HIS-224: England 1399-1689
Final exam study questions
December 13, 2006
The exam will be administered from Noon to 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 17 (meet at my office) and from 3:30 to 5:30 on Tuesday, December 19 (in the regular classroom). The questions below might appear in slightly altered form on the actual exam. I will not change the substance, but I may shorten the questions and focus them a bit more to make them easier to complete in the time allowed.
Section I: Two of the following will appear on the exam and you will answer one of them. This essay will be worth 40% of the exam grade.
1. Between 1600 and 1689, what were the effects of social and economic change on the Great Chain of Being (GCB)? What impact did the political and religious experiences of the 1650s in particular have on the GCB? In 1689, was the GCB still a functional metaphor for English society, or had it become an outmoded model which people used more out of nostalgia and familiarity than because it was realistic?
2. Compare and contrast family life, work, and popular culture in the village of North Moreton (Anne Gunter's home) with that in the town of Dorchester. How would the economic opportunities, education and literacy, poverty, and family situations of a person of your own age and sex be similar and different in these two locations in the 17th century?
3. Who were the winners and losers in the social and economic changes of the 17th century? In particular, how did the nature and experience of poverty change, and who was most likely to join the ranks of the 'new' poor? How did the changes affect women and young people?
Section II: Three of the following will appear on the exam and you will answer one of them. This essay will be worth 40% of the exam grade.
1. Charles I, Cromwell, & James II were all accused by their opponents of being tyrants. What did it mean to be a 'tyrant' in the 17th century? What had these three men done to be so accused? Assess these accusations on the basis of the historical evidence of their intentions and deeds.
2. Compare the falls of Charles I and James II. Are these comparable events, or are the causes quite different? To what extent was royal personality and temperament a factor in their political failures? What other factors are at work in their respective failures? Was the fall of James II the result of a failure to learn the lessons of his father's (mis)rule, or were those lessons not relevant?
3. The two labels applied to the major political developments of the later Stuart period -- the Restoration and the Glorious Revolution -- are both problematic. What exactly was restored in the Restoration? To what extent was it also a time of new approaches to the problems that had plagued the early Stuart monarchy? How revolutionary was the Glorious Revolution? To what extent was it also a preservation or attempt to return to old ways through different means?
4. If Henry VIII were to be raised from the dead (not a pleasant idea, but stay with me!) in 1685 (before the death of Charles II), what would he observe about the state of English monarchy? To what extent would he approve of the job done by James I, Charles I, and Charles II? Which of those would be his favorite successor? To what extent might he be concerned about the erosion of royal power? What would he make of the role of parliament in later Stuart England?
5. What role did religion come to play in English politics, both at the national and local level, during the 17th century? To what extent is it an explanation of the Civil War of the 1640s and of the Glorious Revolution? In particular, what role did anti-Catholicism (or anti-popery) play?
Section III: You will be presented with a primary source from the period 1603-1689 that you have not seen before and asked to analyze it. This does not mean summarizing the source. It does mean that you will apply your knowledge of the period and your critical faculties to figure out what the source is about, what its biases are, what it can and can't tell us about the period, etc. This analysis will be worth 20% of the exam grade.