First Exam
Potential Questions

Two of the following questions will appear on the exam. You will be asked to write on one of the two.

1. Using the texts of Vergerius and Pico, explain the nature of Renaissance humanism. You should include a consideration the humanists' objectives, their ideals, and their assumptions about human nature. Was Machiavelli a humanist? In what ways are his views similar or different from other humanists?

2. What were the origins of the Reformation? In what ways did Luther and Calvin's views of salvation and the church depart from the views of the Medieval Church?

3. Synthesize the major patterns of European imperialism between 1400 and 1750, giving consideration to (1) how and why Europe expanded and (2) the impact that Europe had on the other civilizations of the world.

4. Both modern capitalism and modern science faced obstacles and critics. What were these obstacles and critics? How did supporters of capitalism and science (e.g. Mun, Galileo) respond to critics?

5. Compare Isaac Newton's explanation of the cosmos (its structure and laws) with the ancient-medieval explanation of the cosmos. What were the scientific or physical problems posed by Copernicus's heliocentric theory? In what ways did Newton's laws of motion solve those problems? According to Newton, under what conditions are scientific "propositions" to be considered "as accurately or very nearly true"? According to Newton, what are the limitations of scientific "propositions"?

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