Test 5 Organization

For the last test, because there are so many chapters, I’m going to reorganize the terms into three categories: Cold War (mostly 36, 39, 40), Developing World (Mostly 37, 38), Globalization (mostly 41). You’ll be required to do at least one term from each category, and the remaining 5 terms may come from anything else on the test.

Schedule Adjustment – not my fault this time

Hope everyone weathered the storm safely!

Obviously, a revised course schedule is now in place. I decided that we really needed the review day before this next test, so I used the review days for tests 4 and 5, and pushed everything back two days. This means that I’ll be lecturing Friday, then you’ll have a review session Monday before the test on Wednesday. This also means that the 3rd test, originally scheduled for the day before Spring Break, is now the Wednesday after break. Homework and Essay assignments have been adjusted accordingly. Also note that the Essay assignments are now available, so you can begin thinking about this as you work through the books.

Also note, if you are working from an older printed copy, that I’ve trimmed the list of terms for the 2nd test, to make things a little bit more focused.

Test 1 Results

Each question was worth up to 4 points, for a possible total of 40. The highest score in the class before extra credit, in both sections, was 31. For simplicity’s sake, I’m using 30 as the 100% score, so the grade scale works out like this:

Grade starts at distribution
A+ 30
A 28  10%
A- 27
B+ 25
B 22  20%
B- 20
C+ 18
C 15  35%
C- 13
D+ 11
D 8  25%
D- 6
F under 6  10%

If you answered 10 questions, but failed to answer two from each chapter, I took a 2 point penalty off your grade. (If you didn’t answer all 10 questions, I did not)

If you want to discuss your performance, and how you can improve it next time, feel free to come by my office hours. If you want to dispute your grade, feel free to do so in writing.

Here are a few samples of answers that earned the full 4 points (or 3.5, anyway):

Continue reading

Schedule Adjustment Again

My apologies again for my absence. I have revised the schedule (again), this time using the catch-up day for the next test. I’ll do my best to get through the material efficiently this week, so that we have some time to talk about the test beforehand.

The good news, I suppose, is that you’ve got an extra weekend to work on the Document Homework.

I will have the tests to give back Wednesday, and I will post comments about the grades and suggestions for improving next time.

Final Exam Take-home Essays Posted

The questions for the take-home final essays may be found here, or through the course schedule. Remember that the essays are only one part of the final: the third test will also be given during the final exam week as an in-class exam; same as the first two, but your time limit will be 2 hours instead of 50 minutes. The pre-test study assignment, one multiple choice question per study term, is due by email no later than Midnight, the 8th of December, before the review session on Friday the 9th.


“A subject peasantry; widespread use of the service tenement (i.e. the fief) instead of a salary, which was out of the question; the supremacy of a class of specialized warriors; ties of obedience and protection which bind man to man and, within the warrior class, assume the distinctive form called vassalage; fragmentation of authority-leading inevitably to disorder; and, in the midst of all this, the survival of other forms of association, family and State, of which the latter, during the second feudal age, was to acquire renewed strength.” — Marc Bloch, La Societe’ feodale. cited in Brown, “Tyranny of a Construct”

“a body of institutions creating and regulating the obligations of obedience and service-mainly military service-on the part of a free man (the vassal) towards another free man (the lord), and the obligations of protection and maintenance on the part of the lord with regard to his vassal. The obligation of maintenance had usually as one of its effects the grant by the lord to his vassal of a unit of real property known as a fief.” — F.L. Ganshof, Feudalism, cited in Brown, “Tyranny of a Construct”

“in political terms, feudalism is marked by a fragmentation of political authority, private possession of public rights, and a ruling class composed (at least originally) of military leaders and their followers.” — Joseph Strayer, “The Tokugawa Period and Japanese Feudalism,” cited in Brown, “Tyranny of a Construct”

feudalism The social organization created by exchanging grants of land or fiefs in return for formal oaths of allegience and promises of loyal service; typical of Zhou dynasty and European Middle Ages; greater lord provided protection and aid to lesser lords in return for military service.” (Stearns, et al., G-5)

“On the whole, European feudalism inhibited the development of strong central states, but it also gradually reduced purely local warfare. … kings could use feudalism to build their own power.” (Stearns, et al., 334)


Live-blogging Grading: Page 4, “All Of The Above Strikes Back”

Page 3 is a lot like page 4: a bunch of “all of the above” questions, only one of which actually had that as the correct response. Two that didn’t, and which apparently fooled a lot of people, were

  1. The Great Learning of Confucius says that political harmony requires
    1. a balance between rewards and punishments, and clear job descriptions
    2. active citizens participating in decision-making and military action
    3. well-ordered families and educated people with sincere hearts
    4. all of the above
  1. The Qin Dynasty collapsed quickly, so it wasn’t able to
    1. build lots of roads and walls
    2. standardize language, weights, measures and money
    3. unify large territories
    4. write its own history
    5. all of the above

Varnas and the Mandate of Heaven were apparently substantial challenges, as well.

That’s all for tonight. I’m sure I’ll get through the remaining multiple choice questions tomorrow, though adding things up, etc., takes more time than you might think. Not sure about the essays, though: it’s looking like Wednesday for test return.

Live-blogging Grading: Page 3, “Revenge of All Of The Above”

This page had a lot of  “all of the above” answers – 4 out of 14 questions – but only one of them was correct, and all four turned out to be very tricky. The two trickiest were, apparently,

  1. Athens was known for
    1. democracy, philosophy, and trade
    2. military focus, agriculture and chariots
    3. equality, publishing and technological development
    4. all of the above
  1. Leader who conquered the territory sometimes known as Persia
    1. Alexander the Great
    2. Cyrus the Great
    3. General Seleucus
    4. all of the above

There were also problems with the Shang Dynasty, Sophocles and Aristophanes, and Daoism….

Live-blogging Grading: Page 2

There were two questions that gave a lot of people trouble (and it’s a good thing I give partial credit when you get an “all of the above” wrong).

  1. Though the Han dynasty copied a lot of what the Qin dynasty started, one of their important developments was
    1. an examination system to ensure that literate Confucian scholars staffed the imperial bureaucracy
    2. a system of defensive walls to separate sedentary and pastoral borderlands
    3. increasingly democratic systems of consultation and coordination
    4. all of the above
  1. The Aryan people move into and dominate
    1. Persia
    2. India
    3. Germania
    4. China