of the period.


5. Discuss the influence, if any, of the Romantic Movement in art and music on revolution in the period 1815-1848.


6. Discuss the ideas of the Utopian Socialists.


7. "If the eighteenth century was dominated by French thought, the nineteenth century can be considered the German century" Discuss this statement paying particular attention to the period 1815-1848.


8. Contrast the revolutions of 1848 in France and Germany.


9. Although divided by class and nationality, the revolutionary movements of the years 1830-1848 shared many common characteristics. Describe the features held in common by revolutionary movements of the period in eastern and Western Europe.


10. "The Romantic artist was inspired by his love of the French Revolution and his abhorrence of the Industrial Revolution." Discuss this statement from the point of view of two different forms of art.


11. "The Romantic Movement was a reaction of youth against age." Citing specific references, discuss the validity of this statement.


12. How was nineteenth century nationalism a force for revolution?


13. Was the nationalism of the nineteenth century a progressive or a regressive force?

14. Discuss the relationship between nationalism and liberalism in the continental Europeans revolutions of 1848.


15.Compare and contrast the effect of nationalism upon the eventual unification of Germany and Italy. To what actions and factors do you attribute the differences?


16. In 1849, Russian troops poured into Hungary in order to crush the nationalist rebellion there and aid the Emperor of Austria. In 1914, a mere 60 years later, Russia would be one of the greatest supporters of Panslavic nationalist operations. Explain and analyze the reasons for this shift in policy.


17. Analyze the relationship between, and effects of, nationalism in France, Italy and Germany.


18. To what extent was the surge of nationalism during the mid-nineteenth century a consequence of industrialism and the growth of the middle class?


19. Nationalism in England tended to be a unifying influence and strengthened not only the position of the government but also the economic position of British industry, whereas, in Austria and to some degree in Germany, nationalism would be a de-stabilizing factor. To what factors do you attribute this phenomenon?


20. Discuss the effects of the nationalist movements of the revolutions of 1848 upon the future governments of Austria, Italy, and Germany.


21. Explain and discuss the reasons for the aversion of the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Pius IX to liberalism and nationalism.


22. What effect did the nationalism of the mid-nineteenth century have upon the socialist and Marxist movements in the various European nations, particularly England, France, Italy, Germany and Austria?


23. In what way did the process and results of German unification in the nineteenth century affect the political future of Europe and the Germany of the twentieth century?


24. How has imperialism been attacked and defended?


25. Analyze and compare the effects of nationalism on Italian and Austro-Hungarian politics between 1815 and 1914.

26. Between 1815-1848 the conditions of the laboring classes and the problem of political stability were critical issues in England. Describe and analyze the reforms that social critics and politicians of this period proposed to resolve these problems.


27. Discuss the effects of the industrial economy on Western European peasant women and working-class women from 1830-1914.


28. Describe the ways in which conservative political and social views shaped the peace settlement of the Congress of Vienna. Explain the consequences of the peace settlement for the period 1815-1848.


29. Discuss the ways in which European Jews were affected by and responded to liberalism, nationalism and anti-Semitism in the 19th century.


30. Nationalism has been one of the great driving forces in modern history. How may it be defined? What contributions to national ideas and movements were made by the a) French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, b) the years 1815-1848, c) the revolutions of 1848, d) the years 1859-1871? Of what continuing importance has nationalism been in the 20th century?


31. Compare and contrast the movements for national unification in Italy and Germany in the years 1815-1871 and their results. Of what special significance was political leadership in each case? How did Realpolitik apply in each instance?


32. What similar developments in national consolidation and nation-building may be observed over the years 1859-1871 in a) Italy, b) Germany, c) Austria-Hungary, d) Russia, e) the United States, f) Canada, g) Japan?


33. Explain how, from the Age of Metternich to the beginning of World War I, democracy in England and France reached much the same place over decidedly different routes.


34. To what extent and in what ways did the move towards unification in mid-19th-century Germany fall out of the hands of the constitutionalists and into the hands of the Prussian militarists?


35. "Austria's suppression of Slavic autonomy within the Empire created more dissolution that unity." Defend or refute this statement.


36. Evaluate the achievements of Napoleon III.

37. Compare and contrast the methods of Cavour and Bismarck in unifying their respective

nations.


38. To what extent and in what ways did Mazzini break new ground for Cavour's program of unification? Did Garibaldi help complete it?


39. Explain why the political situation in Italy in the decade before unification prompted Piedmont-Sardinia to take the lead in the movement.


40. Analyze Bismarck's use of war to achieve unification.


41. "Germany did not unite itself; rather it was conquered by Prussia." Assess the validity of this statement.


42. Evaluate Bismarck as chancellor of the new German Empire.


43. Analyze the policies of three European colonial powers regarding Africa between 1871 and 1914.


44. Discuss some of the ways in which Romantic artists, musicians and writers responded to political and socioeconomic conditions in the period from 1800-1850. Document your response with specific examples from discussions of at least two of the three disciplines: visual arts, music and literature.


45. Assess the role of nationalism in the unification of Germany and Italy from 1860-1871.


46. What political, social and economic changes in France made possible the rise and success of Emperor Napoleon III?

47. Was Napoleon III the fooler or the fooled in France between 1848-1871?


48. Describe and compare the origins and proposals of the utopian socialists, the Marxists, the anarchists and the revisionists during the 19th century.


  1. Karl Marx made a number of assertions regarding how the governments would respond to the industrialization of society and expanding capitalism. Discuss the basic theses upon which he predicated these assertions and the specific nature of his assertions. Having done this, discuss Marx’s record as a “prophet” indicating the extent to which his predictions proved valid.




  1. “The Crimean War, 1852-1856, was one of the silliest wars ever fought; yet its consequences were extraordinarily important for Russia and for Europe as a whole…”

----William H. McNeill, A History of the World Community

Discuss the origins of this “silly war” and, having done so, indicate the “extraordinarily important” consequences of it on Russia and Europe.


51. Discuss and analyze the differences between Marxism and Utopian Socialism and relate them to changes in the Zeitgeist between 1815 and 1870.


52. Describe and analyze the important cultural and intellectual movements in Europe between 1848-1871.


  1. How did the rise of industrialism affect society in England and the continent between 1760-1848?

  2. What factors led to the rise of the middle class in England and on the continent between 1760-1848 and how did they differ?

  3. How did the goals of the 18th century industrialists backfire, creating the “isms” of the 19th century?

  4. Compare and contrast the changing political ideologies of England and the continent from 1760-1848.

  5. How did the Industrial Revolution, Romanticism and Nationalism affect government stability in England and on the continent?

  6. How did the interaction of ideology and industrialism lead to stability in England and turmoil in the continent?

  7. How did industrialism lead to ideologies that supported both individualism and nationalism in early 19th century Europe?

  8. Analyze the ways in which England and the continent differed in their political and economic ideas and practices between 1815-1848.

  9. To what extent did the predominant ideological trends of the early 19th century contribute to the rise of the middle class in England compared to the continent?

  10. Analyze three examples of the relationship between Romanticism and nationalism before 1850.

  11. How did social, political and economic changes in the early 19th century make England different from the continent?

  12. The rise of the middle class and concomitant industrialization was necessary for a modern liberal government in mid 19th century England. Defend or refute.

  13. How did romanticism, nationalism and the Industrial Revolution affect government stability in mid 19th century England and on the continent?

  14. How did the Industrial Revolution, liberalism, romanticism, nationalism and the rise of the middle class combine to shape 19th century Europe?

  15. How did different patterns of industrialization lead to political, social and economic differences between Europe and England in the early 19th century?

  16. What factors in the first half of the 19th century lead to the rise of the middle class and the increasing isolation of England from the rest of Europe?

  17. Why was England able to institute social, political and economic reforms more peacefully than its continental counterparts?

  18. Contrast the impact of nationalism in Germany and the Austrian Empire from 1848-1914.



^

THEMATIC ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR LATE 19TH CENTURY POLITICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY



1. Since the 1880's what efforts have Europe's rulers made to try to integrate the working class into the larger national society?


2. How was political reform achieved in nineteenth century England? Compare and contrast with similar reforms in France.


3. "Peaceful change, not armed revolution, was responsible for the growth of democracy in Britain during the nineteenth century." Assess the validity of this generalization. Cite specific references to the major legislative reforms between 1832 and 1884.


4. "The Whig interpretation of history is no longer, if it ever had been, valid." With specific reference to nineteenth century Britain, discuss this statement.


5. During most of the nineteenth century, Europeans believed firmly in science and in progress. By the end of the century, they were no longer so sure. Describe the most significant aspects of scientific and technological advances in the nineteenth century and the cause for change over time.


6. Discuss the origins of the Third Republic in France. How did the conflict between Church and State during the period 1875-1905 affect the growth of democratic institutions in France? Compare the results of this conflict in France with the Kulturkampf in Germany. Discuss any other crisis for the Third Republic during its first thirty years.


7. Analyze Europe's demographic development during the period 1850-1914. How did the Great Migration affect this development? How were these demographic changes viewed in France and Germany?


8. Explain the strange demise of classical liberalism in Britain.


9. Choose any two areas of social reform during the nineteenth century from the following list: religion, education, public health, temperance, women's rights, welfare. Describe the tensions that led to change in one of the following countries: Britain, France or Germany.


10. Discuss changes in art and literary styles during the period 1825-1885. How can changes in these fields be related to political and social changes in the larger society?


11. What is the significance of the term fin de siecle? How is it different from belle epoque? In what sense was the late 19th c. a fin de siecle in Europe?

12. Describe the private life of the middle class in late 19th c. France, Britain, Germany, or Austria.


13. Discuss the effects of the increase of mass transportation and the department store on the development of Paris, London, or any other major European city.


14. How did leisure time become a matter of concern during the late 19th c? What methods of social control were instituted to deal with the "problem" of leisure time?


15. Discuss the origins of mass political parties in France and England during the late 19th century, "from mystique to politique."


16. What economic, political and social reforms were sought by women's groups during the period of the turn of the century? Refer to specific countries and events.


17. How did the new art styles of the turn of the century reflect changing attitudes and perceptions? Refer specifically to Art Nouveau, Fauvism and Futurism.


18. How did the working class organize itself during the last decade of the 19th c. and the first decade of the 20th?


19. How did the Irish Question in Britain remain unsolved at the turn of the century?


20. "The end of the 19th c. was, on the surface, a time of peaceful progress. Not far below the surface, questions that would ultimately result in a world war were present." Discuss the validity of this statement.


21. How did the widespread popularity of the bicycle in France during the 1890's reflect changing social conditions?


22. Assess Napoleon III as a modern dictator, a reformer or a buffoon. Pay particular attention to his domestic program.


23. Identify and explain the similarities and differences between socialism and liberalism in 19th Europe.


24. To what extent and in what ways did intellectual developments in Europe in the period 1880-1920 undermine confidence in human rationality and in a well-ordered, dependable universe?

25. Describe the steps taken between 1832 and 1918 to extend the suffrage in England. What groups and movements contributed to the extension of the vote?


26. To what extent did Marx and Freud each challenge the 19th c. belief in rationality and progress?


27. Evaluate the effectiveness of collective responses by workers to industrialization in Western Europe during the course of the 19th century.


28. Assess the extent to which the unification of Germany under Bismarck led to authoritarian government there between 1871 and 1914.


29. In February 1848 the middle classes and workers in France joined to overthrow the government of Louis Philippe. By June the two groups were at odds in their political, economic and social thinking. Analyze what transpired to divide the groups and describe the consequences for French politics.


30. How and in what ways were economic and political factors responsible for intensifying European imperialist activity in Africa from the mid-19th c. to the beginning of the First World War?


31. Discuss the ways in which European Jews were affected by and responded to liberalism, nationalism and anti-Semitism in the 19th century.


32. Analyze the key developments that characterized the European economy in the second half of the nineteenth century.


33. Describe the physical transformation of European cities in the second half of the nineteenth century and analyze the social consequences of this transformation.


34. Explain how, from the Age of Metternich to the beginning of World War I, democracy in England and France reached much the same place over decidedly different routes.


35. "Austria's suppression of Slavic autonomy within the Empire created more dissolution than unity." Defend or refute this statement.


36. Compare and contrast the growth and suppression of democracy in 19th century Europe.

37. Analyze the various motives for the "New Imperialism" and their relative importance.


38. Contrast and compare the Old Imperialism (colonialism) with the New Imperialism.


39. "By the end of the 19th century, European nations had divided the rest of the world among themselves." Assess the validity of this statement.


40. Contrast and compare the responses of China and Japan to Western encroachment.


41. Evaluate the New Imperialism.


42. Why did "liberalism" not develop in France?


43. Explain how from the Age of Metternich to World War I democracy in England and France reach much the same place by decidedly different routes.


44. "The single biggest factor in 19th century social, political and cultural affairs is the rise of Universal Male Suffrage." Discuss.


  1. "Bismarck and his policies were Europe’s last hope to avoid World War I and subsequent catastrophe in the 20th century" Discuss.




  1. Describe and assess the role of the British policy of “splendid isolation” in balance-of-power diplomacy in 19th century Europe.




  1. Describe the development of democracy in Great Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries.




  1. Historians speak of the “Old Imperialism” that of the period between roughly 1500 and 1750, and the “New Imperialism” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Compare and contrast these, indicating differences and similarities that may have existed and the reasons for changes that might have occurred.

  2. Assess the extent to which the overseas empires impacted upon European economic and political life from 1870-1914.

  3. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the long-held concept of the fundamental rationality of man come under attack: there were those who perceived man as being driven by forces other than those of a conscious (i.e. rational) nature. Discuss the reasons for this intellectual, yet anti-rational, movement, and indicate some of its leading spokesmen.

  4. Evaluate how the ideas of Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud challenged Enlightenment assumptions about human behavior and the role of reason.

  1. Man for the field and woman for the hearth:

Man for the sword and for the needle she:

Man with the head and women from the heart:

Man to command and woman to obey:

How accurately do the lines of poetry above reflect gender roles for European men and women in the late 19th century?
^

THEMATIC ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR 20TH CENTURY RUSSIA


1. Compare and Contrast the Russian Revolution of 1905 and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.


2. Discuss the extent to which ideology has affected diplomatic relations among European nations during the twentieth century. Be sure to refer to specific agreements and events.


3. Discuss the concept of "the persistence of the Old Regime" with reference to the former Soviet Union.


4. Describe the activities of the Populists in Russia during the last third of the nineteenth century. Was their success or their failure a greater factor in the overthrow of Russia old Regime in the twentieth century?


5. What policies of the Stalinist government perpetuated the essential features of the tsarist regime under Nicholas II (1894-1917)?


6. In what ways and why did Lenin and Stalin alter Marxism?


7. To what extent did the emancipation of Russian serfs and other reforms in the 19th c. contribute to the modernization of Russia before the First World War?


8. In what ways did the writing of Karl Marx draw on the Enlightenment concepts of progress, natural law and reason?


9. "The tsarist regime fell in 1917 because it had permitted tremendous change and progress in some areas while trying to maintain a political order that had outlived its time."

Assess the validity of this statement as an explanation of the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917.


10. Describe and analyze the long-term social and economic trends in the period 1860-1917 that prepared the ground for revolution in Russia.


11. What aspects of Russian society and institutions were most changed and what aspects least changed by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Limit your discussion to the first ten years (1917-1927) of the new regime and account for the changes you note.


12. Compare and contrast the extent to which Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Joseph Stalin were "Westernizers."


  1. "Attempts at reform and modernization in 19th century Russia were inevitably diluted by the habit of reaction." Assess the validity of this statement by offering factual evidence.


14. Analyze the stages of the 1917 Russian Revolution.


15. To what extent and in what ways did the failure of reform and abortive revolution lead to the Revolution of 1917?


16. Analyze Lenin's Marxism and his role as leader in establishing Communism in Russia.


17. Contrast and compare the methods of governing of Lenin and Stalin.


18. "Despite the human cost, Russia progressed under Communism."

Defend or refute this statement.


19. "The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a major force in determining the character of the 20th century." Assess the validity of this statement.


20. Argue the case that Alexander II gave his life for his country.


21. What was the Russian motivation in the Russo-Japanese War and how did the outcome of the war re-direct Russian foreign policy and ultimately lead towards both the Russian Revolution and World War I?


22. Discuss Stalin's domestic and international policies and how they brought the Soviet Union into the 20th century.


23. Contrast and compare the political and economic policies of Joseph Stalin in the period before the Second World War and those of Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991.)


24. Compare and contrast the French Jacobins’ use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals during the Terror (1793-1794) with Stalin’s use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals in the Soviet Union during the period 1928-1939.


25. Describe and analyze the stages and methods by which the Bolshviks took power between February 1917 and November 1917.


26. Compare and contrast the development of the Russian Revolution and the French Revolution according to Crane Brinton’s stages.


27. Describe the economic, social and political conditions in Russia between 1881-1917 and how they laid the groundwork for the Bolshevik Revolution.
^

THEMATIC ESSAYS QUESTIONS FOR WORLD WAR I



1. Evaluate World War I as a "watershed" in politics and society in any two European countries.


2. What were the social, political and economic effects of WWI?


3. In what way did 19th century imperialism lead to WWI?


4. To what extent were the Marxists correct in their claim that WWI was a war of capitalist interest only?


5. What effect did WWI have upon the Ottoman Empire and the Hapsburgs of Austria?


6. To what extent did WWI live up to its theme of "so that small nations might live?"


7. What role did military alliances, both overt and covert, play in the outbreak of WWI?


8. To what extent did the Treaty of Versailles address the causes of WWI?


9. What effect did WWI have upon the balance of power?


10. In what way did the conclusion of WWI lead to the disillusionment of the 1920's and 1930's?


11. What reasons would explain the rejection by European powers, of President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points Program?


12. Analyze and assess the extent to which the First World War accelerated European social change in such areas as work, sex roles and government involvement in everyday life.


13. "1914-1918 marks a turning point in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe." Defend, refute, or modify this statement with reference to the generation before and the generation after the First World War.


14. Discuss: "The most general principle of the Paris settlement was to recognize the right of national self-determination, at least in Europe."


15. Discuss: "For practical purposes the treaty of Versailles, with respect to Germany was either too severe or too lenient."


16. "Each of the belligerents in Europe was responsible for the outbreak of World War I." Defend or refute this statement.

17. "After the first few months of war, the combat on the Western Front was very different from anything the strategists on either side had envisioned." Assess the validity of this statement.


18. Explain why and how the war ended the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and German Empires.


19. Contrast and compare the Fourteen Points with the peace settlements in Paris.


20. Evaluate the Treaty of Versailles in terms of its underlying principles and its long-term effects.


21. "Kaiser Wilhelm II was single handedly responsible for the fall of Germany and the rise of Nazism." Discuss.


  1. To what extent and in what ways did nationalist tensions in the Balkans between 1870 and 1914 contribute to the outbreak of the First World War?




  1. The peoples of Europe convinced that their nations causes were just, entered World War I in August of 1914 enthusiastically, in the belief that victory would be theirs by Christmas. What went wrong? Why did they, civilian and military alike, have such a mistaken concept of the nature of modern warfare? What changes had taken place in previous decades to so dramatically alter the nature of warfare?




  1. At the Versailles Peace Conference Germany was forced to recognize its responsibility for the First World War. Discuss and analyze the causes that led to the outbreak of the war.




  1. Explain how World War I led to disillusionment in society and politics. How was that disillusionment portrayed in arts and literature?




  1. Trace the road to World War I through diplomacy, alliances and imperialism.



^

THEMATIC ESSAYS FOR THE WORLD BETWEEN THE WARS, GREAT DEPRESSION, RISE OF FASCISM AND NAZISM



1. Why did Germany's experiment with parliamentary democracy between 1919 and 1933 fail? Consider political and economic factors.


2. Compare the rise to power of fascism in Italy and in Germany.


3. How and in what ways did European painting or literature reflect the disillusionment in society between 1919 and 1939?


4. The culture of the years between the two world wars (1918-1939) was marked by experimentation and an interest in the irrational. Select any two European works of art or literature from this period and describe their significance in terms of these characteristics.


5. Why were Germany and Italy so much more susceptible to attacks from the right than were Britain, U.S.A. or France?


6. Explain how, during the Great Depression, traditionally democratic European governments maintained their democracy while some of the newer European democracies fell under dictatorship.


7. Evaluate the successes and failures of fascism in Italy.


8. "Nazi totalitarianism was a different breed from ordinary dictatorship." Assess the validity of this statement.


9. "The Versailles Treaty gave birth to the Nazis; the Great Depression gave them power." Defend or refute this statement.


10. Explain how, in order to gain their foreign policy goals during the 1930s, the "have-not" nations used force while the "have" nations refrained from its use.


  1. Contrast and compare German Nazism and Italian Fascism.



  1. Describe and analyze the causes for the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy.




  1. Account for the responses of the European democracies to the military aggression by Italy and Germany during the 1930's.

  2. A question that has long intrigued historians is that of the “hero” - the “great man” in history. Is history shaped by the “strong man” the dynamic individual, or are such individuals simply a product of their times - the consequence of the political, social, cultural and other conditions of the age? With this question in mind, assess the rise of Adolph Hitler to dominance in Germany. Was his ascent to power inevitable, or simply a consequence of his times?




  1. At what point between 1919-1939 could Germany have been stopped without World War II?




  1. How important was the Great Depression as a cause of Hitler’s rise to power and World War II?

  2. How did new theories in physics and psychology in the period from 1900-1939 challenge existing ideas about the individual and society?

  3. Analyze the impact of the First World War on European culture and society in the interwar period (1919-1939.)

  4. Analyze the ways in which technology and mass culture contributed to the success of dictators in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
^

THEMATIC ESSAYS FOR WORLD WAR TWO


1. How would you compare the origins of the Second World War with the origins of the First? How was the coming of the war in 1939 linked to dissatisfaction with the peace treaties of 1919? What special role did Adolph Hitler play in the coming of the Second World War?


2. The Second World War has been called the greatest conflict in human history, in part because of the heavy toll of civilian lives. How would you assess the responsibility of each of the major powers for the destruction of civilian populations and for other atrocities during the war?


3. Compare the peace settlement of Versailles with the peace settlement of World War Two (with both Germany and Japan.)


4. Explain why for the Allies -Britain, the United States and the USSR- 1942 was the bleakest year of the war.


5. "The Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis was more an ideological than an actual alliance." Assess the validity of this statement.


6. To what extent and in what ways did the United States, the USSR and Great Britain coordinate war aims and strategies?


7. "The allied decision to demand "unconditional surrender" of the Axis powers lengthened the war needlessly." Defend or refute this statement.


8. Contrast and compare the results of the war on both the United States and the USSR.


  1. Analyze the way the wartime cooperation of the United States and the Soviet Union degenerated within a few years after the end of the war into the Cold War.




  1. Assess and analyze the extent to which the peace settlements in Europe at the end of World War I became causes of World War II.

  2. In what ways did the peace settlements after World War II reflect lessons learned from the Versailles Treaty?
^

THEMATIC ESSAYS FOR COLD WAR



1. Analyze the ways in which the Cold War affected the political development of European nations from the end of the Second World War in 1945 to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.


2. Describe and analyze the changing relationships between the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries from 1945-1970.


3. Why was the Soviet-Western coalition unable to lay the foundations for the postwar world?


4. What was meant by the policy of "containment"? What did it accomplish in the years 1945-1955?


5. Explain the origins of the Cold War. How did perceptions and misperceptions on both sides contribute to it? What form did it take in the first postwar decade?


6. Discuss the emergence in the postwar era of the political systems and the economies of the major Western European nations.


7. What forms did the movement for European unification take in the postwar era?


8. How did wartime planning help reshape the postwar global economy? Discuss the roles of the USA, Japan and Western Europe in the postwar economy.


9. Analyze the way in which wartime cooperation between the USA and the USSR degenerated, within a few years of the war's end, into the Cold War.


10. Explain the significance of the Marshall Plan.


11. Explain the major confrontations of the Cold War before the death of Stalin.


12. Evaluate the role of NATO in the defense of Western Europe.


13. Analyze the movement towards economic unity in Western Europe.


14. Contrast and compare the status of the Eastern European satellites before and in the two decades after the death of Stalin.


15. Analyze how and why the Cold War gradually thawed.

16. Describe and analyze the resistance to Soviet authority in the Eastern Bloc from the end of the Second World War through 1989. Be sure to include examples from at least two Soviet satellite countries.


  1. Assess and analyze how problems in the World War II alliance of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union helped lead to the Cold War.

  2. How much did the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union affect European diplomacy in the last half of the 20th century.




  1. In what ways were the diplomatic, military and political concerns of the United States and the Soviet Union parallel between the years 1945-1991. In what ways did they have different responses to similar problems?




  1. Compare and contrast the political and economic effects of the Cold War (1945-1991) on Western Europe with the effects on Eastern Europe.




  1. Describe and analyze instances of nationalism that challenged hegemony of the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. between 1945-1991.




  1. Describe the misconceptions the U.S.A and the U.S.S.R. had about each other and how they informed the Cold War. Include misconceptions that had developed prior to World War II.




  1. What were the similarities between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. in the problems they confronted and the solutions they devised between 1945-1991.




  1. Analyze three reasons for the end of Soviet domination over Eastern Europe.


^ THEMATIC ESSAYS FOR POST WAR ECONOMICS AND CULTURE


1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the economic revival of Western Europe between 1945 and 1970


2. To what extent and in what ways has 20th c. physics challenged the Newtonian view of the universe and society?


3. Analyze the ways in which technology was an issue in European social activism between 1945-1970. Be sure to include three of the following: environmentalism, peace movements, women's movements, workers' movements.


4. Analyze criticism of European society presented by European authors in the period 1940-1970. Be sure to discuss at least two works.


5. Analyze common political and economic problems facing Western European nations in the period 1945-1960 and discuss their responses to these problems.


6. Identify four specific changes in science and technology and explain their effects on Western European family and private life between 1918 and 1970.


7. Explain why the colonial empires of Great Britain and France ended after World War II.


8. Explain the significance of the Marshall Plan.


9. Analyze the movement towards economic unity in Western Europe.


10. Using specific examples from Eastern and Western Europe, discuss economic development during the period 1945 to the present, focusing on ONE of the following:

a) Economic recovery and integration

b) Development of the welfare state and its subsequent decline.


  1. Discuss the major trends in the European economy from 1974-1991




  1. In what ways were the European alliances and diplomacy of the post-War era dramatic departures from previous European history?




  1. How much did the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union affect European diplomacy in the last half of the 20th century?




  1. How did the domestic policies of England, France and Germany in the post-War era reflect continuity with policies and issues of the previous 100 years?




  1. Explain the stages of the Cold War from its beginning in 1945 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.




  1. Many historians have suggested that since 1945, nationalism has been on the decline in Europe. Using both political and economic examples from the period 1945-2000 evaluate the validity of this interpretation.

  2. Analyze the factors working for and against European unity from 1945 to 2001
^

THEMATIC ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR WOMEN


1. Discuss the relationship between socialism and feminism from the beginning of the 19th century to the early 20th century.


2. How were the feminist movements in 19th and early 20th century England, France and Germany representative of each country's particular political, economic and social conditions or volksgeist?


3. Describe and analyze the arguments for and against women's suffrage. Which groups supported each argument and why?


4. What were the different legal, social, economic and ideological responses of Western European countries to the declining birthrate that began in the late 19th century?


5. Compare and contrast the attitudes of bourgeois women and working class women on at least three issues of feminism.


6. How did feminist ideology and programs change from the period of the French Revolution to the beginning of the Second World War?


7. Compare and contrast the roles of British working women in the preindustrial economy (before 1750) with their roles in the era 1850-1920.


8. Man for the field and woman for the hearth:

Man for the sword and for the needle she:

Man with the head and women from the heart:

Man to command woman to obey:


How accurately do the lines of poetry above reflect gender roles for European men and women in the late 19th century?


9. Compare and contrast the extent to which the French Revolution (1789-1799) and the Russian Revolution (1917-1924) changed the status of women.


^

CROSS CHRONOLOGICAL QUESTIONS FOR THEMATIC ESSAYS


1. Compare and contrast the cultural values of the Enlightenment with those of the sixteenth century Northern Renaissance.


2. Compare and contrast the patronage of the arts by Italian Renaissance rulers with that by dictators of the 1930's.


3. Compare the economic roles of the state under seventeenth-century mercantilism and twentieth century communism. Illustrate your answer with reference to the economic system of France during Louis XIV's reign under Colbert and of the Soviet Union under Stalin.


4. Contrast the ways in which European skilled craftsmen of the mid-eighteenth century and European factory workers of the late nineteenth century differed in their work behavior and in their attitudes toward work.


5. Compare and contrast the motives for Europeans overseas expansion during the Age of Discovery (15th and 16th C.'s) and during the Age of New Imperialism (19th and early 20th c.'s).


6. Compare and contrast the views of Machiavelli and Rousseau on human nature and the relationship between government and the governed.


7. Compare and contrast the efforts to ensure European collective security that were made by the victorious powers between 1815 and 1830 (after the Napoleonic Wars) with those made by victorious powers between 1918 and 1930 (after the First World War.)


8. Compare and contrast the roles of the peasantry and of urban workers in the French Revolution of 1789 to those of the peasantry and of urban workers in the Russian Revolutions of 1917.


9. Describe and analyze the ways in which the development of printing altered both culture and religion of Europe during the period 1450-1600.


10. Contrast European diplomacy in the periods 1890-1914 and 1918-1939 respectively. Include in your analysis goals, practices and results.


11. Between 1450-1800 many women gained power as rulers, some as reigning queens, others as regents. Identify two such powerful women and discuss how issues of gender, such as marriage and reproduction, influenced their ability to obtain and exercise power.

12. Analyze the major social, political, and technological changes that took place in European warfare between 1789 and 1918.


13. "Dictators in 20th c. Europe have had much greater control over culture and society than had divine right monarch of earlier centuries."

Assess the validity of this statement, using specific examples from each era to support your position.


14. Compare and contrast the attitudes toward science and technology held by Enlightenment thinkers with the various attitudes held by European artists and intellectuals in the 20th century.


15. Compare and contrast the relationships between the great powers and Poland in the periods 1772-1815 and 1918-1939.


  1. Compare and contrast the women's suffrage movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century with the European feminist movements of the 1960's and 1970's.




  1. The nature and motivation for warfare in Europe has altered many times during the modern era. Describe, compare and analyze the motivation for the Wars of Louis XIV and Napoleon.




  1. Louis XIV reigned 1643-1715) was France’s most famous absolute monarch, while Napoleon III (reigned 1851-1870) a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, became emperor of France in an army-direct coup d’etat and ruled in conjunction with a two-house legislature. Analyze similarities and differences in the nature and style of these two monarchies.




  1. Using the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917, discuss and analyze the nature and scope of the revolutionary tradition in modern Europe.




  1. Describe and analyze the development of democracy in Great Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries




  1. Describe and compare the policies of mercantilism and laissez-faire.




  1. How would European history be different if, instead of implementing the Balance of Power when Russia beat Turkey in 1771, which resulting in the first Partition of Poland, the Ottoman Empire had been destroyed and Austria and Russia went to war over the Balkans?


23. Machiavelli suggested that a rule should behave both “like a lion” and “like a fox.” Analyze the policies of TWO of the following European rulers, indicating the degree to which they successfully followed Machiavelli’s suggestions.

Choose two: Elizabeth I on England

Henry IV of France

Catherine the Great of Russia

Frederick the Great of Prussia


24. Discuss the relationship between politics and religion by examining the wars of religion from TWO of the following examples:

Dutch Revolt

French Wars of Religion

English Civil War

Thirty Years War


25. Compare and Contrast the degree of success of treaties negotiated in Vienna (1814-1815) and Versailles (1919) in achieving European stability.


  1. Choose two monarchs and explain how they successfully or unsuccessfully dealt with challenges or threats to their power from the nobles.

Henry VIII of England

Catherine II of Russia

Charles I of England

James I of England

Louis XIV of France

Louis XVI of France

Henry IV of France

27. Compare and contrast the French Jacobins use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals during the Terror (1793-1794) with Stalin’s use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals in the Soviet Union during the period 1928-1939.


28. Compare and contrast the foreign policy goals and achievements of Metternich (1815-1848) and Bismarck (1862-1890.)


29. Contrast the impact of nationalism in Germany and the Austrian Empire from 1848 to 1914.

30. Compare and contrast the extent to which the French Revolution (1789-1799) and the Russian Revoluiton (1917-1924) changed the status of women.


30. Unpopular minority groups have been a persistent historical dilemma.Explain and discuss the reasons why the Huguenots in 17th century France, the Irish in 19th century Great Britain, and the Jews in 20th century Central and Eastern Europe were unpopular with the majority and treated harshly.
^

THEMATIC ESSAYS FOR WORLD ECONOMY


  1. Explain the changes from mercantilism to capitalism in the 18th century world economy and also the ideology behind them. Focus on England and France.




  1. Describe and analyze how the opening of the Atlantic changed the world economy.




  1. Explain the origins and consequences of the “Price Revolution” which began late in the 15th century.




  1. Explain the role of the Agricultural Revolution in the early 18th century in the development of capitalism.




  1. How was the New Imperialism different from the imperialism of the colonial powers in the 15th-17th centuries?




  1. Analyze the movement towards economic unity in Western Europe between 1945-1991.




  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the economic revival of Western Europe between 1945-1970.




  1. Describe and analyze the conditions in the world economy after World War I that led to the Great Depression.




  1. Analyze the key developments that characterized the European economy in the second half of the 19th century.




  1. Analyze the influence of the theory of mercantilism on the domestic and foreign policies of France 1600-1715.




  1. Describe the major economic and political reasons for the “rise of the middle class” in England and France.




  1. Analyze the changes in the European economy from about 1450-1700 brought about by the voyages of exploration and by colonization.




  1. Compare and contrast the economic activities and political policies of England and France after the War of Spanish Succession up to the end of the Seven Years War.




  1. Describe and explain how mercantilism was implemented in different parts of the world economy from 1714-1789. To what extent were mercantilist policies successfully implemented by the various European powers?




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