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AS and A Level: Modern European History, 1789-1945

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 21
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    How far do you agree that Stalins paranoia was the main cause of the Great Terror?

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    However, his main aim for introducing collectivisation was to eliminate the wealthiest peasants known as the kulaks. By eliminating the kulaks, it therefore meant that more money was able to come into the Russian economy. Through the economic problems that Russia were facing, it allowed Stalin to blame them on his political enemies which would have cause Stalin?s paranoia and therefore allowed him to discreetly achieve his aims and increase his own reputation by seemingly trying to save Russia from the economic problems that they were experiencing. The next cause for the Great Terror was the threats which Stalin had to his leadership and therefore added to Stalin?s paranoia.

    • Word count: 958
  2. How far do you agree that the Revisionist Views (of the causes of the Korean war) is the most accurate?

    Revisionist view of the Korean war is different to those of the traditional and local approaches. They say argue that the Korean war was because of expansionist and aggressive actions by the forces of the world communism, ( as traditional views believe). Historian Kathryn Weathersby shows Stalin as being too cautious to risk escalation of conflict with the USA. This is backed up with some evidence from Khrushchev, who had memoirs which stated that Kim II sung, had informed Stalin of his decision but Stalin replied and said he should think it over. This shows some accuracy too the view, they confirm that Stalin was too take elsewhere his foreign policy and he wasn't planning on spreading world revolution and he gave his agreement, shortly after the Korean war resulted in violence.

    • Word count: 876
  3. What were Stalin's Motives for Soviet expansion, defensive or expansionist ?

    Firstly I'll look at why the people believed it was expansionist, in other words to spread world communism. Stalin had always believed in communist revolution. This was also seen by Truman which introduced the permanent revolution. This was the belief that Russia would not survive because of conflict between capitalism and communism was inevitable. However at the time Stalin put this too the side as he thought it wasn't important but it wasn't forgotten in the future. One of the main reasons that people believed that Stalin was too expand rather than be defensive was the introduction of Comintern.

    • Word count: 708
  4. How valid is the view that, in the period 1855 1964, the lives of the peasants in Russia were constantly miserable?

    Peasants always had poor living and working conditions to contend with, one historian argued that peasantry is "the grimmest aspect of a grim topic", when talking about Russian history. Good examples to support this quote are the famines of 1921 and 1932, both under Communist rule. These were a result of rioting against collectivisation. Peasants did not want to hand over their equipment or produce to the Communists and purposely sabotaged their own stock to rebel. Different historians have estimated at how many deaths were a result of the famines, numbers have been as widely predicted between five and fifteen million people.

    • Word count: 672
  5. Describe the main grievances of the Russian people at the beginning of the 20th century

    Industrial growth after the abolition of serfdom did not really help progress the economy. One school of thought expected that the abolition of serfdom would create a spontaneous upsurge in industrialisation. The Emancipation act did nothing to stimulate a sudden upsurge in industrialisation, but it did not entirely block economic progress either. Though the size of peasant allotments did remain roughly equal, the amounts they actually farmed did not, because poorer households, with insufficient labour or livestock to farm their own allotments, rented them to wealthier peasants who could farm extra land.

    • Word count: 552
  6. Asses the role of Nicholas II in the fall of the Romanov Dynasty

    This loss showed the government's inability to cope with the economic and administrative problems of the war exposed to the Nicholas leadership inability to govern effectively. This was the start of the fall of the Romanov Dynasty which brought out the ineffective and unable side of Nicholas II. Defeats in Crimea and in Manchuria had cast some doubt on the capacity of the Russian army to deal with foreign opponents, and mutinied during 1905 had shown that its willingness to suppress internal dissent was not absolute.

    • Word count: 577
  7. The main threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic in the period 1919 to 1923 came from the political violence of the extreme right. How far do you agree with this judgement?

    The events of the Kapp-L�ttwitz Putsch revealed the army's reluctance to support the Republic. Furthermore, the ex-members of the Freikorps from the right continued to threaten the Republic after the failure of the Kapp-L�ttwitz Putsch. This was due to the way that despite other extreme violence from other organisations the majority of the murders between 1920 and 1922 were from the right, specifically 354 out of the 376. Though, a large General strike paralysed the capital. After L�ttwitz declared Kapp Chancellor, the government fled to Dresden and appealed to the workers to strike in defence of the Republic.

    • Word count: 893
  8. Explain why the Sans Coulottes had so much power by 1793

    The Sans Culottes also offered to round everyone up, but this did not come for free. Their price was the right for all me to vote. The convention decided this was the best way forward and put it through. This added to the Sans Culottes authority amongst the sections and made them rather popular. The Sans Culottes were also given the role to hand out the certificates of citizenship which gave them immense power at this time.

    • Word count: 458
  9. Explain why Stalin came to power by 1929

    Stalin was always 100 per cent committed and he was prepared to go to extreme lengths to get into power, a characteristic that many of the other contenders didn't show, especially Trotsky. Stalin also had the ability to be flexible on his policies and wasn't hesitant to change his ideas. He picked his policies carefully, according to popularity within the party and political awareness. "... He changes his theories according to whom he needs to get rid of next" (Bukharin).

    • Word count: 809
  10. In the years 1925-37, successive British Governments felt that Germany had legitimate grievances and this largely explains the policy of appeasement. How far do you agree with these judgements?

    A majority of Germany's grievances throughout the whole period stemmed from the Treaty of Versailles. Those grievances can then split into groups relating to specific sections of the treaty. Germany had mistrusted France, and since the Treaty of Versailles had never been happy with its eastern borders. To prevent any disagreements escalating the treaty of Locarno was signed, guarantying Germany's western borders, and stating that eastern borders would not be changed by force. This is therefore an example of appeasement caused by a German grievance.

    • Word count: 968
  11. Levels of Literacy in France during seventeenth-century French absolutism under Louis XIV and during the reign of Louis XVI immediately before the French Revolution of 1789

    There then was a division in France's society. They were divided into three estates, the clergy, the nobles, and the rest of the citizens which was a population of ninety-seven percent that was called the Third Estate. Most of the population were not allowed to participate in the decision-making process. The divisions in French society at the time had some obvious reasons, an example of one is the different social classes were either illiterate or literate. Divisions existed during king Louis reign, in men and women, the northern and southern regions of France.

    • Word count: 753
  12. What caused the great terror? The seventeenth party congress of February 1934 is seen by many as the birth of Stalins Great terror, probably the most brutal era in Russias civil history.

    This however was not all, when Stalin finds out some of the elder communist party members tried to convince Kirov to run for party leader. Stalin's trust in the communist leaders is destroyed- he now knows he is not secure as the leader and his already deep-seated paranoia is worsened, he realises that he is not safe within his own party- this is the start of his extreme paranoia of just about everyone in the whole of Russia, but especially of people who held power.

    • Word count: 968
  13. Identify and analyze the political and cultural issues in the debate over Pan-Slavism.

    The political center of the Pan Slavic movement lay in the quest of power through unification. However, more people were doubtful of this idea rather than in favor of it. When looking at the distribution of the Slavs across various empires in Documents 1 and 2, we can see that while they were spread across a fairly range range of land, they were particularly concentrated the the Russian Empire, though most diversified in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The magnitude of the Russian empire in its own right thus almost repulsed some members of it from any sort of unification with other

    • Word count: 951
  14. How far were the domestic reforms of Alexander II mere window dressing by a Tsar whose main intention was to prevent more radical change?

    why the Tsar was really instigating the reforms, it shows that he was very aware of the feeling of unrest among the peasants, and as they made up 80% of the Russian population, the Tsar felt it would be wise to improve their situation and as a result this would strengthen Russia as a whole. This can therefore be seen as an act of the Tsar to keep control of his country and his seat in power. For that reason I feel that this shows that the main intention of this reform was to prevent any radical changes.

    • Word count: 672
  15. Bismarck did not plan the unification of Germany. He merely reacted to events.

    Moreover, with the extreme nationalism happening all over the European countries, the appearance of Bismarck was the most critical point of the whole unification process. As a Prussian, Bismarck is uncommonly loyal to his homeland and therefore, he would only allow the unification of Germany to happen with Prussia as the leader. War was necessary for unification because the balance of great powers would be imbalance as a result and so, Bismarck reformed the army till the point that he was known as Iron Chancellor.

    • Word count: 656
  16. How far had Mussolini achieved his aims in domestic policy by 1939?

    He therefore needed to alter this unfavourable circumstance decisively and carefully to take control of the parliament as a means to establish a totalitarian state which was the core in his domestic policy. In the totalitarian ideology basis, the supremacy over the individual rights of its citizens shouldn't be questioned as the popular Fascism slogan stated, "Everything within the State, nothing against the State, nothing outside the State.". This means liberalism was seen as the national enemy. In his domestic view, Mussolini saw that by having a liberal mind, people would soon voiced out their opinions and soon, his dictatorship would be in the stage of shattering.

    • Word count: 960
  17. How far do you agree that the Dumas were nothing more than rubber stamp assemblies?

    The Tsar pledged to introduce further civil liberties, provide for broad participation in a new "State Duma", and to endow the Duma with legislative and oversight powers. The first Duma opened on 27 April 1906 with roughly 500 deputies. Many radical left parties, such as the Socialist Revolutionary Party had boycotted the election, leaving the moderate Constitutional Democrats aka The Kadets with the most deputies. Second came an alliance of slightly more radical left wing parties, the Trudoviks, with around 100 deputies.

    • Word count: 967
  18. How did the Bolsheviks consolidate their power between 1917 and 1924?

    Lenin's 'April Thesis' in 1917 was a crucial step toward change as he called for a worldwide revolution, an end to the war and an end to the provisional government. The war with Germany was still happening but food production was plummeting and soon Russia was embraced by a devastating famine leading Russia to an economic crisis. As the Bolsheviks took control they immediately stopped all the freedoms that the proletariat had gained, as Lenin described Russia as "the freest country in the world."

    • Word count: 980
  19. Stalins cult of personality was the result of the peoples desire for a leader to worship. How far do you agree or disagree with this statement?

    To begin with, the cult of Stalin grew with the people's psychological want for a leader. Considering the Russian people as 'Tsaristic', he was seen to be a worshipped character that was dearly idolised by his people. Tsaristicness' justified the cult in a way, as the Russian people had been exploited to a way of life which required loyalty and devotion to the cause found in a leader. However it went against the principle of Marxism. Although some records suggest that Stalin encouraged the cult, his daughter said that her father was particularly 'embarrassed' by the attention of the cult.

    • Word count: 845
  20. How far do you agree that the only aim of the radical parties was to overthrow the Tsar?

    The Populists hoped that this would cause the old fashioned strong central government to fade away. This means that it was one of the aims of the Populists to remove the Tsar from power, although they were more opposed to the entire Russian system of Autocracy, and it's removal was to achieve further goals than to simply overthrow the leaders that they did not like, or did not feel were running the country affectively. The plans of the Populists to win the support of the peasants and serfs failed, as they were simply not interested in reform.

    • Word count: 870
  21. Why did Stalin emerge as leader of Russia 1928-1929?

    Since Party Congresses were used to select the Central Committee, Stalin had a powerful influence over the leadership party. Through the Lenin Enrolment he recruited members of the Communist Party, and as Head of the Worker' and Peasant's Inspectorate he had the power to sack party members. In contrast, Stalin's opponents had little institutional power. Zinoviev and Kamenev had only local leadership roles and Trotsky was leader of the Red Army but still inferior to the leaders of the Communist Party. In this way, Stalin had power over the lower and upper ranks of the party and used this to gain support in the leadership struggle.

    • Word count: 773
  22. To what extent was the Italian Liberal state unstable in the years 1896 1914?

    This was shown through statistics; the government had over 20 prime ministers between 1896 and 1914. These ever-changing governments indicated that Liberal politics was not about principle of the good of the nation; it was simply the pursuit of power or its own sake. There was also evidence to show political stability, Liberals had extended the vote for Males, so from 1912 there was effectively universal male suffrage. They also introduced an eight-hour day, income tax and Women's rights. According to the liberals, Italy had a stable political system. The Liberal leader Giovanni Giolotti, who was prime minister for all but three years 1903 - 1914, had managed to co-opt both moderate Socialists and moderate Catholics into governing society.

    • Word count: 947
  23. A Political Failure and the Butcher of the Dardanelles! How Far do You Agree with This Assessment of Churchills Career Between 1902 and 1918?

    This was the government that introduced the idea of the 'welfare state'. Churchill played a part in the social reforms that helped make Britain the country it is today. With Lloyd George supporting his desire to do something about the state of the nation, he was able to put forward ideas to help Britain, and this is something for which we, as a country, can still be grateful for. It was with the help of his talent for speaking to the public and campaigning that these reforms were passed.

    • Word count: 815
  24. How Far was the Failure of the 1848-9 Italian Revolutions Due to the Intervention of Foreign Powers?

    This lead to demonstrations taking place in Venice demanding the release of Manin. Once Manin was released he declared a Venetian republic in Venice. As a result, Grand Duke Leopald granted a conservative constitution in Tuscany. Metternich resigned over the demonstrations for reform in Vienna, and in the same month, King Ferdinand was announced to be no longer then king after the Sicilian elections. After the battle in Milan, where Radetzky withdrew his troops, there was a political vacuum. A provisional government was formed, and they asked for Charles Albert for protection.

    • Word count: 688
  25. Did The Legacy Of The 1848 Revolutions Play a Major Role In The Eventual Unification Of Italy

    On the other hand, both Germany and Italy achieved political unification over the next two decades, and there were a few immediate successes for some revolutionary movements. Austria and Prussia eliminated feudalism by 1850, improving the lot of the peasants. But in 1848, the revolutionaries were idealistic and divided by the multiplicity of aims for which they fought -- social, economic, liberal, and national. Middle-class revolutionaries feared the lower classes, demonstrating different ideas. As some reforms were enacted and the economy improved, some revolutionaries were stopped.

    • Word count: 603

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • "Little more than a show and a sham" Discuss this view of Mussolini's economic policies.

    "In conclusion, Mussolini's economic policies were essentially a show and a sham engineered to ensure the regime's support. The battle for land produced few results but was billed as success on an international level. The battle for lira made the country look strong whilst it actually weakened it and resulted in wage cuts. The corporative state did little for the countries workers and was not effective at helping the nations interests. Despite these failures there were two successes. The main one is the government's dealing with the worldwide depression. Their intervention prevented the levels of mass unemployment and recession that were seen in other Western European countries. To a lesser extent, the battle for grain was a success as by 1940 the country was almost self sufficient in this area. Even with these two successes it must be remembered that the countries national debt before the war was over 150 billion lire. With this taken into account it is reasonable to say that Mussolini's economic policies were a show and a sham. History (NAJ) Fascist Economy Essay 3/7/07 Russell Wright 1"

  • Assess the Reasons why Stalin's Political rivals were Unable to Prevent his Rise to Power

    "In conclusion, those that had the skill to oppose Stalin, like Trotsky, didn't realise how much of a threat was and failed to unite against him. He also had a great deal of luck - Lenin's criticisms of him in his testament were not made public, and he had the charge of factionalism to use to discredit anyone who opposed him. However, perhaps above all the most important reason was Stalin's megalomaniac personality, which made him an ideal dictator. Some have commented on his short height, suggesting that he had a tendency to keep himself to himself and was a "loner". Even the number of executions declined after his death. He was mad, evil and ruthless."

  • To what extent is Fascism a single doctrine?

    "In conclusion, it can be said that Fascism ids a single coherent doctrine to a certain extent since both Nazism and Italian Fascism share many fundamental beliefs. The ideas of both helped to shape the doctrine of Fascism and had profound influences on other Fascist regimes both in Europe and abroad. Most notably, Franco's Spain and Vichy France drew many of their central beliefs from the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini. Yet, there are many significant differences and the two should be treated as separate doctrines owing to the profound clashes over areas such as race and the state. Tessa Jones 13.9"

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