Brief Review in Global History and Geography

Causes of Revolution

Document-Based Essay

This task is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents and is based on the accompanying documents (1–6). Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document and any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Directions: Read the documents in Part A and answer the questions after each document. Then, read the directions for Part B and write your essay.

Type in your answers in the text boxes following each question below. You can then e-mail them to your teacher.

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Historical Context: The idea of revolution spread worldwide during the first global age.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you discuss the political, economic, and social conditions that led to political revolutions in the first global age.


Document #1

"Simón Bolívar sent a joyous letter to a fellow general on January 8, 1822, displaying his belief in a unified America. He wrote, "America's greatest day has not yet dawned. We have indeed driven out our oppressor, smashed the tablets of their tyrannical laws, and established legitimate institutions; but we have yet to lay the foundation … that will make of this part of the world a nation of republics." Bolívar was confident that this unified America would impress Europe: "Who shall oppose an America united in heart, subject to one law, and guided by the torch of liberty?"
—adapted from Selected Writings of Bolívar, compiled by Vicente Lecuna and edited by Harold A. Bierck, Jr. (1951)

1. What is Bolívar's vision of the Americas?

Document #2

percentages by estate

2. How was the relationship between population and land ownership one of the causes of the French Revolution?

Document #3

Use the graphs above to answer the following question.

3. How do the graphs above indicate why the First and Second Estate, despite their power, would fear the Third Estate?

Document #4

chain of revolutions

4. According to this diagram, which revolutions were part of the chain reaction set off by Enlightenment ideas?

Document #5

"The pretended power of suspending [ending] of laws. … by [the king's] authority without consent of Parliament is illegal. … It is the right of the subjects to petition the king. … The levying of money for … the use of the crown … without grant of Parliament … is illegal. The raising and keeping of a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace unless it be with the consent of Parliament is against the law. The speech and debates … in Parliament ought not to be … questioned in any court or place out of Parliament. … Excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted."
—Bill of Rights, England (1689)

     "Men are born free and remain equal in rights. … Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally or through his representative in its [the law's] formation. … All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law … no person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. No one shall be disquieted [attacked] on account of his opinions, including his religious views. … Every citizen may speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law."
—Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, France (1789)

     "Congress shall make no law respecting [having to do with] an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging [taking away] the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government. …
     No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner. …
     … Nor shall [any person] be compelled … to be a witness against himself …
     … the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury …; to be confronted with witnesses against him. …
     Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
—Bill of Rights, United States (1791)

5. How do these three documents illustrate cultural diffusion?

Document #6

"The reason men enter into society is to protect their property. And the reason they choose a government is to make laws to guard that property. … Certainly society does not want to give the government the power to destroy the very property which it was chosen to protect. Therefore, whenever government tries to take away and destroy the property of the people, or reduce the people to slavery, it puts itself in a state of war with the people. The people are freed from any further obedience to that government … and have the right to establish a new government."
—John Locke, Two Treatises on Civil Government (1690)

     "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government."
—Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence (1776)

6. What ideas did Thomas Jefferson copy from John Locke?


Directions: Using information from the documents provided and your knowledge of United States history, write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Historical Context: The idea of revolution spread worldwide during the first global age.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you:

Discuss the political, economic, and social conditions that led to political revolutions in the first global age.

Guidelines: When writing your essay, be sure to

  • address all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least four documents.
  • incorporate information from the documents in the body of the essay.
  • incorporate relevant outside information throughout the essay.
  • richly support the theme with relevant facts, examples, and details.
  • write a well-developed essay that consistently demonstrates a logical and clean plan of organization.
  • introduce the theme by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the Task or Historical Context and conclude the essay with a summation of the theme.

When you're done, your answers to your teacher.