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

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 21
  • Peer Reviewed essays 2
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  1. How successfully did Mussolini manage opposition to his regime

    The Acerbo law stated that the party that had gained the majority of votes in the election would receive two-thirds of the seats in parliament (provided that it had at least gained 25% of the votes cast). The passing of the Acerbo law transformed the electoral system and secured Mussolini's parliamentary position after the March 1924 elections, in which the fascists gained 65% of total votes cast. However it also gathered increased opposition towards Mussolini to which Mussolini acted powerlessly against.

    • Word count: 1145
  2. "A society of onlookers and bystanders. How far do you agree with this description of German society from 1933 to 1939?

    events.[2] Moreover, Frei talks of the popular reaction to the boycott of Jewish shops as being far from widespread support, with the majority of people were unable to "identify with it."[3] Having been called by the Gauleiter of Nuremberg in March 1933 without any popular demand, the majority of Germans neither opposed the boycott nor supported it; a sense of collective indifference seems to best characterise the reaction of ordinary Germans. The fact that many households stocked up on goods from these shops in anticipation of the boycott and continued to patronise them after it ceased, reveals that although the

    • Word count: 1562
  3. How effectively did Weimar governments deal with the problems faced between 1919-1929?

    However, by the end of 1923 political and economic stability were being restored to Germany, and the Weimar did not face any challenges until 1929. Overall, I would say that the republic effectively managed with the problems it was faced during 1919-29. During the Weimar Republic the political system faced some of the problems ineffectively as the Weimar Republic failed to provide a stable government this was because very few Germans really believed in democracy. The government was constantly unstable because there was no election threshold in the constitution, this resulted in a lot of smaller parties being elected to parliament.

    • Word count: 2033
  4. Russian failure during the Russo-Japanese war was the principal catalyst for Revolution in Russia in 1905. How far do you agree with this statement?

    Despite Japan being widely viewed as an inferior military power, the war provided many humiliating defeats for Russia and after a final naval embarrassment at Tsushima in May 1905, Russia withdrew its remaining forces from Manchuria and accepted the Japanese control of Korea and Port Arthur. This defeat seems to prove to be a significant catalyst for the 1905 Revolution. Defeat to an Asiatic power contributed further to the view that the Tsarist government was incompetent and drew yet more attention to the government?s shortcomings as opposed to averting attention as was intended.

    • Word count: 1438
  5. A Stalinist but not a Marxist country. How accurate is this judgement of the USSR up to 1939?

    Stalin had used his personality cult for his own benefit and wanted to ensure an unwavering and everlasting support from the Soviets, and turned USSR from a once Marxist-Leninist country to a Stalinist country. Stalin?s policies were also not based on what was practiced under Marxist ideology. During his rule, he had promoted women?s status and family values which was not evident according to Marxist theory. Stalin had passed the Family Code 1936 to strengthen family values. Under the Family Code, the government began to award payments to women with large families, banned abortions, and made divorces more difficult to obtain to ensure the strengthening of family ties and values.

    • Word count: 831
  6. Was the work of Gustav Stresemann the main reason for the Weimar governments ability to overcome the challenges it faced during 1919 to 1929?

    Which of these challenges were overcome and in what ways? 3. To what extent had Germany recovered from these challenges? A fundamental challenge faced by the Weimar government was the highly conservative nature of the German political culture. Following the establishment of the Weimar Republic, there was a prevailing sentiment of suspicion towards democracy. People were accustomed to the traditional forms of government ? this new system was based on discussion and elections, which in a way made it appear more weak and indecisive to many.

    • Word count: 2074
  7. How far do you agree that opposition to the Weimar Government In the years 1918-32 was rooted in a hatred of the Treaty of Versailles?

    This belief was nicknamed the ?Stab in the back? myth and was one of the reasons why so many people resented and opposed the Weimar government. Groups such as the Freikorps formed out of a hatred of the terms in the Treaty of Versailles. The Freikorps were a group of ex-soldiers who lost their jobs as a result of the military restrictions put on Germany in the Versailles treaty. Their aim was to overthrow the Weimar government and replace it with a military dictatorship.

    • Word count: 769
  8. Essay plan. To what extent was the First World War responsible for the downfall of the Romanovs in 1917?

    Nicholas did this by issuing a set of Fundamental laws on the 23rd of April 1906, the eve of the opening of the first Duma. * The Fundamental laws only reinforced the Tsar?s autocratic power and disengaged any potential government reform of Parliament by seizing its power. * Nicholas?s half hearted idea of reform was not intended to satisfy the people?s desire for a share in representative government but to only safeguard his position as Tsar. * This started to become evident to the people when the third Duma (1907-1912)

    • Word count: 1448
  9. Why did the Reds win the Civil War - Russia essay plan

    Because they had abundant resources while the Whites did not? Paragraph 2 (Short) (6mins) The Reds won the Civil war partly because of their enemy?s disunity and lack of organisation. The Reds could therefore exploit the White?s major weaknesses in order to secure a victory. = Unity + Organisation * Whites: Some members were liberal and just satisfied with the returning of the Provisional government * Whites: The generals distrusted each other ? Didn?t communicate with each other about attacks ? bases already far apart * Reds: Conscription was introduced and Trotsky hand picked loyal soldiers ? army increased from

    • Word count: 601
  10. Explain how Italian military weakness in the period 1940-43 contributed to Italy's failure in the Second World War.

    The Chief of the Army staff complained to Mussolini. Mussolini assured him that there was no need for concern as the army was mainly intended for show and not for action! Mussolini gambled everything on a ?lightning war? or ?guerra lampo?. This was inoperable partly because Italy had no equivalent to Germany?s Panzer divisions (not enough tanks for this), and, partly because Italian generals were intensely suspicious of such methods.

    • Word count: 575
  11. Explain the reasons for the rise of Fascism in Italy between 1919 and 1922

    In 1921 the Fascists were included in the Giolitti?s list of election candidates which gave them more respectability. Fascist ideology was vague, promising something for everyone; it seemed to offer an end to class divisions. Some liked its anti-socialism and others liked its revolutionary syndicalism. Young people especially were attracted by the emphasis on change. The Fascists also had the support of influential people and groups, such as the King. The King was disillusioned with parliamentary leadership and feared a left-wing coup. Mussolini?s participation in government would have provided welcome strength against the left wing threat.

    • Word count: 504
  12. Explain how the closer relations with Hitler in the period 1940-43 contributed to Italy's failure in WW2.

    It appeared that the war would soon be won by Germany. It was, therefore, imperative to ?assist? Germany before the opportunity to gain economically and territorial gains from the war was lost. He feared being isolated in a German dominated Europe. Militarily, Germany was not a trustworthy ally. Mussolini pushed ahead with the ?parallel war? despite the fact that Germany was unlikely to co-operate with Italian desire for French colonies. Hitler was unwilling to hand France?s North African colonies to Italy, preferring to leave them and the French Med fleet under the puppet Vichy regime to ensure the latter?s permanent collaboration.

    • Word count: 502
  13. Explain how the failure to prepare for war in the period 1940-43 contributed to Italy's failure in the Second World War

    Despite pre-war claims that Italy would have an army of up to 12 million, the armed forces in practice never reached even the size of the Italian army in the First World War. The army, navy and air force were ill-supplied, barely any defences existed against aerial bombing, Italy?s intelligence network was inadequate and all branches of the armed forces competed against each other in ordering supplies. Large sums had been spent on rearmament, and 11.8% of national income had been spent on armed forces, but much of it had been squandered on purchasing inadequate weaponry and on providing luxurious living quarters for officers.

    • Word count: 506
  14. To what extent would you agree that Mussolinis invasion of Abyssinia was his greatest failure in foreign policy in the period 19221939?

    The Ethiopian government replied by requesting a League of Nations investigation. The League agreed and set up an inquiry. Mussolini had no interest in waiting for the results of such an investigation, as he had already issued a secret order for the ?total conquest of Ethiopia? in Dec, 1934, and was intent on building up his military forces in the area. Even though Mussolini gained Abyssinia, it can be viewed as a failure for many reasons. The war had been very expensive. It had forced the government into borrowing and had diverted industrial production into armament production. It contributed greatly to the poor state of the Italian economy in the years leading up to the Second World War.

    • Word count: 1160
  15. The most important effects of the First World War on Italy between 1915 and 1918 were political. How far would you agree with this statement?

    Membership rose from 50,000 in 1914 to over 200,000 by 1919. There were close state-industry links (centralisation) in an attempt to make sure Italy could produce the armaments it needed, regardless of the economic cost. As the war progressed economic decline only worsened the divisions in government. Giolitti?s neutralist stance led to him being politically isolated from 1915 after being accused of defeatism. Furthermore, the humiliating defeat at Caporetto led to reorganisation and promise of major social reforms, because military failings were always blamed on the weak government.

    • Word count: 1212
  16. Explain the successes of Mussolinis foreign policy up to 1939.

    When the Greeks refused, he ordered the bombardment and occupation of the island of Corfu, off the Greek mainland. Ultimately the Duce had little choice but to withdraw, although he did receive the 50 million lire compensation. Another success was Fiume in 1923. Within 2 weeks of the settlement of the Corfu crisis, Mussolini installed an Italian military commander to rule the disputed Italian-speaking port of Fiume. He also experienced success at Locarno in 1925. He enjoyed being taken seriously as a European statesman, and hoped that his apparent moderation would lead to concessions of some sort from Britain and France.

    • Word count: 606
  17. In what ways was Mussolini cautious in his approach to Foreign Policy in the 1920s?

    Undoubtedly, however, they helped to consolidate Mussolini?s domestic position. In August 1923 an Italian general and four of his staff were assassinated in Greece. The Corfu incident of 1923 was an exception to this cautious approach, but the British led the other European powers in opposing this Italian Aggression, and Mussolini was forced to give up Corfu. The episode showed that Italy was not strong enough to resist the more powerful countries of Europe. Mussolini would clearly need to work with Britain rather than against her in pursuing his ambitions ? at least in the short term.

    • Word count: 498
  18. Explain the aims of Mussolinis Foreign Policy in the 1920s.

    Italy would achieve great-power status via military build-up, diplomatic intrigue and, if need be, war. She would one day be the dominant power in the Mediterranean, would develop and even expand her colonial empire in Africa, and would have the Balkans as her own sphere of influence. The Duce would be the architect of all this, and would have transformed the Italians into a more energetic and aggressive people in the process.

    • Word count: 505
  19. Explain the attitudes of the Neutralists and Interventionists to Italys entry in the First World War

    A quote attributed to them is, ?long live war the world?s best hygiene!? The Nationalists had similar ideas; they wanted Italy to be great again and believed that war and violence would lead to Italy becoming a great power and remove feelings of inferiority. Their leader, Corradini, was particularly concerned with the irredentist lands. These were lands that were ruled by foreigners, such as Trieste and South Tyrol. He believed war would reclaim these lands for Italy. They also had imperial ambitions and believed Italy was entitled to colonies.

    • Word count: 600
  20. Explain what Mussolini hoped to gain by entering the Second World War in 1940

    Additionally Mussolini felt that it would be a short war and the collapse of Britain and France was anticipated and close at hand. Mussolini was used to being on the winning side so wanted to enter with Germany to gain the most territorial gains. Mussolini wanted to expand and develop his colonial empire and he had ambitions in the Balkans, Africa and the Mediterranean.

    • Word count: 500
  21. Analyse Extracts 8 and 9 by Hildebrand and Watt. How far do you agree with the view that Hitler carefully planned out Germanys foreign policy years before he came to power?

    On the other hand, ?Intentionalists? believe in a master plan behind Hitler?s foreign policy that was intended to and was responsible for starting the Second World War. Hildebrand is an intentionalist and Watt is a structuralist. Hildebrand?s point of view is that even before coming to power, Hitler had distinct aims and knew how he would achieve them in a set out plan. Hildebrand says that the evidence for this is in Mein Kampf and the fact that Hitler met with the army leaders very shortly after becoming chancellor in 1933. Evidence external to extract 8 supports this idea also.

    • Word count: 898
  22. How far was the rise in Italian nationalism as a political force the main reason for the failure of the Giolitti programme?

    Giolitti?s attempt to ?absorb? the nationalists in 1911 was the Libyan war. The war was meant to raise national unity; however it caused an increase in support for the ANI and made their opposition to the liberal government stronger. The nationalists took credit for the war and denounced the liberals, blaming them for the loss of so many men during the fighting.

    • Word count: 481
  23. To what extent did the Nazi regime overturn the Weimar education system?

    Although religious education remained optional as it was in the Weimar period, Nazism was taught in a religious was, often comparing Hitler to Jesus and a daily ?Heil Hitler? salute first thing in the morning. The second aim that the Nazis had was to change the whole curriculum. They wanted everything that children learnt to teach them loyalty to Hitler and to the Nazi regime. This meant a very strong positive view of German and a negative view on Germany?s enemies and society?s ?undesirables?.

    • Word count: 1120
  24. Mussolini created a loyal nation of fascists between 1926 and 1939. How far do you agree with this statement? (20 Marks)

    Education for boys was to make them militaristic loyal fascists. They were trained in sport and fitness. Activities included wrestling, boxing, and bomb throwing, marching and shooting. Evidently to some extent this education was successful in making young men loyal to Mussolini and to Italy, many of the young soldiers were prepared to die for their country and stuck it out right until the end of the fascist reign. However, many of the young boys would?ve just enjoyed all of the outdoor activities and found it exciting, rather than having a feeling of loyalty and being brainwashed.

    • Word count: 1326
  25. Why did Russia emerge as a superpower after WW2?

    The developments seen during 1928-1941 laid the foundations for future economic growth within Russia. By 1941, all farms in Russia were collectivised, which allowed enough food to be produced to feed the rapidly urbanising population. During this time, a generation of workers was trained, who following war could develop Russia?s industry further. Despite Germany?s scorched earth policy costing almost all of the progress made during the first two Five-Year Plans, the Fourth Five-Year Plan made Russia the fastest economy in the world.

    • Word count: 622

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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