eHISTORY 9D: FINAL EXAMINATION QUESTIONS
Three of the following questions will appear on the final examination.
You will have to
answer two of them.
I shall choose one of the questions for everyone to answer.
You will choose the
other from the remaining two (80%):
Just as the period of Late Antiquity provided the context for the emergence of Islam, the first
decades of the sixteenth century provided the context for the emergence of the modern Middle
Late antiquity – four aspects
No single religion imposed
Monotheistic belief can grow
Empires not concerned about the south, when they fought over the central plain
Empires devasted by the warfare, subject to Islamic conquest
During the late antiquity, there were four aspects that allowed Islam to emerge. First, the
imperial governments did not impose single religion and culture throughout the territory. Government
did not forbid other religions, especially in the peripheral areas. Islam can grow without strong
governmental opposition. Second, many monotheistic beliefs had already existed in the area, so that
people were familiar with the ideas and could accept a new monotheistic religion. Third, while
Byzantine Empire and Sasanian Empire fought over the control of central plain, including Levant and
Mesopotamia, both empires were not so concerned about what was happening in the south, Arabian
Peninsula. Therefore, Islamic communities grew and became strong before the empires could perceive
the threat. Lastly, both empires were too devastated to respond to such threat because of the huge
expense brought by the constant warfare in the sixth century. As a result, they were subject to the
Islamic conquest that began in the seventh century. Under this context, Islam was able to emerge,
flourish and expand.
Likewise, the events in the early sixteenth century provided context for the Middle East to enter
modern world. Modernity can be composed of two large themes, world economy and the modern nation-
state system. Three events in the early 16
century around the world enabled Middle East to become
integrated into the global economy and to adopt the modern state system – the emergence of huge and
long-lasting empires, the commercial revolution and the Protestant Reformation.
Role of the gunpowder empires – transition, ended military-patronage states, use gunpowder to
subdue tribes within and defend against invasion, stability – bureaucracy, piracy, monopoly, law
and order for agriculture, integration
Commercial revolution [technological breakthroughs and new institutions] => trade
, more large
scale trades => encouraged specialization => the world system began to emerge => incorporated
Protestant Reformation => religious wars => Westphalia Treaty 1648 => territorial states =>
states become competitive over resources => modern world system and competition in the