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

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  1. The extent to which Germany was responsible for world war one

    However the tension caused by the naval rivalry lead to the deterioration in Anglo-German relations and was one of the biggest factors to effect the relations, without all the navy related tension things may have not got to the level of both sides feeling threatened by each other. Another aspect of Weltpolitik that may have caused the deterioration in relations is the triple alliance, which to some caused the British to end their years of 'splendid isolation'. Some believe that Germany creating the triple alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy, lead to the British feeling threatened and somewhat forced into needing to end its splendid isolation and create alliances.

    • Word count: 843
  2. Critical Review of "Let History Judge" by Roy Medvedev. The concluding chapter of this book describes the last years of Stalins life. It describes, following Stalins 70th birthday, how the old despot became more and more suspicious .

    The view of bourgeois historians, Medvedev states, typically see Stalin as the greatest leader of world Communism movement after Lenin, they generally acknowledge, and to some extent condemning Stalin's crimes, they try to prove that socialism could not have been accomplished in the USSR without such a barbaric, criminal and totalitarian state. Medvedev cites Deutscher, one of Stalin's biographers, Deutscher called Stalin the greatest reformer of all times and nations, that Lenin and Trotsky led the October Revolution and gave the Russian people the idea of Socialism, but it was Stalin who put these ideas into effect.

    • Word count: 1448
  3. To what extent was Germany a 'uniquely unstable' society at the turn of the 19th/20th Century?

    Bismarck has been remembered for his powerful rule and has been nicknamed, "The Iron Chancellor." Bismarck controlled affairs from 1871 to 1890 and Germany developed into a powerful industrial nation. He had many internal conflicts, but the biggest two were against Socialism and the Catholic Church. Bismarck took measures from 1878 to reduce the power of Socialism; he created an advanced system of welfare to put off the appeal of Socialism to the German people. With Catholicism, he declared a 'war of civilisation' against the Roman Catholic Church in 1873. These problems would not have been impossible to overcome had the political system been more flexible but the constitution prevented it; it could be said that this contributed to a sense of political instability in Germany.

    • Word count: 1052
  4. To what extent was Germany economically modern but politically backward by 1914?

    Ruled under an irresolute Kaiser meant that the population's situation was unlikely to progress. The states preserved their own constitutions, rulers and parliaments. Their power in the central government was maintained through the Bundesrat. Prussia was the largest state, it had brought about German unification in 1871 and it was Prussia who dominated thereafter. Germany was governed by the Kaiser, who appointed the Chancellor which from 1871-1890 was Otto von Bismarck. His influence over Kaiser Wilhelm 1st ensured that he had virtually total authority in Germany.

    • Word count: 709
  5. Leni Riefenstahl The Propagandist or Artist? A Historiographical Debate.

    * In June 1924, while dancing in Prague, she tore a ligament in her knee quiet severely and her dancing career came to an end. Dancing and the Weimar Culture * Dancing was a large and vibrant part of the Weimar culture * During this period, a new dancing style evolved where dancers performed free, athletic movements and held contorted, gymnastic poses. * Dancing became the forefront of the expressionist movement where dancers aimed to receive the human spirit by encouraging people to rediscover their emotions.

    • Word count: 4518
  6. Why did Bismarck support the Dreikaiserbund of 1872-3?

    After the indemnity was repaid, the French government took task to rebuilding itself and the military. The French army reorganised and compulsory military service was introduced. This alarmed Bismarck because the French could be preparing for revenge and would have wanted Alsace-Lorraine back. This was made worse as France had repaid the indemnity so quickly that the German forces had to leave France and could not keep a tight belt around the French forces. In 1873, President MacMahon replaced President Theirs. MacMahon's government was Pro-Catholic and right-wing. This pro-Catholic government was formed just as Bismarck's anti-Catholic Kulturkampf was launched.

    • Word count: 524
  7. HOW FAR WOULD YOU AGREE THAT ZIONISM IS A SOLUTION TO THE JEWISH PROBLEM AND A WAY TO REVIVE THE JEWISH SPIRIT?

    However to what extent can Zionism solve the Jewish problem? Zionism is a solution to the Jewish problem. Zionism is a national movement and therefore in some respects it helps bring the Jewish population together with the main consensus of killing anti-Semitism. This in turn can bring a united front against the other populations. In other words, the movement helps bring anti-Semitism an 'international political issue which is recognised by the public in most countries.

    • Word count: 467
  8. How far do you agree that the Bolsheviks won the Civil War of 1918-1921 because they controlled more people and had access to more weapons?

    The industry was also very efficient due to the huge mass population in which the majority supported the Bolsheviks. As a result of this, the Red army were very self-sufficient and had a military advantage over the white forces that had to depend on limited, foreign aid. Their control over major cities and thus access to more weapons therefore lead to the Communist victory in the Civil War. Their geographical position also meant that the red army could communicate and coordinate effectively. Cities like Moscow and Petrograd also included most of Russia's railway network. The control over the railway network was a major advantage to the Bolsheviks as it meant that they could quickly and efficiently transport troops to where they were needed and could distribute munitions to the fronts (the troops had more access to weapons).

    • Word count: 1268
  9. The Russian Revolution of October 1917 was potentially the most politically formative event of world history in the period 1879-1980. It saw the end of Russian autocracy, and gave rise to the first self-declared Socialist government.

    The Russian Revolution was a significant turning point in that it signalled the creation of the first major Communist state. The establishment of the Communist state and the Marxist-Leninist approach of 'Permanent Revolution' scared much of the firmly established liberal democracies and capitalist states in the West - predominantly America. Lenin sought expansionism that would cause European states to quickly fall, otherwise the fate of the Russian Revolution would be failure just like the Parisian communists before them - an active effort by Lenin to fight international bourgeoisie would be the Comintern, which was set officially set up against the League of Nations by USA President Woodrow Wilson.

    • Word count: 2220
  10. Why Did OConnell Achieve More For The Nationalist Cause In Ireland Than Young Ireland Or The Fenians?

    Embracing wider aims benefited O'Connell and the Catholic Association by attracting a wider range of supporters including the peasantry which was a section of support that both the Young Ireland and the Fenians were lacking in. Further more O'Connell had support from all members of society which went to making it into a "truly national organisation." Perhaps more importantly one area which the Fenians and Young Ireland were lacking in support that the Catholic Association was not was highly influential members of society.

    • Word count: 1489
  11. How Effectively Did Irish Catholic and Nationalist Leaders Advance Their Cause 1801-1921 ?

    In the long term this enabled O'Connell to have a wider support base for his Catholic Association including from the Catholic Church and influential members including Archbishop McHale. During 'monster meetings' O'Connell used his policy of Brinkmanship where he hinted at the use of violence to the British government, this meant that the British government were paying attention to the Irish Question for the first time since the Act of Union. O'Connell's Catholic Association (established 1823) introduced the Catholic Rent, a system of paying one penny a month to support the Association.

    • Word count: 3295
  12. Hitler's Willing Executioners - The role of Ordinary Germans during the Holocaust

    Mass executions by the police force were carried out in an attempt to extinguish the Jewish race, however this process was taking too long and Heinrich Himmler appointed the police forces to begin the transport of Jewish people to concentration camps where gas chambers would end their suffering at extremely large numbers and thus, increase the rate of extermination. In order to completely understand the deeds of the perpetrators of the holocaust, the origins and the reasons for the Nazi's and Germans passionately hating the Jews must be closely examined.

    • Word count: 2487
  13. Holocaust Denial

    A statement remarkably closely related to the anti-Semitic views of the Nazi's. In the case of Holocaust deniers, it is more of a case of a lack of evidence which they use to promote their views; no conclusive evidence has been presented, with numerous Holocaust deniers admitting to have lied about so called facts. (2) The main claims which Holocaust deniers make are that the Nazis had no formal policy or plan of exterminating Jews. That Nazis did not use gas chambers to mass-murder Jews, and that the figure of between 5 and 6 million Jewish deaths is a significant exaggeration and the actual number is much lower, a few hundred thousand at most.

    • Word count: 1514
  14. 'In the context of the period 1715-1815 to what extent were economic factors the cause of the French Revolution?'

    This conflict, lasting until 1714, combined with Louis' high spending on the Palace of Versailles, led to a legacy upon his death in 1715 of high debt and low production. High military outgoings, coupled with a great famine in 1709-10, left France, as F´┐Żnelon remarked, as 'just one great desolate hospital lacking provisions'1. Though France had become a major world power during the reign of Louis XIV, it was now engaged in a heavy competition to beat off rivalry from the growing influences of Russia, Prussia, and Great Britain.

    • Word count: 4687
  15. Mussolini and Hitler: Road to Power

    Germany, which after the war became the Weimar Republic, had suffered the greatest losses in lives in the war however it was the treaty of Versailles, which was particularly harsh on Germany. According to the treaty Germany had to take the blame for causing the war, and was ordered to pay reparations to Britain and France; this was known as the war guilt clause. Also Germany lost all of her overseas colonies and was forbidden to have an army. There was a lot of resentment towards the outcome of the war in both countries.

    • Word count: 2685
  16. How effectively did Irish Catholic and Nationalist leaders advance their cause in the years 1801-1921?

    However, O'Connell was soon to realize that continuing to effectively move toward emancipation would be increasingly difficult. Robert Peel, the home secretary, was able to offer a solution that would concede to the Catholics while at the same time undermining O'Connell. This was achieved by the 1829 'Catholic Relief Act' which withdrew many of the laws suppressing the Catholics and led to the electorate in Ireland shrinking from 216,000 to 37,000. O'Connell was now in a much weaker position. This completely diminished the power of the Catholic Association.

    • Word count: 3323
  17. Free essay

    What were British objectives in the Paris Peace talks and to what extent were they realised

    It must however be noted that in some quarters, in particular relating to the settlement of Eastern Europe and the Treaty of Versailles, Britain was not entirely satisfied. Throughout the conference, Britain had several objectives which tied into those of both America and France, however for all countries involved there was certainly a desperate need for durable peace and to deal with mattes such as the removal of the Royal Naval blockade of Germany and the issue of the presence of Allied troops in the Rhineland.

    • Word count: 1216
  18. Describe the stages by which the Weimar Republic emerged from the collapse of Imperial Germany in 1918-1919

    August the Allied armies counter-attacked and coupled with the British naval blockade it had become clear by September to Germany's military dictators that Germany had lost. Significantly however this revelation was not common knowledge of the German working class, who were still under the impression the victory was guaranteed, and it therefore became the priority of the Hindenburg and Ludendorff to protect the prestigious reputation of the German army. It therefore became clear to both that the only option which would prevent German hostility towards themselves for defeat was to negotiate a deal, where not the High Command but civilian politicians would be accountable for defeat.

    • Word count: 1976
  19. What were the causes of the German hyperinflation of 1923 and what were its economic, social and political consequences to the end of 1923?

    Significantly Germany was suffering from acute inflation before 1923 and the French invasion of the Ruhr. The German war effort itself was financed not through taxation but instead was funded by borrowing from the German population, in particular from the upper classes who were willing to invest in Germany in the hope that it would reign victorious over the Allied powers. The loans came in the shape of 'War Bonds' and were to be repaid, with added interest, after the conclusion of the war where it had been assumed that the defeated Allied powers would be drained of their money in order to repay the German population.

    • Word count: 1997
  20. Why was the Weimar Republic able to survive threats posed to it by its enemies in 1918-1923?

    Throughout the period of 1918 -1923, Weimar Germany faced the potential threat of the extreme left, however although certain circumstances were favourable to a takeover of power by the left in reality the extreme left lacked both the guile to seize their opportunity and more significantly the leadership which would have been required to act decisively. It is nevertheless appreciable that the left did have certain strengths which assisted it in its bid, although unsuccessful, to overthrow the Republic. Following their derision at the outcome of the National Congress in December 1918, the Spartacists were formed as Germany's Communist Party, the KPD.

    • Word count: 1989
  21. Why did Stalin Rise to Power?

    One of these such roles was that of general secretary, a position which allowed him to accrue huge power and support within the party. Not only this, but it allowed Stalin access to all his opponent's files, including reports from the secret police. Using the information in these files, Stalin often had material to attack enemies with. The fact that Stalin was a hard worker, especially in those jobs often viewed as boring by others, allowed him not only the chance to fill the party with his supporters, but also to gain an extremely good knowledge of the workings of the communist party and its politics, from even the most basic levels.

    • Word count: 1212
  22. To what extent did weapons technology represent the biggest change in warfare in the period 1792-1945?

    Prussian steel cannons were lighter more mobile and could fire greater ranges than French adversaries link to tactics. Explosives left no cloud of gun smoke to give away gunners positions and as the range expanded to 5 miles it could be safely concealed positions often miles behind the front. All these artillery related changes had a huge impact on tactics in warfare as it meant that the benefit was now with the defender instead of the attacker due to the increased rate and range of fire. These defensive benefits that occurred due to improved artillery were evident in the American Civil War in the battle of Fredericksburg where six successive waves of Union troops attempted to storm Confederate troops out of Fredericksburg but were repelled by efficient artillery leading to heavy losses.

    • Word count: 1375
  23. To what extent did Hitlers Policies attract working class support between 1933 and 1939?

    Ultimately, this failure to instill ideology placed too great a burden on economic policy, which could not be maintained given the priority of preparing for war. The fulcrum of Hitler's social policies for workers was the creation of jobs and wage increases to reflect recovery of the national economy and pride. There was recognition of the range of concerns amongst German workers with the propaganda effort stressing the relative merits of different sectors on top of the incessant emphasis on the importance of workers more generally.

    • Word count: 2432
  24. Assess the view that the Holocaust was mainly a result of a long term plan by Hitler to eliminate the Jews.

    At this time logistics directed attention onto the escalating ideological imperative to make the Holocaust resemble the only solution to the problem which had been so firmly established in the Nazi psyche. In the absence of any clear and detailed "long term plan" focused irreconcilably upon producing genocide; Passage C's assessment of a "regime.. determined to undertake a task- the elimination of the Jews" , highlights the idea that the Nazis sense of purpose was the primary factor in the establishment of the "final solution".

    • Word count: 2202
  25. How serious were the dangers to the Tsarist government of Russia from 1900 to the outbreak of war in 1914?

    The defeat was humiliating and blamed on the government's inept handling of the war. There was a series of protests and mutiny of the Polemkin in particular was a huge danger to the Tsar, whose rule depended on the army. In 1905, when a peaceful demonstration by Father Gapon resulted in a massacre, there were nation-wide protests and strikes. The people could no longer see Tsar Nicholas II as a father figure. So serious was the situation that Nicholas II had to grant concessions in the October Manifesto.

    • Word count: 743

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