Foundations of the Modern Age
Winter Semester 2002

Study Questions for the Final Exam

Questions for the Large Essay, Last Third of the Course

1. What were the origins and consequences of WWI? What were the origins and consequences of WWII? Compare the origins and consequences of the two great 20th century wars.

2. What were the origins of the Russian Revolution? How did Lenin and Stalin transform Russia?

3. What were the objectives and the consequences of the "New Imperialism" of the late nineteenth century? What were the objectives of the anti-colonial and independence movements of the post-WWII era? To what extent were they successful in achieving their goals? In what ways and to what extent were the successes and failures of the newly independent nations the legacy of colonialism?

4. President Roosevelt's Inaugural Address, the SDS's Port Huron Statement, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, NOW's Statement of Purpose, and President Reagan's Inaugural Address depict a nation in crisis and propose new ways of thinking and acting in order to overcome the crisis. Compare these five documents, placing each one in its historical context and locating each one on the spectrum of twentieth century political ideologies. Are there any general conclusions one can draw from these documents about the shift in American politics and culture from the 1930's, through the 1960s, to the 1980's?

Comprehensive Questions

1. Has the United States been an "exceptional" (unique) civilization? Please include specific examples of similarities and differences between the United States and Europe from the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

2. Modern Western civilization was founded upon the Enlightenment ideals of "liberty," "equality," and "progress." To what extent has Western Civilization succeeded in achieving these ideals in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries? To what extent has it failed? Why or why not? Please define your terms with precision and provide specific examples and concrete evidence to reinforce your argument.

Return to the syllabus.
Return to History Department