1. How do explain the relatively late age of marriage in early-modern Europe?

  2. What was the purpose of the enclosure movement in agriculture? What were its social effects? How did the movement in England differ from that in France?

  3. What innovations contributed to the increasing efficiency of agriculture in the eighteenth century? In which European countries was scientific progress in agriculture most evident?

  4. According to Adam Smith, why is it that "money . . . necessarily runs after good, but goods do not always or necessarily run after money"?

  5. What industries other than textiles were developing in rural areas during the time period considered here?

  6. What were the obstacles to efficient and economical transportation, and what attempts were made in the eighteenth century to overcome them?

  7. What were the causes of the recurrent population crises of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries?

  8. What was the connection between population shifts and changes in agriculture and industry?

  9. What factors help explain Europe's unprecedented population increase after 1750?

  10. Why are maize and potatoes described as "miracle crops"?
  11. What is meant by the term "proto-industrialization"? What were its manifestations in early-modern Europe?

  12. Define capitalism. Define mercantilism.

  13. What assumptions did mercantilism and capitalism have in common? In what respects did they differ?

  14. What was the primary source for the early capital that helped fuel the Commercial Revolution?

  15. What advantages did joint-stock companies have over other forms of business organization?

  16. What medieval social or institutional patterns were evident in mercantilism?

  17. What was the relationship between the Commercial Revolution and overseas colonization?

  18. How did Spain's colonial policy illustrate the objectives of mercantilism, and in what respects was its policy deficient?

  19. What variations on the mercantilist theme did the Dutch employ, and how successful were they in competition with their rivals?

  20. How do you account for the outstanding success of France and England in the age of mercantilism?

  21. Why were the growth of banks and improvement in the monetary system essential to the success of the Commercial Revolution?

  22. Chartered companies were "an example of the way capitalist and mercantilist interests might coincide." How is this demonstrated by the British and French East India companies?

  23. Why were the early English colonial settlements less strictly regulated than the Spanish colonies? Why did English colonial policy change in the late seventeenth century?

  24. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries what were the most prized agricultural products from America? From East Asia?

  25. Explain the notorious "triangular" trade pattern that proved so profitable to British merchants.

  26. About how many African slaves were transported from Africa during the history of the slave trade? What percentage of this total came during the eighteenth century? Where did most of these slaves go?

  27. How was the concept of "freedom" interpreted in a "society of orders"?

  28. What are sumptuary laws? Why were they passed?

  29. What legal and economic disabilities rested upon the European peasantry? Why were the peasants of western Europe generally more free than those in eastern Europe?

  30. Name three European cities that had attained population of 200,000 or more by 1800.

  31. What change in the structure of society, especially in France, is represented by the rise of the bourgeoisie?

  32. How did the decay of the guild system affect the status of workers?

  33. Describe briefly the nature of education during this period.

  34. Describe the social functions of Carnival and other such celebrations.

  1. "The pattern of life for most Europeans centered on the struggle to stay alive." Explore further how this simple fact affected the daily life of Europeans during the period covered in this chapter.

  2. Investigate further any of the following topics:
    a. The social and economic effects of the enclosure movement
    b. The role of the potato and maize in improving the European diet
    c. The African slave trade
    d. Canal building in England and France
    e. Living conditions in populous cities
    f. The changing status of labor accompanying the decay of the guilds
    g. Village festivals, folklore, and pastimes

  3. Explore the relationship between the Commercial Revolution and the Protestant and Catholic Reformations.

  4. In what respects is mercantilism still an influential force?

  5. Trace the changes in the structure of society and changes in beliefs concerning the "social orders" and the relationships between them.

  6. Support or refute this proposition: "The Commercial Revolution was of substantial benefit to the inhabitants of western Europe."

  7. Read the diary of Samuel Pepys (or selections from it). What sorts of things did he choose to record? What insights do you gain with regard to life in seventeenth-century England?


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REVIEW: World Civilizations
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