Final Examination Study Guide

I. Identifications
II. Big Theories
III. Document Analysis
IV. Essay

The final examination for History 301 will be divided into four parts. The first part will consist of identifications. In the second part, you will be asked to assess one of several big historical explanations that we have encountered in this course; in the third part, you will be asked to write about a short essay on one of the primary sources we read during the first three weeks of term; and the fourth part will pose an interpretive essay question. The four segments will be weighed more-or-less equally, so be sure to budget your time accordingly. Good luck!

I. Identifications

The following list contains thirty noteworthy persons, places, and things. On your examination form, you will find ten items from this list; of these, you will be asked to identify five (5). In composing your response, you should identify the person or define the phenomenon as accurately as you can, specify its date as closely as possible, and—most importantly—assess the historical significance of the person or phenomenon. Note that these identifications are taken from both lectures and from the textbooks used in this course, Raymond Birn's Crisis, Absolutism, Revolution and Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, by Lynn Hunt and Jack Censer. Be sure to consult Birn and Censer & Hunt, in addition to your notes from the lectures, in preparing for the exam.
Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin (1699-1777)

Académie française

“Republic of Letters”


Huguenot Diaspora (1685)

Expulsion of the Salzburg Protestants (1731)

August Hermann Francke (1663-1727)

John Wesley (1703-1791)



John Locke (1637-1704)

Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Joseph II (1741-1790), Holy Roman Emperor (1780-1790)

Charles III (1716-1788), King of Spain (1759-1788)

The “Diplomatic Revolution” (1756)

Battle of Plassey (23 June 1757)

Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette (1757-1834)

Pugachev Rebellion (1773-1775)

Charles Alexandre de Calonne (1734-1802)

Robert François Damiens (1715-1757)

Assembly of Notables (1788)

August Decrees (1789)

Festival of the Federation (14 July 1790)

Civil Constitution of the Clergy (12 July 1790)

Flight to Varennes (20-21 June 1791)

Committee for Public Safety

Festival of the Supreme Being (14 July 1794)


II. Big Theories

Part two addresses some of the big theories we've encountered over the course of this term. On your exam form, you'll see questions about two of these three big theories; be prepared to give a critical response to one of them, drawing on as much information as you can from lectures and readings.

1. Norbert Elias’s theory of the ‘Court Society’
2. Jürgen Habermas’s theory about the ‘Formation of the Public Sphere’
3. Alexis de Tocqueville’s explanation of the causes of the French Revolution

III. Document Analysis

In the third part of the exam, you will be asked to analyze and assess the significance of one document from the following list of documents contained Jack R. Censer and Lynn Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. The document will be included with your examination form:

Document 1.6: Remonstrance by the Parlement of Paris Against the Denial of Sacraments (1753) (Censer & Hunt, 28-30).
Document 1.15: Zalkind Hourwitz, Vindication of the Jews (1789) (Censer & Hunt, 42-45).
Document 3.1: The Assembly Complains to the King about the Emigrés (29 November 1791) (Censer & Hunt, 106-108).
Document 4.2: Antoine Barnave, Speech for the Colonial Committee of the National Assembly (8 March 1790) (Censer & Hunt 130-132).
Document 4.5: Viefville des Essars, On the Emancipation of the Negroes (1790) (Censer & Hunt, 133-136).

IV. Essay

The third portion of the midterm examination will be an interpretive essay that tests your interpetive powers and your overal command of the material. Unlike Parts I-III, this study guide does not divulge the specific questions for you in advance. There will be only one essay question on the examination, and you will be expected to give your best answer to it, drawing on as much argument and evidence as you can summon from the lectures and course readings.