history

Western Civilization II

Western Civilization traces it roots from Greek antiquity to the present day. Through the Roman Empire, into the rise of Western Christendom, Europe emerged from the Middle Ages to the transforming eras of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment to the present day norm of democracy. Philosophical thought, artistic expression, political influences and scientific and technological advancements spread from the West to produce the dominant cultures of the world.

Western Civilization II covers the political, economic, scientific and cultural events that shaped the modern history of the West (primarily Europe). This course focuses on the outcomes which emerged from scientific thought, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and both World Wars. It is a broad survey introduction to the history of Europe from the 17th century to the present day.

The Western Civilization II CLEP exam covers material that is usually taught in the second semester of a two-semester course in Western Civilization.

The exam contains 120 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. The College Board provides the parameters for the exam which we have listed below.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WESTERN CIVILIZATION II:

  • Understanding important factual knowledge of developments in Western civilization
  • Ability to identify the causes and effects of major historical events
  • Ability to analyze, interpret, and evaluate textual and graphic materials
  • Ability to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant
  • Ability to reach conclusions on the basis of facts

The subject matter of the Western Civilization II exam is drawn from the following topics.

ABSOLUTISM and CONSTITUTIONALISM, 1648-1715: 7-9% of the exam

Absolutism emerges when a monarch exerts absolute power to rule by ‘divine right’. Constitutional governments are limited by law and all citizens are subject to those laws.

  • The Dutch Republic
  • The English Revolution
  • France under Louis XIV
  • Formation of Austria and Prussia
  • The “westernization” of Russia

COMPETITION FOR EMPIRE and ECONOMIC EXPANSION: 4-6% of the exam

  • Global economy of the eighteenth century
  • Europe after Utrecht, 1713-1740
  • Demographic change in the eighteenth century

THE SCIENTIFIC VIEW OF THE WORLD: 5-7% of the exam

The Scientific ‘Revolution’ is use to describe the emergence of modern science.

  • Major figures of the scientific revolution
  • New knowledge of man and society
  • Political theory

PERIOD OF ENLIGHTENMENT: 7-9% of the exam

The Enlightenment (aka Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason) was an intellectual movement which dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century.

  • Enlightenment thought
  • Enlightened despotism
  • Partition of Poland

REVOLUTION and NAPOLEONIC EUROPE: 10-13% of the exam

  • The Revolution in France
  • The Revolution and Europe
  • The French Empire
  • Congress of Vienna

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: 7-9% of the exam

The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from 1760-1840s.

  • Agricultural and industrial revolution
  • Causes of revolution
  • Economic and social impact on working and middle class
  • British reform movement

POLITICAL and CULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS, 1815-1848: 6-8% of the exam

  • Conservatism
  • Liberalism
  • Nationalism
  • Socialism
  • The Revolutions of 1830 and 1848

POLITICS and DIPLOMACY IN THE AGE OF NATIONALISM, 1850-1914: 8-10% of the exam

Nationalism is a concept involving a shared communal identification within a nation. The mid 19th century to the early part of the 20th saw a rise in nationalism across Europe.

  • The unification of Italy and Germany
  • Austria-Hungary
  • Russia
  • France
  • Socialism and labor unions
  • European diplomacy, 1871-1900

ECONOMY, CULTURE, and IMPERIALISM, 1850-1914: 7-9% of the exam

  • Demography
  • World economy of the nineteenth century
  • Technological developments
  • Science, philosophy, and the arts
  • Imperialism in Africa and Asia

THE FIRST WORLD WAR and THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION: 10-12% of the exam

  • The causes of the First World War
  • The economic and social impact of the war
  • The peace settlements
  • The Revolution of 1917 and its effects

EUROPE BETWEEN THE WARS: 7-9% of the exam

  • The Great Depression
  • International politics, 1919-1939
  • Stalin’s five-year plans and purges
  • Italy and Germany between the wars
  • Interwar cultural developments

THE SECOND WORLD WAR and CONTEMPORARY EUROPE: 8-10% of the exam

  • The causes and course of the Second World War
  • Postwar Europe
  • Science, philosophy, the arts, and religion
  • Social and political developments

Each college sets their own credit-granting policies for the exam, so check with your college admissions office, test center, or academic adviser before taking the test.

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