This course has examined a number of threads of criticism and rebellion against the rational universalism of the Enlightenment. In this short essay, you will examine how the critique of Enlightenment developed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Threads of criticism and rebellion against the rational universalism
History 200B (W 2020)
Firstly, This open-book essay exam seeks to assess your understanding of the Western intellectual tradition within its social, political, and cultural contexts from the eighteenth century up to the twentieth century.
Secondly, Using the primary and secondary sources you have been provided, you will write two (2) short essays based on the selection of questions below.
Thirdly, Each essay should be between three and five pages, double-spaced for a total of six to ten pages.
Also, The final exam essays are due 4:30pm (on Moodle). The Moodle submission page will close at 6:30pm.
Further, Your essay answers should draw on the course’s primary source readings, the textbook, and the lectures. Please do not seek out any additional outside sources.
Moreover, You may not write about the author or topic covered by your term paper.
Lastly, Please clearly identify your two essays by giving each essay its own heading that clearly identifies the question you are responding to.
You may choose to write on two of the following three essay questions:
1. This course has examined a number of threads of criticism and rebellion against the rational universalism of the Enlightenment. In this short essay, you will examine how the critique of Enlightenment developed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, examine how Romanticism was a reaction against the ideas of the Enlightenment, and how the appeal of irrationalism in the later nineteenth century served to leave the Enlightenment tradition in disarray in the early twentieth century.
2. The mid-nineteenth century was an important period for the development of modern political ideologies such as liberalism and socialism. In this short essay, examine the evolution of liberalism as it developed through the ideas of J.S. Mill, T.H. Green, and Herbert Spencer and connect their ideas to the appearance of Marxist socialism and Marx’s economic and political thinking.
3. The period after World War I saw the emergence of distinctive political formations known as totalitarian states. The most significant of these were Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hitler’s Nazi Germany. What were the distinctive features of the totalitarian state and what drove the development of these features in Stalinist Russia and in the fascist states of Europe? Having situated these state structures, examine how these developments impacted European society after World War I, particularly in terms of the rise of existentialism.