HIST 122: Western Civilization II
Study Questions

Part 7: Absolutism and Enlightenment

  1. Describe the political geography of Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and be able to identify the more important rulers and their achievements.
  2. Explain absolutism by reference to political theorists such as Hobbes and Bossuet and to the policies of kings and ministers. Compare the absolutism of the seventeenth century with enlightened absolutism of the eighteenth. Show how Locke's political thought relates to England's peculiar political development.
  3. Show how the European states of the eighteenth century strove to balance each other's military powers. What forces threatened balance? How did diplomacy and warfare redress imbalance?
  4. Be sensitive to the distinctive political development of different states and try to explain the unique situations in, eg, England and Russia. Contrast absolutism and parliamentarianism in England, France, Austria, and Russia.
  5. What are the general characteristics of the Scientific Revolution? Describe some of the innovations in ideas and methods of its more important scientists.
  6. What are the general characteristics of the Enlightenment? Who are some of its thinkers and what are their contributions? What impact did their ideas have on historical developments in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?
  7. Know the principal artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and some of their works. Be able to illustrate by reference to specific works the general characteristics of the Baroque, Rococo, and Classicism and Neoclassicism.

Part 8: The Age of Revolutions

  1. Know the causes of the American Revolution. Place that revolution in the context of European politics and ideas.
  2. Know the causes of the French Revolution. Describe the social and economic conditions in France in 1789.
  3. Describe the stages of the French Revolution. Who was in power in each stage, what were the programs of the leaders, and how successful were they?
  4. What was the European response to the French Revolution? Consider political (eg, the Declaration of Pillnitz) as well as intellectual responses (eg, by Burke, Paine).
  5. Explain how Napoleon came to power, his success, and his failure.
  6. Explain the settlement of Europe by the Congress of Vienna. How was it successful? How a failure?
  7. What are the general characteristics of the Industrial Revolution? Explain its origins in England. What changes did it cause in urban life, class and class consciousness, and economic theory?

Part 9: A Century of Ideas

  1. Describe the political geography of Europe in the nineteenth century and the internal political development of Britain, Russia, Germany, and France.
  2. Know the origins and characteristics of liberalism. Describe its particular manifestations in Britain. Note the trend toward universal suffrage and relate this trend to liberalism.
  3. Know the origins and characteristics of nationalism. Why did nationalism pose an unusually difficult problem for the Austrian empire? What role did romanticism play in thedevelopment of nationalism?
  4. Describe the revolutions of 1848. Know the general pan-European causes and also specific causes and the course of events in each country.
  5. Know the origins and characteristics of socialism in its various guises (cf Part VIII), particularly Marxism. Be able to explain the class struggle, economic determinism, and dialectical materialism with reference to Marx's theories. Explain the difference between socialism and communism in the years after Marx.
  6. Be familiar with such new trends in thought, literature, art, and science as Freudian psychology, positivism, realism, impressionism, anti-semitism and Zionism, and Darwinism (evolution and Social Darwinism). Describe the response of the Catholic Church to the modern world.
  7. Define imperialism. Account for the motives for imperialism in the nineteenth century. Use the case of Africa as an example to describe imperialism.

Part 10: Turn of the Century

  1. Describe the stages of the unification of Germany. What was the role of Bismarck. What is Realpolitik?
  2. Describe the political institutions of the German Empire. Know the general outlines of the foreign policy of Bismarck and William II, particularly with reference to the Balkans.
  3. Explain the contributing and immediate causes of World War I. Describe the course and characteristics of the war (eg, failure of the Schlieffen Plan, trench and submarine warfare, entry of United States and withdrawal of Russia). Account for Germany's defeat.
  4. Identify the Big Three at Paris and the respective interests and agendas they represented. Be familiar with the general terms of the Peace of Paris. Describe the immediate and long term consequences of WW I for Germany, Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and for the economy and psychology of Europe and the United States.
  5. Identify the forces of reaction and revolution in Russia. Describe the outbreak of revolution in 1905 and 1917. How did Lenin and the Bolsheviks take control of the revolution in 1917? Know the organization of the Communist Party and the Soviet government; identify the sources and channels of power.
  6. Define totalitarianism. Account for its appeal in the 1920s and 1930s. Describe the careers of Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, and show how they manipulated ideas for fascist or communist ends.
  7. Be able to identify the major styles of art in the early twentieth century. How did the experience of WW I influence new trends in art and literature?

Part 11: The Twentieth Century

  1. Be familiar with the chronology of the main political developments of the twentieth century.
  2. Explain the outbreak of World War II, describe the general course of the war in Europe and in the Pacific, and suggest its short-term and long-term consequences.
  3. Explain the shift from a multi-polar to a bi-polar world in the early and middle twentieth century. What are the origins and characteristics of the Cold War? Describe the changes in superpower diplomacy from the forties to the eighties.
  4. Define the term "Third World." Show how the recent history of India, the African states, and the Middle East illustrates such general problems in the Third World as Westernization, nationalism, regionalism, resentment of foreigners, overpopulation, and inefficient governments. Does the absence of "civil societies" in these countries help explain their internal problems? Why do the First and Second Worlds need to be concerned with the Third?
  5. Know about recent trends in art and thought. What is Post-modernism? Can this art-critical term be applied informatively to the world of our time in general?