King's College History Department

CORE 132
Twentieth Century

Study Questions for Exam One

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.  


  1. Discuss the changes brought by increasing capitalism and industrialization at the end of 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. What were the theories and realities of economic practice among businesses and workers? How did new technologies transform the lives of people around the world? How did urbanization and working conditions change social structures?  
  2. Discuss the developments in Western arts, sciences and religion through World War I. What new theories, inventions and practices occurred in each field? How did these change what people had once believed? How did these changes interact with one another? How did they contribute to an increasing uncertainty and pessimism about peoples position in the world? 
  3. Discuss imperialism as a major force in the world at the beginning of the century. What forces encouraged the expansion of imperialism? How did imperialism affect the people and governments of the Western Great Powers and subjected peoples of Asia, Africa and the Pacific? How did imperialist powers try to control China? How did Japan differ from other imperialist targets? 
  4. Explain the origins of World War One. How did industrialization, economic and political expansion, European national and international problems provide long term causes? How did the Balkans create further tensions? What immediate events caused the outbreak of fighting and its expansion to include so many countries in 1914? 
  5. Discuss the conduct of World War I. In what ways was it a world war different from previous wars? What was the impact of new technologies or strategies on the battlefields? How and why did the opponents expand the war by seeking more allies? What developments brought victory to the Allies? What long-lasting effects did it leave?


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