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AS and A Level: International History, 1945-1991

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  1. Australia's involvement in the Second World War

    Curtin steered Australia through most of the war years. After the fall of Singapore in 1942, Australia felt threatened, as Singapore was considered the absolute stronghold against Japanese invasion. The threat of Japanese attack did not affect Britain, as their main priority was defeating Nazi Germany. British defences were able to provide little assistance to Australia. With the Imperialism loyalty and support failing, Australia felt betrayed and was extremely vulnerable to Japanese attack. Curtin looked to America to form strong international ties with the American forces, as the reality was Britain had neither the ability nor desire to assist Australia and Australia desperately needed an ally for protection.

    • Word count: 3377
  2. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    In the past the government had concentrated too much on heavy industry or the 'metal eaters'. Stalin's fifth Five Year Plan was scrapped and Khrushchev embarked upon new industrial priorities such as consumer goods which for years the peoples of the Soviet Union had been starved of. As Khrushchev aptly put it, 'what kind of communism is it that has no sausage?' Khrushchev himself typified the differences between the new and the old. When he had eliminated all of his rivals for the leadership, there were no show trials and certainly no executions. Malenkov, Kaganovich and the others were sacked, but then given unimportant jobs to do.

    • Word count: 5148
  3. Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam.

    Although the French were being supported by the United States, the Vietminh of the north was being equipped with weapons by China and the Soviet Union, who were both communist. The French greatly underestimated the force of the Vietminh, who used guerrilla warfare tactics against the conventional tactics of the French. In 1954, the weakening French army experienced a breaking defeat after surrendering a siege of 55 days at Dien Bien Phu. This fractured the French morale to continue fighting the Vietminh; they could not comprehend such a small nation had defeated a renowned European power.

    • Word count: 4134
  4. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    Western leaders saw the Soviet regime and its leader as an evil and corrupting influence. The way western leaders had acted towards the Soviet Union from the very beginning gave Stalin good reason to distrust the West. o In 1918-19 westerners fought alongside White Russians to get rid of the Communists; o During the 1930s, the western powers ignored Stalin's offers to form an anti-fascist Front. o Stalin became convinced that the western powers saw Hitler as a useful buffer against communist Russia. This explains why they allowed Hitler to break the Treaty of Versailles, and expand Germany eastwards.

    • Word count: 9417
  5. Is "the war against terrorism" really a war? Applying the reasoning behind your answer, comment on the status of the Guantanamo Bay detainees who were transferred there following action in Afghanistan.

    Cole in Yemen, and the bombing of Saudi Arabian inhabited compounds2. In such a quite controversial situation the only means to find out the concrete definition of whether it is a real war or not is to view the issue through the prism of International Law. Indeed, the latter would also help to determine an "unidentified" status of the Guantanamo Bay detainees transferred from Afghanistan. In order to understand the standing of the "war on terror" within the International law mechanism it is important to create an accurate idea of the character of such "wars".

    • Word count: 3187
  6. Japan's defeat on August 15, 1945 marked a substantial change in Korea's social, economic, and political organization: the structure simply collapsed.

    The Americans however, noting that few anti-Communist political groups had been interested in the trusteeship (because it was associated with Communists), contended against the Soviets' proposal. The Americans claimed that allowing only those parties that had been initially interested would defeat freedom of speech(4). In fact, many riots were held by the South Koreans against the trusteeship. On December 30, 1945, during these riots, Song Chin-u, a primary leader of the Conservative Nationalist Group was assassinated(5). No compromise was negotiated by May 1946 when the joint conference ended.

    • Word count: 3165
  7. Why does the Chinese government at the start of the twenty first century refuse to give its people democratic rights despite encouraging private enterprise in industry, commerce and agriculture?

    These ideas were based on teachings from ancient religions written by Confucius. These teachings supported ideas used by the Emperors since it was based on hierarchy with the ruler at the top and peasants at the bottom. Like the tradition of the Emperors it had existed for years an accepted by many. This would be another reason why democracy would be hard to implement since many accepted that there should only be one ruler of the country. Another problem that faced introduction of democracy was history of anti-foreign attitudes by Chinese people and the use of Western democracy would be unpopular.

    • Word count: 3846
  8. The Not So Free.

    "What's going on? You had better not of woken me up at half past three in the morning for no reason!" Then suddenly realising that he is no major but just a technician he shuts up and begins to walk away. Then another guy from the distance hears the shouting and quickly cutting in before the general scares some other guy to an early grave. Speaking in a normal tone of voice gradually sounding louder as he walks closer to the general "I'm Major Roberts, I'm the one that woke you up at half past 3 in morning sir" now

    • Word count: 5365
  9. The 50 year period between 1900 and 1950 remains as perhaps the most important time period in the history of the United States.

    Economic prosperity also marked the whirlwind of a time period. Banks began to use 'credit' thus allowing people to buy without paying while placing their bill on credit. While a wonderful idea at the time, credit eventually came back to haunt the banks as they were unable to cover the enormous amounts of money they were supposed to pay. These problems remain a large reason why the Great Depression occured. Following the Roaring Twenties and the free spending habits of the decade, the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929, "Black Tuesday".

    • Word count: 3080
  10. The role of Saddam Hussain in serving the aims of America in the Middle East.

    One of the paradoxes is that all the oil companies that used to work in the oilfields of the Middle East were European at first until Britain deemed it fit to attract the American companies to the region with the aim of making the United States of America share the burden of defending the region from the communist threat that started to be imminent at that time. Due to the expansion in the use of oil as a source of energy in the various means of transport be it land, sea or air and in the industrial plants in their

    • Word count: 6293
  11. The Long March is embedded deep in the psychology of the Chinese communist party. Of the men who took power when the Communists finally won in 1949, almost all of them had been on the Long March in 1934.

    It was also the point at which Chinese communism started to forge its own path away from the Soviets. The Jianxi Soviet, from 1927-34, had been filled with Soviet advisers who had preached the orthodoxy of proletarian revolution. But Mao and his contemporaries had become fully aware that revolution in China could only happen if the peasantry - 90 percent of the population - were engaged. But as the Nationalists closed in, China's communists ignored advice from their Russian colleagues and forged their own tactics. At the other end of the march, Mao spent time developing his own version of the theory of Communism in writings and pamphlets, leading to a further split with Moscow.

    • Word count: 3334
  12. How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in Contemporary Literature, Film and popular Song?

    "Flower Power", peace, love and happiness were all the rage back in the 70's and people totally opposed fighting and violence of any means. Public opinion began to change dramatically and by the end of 1975 as the American public considered America's tactics to be that of a callous nature. Interrogation was a big issue, as soldiers would launch members of the Vietcong out of aeroplanes, sometimes 3000 feet up in the air, by means of retrieving information and breaking down Vietnamese resistance.

    • Word count: 4410
  13. Russia: a Century of Upheaval.

    Since the rule of Ivan the terrible in the sixteenth century, they have been conquering new lands, expanding what is theirs, and growing in might. By 1900 the population of this great nation had reached 130 million, it had doubled since 1850, and continued to grow rapidly. Many of these people were subject races, belonging to the lands the Russians had conquered. The majority of these 'Russians' disliked Imperial rule, and few were content under Russian nobles. This wasn't a problem exclusive to the subject peoples though, until 1861, the peasants (poor farmers, by no means a derogatory title)

    • Word count: 6746
  14. War in the air.

    was buying aircraft as early as 1908 and Italy was using them in combat as early as 1911. THE USE OF AIRCRAFT IN THE EARLY PART OF THE WAR Reconnaissance In August 1914 the long expected war broke over the European continent. Armies marched across Europe in time-honoured tradition, but this time with them came heavier-than-air machines. High above the soldiers, these early flying machines made their solitary way back and forth tracking the movements of the columns of soldiers. Often the generals refused to accept the reports it they indicated the enemy was doing the unexpected and not what they had predicted.

    • Word count: 3496
  15. US President George Bush labelled Iran and Iraq as part of an "axis of evil". Bush claimed that these two states are developing weapons of mass destruction and that they are supporters of terrorist organisations and a threat to world peace and stability -

    Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO, claimed that Bush's "axis of evil formula is a statement which will not carry any meaning"3. Germany's Deputy Foreign Minister, Ludger Volmer, said that, "We Europeans are warning against a strike on Iraq; we have no evidence whatsoever of Iraq's alleged support of terrorism."4 . Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told reporters "the Chinese side does not advocate using this kind of language in international relations."5 Al Riyad, a major Saudi Arabian newspaper, said that, "The sole superpower is alone taking decisions to put the whole world under its mandate.

    • Word count: 6974
  16. How Stable Was the Tsarist Autocracy in 1914?

    Whilst liberals believe that the reforms introduced post- 1905 promised a solution to rural poverty and land hunger, which they also claim were the two reasons responsible for peasant unrest leading up to the war, and that the rural economy was on the ascending path to modernisation stability, the Revisionists cast many shadows of doubt as to the effectiveness of Stolypin's reforms. Figes comments that "in fact, long before 1914, Stolypin's land reforms had [already] ground to a halt." He goes further to point out that Stolypin himself stated that it would take at least 20 years to transform Russian

    • Word count: 3435
  17. Explain the importance of the Battle of Britain as a turning point in the Second World War.

    Hitler was not very concerned with Britain and was more interested in fighting other battles that had more pressing factors to them, also he wanted to find lebensraum for his people which resulted in more space for them and his superior race. Hitler offered Britain an easy way out, a peace settlement with the Germans. But Churchill refused to accept it and Hitler then began to create a pattern of attack against Britain this attack became known as "Operation Sealion".

    • Word count: 3217
  18. What factors have prompted democratisation in Argentina?

    Per�n died in 1974, but Per�nism lived on in the form of his wife and former vice-president Isabel, who assumed presidential duties. A state of political and economic chaos ensured that 'in Argentina's best predicted coup, the men in uniform placed La Presidente under house arrest and once again an elected government disappeared from the Casa Rosada.'2 The military regime that took charge in March 1976 was controlled by a three-man junta, consisting of the commander-in-chiefs of each of the three sections of the armed forces.

    • Word count: 3660
  19. Has the Historical context of both the texts shaped the way that they are presented to the reader?

    It also shows Eliot's ability to bring in elements of different texts but still maintain a palatable piece of writing. One of the main events that helped to shape Eliot's bleak outlook to the world during this period of his life was the First World War (1914-1918) I believe that the war itself can be described as a wasteland and some lines in the poem reflect this. Images of the wasteland in the first section of the poem (The Burial of The Dead)

    • Word count: 3069
  20. "War in the Modern World includes terrorism and the threat of Nuclear War. How might the Bible, the churches and the teachings of Jesus guide Christians in these matters?"

    When the war began, the allies believed they could finally defeat the evil of the world by eradicating the German nation. More importantly they believed they could attain this target by Christmas 1914. As History can tell us this was never achieved and by 1916 the "trench warfare" set in and it seemed no side could win. The Battle of the Somme was begun by attempting to distract the enemy, but ended up killing or wounding 56,000 people on the first day of the campaign.

    • Word count: 3811
  21. How useful is source B as evidence to the historian writing about the atomic bomb?

    He may be trying to keep details from his son, because the whole truth is too disturbing for the young boy to handle. He also is an American pilot and could have suffered some form of indoctrination from his superiors, and could have been told to put forward pro-US propaganda in his personal letters. Letters from the airbases would have been checked anyway, and especially at a time of such importance, so his letter may have had to have been vetted by people in higher positions in the military.

    • Word count: 4126
  22. The railroad in the United States.

    The need to provide for the war had caused the railroads of the United States to expand by as much as 35,500 miles at the end of the war.3 The War had brought new strength to the railroads and the railroads were now standing before their golden age. This golden age began with a big bang: the completion of the transcontinental railway. The story of the transcontinental railway could very well be suited for a Hollywood movie. It involves corruption, greed, great visions, and great strength.

    • Word count: 3104
  23. The popular myth of the battle of Britain quickly emerged during the early part of the war. However, not all later interpritations fully follow it. Why?

    This myth was widely accepted as the truth by most people and is still held strongly today. The myth was established quickly in the early part of the war, it was used to unite people in the war effort and to raise morale. the government popularised this view through propoganda, it was a reflection of the popular mood at the time which the government put to use for its own purposes. the popular myth is shown by a great variety of credible sources. An example of the influence of the popular myth is the speeches given by churchill on the events of the Battle of Britain at the time of the war.

    • Word count: 3392
  24. Assess the effectiveness of the governments in Britain and Germany in maintaining the war effort on the home front in the period 1914 - 1918.

    Under DORA now, strikers were fined or imprisoned. Germany had a similar method of government control which was called the Kriegsamt. However, this was not introduced in Germany until 1916. Under the Kriegsamt, the government took control over all matters relating to the war, including civilian labour, manufacturing and transport. The Kriegsamt proved to be not as successful as DORA. Towards the end of the war, the German people were starving and were no longer supporting their government. This led to strikes in the major munition industries and other areas and this severely weakened Germany's ability to maintain her strength on the Western Front.

    • Word count: 3638
  25. Discussing Japan.

    They have recently finished a new high speed link with a bullet train which travels at 273 Km/h and runs across all four of the major islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. However, the old traditions of Japan are still in place, even on this new piece of masterful engineering. The driver still wears white gloves and the inspector still bows to the passengers in the passenger compartments. The new bullet trains are very clean and spacious and they move very quickly.

    • Word count: 4289

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