UCSB Hist 4C, Spring 2000Prof. Marcuse
Western Civilization, 1715-presentJune 12, 2000


The exam is worth 20% of your final grade (100 points as noted below).

I. Identify and define the significance (30 minutes total, 3 @ 10 points each)
Select three of the following terms, identify each of them (including an approximate date), situating it correctly in relation to other important events. Then take special care to EXPLAIN WHY THE TERM IS SIGNIFICANT in the context of the history of modern Western Civilization. Ask yourself: Would history have taken a different course without this event or person? Or: Is this term an example of some important principle that played a role in the later course of history? (Your answer should be yes.) Then write down the reason(s) WHY as part of your answer to the ID.
fascismNikita Khrushchev Mohandas Gandhi
Jan PalachMikhail Gorbachev velvet revolution
Pan-American cultureAge of Access "Warning to Humanity"

II. Source Interpretation. (20 minutes, 20 points)

We have been studying "Western" civilization within a world context. The modern (post-1789) West has often had trouble understanding other civilizations. Examine the following quotation from 1980 speech by a non-Western leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini:

"Muslims the world over, … know that your moral power will overcome all other powers. With a population of almost one billion and with infinite sources of wealth, you can defeat all the powers. Aid God's cause so that He may aid you. Great ocean of Muslims, arise and defeat the enemies of humanity. If you turn to God and follow the heavenly teachings, God Almighty and His vast hosts will be with you."

Use specific passages of this text to explain why it seems irrational to our modern Western ears. What ideas and developments in the 18th and 19th century Western world make this text sound implausible to us? Can you think of other societies that embraced similar ideas but were met with catastrophic results? What are the bases of power according to this text? Judging by events of the 19th century, do you think those are the primary bases of power? Can you think of a 20th century Western political movement that shares certain similarities with this position?

III. Essay question: Compose an essay on the following topic. (60 minutes, 50 points)

Describe the various reasons why and factors that enabled the European powers to establish imperial domination of many societies around the globe during the second half and especially during the last quarter of the 19th century. Before you start writing, decide which you think are the most important, and explain (make an argument) why. (See note 2, below.) And: be sure to give some (at least one each) concrete examples to illustrate each reason/factor.
Then do the same for the movements during the 20th century that ended that such domination (referred to collectively as decolonization). In your discussion of those factors, explain how major developments in world history during the intervening years made those independence (decolonization) movements possible in the 20th century, but not in the 19th.
Two notes: First, you should relate intervening historical developments and decolonization factors with thesis statements: "x, a major factor in decolonization, became possible in the 20th century because y had occurred …"
Second: In contrast to the midterms, I am NOT asking for explicit counterarguments. That concept seems to be very difficult. However, "A" essays must make a case (argue) for ranking some causes (reasons, factors) as the most important.