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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
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. To what extent was the Great Terror Stalins main form of social control during the 1930s?

    Said trust was an important form of social control as it inspired the loyalty of ordinary Russians. This loyalty was manifested in the wider Terror from Below, as people at a local level followed Stalin?s example by rising up against their bosses. For example, in Yaroslavl, the managers of a rubber factory were put on trial by their workers and turned over to the NKVD after being found guilty. Overall, the Great Terror was certainly a significant form of social control, as Stalin?s example was mirrored by ordinary Russian?s who used it to find scapegoats for their own discontent.

    • Word count: 914
  17. Which factor had the greater impact on Louis XVI's deteriorating position between July of 1791 and August of 1792: the King's failure; or the outbreak of war?

    However, at the outbreak of war, the consecutive defeats of the French army at the hands of the Austrians and Prussians caused these rumours concerning the "Austrian Party" to grow in popularity (and in truth: Marie had been informing the Austrian military of French plans). This almost directly impacted Louis, as his own wife (and to that extent he, himself) was accused of being a counter-revolutionary, leading to an increase in anti-monarchist sentiment amongst the majority pro-war sans-culottes, and a decrease in the King's standing.

    • Word count: 552
  18. Which factor had the greater impact on the authority of the French monarchy: the storming of the Bastille; or the October Days?

    Since Necker's initial dismissal the then Estates-General assumed that they would be arrested. However after the storming of the Bastille, Louis was pressured by his loss of control, to accept the National Assembly's will. Louis XVI could not control either the Parisians nor the National Assembly, as the military was no longer at his command, and what was left of it was being preserved at the Champ de Mars. Louis had lost five of the six soldier companies which he had placed in Paris earlier in the month (July), to desertion, usually to join the sans-culottes in their demonstrations.

    • Word count: 500
  19. Which factor of the "ancien rgime" caused more discontent: political/social issues; or economic issues?

    Louis’ wife, Marie Aintoinette, lived beyond her (and France’s) means, once spending 400,000 livres on a pair of bracelets. She was clearly out of touch with many people, who deemed her and her supporters traitors – believing them to be in fact supporting her homeland, Austria. Her consistent spending and France’s increasing budget was a significant factor of discontent during the “ancien régime”. Within the Church, many bishops held more than one diocese/bishopric. This meant that they earned large amounts of money from each diocese and was known as pluralism. Alongside absenteeism (obtaining income from a diocese, never visited by a bishop), pluralism made the Church appear to be more interested in monetary gain, than in the spiritual wellbeing of the French people, who were clearly very unhappy with such their bishops.

    • Word count: 631
  20. Fall of Napoleon

    Napoleon had in mind breaking down Britain by blockading them from ports to give them economic problems. Britain did not give up easily. As a revenge, they forbade trade between England and any nation obeying the Berlin Decree - the Continental System. Consequently, because Britain controlled the trade on the seas, Napoleon was not able to get some resources. The Peninsular Wars (1807?1814) were the wars that Napoleon fought when trying to take over Spain and other countries in the Iberian Peninsula. The British sent help to Spain and together, they defeated France. Napoleon said ?That unfortunate war destroyed me; it divided my forces, multiplied my obligations and undermined my morale?.

    • Word count: 978
  21. German horror at the terms of the Treaty of Versailles was the result of unrealistic expectations. Explain why you agree or disagree with this view.

    The ‘war guilt clause’ was seen as an unjust national humiliation science Germans believed they had been forced into a just war against the allies who had attempted to encircle Germany. The triple entente meant that Russia, France and Britain surrounded Germany, making them feel threated as they could potentially ally and attack at any time. This again was not a result of ‘unrealistic expectations’ as it was unfair for Germany to be allied against. Also making Germany pay £6.6 billion towards reparations could also be deemed as unjust as it was not only Germany partaking in the war, the allies were also responsible for damage.

    • Word count: 682

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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