History 211 - The Emergence of Europe, 400-1700

Fall 1994 Professor M.S. Mahoney

Final Examination 11 January 1995


Complete all THREE parts of the examination, allotting your time as indicated. Please use a separate booklet for each part, placing your name and your preceptor's name on each booklet. The honor pledge on the first booklet will suffice.

PART I (60 minutes)

Identify FIVE of the following passages taken from the sources read this term. In addition to the name of the work and its author, your identification should include a brief explanation of the historical context and significance of the ideas expressed in the passage.


The kings your predecessors had in the past accepted peace from their subjects rather than granting it to them. Although they never hesitated to fight a single war, in every one they were losers in the treaties which they made with their subjects; ...


The idols of the market are the most troublesome of all, those namely which have entwined themselves round the understanding from the associations of words and names. For men imagine that their reason governs words, whilst in fact words react upon the understanding.


A prince should make himself feared in such a way that if he does not gain love, he at any rate avoids hatred; for fear and the absence of hatred may well go together, and will be always attained by one who abstains from interfering with the property of his citizens and subjects or with their women. And when he is obliged to take the life of anyone, let him do so when there is a proper justification and manifest reason for it; but above all he must abstain from taking the property of others, for men forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.


The reason why the world is so utterly perverted and in error is that for a long time there have been no genuine preachers. ... And when you do get a good preacher, he runs through the gospel superficially and then follows it up with a fable ... or he mixes in something of the pagan teachers, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and others, who are all quite contrary to the gospel, and also contrary to God, for they did not have the knowledge of the light which we possess.





The opinion that any monarch receiveth his power by covenant, that is to say, on condition, proceedeth from want of understanding this easy truth, that covenants being but words and breath, have no force to oblige, contain, constrain, or protect any man, but what it has from the public sword.


No person hath a right to an interest or share in the disposing of the affairs of the kingdom, and in determining or choosing those that shall determine what laws we shall be ruled by here—no person hath a right to this, that hath not a permanent fixed interest in this kingdom, and those persons together are properly the represented of this kingdom, and consequently are [also] to make up the representers of this kingdom, who taken together do comprehend whatsoever is of real or permanent interest in the kingdom.


Thus it remains stated, demonstrated and openly concluded ... throughout this book that all these peoples of the Indies possessed—as far as is possible through natural and human means and without the light of faith—nations, towns, village and cities, most fully and abundantly provided for. With a few exceptions in varying degrees they lacked nothing, and some were endowed in full perfection for political and social life and for attaining and enjoying that civic happiness which in this world any good, rational, well provided and happy republic wishes to have and enjoy; for all are by nature of very subtle, lively, clear and most capable understanding.


Now, against the sacrilegious and impious darings of reason, we assert both that God knows all things before they come to pass, and that we do by our free will whatsoever we know and feel to be done by us only because we will it.


Such persons will look upon this body as a machine made by the hands of God, which is incomparably better arranged, and adequate to movements more admirable than is any machine of human invention. ... [B]ut if there were machines bearing the images of our bodies and capable of imitating our actions as far as is morally possible, there would still remain two most certain tests whereby to know that they were not therefore men. Of these the first is that they could never use words or other signs arranged in such a manner as is competent to us in order to declare our thoughts to others. ... The second test is, that although such machines might execute many things with equal or perhaps greater perfection than any of us, they would, without doubt, fail in certain others from which it could be discovered that they did not act from knowledge, but solely from the disposition of their organs: for while Reason is an universal instrument that is alike available on every occasion, these organs, on the contrary, need a particular arrangement for each particular action; ...


PART II (45 minutes)

Write an essay on ONE of the following questions. Your answer should have a clear, cogent argument backed up by pertinent evidence taken from the material of the course.


Two merchants at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange comparing notes on their travels in England, France, Russia, and the Netherlands get into a heated argument about which of the various governments is most favorable to their interests. Summarize their debate.


An organizing theme of the second half of this course has been the notion of "Three New Worlds", the new world of classical antiquity, the new world of the Americas, and the new world of the heavens. In what ways and to what extent can the last of these, as embodied in the new scientific world view of the seventeenth century, be seen as a result or expression of the first two?


PART III (45 minutes)



A noted scholar has observed that "theorizing always needs a Savage." To what extent does this generalization hold true for Europeans from the fifth to the eighteenth century? In what ways did Europeans construct their own identity in opposition to non-Europeans? Give specific example for several cultures encountered by Europeans over the period of the course.


Conflicts over the proper relation between church and state have been a continuing theme of this course. Compare and contrast the specific issues and their resolution in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with those of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.


"I pledge my honor that I have not violated the Honor Code on this examination."