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History 51  

Exam #1 Study Guide



A. I recommend you try to identify the relevant terms from your term sheet. Familiarity with these terms will help you to write your essays.


B. Essays. All essays are to be based on Lifelines From Our Past. Essays should be as detailed as possible. However, you must be well organized. You will write two essays in class next Tuesday. Remember, each essay is worth half of the total of 100 points.



Part 1.  (50 points) Everybody must write the following essay.


a.  Briefly summarize Stavrianos’s portrayal of the evolution of capitalism and of its impact on the world. What are his key ideas and themes? What is the basic course of development? Identify the stages of development, as well as the characteristics of each stage.



Part 2. (50 points) Everybody will write one of these essays. There will be a choice offered on the exam. Give specific examples.


a. Discuss capitalism and the creation of an integrated world economy. How, when, and to what extent has capitalism created a global economy? Discuss the process of integration as well as its key features and players.  Be specific.


b. Discuss the “creative destruction” associated with commercial, industrial and high-tech capitalism. Give examples.  How does it work? Why is “creative destruction” so important for Stavrianos?


c. Discuss the “new thinking” driven by capitalism after 1500.  Identify the particular changes, and discuss their importance in the evolution of human societies (or at least of European societies) in the modern period.


d. Identify the key elements of one of the “lifelines” (ecology, gender relations, social relations, war) identified by Stavrianos. Discuss how these links from the past to the present were forged by capitalism. Your discussion should range across the whole period 1500 to the present.


e. Discuss Stavrianos’s claim that capitalism is incapable of standing still. Change is both necessary to capitalism and a constant result of capitalism. What evidence does he present that capitalism created a world of constant change? Was the rate and intensity of change constant over time and place? What changed the most? What changed the least? Who was affected by the changes? Where does this leave us today?