History

A Short Paper Assignment allows you, early in the course, to demonstrate your research skills to your instructor and to receive feedback that will benefit you when you write your research paper. With this assignment, you will learn how to do proper and adequate research and write a short paper and prepare you for writing the research paper.

This short paper is at least three double-spaced pages of text (Times New Roman, font size 12) and you must consult a minimum of two academically credible sources. Bibliographies and citations will be in the Chicago Manual of Style format.

The short paper needs to be turned in through the assignment section for grading. If you use any of the information from your sources word-for-word, you must cite the source by using endnotes or footnotes. If you read the information and write it in your own words and it is not common knowledge, then you must cite the source because you are paraphrasing someone’s information.

The short paper must include a cover page with your name, course number and course title, instructor’s name, and date. You must also include a bibliography at the end of your paper. While composing your paper, use proper English. Do not use abbreviations, contractions, passive voice, or first/ second person (I, you, we, our, etc)

1.The coming of Islam to sub-Saharan Africa had a major impact on subsequent development of civilization. Describe and discuss the impact of contact with the Muslim world on African societies. Was this a positive or negative experience? Explain your conclusions.
2. “ The history of Ethiopia differs significantly from that of the rest of Africa.” How accurate is this quote? To answer, you should outline the history of Ethiopia and then identify those aspects of its history that are unique and those that Ethiopia shares with Africa in general.
3. Describe the association between the adoption of Islam or Christianity and state formation in Africa.
4. Human sacrifice was a critical feature of the Aztec civilization. What role did human sacrifice play in Aztec civilization, including military, political, and religious practices? What impact did this have on the social structure of Mexica? What explanations have scholars offered for this practice?
5.. American societies tended to become hierarchical. Choose Maya, Aztec, or Inca society, and demonstrate this assertion. How can we explain the tendency toward hierarchy?
6. The development of the hybrid nomadic-urban states culminated in the Mongol empire of the thirteenth century. Trace the development of the hybrid state from its tenth-century roots through its culmination under the Mongols. How can we account for this development?
7.. Contrast the life of the Heian-era courtier with that of the Kamakura samurai.
8.. “The birth of the university is another example of the creativity and vitality of the High Middle Ages.” Assess this quotation critically, being sure to indicate the roots of the university, its methods of scholarly and pedagogical practices, composition and size of faculty (teachers and students), and impact on European civilization. How accurate is the quotation?
9. The Crusades are probably the greatest symbol of the religious enthusiasm of the age. What were the goals of the Crusades? Targets? What motivated people to go on crusade besides religious zeal? How do we account for their general failure? How were the Crusades viewed by the Muslims, as indicated by the evidence from “Listening to the Past”? What lasting impact did they have?
10. The problems of the papacy, exemplified by the Babylonian Captivity, gave rise to the conciliar movement and led to a schism in the church. What were the underlying causes of this development? What were the consequences––religious, social, and political––of this crisis in the Christian church?
11. Renaissance Europe saw the development of the so-called new monarchies. What were the guiding principles and basic tactics of the rulers of England, France, and Spain in their efforts to centralize their states? To what extent did these rulers rely on new policies and practices? How successful were the new monarchs?
12. The period from 1450 to 1650, witnessed a profound extension of European society beyond the borders of the Continent. What were the factors that facilitated this expansion? What was the motivation, both for the individual European explorers and the states that supported them?
13. What was the impact of European expansion on the indigenous peoples of the Americas, European society, and the new American civilization?
14. “Louis XIV is the greatest example of royal absolutism.” Assess the validity of this statement.
15.. The seventeenth century is often called “the Golden Age of the Netherlands.” What was the basis of Dutch success in this century? What caused the decline of the Netherlands?
16. Explain the concept of mercantilism. Give concrete examples of governments pursuing mercantilist policies.
17. “War––whether civil, international, or both––or the threat of war is critical to the emergence and development of absolutism.” Assess the validity of this quote in relationship to the history of absolutism in France, Austria, Prussia, and Russia.
18. Research paper about one significant historical personality, “What is the impact of (your chosen historical persona) on the development of regional or world history”?

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