Final Exam Essays (Hist 102, Fall 2010) Due Friday, 12/17, 10am

Final Exam Essays Due Friday, 12/17

To my office (RH 406F) no later than 10am

The test will consist of two essays, equal in value, which you will choose from the following list:

  1. Describe China’s role in global economic history over the last five hundred years. This is not a history of China, but a discussion of how China has interacted with and influenced other countries and regions. There will be periods of greater and lesser influence, of course, and some domestic Chinese history will be necessary for clarity.
  2. What were the long-term effects of the French Revolution? Don’t do a history of the event, but look at the ways in which it affects French, European and World history over the following two centuries.
  3. How did the Industrial Revolution affect Asia and Africa differently? Why?
  4. Locke and Hobbes had very different ideas about the role of government and the rights of the individual. How have those ideas influenced political history over the last 300 years, and which of these thinkers is closest to our present-day ideas about rights and government? (globally, not just the United States) This will require describing their ideas, but your focus should be on the way their ideas are used over time.
  5. Why is World War One considered the end of the “long 19th century”? What changes happen during and because of the war, and are they sufficiently important to justify making WWI a dividing line between historical epochs?
  6. Write a history of agriculture from 1500 to present focusing on its economic role. This is not a general history of farming, but a specific analysis of the role of agriculture in the world economy. Issues to consider include: the percentage of farmers in the population; the flow of migration from rural regions; the Columbian Exchange; differences between regions of the world; changes in technology, fertilizers and crops; general lifestyle changes.
  7. Describe the world economy around 1700. Include trade, flows of silver and gold, the role of agriculture, major exporters and the state of technology. How are things changing?

Both Essays are due Friday, 12/17, 10am

There will be no extensions or late papers accepted

except in cases of documented medical emergency.


  • This test covers the entire semester: textbooks, documents, and lectures.
    • This is a take-home assignment, so I am expecting two real essays, with introductions, thesis statements, paragraphs, conclusions, etc.
    • Don’t assume that “an answer” will be easily found in one section of one book. These essays require broad knowledge and analytical thinking.
    • Be concrete: evidence is always more convincing than generalization or simple logic.
  • You may think of it as two essays each worth 10% of your course grade; that’s certainly how I calculate it.
    • The grade is based primarily on the strength of your argument as an answer to the question: thesis, evidence (completeness and handling), logic.
    • Polished prose is not required, but basic courtesies like correct spelling and writing in grammatical standard English will be expected.
    • Clarity is crucial; structure is essential to a clear and effective argument.
  • Citations and Plagiarism
    • failure to acknowledge the source of your ideas or information is unacceptable. Plagiarism will result in no credit for the exam. Poor paraphrasing and poor citation will be penalized.
    • A Works Cited or Bibliography page is not required unless you use sources outside of the course readings and lectures. You must cite the source of information and ideas that are outside of “general knowledge,” including information from your course texts. Format of the notes is up to you: I prefer footnotes for my research, but parenthetical citations are fine as well; any format will be fine as long as it is used consistently and it clearly identifies the source and page of your information.
    • These questions can be answered more than adequately with reference to assigned readings and lectures. You are welcome to do more research and include outside sources if necessary, but you must be sure that they are relevant and of sufficient quality to enhance your argument.
    • Using outside sources instead of course materials will result in penalties.
  • Technical Details
    • Make sure that your name, section, e-mail address and the question are clearly indicated at the beginning of each essay, and that each essay begins on a fresh page. Title pages are not required.
    • There is neither a minimum nor a maximum length for these essays, but any answer less than 1000 words or more than 2500 is probably missing the point.
    • Double-spacing and title pages are not required, but readable type and font are.
    • Both Essays are due in my office (or mailbox, if you’re handing it in early) no later than 10am Friday. There will be no extensions or late papers accepted except in cases of documented medical emergency. Emailed files will only be accepted as proof of completion; printed essays must be delivered no later than 2pm Friday, and must be identical to the emailed files.