Study Essay Questions for Second Exam
Remember: in your exams you will be
asked to write a clear, legible essay, using complete sentences and paragraphs.
You should plan your essay in advance. You should use specific details in
your essay, such as proper names, dates and terminology.
- How did the new civilization emerging in Western Europe at the begin of
the Middle Ages combine the heritage of
Romans and the Germans?
- How did the Franks and the Carolingian family succeed briefly in uniting a Western European empire, but ultimately fail?
- How did feudal politics and manorial economics help the West recover at
the end of the Early Middle Ages?
- How did more centralized governments form in Western Europe during the
High Middle Ages?
- How did the the creation of the medieval papacy lead to fights with kings and other religious movements
during the High and Late Middle Ages?
- How did the revival of trade & towns change the West during the High
and Late Middle Ages?
- How did Late Medieval and Early Modern monarchs concentrate still more power in their hands?
- How did the Renaissance promote the West's transition into modernity?
- How did Early Modern reforms in religion culminate in wars over religion?
- How did the "Voyages of Discovery" begin colonial imperialism by
- Discuss the changing attitudes toward religion from the beginning of the Middle Ages to
1648. You might consider the following questions: What role did religion play in people's
lives? What were the institutions and reforms of medieval Christianity? What groups were
outside of and threatened the Christian church? How did the papacy assert its control? How
then did the Reformation create Protestant faiths and redefine Catholicism?
- Discuss the changes in culture from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. You might
consider what new ideas and institutions determined philosophy and theology, what forms of
literature flourished, and what were the changes in artistic styles and subjects for each
- Describe the development of political states in Western Europe from the Fall of Rome to
1648. You might consider the following questions: What kind of governments replaced Roman
Imperial rule; what did the Carolingians do to create unity? What new methods of rule
established states in the High Middle Ages. How were these then changed through the Late
Middle Ages and by the Commercial Revolution into the Early Modern Period?
- Explain the characteristic social institutions and behaviors which defined the Early
Middle Ages (ca. 450-1000). You might consider the following questions: How was the surviving western
Roman World different from societies of Byzantium and Islam? How did some Germanic
kingdoms succeed in building new stability? What new practices did the western Christian
Church emphasize? What were the Carolingian efforts at civilization and why did they fail?
- Explain the characteristic social institutions and behaviors which defined the High
Middle Ages (ca. 1000-1300). You might consider what new ideas,
innovations or methods transformed the political structures, the economy, the authority of
the Church, education and thought, art and literature.
- Explain the characteristic social institutions in Western Europe which ended the Late
Middle Ages and began the Early Modern Period (ca. 1300-1648). You might consider what happened to overturn old ways and promote the
new regarding the
environment and knowledge about the world, the economy, the power of princes, and people's
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