Final Exam Paper: (35 percent of course grade)
You will write a short paper (4-5 pages typed) using as your main source John Abreth, The Black Death: The Great Mortality of 1348-1350, A Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005). Format your paper with 1-inch margins all around, put your name in the top right hand corner, number and staple the pages, and start your paper at the top of the page 1.
Below you will find four different questions, each of which requires that you use documents from Abreth, The Black Death. You will answer "your" question using background material from the Hunt textbook and from the narrative sections in the Abreth book, but focusing primarily on the analysis of relevant documents in Abreth, The Black Death.
You must answer ONE of these questions in a 4-5 page essay.
Your essay must present detailed analysis of evidence in the documents. In other words, you are going to do what historians do--use primary sources to answer a question about the past.
When you quote, paraphrase, or summarized information from the any of the assigned readings (including Albreth), you must use endnotes (see linked directions for endnotes).
Do not use any "extra" essays, books, websites, etc. to answer the exam question! The exam is testing how well you analyze the material assigned for the class, so using "outside" material defeats the purpose of the exam.
You will get the exam questions at our last Tuesday class session. They will be due at our final exam session.
In grading your exam, my primary concern is the accuracy, clarity, and logic of your answer, which will account for 90 percent of your grade. I also will base 10 percent of your grade on use of proper grammar, punctuation, and endnote form.
Here are the four questions:
1. This question has two parts: a) According to authors writing in the 1300s, where did the Black Death originate and how was it transmitted from victim to victim?; b) what did "experts" at the time suggest be done to prevent the spread of the plague and to treat people who had contracted it?
2. Based upon documents from the 1300s in Abreth book, what sorts of impact did the Black Death have on the European economy and on society in general? For example, did it affect agriculture and on trade? If so, how? Did it re-shape popular attitudes towards various social groups, such as Jews? If so, how?
3. Based upon documents from the 1300s in the Abreth book, how did the Black Death affect people's religious views (religious mentalities). For example, did the experience of the plague promote extreme or "hysteric" forms of religious practice? Did it radicalize popular attitude towards non-Christians (i.e., Jews)?
4. What do works of art presented in the Albreth book (poems, tomb carvings, etc.) tell us about the impact of the Black Death on European society and culture?