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Extent of key political ideas in directly influencing change and development .

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Introduction

Extent of key political ideas in directly influencing change and development . Certainly, to an extent it could be said that key political ideas directly influenced change and development in the period 1848-1939. Clearly, in this period, ideologies such as Nationalism, Liberalism, Fascism, Nazism and Socialism were rife and it is inevitable that such a growth in these doctrines will lead to change. However, it is evident that whilst the rise of nationalism led to the unification's of Italy and Germany, and the rise of the dictatorships of Mussolini and Hitler can be attributed to a growth in popularity of the Fascist doctrine, other factors may have influenced these changes to a greater degree than the ideologies themselves. Indeed, in the short run, the rise of the dictatorships had little to do with the ideology, and more to do with the pragmatic approach of both Hitler and Mussolini. Furthermore, it is evident that ideologies such as Nationalism and Fascism did not affect every country in Europe in the same way; indeed Britain remained comparatively unaffected by both doctrines, unlike Germany and Italy. Indeed, it could be argued that it wasn't key political ideas that influenced change and development, but instead the growing intellectualism of the period, which made pragmatic change necessary. Certainly, to an extent it could be said that key political ideas directly influenced change and development in the period 1848-1939. Clearly, in this period, ideologies such as Nationalism, Liberalism, Fascism, Nazism and Socialism were rife and it is inevitable that such a growth in these doctrines will lead to change. However, it is evident that whilst the rise of nationalism led to the unification's of Italy and Germany, and the rise of the dictatorships of Mussolini and Hitler can be attributed to a growth in popularity of the Fascist doctrine, other factors may have influenced these changes to a greater degree than the ideologies themselves. ...read more.

Middle

despite the varying circumstances of their countries, their general aim everywhere was to secure a national form of government, which would enable their political ideas to be protected and put into effect. As Metternich said, " there is... scarcely any epoch which does not offer a rallying cry to some particular faction. The cry since 1815 has been "constitution" Thus, the liberals shared the belief of the American and French revolutionaries that, since men are by nature good, a perfect society could be achieved by the establishment of a regime, which preserved their liberties and empowered them to chose their rulers. Certainly, in Britain during the nineteenth century, liberalism influenced the growth of democracy, for it led to the defeat of the unionist's and the rise of Gladstone, who was guided not only by liberal conviction, but also by a moral conviction. Thus, he sought to address the inequalities that he perceived existed in society. Therefore, this led to in 1884 the introduction of the Third Reform Act, which extended the electorate to 5 million, or about 1/6th of the population, and made the rural electorate as democratic as the Urban. This was compounded by the Redistribution of Seats Act (1884), which established single member constituencies, the Corrupt Practices Act (1885) which effectively attacked the rowdiness and abuses that had prevailed during the elections and by the Secret Ballot Act (1872), which led to greater political democracy. Therefore, to a great extent it could be said that liberalism directly influenced change and development, as can clearly be seen by looking at Gladstone's other legislature at the time. Liberalism, as an idea embodied the idea of laissez-faire and equality, and Gladstone sought to achieve these objectives through the University Test Act (1871) and the Civil Service Reforms (1871). The University Tests Act abolished the special privilege of the Church of England at Oxford and Cambridge, and threw open these posts to all suitable candidates. ...read more.

Conclusion

and by paid holiday leave. In conclusion, it could be said that to a great extent the rise of Socialism did not directly influence the growth of social reform in France, as if one were to look at the legislature that was actually passed, it becomes clear that the socialists were unable to secure the implementation of any of their basic policies involving a redistribution of wealth and the establishment of a system of social security. Furthermore, the party itself was divided in terms of reformists and revolutionary tendencies and despite all of the Socialists efforts and increasing strength, the France that entered WW1 was not fundamentally different, wither economically or socially than that in 1870. In conclusion, to an extent the key political ideas did directly influence change and development. Indeed, it is evident that the rise of nationalist sentiment in Germany and Italy directly impacted on the unification of these countries; whilst the rise of liberalism led to a growth of democracy in Britain. However, it is evident that factors other than a rise in ideology led to change and development in this period, indeed, if one is even able to term fascism as an ideology, it is evident that it was not just the rise of fascism that led to the rise of the dictators. Clearly, other factors such as the economic situation, the use of propaganda and the personalities of Hitler and Mussolini themselves contributed to their rise. Furthermore, it is evident that ideologies influenced countries in different ways and to different extents, for example syndicalism was a more potent force in Britain and Germany than in France, whilst although Nationalism affected all countries to some extent, it was mainly felt in Italy and Germany where the cry was for unification. Therefore, it could be said that to an extent the key political ideas did directly influence change and development, but perhaps-such changes did not come as a direct result of political ideologies but as a direct consequence of changing circumstances. ...read more.

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