History 115: World History since 1500 Online Final Exam
Spring 2018 Dr. Hasenyager
Exam format: Your final exam is based on your reading, comprehension, and analysis of background information and various primary documents relating to the Saint-Domingue rebellion/Haitian revolution. First you will “do your homework,” so to speak, on the rebellion, its background and consequences, then you’ll read the actual words of witnesses and participants, and finally you’ll put it all together in your own analsyis.
Read the assigned readings and videos in the order I’ve posted them! This will help you get started and equip you with a broad picture of the rebellion, where it fits in the greater picture of Atlantic World revolutions, and how it developed over time.
Everything can be found in the Assignments/Final folder on Blackboard. The reading excerpts, relevant PowerPoint, and links to the three videos are in one folder, and all of the primary documents in the other. I know it seems like a lot, but the readings are all very short and the videos last, in total, about 90 minutes. I strongly recommend taking brief written notes while you read/watch; this will save you a lot of time in the long run!
Format: The final is split into three sections. Each section should be given its own section heading (and in the case of the primary documents, its own sub-heading as well).
Your responses must be proofread and show evidence of careful work. (Typos happen, but I will deduct points for sloppy writing). They must be double-spaced, and typed in 12 point Times New Roman font. Quotations and direct references should be cited parenthetically, for example, (Mossut, p. 70).
Due: Thursday, May 10th, by 12 pm. You will submit your answers as a single Word file through the link provided. Late work will not be accepted!
Exam Prompt: Please read carefully!!!!!!
Section I, Background question: Briefly describe what life was like in the colony of Saint Domingue on the eve of the French Revolution (meaning the late 1780s)? How was society divided, and what was life like for the various groups on the island? Why did so many observers believe the colony was an explosion waiting to happen. Why is the French Revolution relevant anyway? [write at least one full paragraph—that’s about 4-6 sentences—though you may write a second as well; 5%]
Section II, Primary documents summaries: Summarize each of the documents in your own words. Who is the author, what is his topic, and what is his point of view? If an actual name isn’t provided, what can you tell about the author(s) based on the document? What does each document tell you about the revolt and how it grew and changed over time? Write at least three complete sentences for each. Please be sure to label each of your answers so I can follow along.
Please note: each document has a brief introduction from the series editor which situates it in the larger context of the rebellion. Use these to help your own understanding, but do not refer to or quote from them! [45% total]
Section III:, Analysis questions
1) How do the views of the rebellion presented in these sources line up with the interpretations presented in the PBS documentary Egalité for All, and the Crash Course video? What do the documents add to your previous understanding? Your answer should be a minimum of two full paragraphs (150-200 words), but can be longer if you choose. [10%]
2) What role did the gens du couleur libres (the free people of color) play in the rebellion? What were their concerns and motivations? Did these remain the same throughout the conflict? How much did they agree or disagree amongst themselves? What do you make of their behavior? Be sure to make direct reference to the relevant readings and information that you are using! Your answer should be a minimum of 250-300 words (1 page) and no more than 400 words. [20%]
3) Historians often refer to political revolutions as happening “from above” (meaning that they were primarily brought about and directed by the elites) or “from below” (meaning the driving force came from poorer, oppressed, or otherwise marginalized parts of the population. Revolutions “from above” are often considered to be more moderate, with leaders intent of reforming society, while those “from below” might focus on radically overhauling or even overthrowing the existing system.
Which label you think best describes Haiti’s revolution, and why? Write two full paragraphs defending your answer, and then write at least a full paragraph arguing the opposite case. Make sure you use specific evidence from your sources to back up your answers. [Approximately 300-400 words; 20%]