CHY4U ESSAY ASSIGNMENT GRADING: Your work will be graded using the “Essay Rubric”.
This document is posted on the SSD.
DUE DATE: The beginning of class on Tuesday 15 February 2012. Unless,
you would like to have this assignment included in your mark for the first round of university acceptance marks. A paper copy will be handed in along with an electronic version.
LENGTH: 1500 words
PAGE MARGINS: Refer to instructions A.1.1 on page 374 of A Manual for Writers
of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th Edition.
TYPEFACE: Times New Roman or Palatino.
TYPE SIZE: Twelve-point type
COVER PAGE: Follow format given in Figure A.1. “Title page for a class paper” on page 378 of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th Edition.
Answer ONE of the following questions, or another topic of your choosing. If you choose your own topic you must get my approval no later than the end of the school day on Friday 20 January 2012.
1. Describe the extension of colonization on the frontiers of Europe. Why did colonists from England, Germany, and elsewhere move to these frontier regions?
2. What was the principal battlefield for the Habsburg-Valois wars? Analyze its impact this had on the Italian city-states?
3. Religion played a very important role in defining the political geography of Europe. Which areas of Europe remained predominantly Catholic? Lutheran? Calvinist? Were there any regions in which religious diversity existed and, if so, where?
4. Emperor Charles V ruled vast territories. What was the extent of the lands ruled by Charles V? Analyze the impact this had on the attempt to maintain the religious unity of Europe?
5. Analyze the effect geography had on the Protestant Reformation?
6. The period from 1450 to 1650 witnessed a profound extension of European society beyond the borders of the Continent. What were the factors that facilitated this expansion? What was the motivation, both for the individual European explorers and the states that supported them?
7. The Protestant Reformation and wars of religion that wracked Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries began a process of conflict and negotiation that ultimately resulted in the institutionalization of religious toleration in some European societies. Find and describe specific episodes in the text that point toward a developing notion of religious tolerance.
8. In the last third of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, European diplomacy revolved around the situation in the Low Countries. Why? What was the impact of the revolt of the Netherlands on the Low Countries, Spain, and England? How did the Dutch revolt affect European politics in general?
9. The Thirty Years' War marked a major turning point in European history. What were the political, social, economic, and religious consequences of the conflict?
10. The status of women changed dramatically as a result of the Reformation. In what ways were women affected? How can we explain these changes?
11. The European witch-hunt is one of the most bizarre phenomena of Western history. How do historians explain the witch-hunt? How did this phenomenon reflect European civilization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?
12. The year 1992 marked the quincentenary (500 year anniversary) of Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas, an event that has caused much debate about the impact of Columbus. What are the facts about the role of Columbus in the European incursion into the Americas? How do historians interpret his role? Was Columbus a typical European explorer? In what ways do his own words, presented in “Listening to the Past,” help us to understand Columbus?
13. What was the purpose of Columbus's letter describing his first voyage to the Americas, presented in “Listening to the Past”? How does the letter's content serve its purpose?
14. On a map, identify both the primary sources from which African slaves were acquired and the main areas of importation of these slaves. What does the latter reveal about the economic factors of plantation slavery?
15. Explain the geopolitical reasons behind French support of the Protestants in the Thirty Years' War.
16. How did geography affect the economic conditions in the Low Countries? How did geography affect the course of the revolt in the Netherlands, and the ultimate political resolution of the revolt?
17. In what ways did geography affect the balance of power in Europe in the seventeenth century?
18. The Ottoman Empire was considered a major threat to Europe. Based on Map. Describe the expansion of the Ottoman state into Europe.
19. What were the three territorial parts of the Habsburg state? How did they come to be united?
20. Describe the growth of Muscovy. How did Peter the Great add to the Muscovite base? Do his territorial acquisitions support the notion of Peter the Great as a “westernizer”? Why, or why not?
21. Where is Silesia, and why did Frederick II want to seize it from Maria Theresa of Austria?
22. Describe the imperial expansion of Russia under Catherine II. Where were the greatest gains made?
23. Describe the physical layout of a typical, traditional farming community, based on the description in the text of the open-field system. How would an enclosure act change the description?
24. Chart the Atlantic economy. What products composed the various legs of this so-called triangular trade?
25. How “great” was Frederick the Great?
Answer Key CHY4U Essay Assignment 1.
6. This essay should begin with a consideration of the general factors that influenced the exploration and expansion of Europe; this should include such aspects as political centralization, Renaissance curiosity, increasing trade contacts, crusading zeal, religious fervor, technological innovation that enabled the exploration, and the impact of the Ottoman Empire and Ming Dynasty on overland trade routes. For individual explorers, the discussion should set their motives within the general framework mentioned above, and then include an indication of the limited nature of economic and political opportunities in Europe; thus, one should emphasize material profit as the primary motive. To conclude, the essay should assess the role of mercantilistic economic theory and the more general nature of states to attempt to increase their power.
7. One such episode would be the conclusion of the French civil wars by King Henry IV's Edict of Nantes, which protected Calvinism in areas of France where it was already well established. Similarly, one could argue that the Peace of Westphalia, while it did not establish individual religious freedom in Germany, was an agreement among three sects (Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Catholicism) to coexist peacefully in the Holy Roman Empire. Michel de Montaigne's essays are another indicator that the concept of religious tolerance was spreading in Europe.
8. In general, this essay calls for a thorough discussion of the Dutch revolt. Essays should include the factors that made the revolt an affair of continental importance: the economic situation in the Low Countries, Philip II's role, English anxieties. For the Netherlands, students should certainly discuss the acquisition of independence by the northern provinces (the United Provinces). The political disunion of the northern and southern regions of the Netherlands should also be considered; the social, economic, religious, and geographical differences between the two should be described as well. For Spain, the discussion should center on the disastrous impact of the revolt, including the huge financial drain and the loss of territory, the Armada, and international prestige. Perhaps most important was the resultant malaise of defeatism that infected Spain. For England, students should include a discussion of not only the defeat of the Spanish Armada and its subsequent impact on national pride, but also a consideration of the religious implications of Elizabeth's policy on the struggle between Puritans and Roman Catholics in England. Finally, the essay should include mention of the fact that Spain and the Habsburgs would not be able to reimpose religious unity on Europe; the rise of English power and the decline of Spanish power should be reemphasized.
9. Although the question is about the consequences of the war, the international nature of the conflict must be mentioned. The discussion of political consequences should include an examination of the Peace of Westphalia and its impact: independent sovereignty of German princes, effective destruction of the Holy Roman Empire, recognition of the United Provinces, increased prestige of France and Sweden, and reduced influence of the papacy. (Brief mention of territorial arrangements could be included.) Next, economic and social consequences should be considered; these two are of course closely connected. The destructive nature of the war should be stressed; this should include demographic impact and damage to trade, especially for southern German cities, while northern cities prospered. Finally, the religious aspect of the settlement, in essence a widening of the Treaty of Augsburg to include Calvinism, should conclude the essay.
10. This discussion should focus on the changes resulting from the Reformation, especially the contractual nature of marriage and thus availability of divorce for Protestants. Students should also examine the increased emphasis on the household as first priority, the decline of the double standard of morality, and continued deference to husbands and fathers. The continued existence of licensed houses of prostitution should be included. The loss of convents in Protestant countries should be considered for the impact on upper-class women. The example of Elizabeth Hardwick should be included to indicate the possibility of success for individual women in this era. Finally, the role of women from the popular classes, employed in many professions or working with their husbands in the family business, should be discussed. To explain these changes, the essay should reemphasize the Protestant contractual view of marriage; students could also attempt to explain the declining status of women by discussing the witch-hunt phenomenon.
11. A brief narrative of the witch-hunt should be presented. Following the narrative, the student should then describe the various theories presented by historians: explaining the unexplainable; elimination of nonconformists; fear of evil power; and witches' sexuality. In general, the misogynistic tradition in Europe and the belief in the concept of women as “weaker vessels” should be discussed.
12. This question asks students to participate in the continuing debate about Columbus and the voyages of discovery. First, the basic facts should be described. Next, the student should indicate the sources, such as the sea logs, on which historians have relied. Next, the poles of the debate, Columbus as great man and Columbus as mass murderer, should be discussed. In the next section of the essay, the student should place Columbus and his actions within his historical milieu by comparing him to other explorers and by analyzing what he wrote.
13. In essence, Columbus is advertising for more backing for another voyage to the Caribbean. He attempts to convince Ferdinand and Isabella, and any others who may read the letter, that not only is the land he has discovered fertile and suitable for agriculture, but rich in precious metals, herbs, and spices. He also clearly wishes to present the indigenous people as pliable, peaceable, and easily overawed by European poweræin other words, as people who could easily be forced to work by Europeans.