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

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  1. In the years 1919-1932 the views of John Maynard Keynes were ignored Explain whether you agree or disagree with this view.

    This is true to an extent. John Maynard Keynes was ignored during the Paris peace Treaty in 1919. He resigned his position and described the Treaty Of Versailles conference by saying 'Paris was a nightmare'. After looking at the 'bigger picture' Keynes realised that Germany wouldn't be able to pay a huge amount of reparations and suggested a reparation fee. Keynes believed the conference lacked an extreme amount of economic common sense and the treaty was based solely based on political terms as opposed to economical. Due to the treaty being politically decided, Germany was fined 6.6 billion pounds.

    • Word count: 470
  2. How similar were the Nazi dictatorship in Germany and the Fascist dictatorship in Italy to 1939?

    A common antipathy against Communism that pervaded in German and Italian society gave momentum to Nazi and Fascist rising. The use of terror was an effective factor for the emergence of both dictatorships. Hitler's Nazi brownshirts and Mussolini's squadrsiti both played important roles in eliminating their opponents. The minor difference in the Nazi and Fascist paths to power is most manifest in the influence of WWI. Germany was heavily scarred by the economic, military and political penalty as a consequence of her defeat.

    • Word count: 858
  3. Why was Lenin able to become the ruler of Russia in October 1917?

    He was the founder of the RSDLP party in Minsk in 1898. During his exile in Europe he actively published articles and books concerning the political and economic development in Russia which formed an intellectual basis for the party. His book, What is to be done in 1902 outlined the idea of 'revolutionary vanguard' which was the rationale for Bolshevik participation in the 1917 events. His radical proposition of stepping into socialism without a stage of capitalism split the party into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, and his leadership over the Bolsheviks were strengthened.

    • Word count: 673
  4. How far did Stalin continue Lenin's policies to 1939?

    The red army as a counterforce of CHEKA was effectively combated. However, there is a noted difference of the extents to which the role of ideology dominated politics at Lenin's and Stalin's rule. Stalin established 'cult of personality' that worshipped images of both Lenin and Stalin himself. Terror was widely exercised not only on anti-Bolsheviks but innocent civilians. Many of Lenin's former colleagues and comrades were murdered in the ruthless purges and show trials. It could be seen that Lenin's policy of 'all power to the Bolshevik party' had been altered to 'all power to one person (Stalin)'.

    • Word count: 753
  5. Explain the cultural values of Lenins Russia in the period 1917-1924.

    Abortion was made legal and cr�ches were encouraged. In 1919 the communist party set up a women's department called the Zhenotdel to make women active defenders of the revolution through propaganda and agitation. However in practice it focused on practical help such as social services, education and training and making sure that new laws protecting women in factories were enforced. The Bolsheviks were aggressively atheistic. They viewed organised religion as an instrument used by ruling class to deceive the masses into accepting their inferiority and poverty without complaint.

    • Word count: 994
  6. How significant was the failure of the Munich putsch of 1923 for the Nazis rise to power in the period of 1924-1933?

    At noon 2000 armed Nazis marched into Munich. They were met by armed police and Bavarian soldiers. A shot was fired by a Nazis and the police returned fire. Fourteen Nazis were killed including the person ext to Hitler. The Nazis all fell to the ground and took cover. Hitler fled for two days but was found and then arrested as well as Ludendorff who was arrested two days earlier. Hitler was put into Landsberg prison. The Munich putsch was a failure as the Nazis failed to gain power and their leader was put in prison. The Nazi party was banned and Hitler was prevented from speaking in public until 1927.

    • Word count: 840
  7. What effect did Von Papen have on Hitlers' rise to power?

    In the end, the Reichstag held a vote of no confidence in him, which passed 512 to 42. Only two parties supported Papen, and neither of these held any significant power. He hoped to counter this by holding elections but after two elections and a declining number of supporters, the Nazis received their most ever votes and claimed 230 seats. Support in Papen was declining even further. Because of this majority, Hitler demanded the post from Papen. However Hindenburg, who disliked Hitler, vetoed the request on grounds that the Nazis were too militaristic to be granted power.

    • Word count: 491
  8. Was Bismarck's political dominance successful?

    The SPD gained twice as many votes in 1887 as in 1878, and State Socialism did not do much better; although measures such as the 1883 Sickness Insurance Act were progressive, and indeed the first of their kind in Europe, they did not go far enough as to introduce factory working condition legislation, and failed to fulfil their aim, which was to win over the support of the working class, shown by the fact that by 1890 the SPD had amassed 35 Reichstag seats.

    • Word count: 607
  9. To What Extent were the Jacobins responsible for the Terror?

    "The Committee shall talk in secret; it shall be responsible for watching over the work of the government ...under the critical circumstances it is authorised to take measures to defend the revolution against internal and external enemies" (The Reign of Terror). The Jacobins had full control of this committee. Maximilien Robespierre, the leader of the committee passed out a law: The law of Suspects, in which people would be sent to prison with trial but without asking for evidence. Getting rid of them seemed like a way to help France recover, "To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty" (Principles on Political Morality).

    • Word count: 913
  10. Explain why the French monarchy faced Financial crisis in the 1770s.

    The war meant that too much was being spent on foreign policy and not enough on the people of France and throughout the 18th century, the French monarchy had been funding on many wars which built up debt which only added to the costs of the American war of independence. This affected the monarchy as even they had to cut back on expensive royal court luxuries seeing the turmoil that the economy was in and although Louis XVI was king, and that many royal were against war, he was pressured into helping the American war of independence which was soon to increase financial crisis for all.

    • Word count: 865
  11. There were many similarities between the French and Russian Revolutions. First of all, it was the starvation and the bitter winter that had taken its toll on the people, causing a bread riot on both Revolutions.

    In the French Revolution, the middle-class - or bourgeoisie-which was practically ignored by Louis XVI, made plans and organized, and then striking at the monarch and setting up their own government. As for Tsar Nicholas, he refused to acknowledge the middle-class, whom were called the Dumas, making them disgusted with the way he rules. Hating the Tsar, the Dumas set up the Provisional Government on March 12,1917 which "established equality before law; freedom of religion, speech, and assembly; the right of unions to organize and strike; and the rest of the classic liberal program.

    • Word count: 619
  12. The First World War increased rather than narrowed Germany's political divisions'

    Furthermore, divisions were caused by differing views over war aims and developing concern over the establishment of the 'Silent Dictatorship'. Unquestionably the First World War initially narrowed political divisions; this is demonstrated through the Burgfriede which was introduced on 4th August to symbolise the political truce between all parties, even the supposedly 'unpatriotic' Social Democrat Party gave their support for what was presented as a defensive war. However this political unity did not last due to the inability of the military to deliver on their promised of a quick victory.

    • Word count: 699
  13. Stalin Notes

    * Was sent to Siberia and prison many times but always managed to escaped. * In 1903 he joined with other activists to plan an overthrow of the Czarist government. Lenin saw Stalin as a man who could get the job done. * His involvement in the 1917 revolution was limited though. * During the Civil War he became the enforcer of the party and fought for the communists Family Life * His first wife Ekaterina Svanidze died in 1907. Stalin loved her very much and was crushed by her death. * They had a son named Yakov Dzhugashvili who Stalin did not care for.

    • Word count: 724
  14. Assess the view that the most important element in maintaining Hitler's regime in power between 1933 and 1945 was the consent of the German people.

    The insurmountable foundation upon which the 3rd Reich rested was the consent of the German populous. The extent to which the Nazi's believed they needed to persuade citizens to actively support the regime; is where the manoeuvrability occurs. For example, the terror state in the 3rd Reich acted as a gyroscope, in the unstable years of establishment, 1933-1934, and the decline, 1944-1945, it stabilised Weimar with its truncheon; as it saw support to be insufficient, whilst it remained mainly inert during the interim years as support was sufficient; superseded by the SS which only posed the threat to do so; which was sufficient to quell any burning fires of dissent.

    • Word count: 652
  15. What was the Jameson Raid and how did it lead to increased Anglo-Boer Tensions?

    This meant Britain still had control over their foreign policy, so, another treaty, signed in London in 1884 granted self rule to the Boers in Transvaal. However, tensions between the Boers and the British grew due to the gold rush in the Transvaal. Tens of thousands of uitlanders settled in the Transvaal following the discovery of gold in 1884, in search of employment and fortune. The huge influx, which meant there was twice as many uitlanders than Boers, threatened the political independence of the recently formed republic.

    • Word count: 596
  16. Outline the circumstances that resulted in Revolution in France 1789 and assess if the Revolution was ultimately successful.

    Also he spent a lot of money on luxury at Court. In consequences, by the year of the Revolution the Louis Government faced bankruptcy. Other financial aspects include factors of inequality. French society was divided to 3 Estates - the clergy-1st one, the nobility-2nd one and peasants-3rd one. It was lack of equality of the legal system - the rich /1st and 2nd estate/ were treated lightly and had certain universal privileges - they owned courts, choose their own assembly to control affairs, they were excluded from taxes and collected their own tax from the population.

    • Word count: 927
  17. Stalin was more successful in modernising Russias economy than either the Tsars or Lenin between 1855-1956. How far is this a valid assessment?

    One of the most startling features of Russia at this point, was its size, and ironically how this size and potential was not being properly utilized. Communications across this huge area were extremely poor; roads outside the big cities were poor at best. The vast majority of Russia population at this point, were the serfs (making up around 70-75% of Russia's total population). Serfs were virtually owned by their masters, they did what they were told and had little or no free will, the vast amount of surfs working in agriculture.

    • Word count: 824
  18. Did Cavour or Garibaldi contribute more to the unification of Italy?

    Cavour spent his career improving infrastructure, stabilising economy and strengthening Sicily. He believed in a constitutional monarchy and made Italian unification evident at the Paris Peace Conference which created an opportunity for France to intervene and to reap the benefits. Garibaldi was firmly against foreign intervention which caused the two to clash when it came to any coalition efforts. Cavour's ideology led him to create the Plombieres alliance July 20, 1858 which involved a secret agreement between Cavour and Louis Napoleon, Napoleon had promised an army of 200,000 which Cavour had also promised to match.

    • Word count: 664
  19. A dreamer and a propagandist who failed to contribute anything of substance to Italian unification. How far do you agree with this view of Mazzini?

    the Back seat stance that was forced upon him, another point that would improve this is the fact that he was often in exile (London) and could not be directly involved in Italian Unifiaction which supports the 'Dreamer' status. Although using evidence Mazzini did try to act, however these several further attempted coups in which Mazzini was involved in failed for example the rising in savoy and the attempted coup in Piedmont in which he was condemned to death From this moment on, Mazzini was more of a spectator than a protagonist of the Italian Risorgimento, whose reins were now strongly in the hands of the Savoyard monarch Victor Emmanuel II and his skilled prime minister, Cavour.

    • Word count: 657
  20. To what extent were Mussolini's economic policies a success in the years 1925-1940?

    Furthermore, since Mussolini wanted to maintain support from big businesses and industrialists, he couldn't introduce radical policies within the corporate state, so he couldn't transform the Italian economy through the corporate state and so this aim could be classed as a failure. The Battle for grain was also a successful part of this aim- established in 1925, the purpose of the battle was to increase grain production so that Italy could supply itself with grain instead of relying on imports.

    • Word count: 941
  21. The impact of leadership during World War I

    At first The First World War was seen as a 'Patriotic Adventure', although this changed dramatically after the huge numbers of casualties (450,000 British troops) at the Battle of the Somme, and was then seen as 'The slaughter of the flower of the British youth'. Leaders during the First World War such as H.H Asquith and Douglas Haig seemed to divide opinions on their effectiveness and decisions.

    • Word count: 523
  22. The importance of the Battle of the Somme

    The Battle of the Somme occurred soon after heavy defeats by the Germans in Loos and Verdun. The French were heavily weakened from the previous battles and therefore the British would take the leading role during this battle. Sir John French was removed of his position of Commander-in-Chief due to the handling of the reserves at Loos and was succeeded by Douglas Haig in December 1915. After the failure at Verdun, Haig wanted to make sure that the Battle of the Somme was deemed a success. However, this was later proven to be very difficult as the Germans had plenty of time to build trenches at least 40 ft deep.

    • Word count: 556
  23. Nature of conflict in World War I

    For instance, no longer was war considered to be one-on-one hand to hand combat. With the improvement of the gun and invention of the machine gun, almost anybody could become capable of killing many enemy soldiers. Industrialisation of the warring countries meant a better railroad system. In turn, this meant that moving the supplies of war to the front line could be done relatively easily unlike previous wars where supplies detemined how long a war went of for. During Battles such as the Battle of the Somme, there were stalemates due to the use of Trench Warfare.

    • Word count: 485
  24. How far do you agree with the view in Source 6 that opposition to the religious changes of the 1530s was limited because of the role of Cromwell

    presses and pulpit' this allowed Cromwell to limit opposition, Cromwell had the responsibility of managing the bills also had the management skills in parliament to get messages through. The fact that Cromwell was in charge of what was said in church meant that he could easily manipulate people into supporting anything he wanted. This is linked in with source 5 where it is stated that this piece of evidence was a key piece of legislation which went through parliament, as an act of treason of 1534.

    • Word count: 526

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