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Western Civilization II

Description of the Examination

The Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present examination covers material that is usually taught in the second semester of a two-semester course in Western Civilization. Questions cover European history from the mid-seventeenth century through the post-Second World War period including political, economic, and cultural developments such as Scientific Thought, the Enlightenment, the French and Industrial Revolutions, and the First and Second World Wars. Candidates may be asked to choose the correct definition of a historical term, select the historical figure whose political viewpoint is described, identify the correct relationship between two historical factors, or detect the inaccurate pairing of an individual with a historical event. Groups of questions may require candidates to interpret, evaluate, or relate the contents of a passage, a map, a picture, or a cartoon to the other information, or to analyze and use the data contained in a graph or table.

The examination contains 120 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the Western Civilization II examination require candidates to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities:

  • 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 examination is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentages of exam questions on those topics.

7%–9%
Absolutism and Constitutionalism, 1648–1715

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

4%–6%
Competition for empire and economic expansion

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

5%–7%
The scientific view of the world

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

7%–9%
Period of Enlightenment

  • Enlightenment thought
  • Enlightened despotism
  • Partition of Poland

10%–13%
Revolution and Napoleonic Europe

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

7%–9%
The Industrial Revolution

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

6%–8%
Political and cultural developments, 1815–1848

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

8%–10%
Politics and diplomacy in the Age of Nationalism, 1850–1914

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

7%–9%
Economy, culture, and imperialism, 1850–1914

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

10%–12%
The First World War and the Russian Revolution

  • 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

7%–9%
Europe between the wars

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

8%-10%
The Second World War and contemporary Europe

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

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