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BHIC-108: Rise of the Modern West – II

BHIC-108: Rise of the Modern West – II

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: BHIC-108/ASST/TMA/2021-2022

Course Code: BHIC-108

Assignment Name: Rise of the Modern West II

Year: 2021 -2022 (July 2021 and January 2022 Sessions)

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Note: There are three Assignments given below. You have to answer all questions.


Assignment – I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1. What do you understand by the seventeenth-century European crisis? Discuss the origins of the crisis. 20

Ans) The General Crisis is a term coined by some (mainly Anglo-Saxon) historians to characterise a period of extensive worldwide war and instability that allegedly happened in Europe between the early 17th and early 18th centuries, as well as in more modern historiography in the world at large.


Since the mid-twentieth century, several researchers have advocated vastly differing definitions, causes, events, periodization, and geographical applicability of a "General Crisis," with arguments between them. Others have dismissed the various concepts of a General Crisis entirely, claiming that there was no such generalised phenomenon connecting various events due to a lack of linkages between the events and widely shared commonalities in their character, and that generalised historical concepts like the 'General Crisis' may be unhelpful in education.


In a 1959 article entitled "The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century," published in the same journal, British conservative historian Hugh Trevor-Roper refined Hobsbawm's notion and coined the phrase "General Crisis." Trevor-Roper perceived a broader problem, "a crisis in the connections between society and the state," which Hobsbawm saw as an economic catastrophe in Europe. Trevor-Roper contended that a complex combination of demographic, religious, economic, and political crises created widespread breakdown in politics, economy, and society in Western Europe during the middle years of the 17th century. The conflict between "Court" and "Country," according to Trevor-Roper, was the most important cause of the "general crisis"; that is, between the increasingly powerful centralising, bureaucratic, sovereign princely states represented by the court and the traditional, regional, land-based aristocracy and gentry representing the country. The Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation brought about intellectual and religious transformations, which he considered as crucial secondary causes of the "universal crisis." The development of modern nation-states, according to Trevor-Roper, prompted the 17th century's "violent socio-economic battles and significant upheavals in religious and intellectual beliefs."


Origins of the Crisis

The broad consensus on the topic is that the European crisis began in the first part of the seventeenth century. Some current researchers present a comprehensive list of revolts and upheavals that resulted in economic downturn, population loss, social instability, and large-scale wars by causing a crisis in the urban economy and trade. The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) wreaked damage on various Central European states, as well as France and Spain. In France, a series of revolts and uprisings began in the province of Aquitaine in response to the introduction of a gabelle (salt) tax. The numerous peasant uprisings in the 1590s and 1620s, as well as Nu Pieds (1637) and the sporadic Croquant peasant revolts during the seventeenth century, posed severe issues for the French rulers.


At the same time, there were further revolts in the Mediterranean region. The revolts in Catalonia, Naples, and Portugal, for example, caused a crisis in the Spanish empire. Several writers argue that a cluster of these revolutionary upheavals, political and social uprisings led to a general crisis in Europe, which originated at separate times but had some characteristics.


Q2. Write a note on the main ideas of Enlightenment in Europe. 20

Ans) The Enlightenment, often known as the Age of Enlightenment, was a philosophical movement in Europe during the 18th century that dominated the world of ideas. It promoted principles like liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state, all based on the premise that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy. The emphasis on the scientific method and reductionism, as well as growing questioning of religious dogma, characterised the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment's ideals challenged the monarchy and the church's power, paving the path for political revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries.


The Enlightenment's principles were essential in sparking the French Revolution, which began in 1789 and highlighted the rights of ordinary people over the elites' exclusive rights. However, race, gender, and class historians point out that Enlightenment values were not intended to be universal in the modern sense. Despite inspiring struggles for the rights of people of colour, women, and the working class, most Enlightenment intellectuals did not support equality for all, regardless of race, gender, or class, instead insisting that rights and freedoms were not hereditary. Although this viewpoint directly opposed the European aristocracy's traditionally exclusive status, it was still mostly limited to expanding the political and individual rights of white males of certain social standing.



In the mid-eighteenth century, Europe saw a burst of intellectual and scientific activity that questioned established ideas and dogmas. Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau led the philosophic movement, advocating for a society founded on reason rather than faith and Catholic theology, a new civic order based on natural law, and science based on experimentation and observation. The political philosopher Montesquieu proposed the concept of a division of powers in government, which the framers of the United States Constitution eagerly adopted. While the philosophers of the French Enlightenment were not revolutionaries, and many were nobles, their views were essential in eroding the legitimacy of the Old Regime and influencing the French Revolution.



While the Enlightenment cannot be reduced to a single belief or collection of dogmas, science did come to dominate Enlightenment discourse and thought. Many Enlightenment writers and intellectuals came from scientific backgrounds, and they linked scientific progress to the demise of religion and traditional authority in favour of the rise of free speech and thought. In general, Enlightenment science emphasised empiricism and rational thought, and it was infused with the Enlightenment ideal of progress and growth. Science's benefits were not generally recognised, as they were with most Enlightenment ideas.



Religious commentary during the Enlightenment was a response to Europe's previous century of religious strife. Enlightenment thinkers aimed to limit organised religion's political authority to avoid a new era of intolerant religious warfare. Deism and atheism were among the novel ideas that emerged. The latter was much debated, although there were few supporters. Many people, like Voltaire, believed that society's moral order would be jeopardised without trust in a God who punishes evil.


Assignment – II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q3. Describe the contributions of the natural philosophers in development of astronomy and physics in the seventeenth century. 10

Ans) Although the 17th century is regarded as a period of considerable scientific advancements, the term "scientist" was not used until 1840. Galileo, Kepler, Bacon, Pascal, Descartes, and Newton all lived during this century. Natural philosophers were their moniker.


Johannes Kepler was born at a time when astronomy and astrology were intertwined. Kepler thought that the world was created by a Creator who employed geometry to build order and harmony, which he could explain using musical concepts. He mistakenly believed that his Celestial Physics revealed just God's geometrical purpose for the universe.


Galileo was aware of the development of a new optical apparatus. He began to create his own superior versions with increased magnification. His early telescopes only enhanced the view to eighth power, but he continued to improve his telescope. Although it had a very narrow field of view, Galileo's telescope could now magnify around 10 times more than normal vision. Because it demonstrated the relationship between the weight and volume of various materials, Galileo's compass could be used as a gunner's gauge. Galileo established experimentation, the cornerstone of contemporary science, by using observation rather than supposition to help him formulate concepts, such as his laws on the motion of falling bodies.


Sir Isaac Newton, an Englishman, was possibly the greatest figure of the century. He combined the ideas of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo into one system of mathematical rules in his book Principia Mathematica to explain the three laws of motion of substances and his theory of universal gravitation in an organised manner. The sun, moon, earth, planets, and all other bodies moved in accordance with the same basic gravitational force, according to Newton's law.


Q4. Discuss the role of colonial trade in the industrialization of Western Europe. 10

Ans) Between the 1780s and 1849, an unparalleled economic revolution underpinned the development of modern Europe, encompassing the early phases of the Great Industrial Revolution as well as a broader expansion of commercial activity. Commercialization was ramped up in a variety of areas. Activist peasants expanded their landholdings, often at the expense of their less fortunate neighbours, who joined the ranks of the near-propertyless. These peasants, in turn, produced food for metropolitan markets that were expanding. Hundreds of thousands of rural producers worked full- or part-time to make thread and cloth, nails, and tools under the sponsorship of urban merchants, boosting domestic manufacturing. In the cities, craft employment began to shift toward production for distant markets, encouraging artisan-owners to consider their journeymen as wage labourers rather than coworkers.


The colonial world gave capital for industrialisation, raw materials, and markets for manufactured goods to European economies. Imports of low-cost food also helped to raise living standards. Slave earnings, according to one estimate, accounted for 0.5 percent of Britain's national revenue in 1770, nearly 8% of overall investment, and 39% of commercial and industrial capital. The expansion of the British textile industry was aided by the colonial market for British goods. Colonial trade accounted for 15% of Britain's national income between 1750 and 1800. In the 18th century, the British textile industry would not have been able to compete with Indian textiles without the advantages afforded by slave-based plantations. The slave trade and plantations are linked to the construction of port cities like Liverpool and Bristol, as well as cotton manufacturing centres like Manchester. Slavery or slave trade earnings fuelled the development of banks like Barclays and Lloyds, which eventually aided in the financing of industries.


Q5. Write a note on Oliver Cromwell and his role in English Revolution. 10

Ans) Although Oliver Cromwell ruled without regard for legislative approval, he overturned many of the Monarchy's policies and considered the interests of the new gentry and middle classes. In 1649, he put down the Irish uprising, and in 1650-51, he invaded Scotland, defeating forces loyal to the monarchy, followed by battles with the Dutch Republic and Spain. The Rump Parliament was dissolved by Cromwell in 1653 due to disagreements over religious policy and finances during rebellions. He formed a new Parliament with 140 members of his choosing, dissolved it soon after, and assumed the title of "Lord Protector" to separate himself from the title of King. The Lord Protector and the Council of State shared power in the Protectorate, which was governed by the Instrument of Government.


It established a Parliament that included representatives from Scotland and Ireland in addition to England. They were elected, albeit on a very limited franchise based on private property, which meant that the representatives would effectively be the landed aristocracy, including new gentry, of the time. The Parliament can now adopt legislation and levy taxes in accordance with the Constitution. It is credited with producing England's first written constitution. There was a lot of land sales, especially among the Church, Royalists, and Crown officials, which helped to consolidate the new aristocracy and the privilege of private property. Cromwell died and was succeeded by his son Richard, but his lack of authority allowed the son of former king Charles, who made conciliatory overtures and returned to the throne as Charles II, to be invited.



Assignment – III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q1. Reformation and Counter-Reformation 6

Ans) The terms Catholic Reformation and Counter-Reformation are used by academics to describe the changes in the Roman Catholic Church that happened between the 1400s and 1500s.


Catholic Reformation

Many individuals were dissatisfied with the behaviour of high-ranking Catholic Church officials during the end of the Middle Ages. Many Christians were looking for new ways to display their devotion to God at the same time. Their worries sparked a reform movement.



Martin Luther, a German monk, challenged the Roman Catholic Church on several doctrines in 1517. He claimed, for example, that only God's grace could save individuals from eternal punishment and that human efforts could not lead to salvation. In addition, he focused his theology on the Bible rather than church traditions and customs.


Q2. Proto-industrialization in Early Modern Europe 6

Ans) The term proto industrialization referred to the development of domestic industries that produced goods and commodities for export. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, the development of such enterprises was observed in numerous parts of Europe. These so-called "proto-industries" grew primarily in rural areas, coexisting and developing alongside agriculture. They didn't make use of any cutting-edge technologies. In such businesses, the labour force was likewise not concentrated in the form of factory manufacturing. Early modern Europe's substantial industrial progress in the home arena piqued people's interest, but it was also a contentious topic. This was then used as one of the explanations for the transition from feudalism to capitalism and the rise of factory industrialization.


Q3. Mercantilism 6

Ans) Mercantilism was a commercial economic system that existed from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Mercantilism is founded on the idea that the world's wealth is constant, hence many European countries tried to amass the maximum possible portion of it by maximising their exports and limiting their imports through tariffs.


Mercantilism was predicated on the concept that boosting exports, and hence commerce, was the greatest way to increase a country's wealth and influence. To maintain the premise that a nation's economic health was significantly reliant on its supply of capital, mercantilism frequently used military strength to ensure local markets and supply sources were preserved.


Q4. Nature of Colonisation in America 6

Ans) The social status of each colonist determined the structure of Colonial Society in the 1700s. Even though America was a land of opportunity, the early American colonists had moved from Europe, where strong social classes were in force, and these class-ridden social structures were transported to America and governed Colonial Society. In America, income was the most essential element in determining which class a person belonged to. As in Europe, the people you might mix with were first determined by your social standing, class, education, family background (power and influence), and social standing. There was a great desire to replicate British civilization, particularly among those in the Southern Colonies.


Q5. Rationalism 6

Ans) Rationalism is a way of thought that emphasises that pure reason can serve as a source of knowledge for us without being constrained by our concrete experiences. Rationalism divides the human cognitive faculties into three categories: pure intellect, senses, and imagination. The pure intellect was the faculty that allowed people to learn new things. Rationalism is the belief that substantive truths about the nature of reality may be determined solely from the intellect, without the aid of the imagination or the senses. Rationalism asserted, directly or implicitly, that a priori reasoning could be used to understand the nature of truth and reality.

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