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

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  1. French Revolution a Bourgeoisie Revolution?

    These Revisionists also claim that the bourgeoisie only became conscious of class differences when a struggle erupted over the composition of the Estates General. France before 1789 can be best described as a country where capitalism had been developing within a framework of political and social institutions inherited from feudalism, which had become an obstacle to its further development. The question that then arose was: how were these obstacles to be removed: by reform from above or revolution from below?

    • Word count: 759
  2. "Great-power politics rather than principles dominated the Vienna Settlement of 1915." Discuss

    The territorial arrangements arrived at offer a clear indication of the significant part played by Great Power politics. The Tsar Alexander pursued the traditional Russian policy of expansion westwards in order to provide deeper defences for the heart of his kingdom, securing both Finland and Poland for his pains. Hardenberg of Prussia had great ambitions to obtain all of Saxony... What the Great powers wanted in the way of territory they appeared to get unless they ran up against the counter interests of one of their peers and compromise and compensation were, after a generation of war, inevitable.

    • Word count: 917
  3. To what extent did Metternich contribute to the maintenance of peace in Europe in 1815-1848?

    Metternich preferred the maintenance of the balance of power to Russian leadership in international affairs. Thus the Tsar's project received no support. Metternich was for the admission of France to the Quadruple Alliance. Though it was meant to strengthen the rule of the Bourbon at the same time, European balance was adjusted against Russia and Prussia. In 1820, liberal movement spread from Spain and Portugal to Italy and Greece, Metternich then hastened to adopt the policy of intervention, despite the British protest. The Troppau Protocol as well as the decisions taken at the Congresses of Laibach and Verona was to his heart's content.

    • Word count: 840
  4. Did Napoleon betray the French Revolution?

    Napoleon certainly did not abide by the principles or sentiments related to the Revolution. In 1810, he married the grandniece of the universally hated Marie Antoinette with great pomp. These actions do not show any hesitation with flouting the ideas, ideals and emotions born with the Revolution. On the administrative front, the Napoleonic Code of 1802, is evidence enough of his departure from his prior ideals. Although, France, even during the Revolution had never actually let women vote, there was a certain tilt towards the empowerment and equality of women during this period.

    • Word count: 886
  5. Which factor had the greatest bearing on Russia's international relations (foreign policy) in the period 1900 to 1941; ideology or economic considerations?

    The multi-national empire was an autocracy which exercised tight control over its people. The main economic focus of the period was rapid industrialisation of the country which began in 1890. This was essential for Russia to catch up with the West where countries such as Britain and France had been industrialised for some time. This rapid industrialisation resulted in a huge and volatile working class which would provide a basis for revolution in 1917. From an ideological point of view, the introduction of a Duma after the 1905 Revolution is key. The fact that the Tsar was forced to introduce a level of public involvement in the running of his country is an indicator of how his control of the empire was slipping.

    • Word count: 836
  6. "Britain's appeasement policies in the years 1933 to 1939 were well-intentioned, but totally ineffective in preventing war." Assess the validity of this judgement.

    Appeasement, then, was effective at preventing war for as long as the British (and French) wanted it to be, and no longer. The fact that Hitler was convinced that Britain would not declare war when he invaded Poland meant that he, at least, was persuaded of the lengths to which the policy could be carried. One could argue further to that that it was a failure to act according to the policy which instigated general war when it happened - particularly when one considers the Danzig crisis, during which Britain made lengthy attempts to convince the Poles to concede, which all failed, probably in no small part due to (justifiable)

    • Word count: 942
  7. "Debates about party policy were more important than personalities in deciding the outcome of the struggle for power in the USSR in the years 1924 to 1929." Assess the validity of this judgement

    The forming of the triumvirate, for another example, against Trotsky, was not done primarily because Trotsky's views on policy were vastly divergent from the rest of the party's or the Stalin, et al themselves, but because they (Zinoviev and Kamenev especially) considered Trotsky a "Bonaparte" figure whose personality - decried slightly in Lenin's Testament - made him someone dangerous, and in their eyes the most likely person to seize power. In addition, it is not necessarily personalities, either, which were the most important factor in deciding the outcome of the struggle for power, although they were more important.

    • Word count: 908
  8. 'The need to modernise their backward economy was the most important reason why the rulers of Russia introduced reforms.' How far do you agree with this view of the period 1855 to 1956?

    Therefore, all of these need to be assessed in order to find the most important reason. Reason 1 - need to modernise backward economy Alexander II: * The emancipation of the serfs was done because of the need for Russia to modernise its agricultural economy. It was thought that serfdom was economically inefficient and that free wage labour was more productive. Alexander III: * The Peasants' Land Bank allowed peasants to buy land and so increase productivity. * Reduction of redemption payments and the abolition of the poll tax reduced the burden on the peasants and it was hoped that they would move to cities and work in factories.

    • Word count: 922
  9. Assess the reasons why the Nazi party gained so little support in the 1920s

    When the Golden Years arrived due to Stresemann's decisions the Germany currency was becoming increasingly stronger. This meant that the German people who had suffered in the previous year became happier once again. Furthermore, because the German people were content with the way the government was looking they were not prepared to support the NSDAP. Between the years of 1925 and 1929 German exports increased by 40%. This also meant that the economy grew along with the people's satisfaction. Also the Golden years were an exciting time for German culture. Artists such as, Walter Gropius and Bertolt Brecht began to experiment with their work and created a new form of art.

    • Word count: 781
  10. Assess the reasons why Britain became involved in the Cold War in the years 1945 " 1953.

    This shows that the alliance must have been strong as Britain was able to 'change' the US's mind. Another example of how the alliance was useful for Britain was that both countries had the same capitalist ideologies and both wanted to rid the world of communism. This helped Britain because if they could get the US to concentrate on communism in Europe, they could in effect 'leave them to it' and concentrate on rebuilding their empire. The second most important reason for Britain getting involved in the Cold War was their fear of the spreading communism. This was shown in Churchill's famous 'Iron Curtain' speech where he created fear in people about the spread of communism in the hope that, referring to the first factor, the US would get involved in Europe and wouldn't go back into isolation.

    • Word count: 754
  11. How far do you agree that a study of Russian government in the period 1855 to 1956 suggests that Russia did little more than exchange Romanov Tsars for Red Tsars(TM) from 1917?

    It also shows that if Lenin was comfortable to go to such an extent to gain power he must have believed his ideologies were radically different to the Tsar's. However, once in power, Lenin and then later Stalin, had created there own hierarchy in society, even though this was totally against the original Marxist theories. All the Bolshevik government officials and party members became communist elites and grew very rich whilst leading lavish lives in comparison to the average 'man on the street'.

    • Word count: 973
  12. To what extent did the Bolsheviks use terror tacticts in the years 1918-1921 only because of their need to achieve victory in the Russian civil war?

    This is backed up by the fact that once the civil war had been won by the Bolsheviks, Lenin became dictator and banned all other opposition parties. This view tells us that we should not be too surprised by the extent of Bolshevik repression or at the scale of the terror imposed as it was due to the autocratic nature of the party that had always discouraged democratic debate. Overall this tells us that the Western Liberals truly believe that the Bolsheviks didn't only use terror tactics in the years 1918-1921 because of their need to win the civil war because they had already been using terror beforehand.

    • Word count: 950
  13. Why was the Weimar Republic attacked by both the political left and the political right in the years 1919-1922?

    The Ruhr Army did seize control in Ruhr, until protestors became split by concessions from Ebert, giving them less hours and an increase in wage, leaving not enough of the extreme left wing to keep control in Ruhr. This is one year after the Spartacist Revolt and 2 years after Ebert came into power, and still Ebert has still not yet won over the people that have the same beliefs as him. A year later in March 1921, what was left of the communist uprising in the Ruhr went to Meresburg, but the local police intervened and killed 145 of the communists.

    • Word count: 992
  14. In What Ways did Nazi regime seek to Control and Influence German Youth?

    The Nazis also changed the curriculum to suit their needs and policies. More physical exercise was introduced to get the youth healthier and fitter and to be "the perfect German". From 1935, new textbooks were produced, reflecting Nazi values. Segregation was used in that Girls were taught needlework, cooking and housekeeping whilst boys were taught combat, survival and exercise. The Nazis used the school system they inherited, and supplemented it with new Nazi institutions. The establishment of the Hitler Youth and the Girls BDM (League of German Girls) dramatically influenced both German boys and girls.

    • Word count: 569
  15. How successful were the Nazis at imposing their ideology onto women?

    In 1933, the live birth rate was 971,000. By 1939, it had rapidly increased to 1.4 million. This was an increase of 70% in 6 years. These figures indicate that the monetary rewards were very successful. For couples who couldn't have children or just didn't want them, higher taxes was compulsory for them .There were also tighter penalties on abortions and restrictions on contraception information and methods. The increased number of suitable marriages also increased as marriage loans were easy to grant and as the reproduction policy came in, couples were easily persuaded to increase Germany's population.

    • Word count: 672
  16. Describe the impacts of the Civil War on the peoples of the Russian empire in the years of 1918 " 1921?

    Action was eventually taken in September 1918 when the Red Terror was introduced. This was a crucial component of War Communism. The Red Terror was introduced in order to back up the new measures and to deal with any major opposition. It was also introduced to take control of riots and rebellions and to restore law and order once again to the authorities. The mass repressions were conducted without judicial process by the state security organisation, the "Cheka".Due to the fact that food was so short; people would do anything in order to lay their hands on a single piece of bread. Rationing was soon introduced and the Russian citizens became even more furious.

    • Word count: 568
  17. Why were the opponents of the Bolsheviks unable to defeat them in the civil war?

    Finally there was the Red Army (Bolsheviks) - made up of mainly ex - soldiers, volunteers, peasants and workers. The red army was seen as a "Motley" crew. During the years of the civil war (1918 - 1924), the Red army operated many key important cities throughout Russia. For example Petrograd and Moscow. These cities mainly consisted of workers and peasants. The Red Army used this opportunity to gain electoral votes and to express their views and opinions. By occupying large and densely populated cities throughout Russia the Red Army gained many votes and a vast amount of electoral support.

    • Word count: 709
  18. Why did the First World War start in 1914 and not earlier

    The most important aims of Germany at that time were to take over English, French, Belgian and Dutch colonies and conquer Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Pre Baltic countries which wre under Russian empire at that time .On tye other side the plans of Austro-Hungarian empire were to conquer Serbia and Montenegro which would give them full control over Balkan. Italy, on the third side intended to conquer particular territories in Africa and also in Dalmatia. Rivals of Germany-England, France and Russia were against these plans of Germany because they had their own imperialistic plans therefore these three countries signed the agreement known as Triple Entente agreement.

    • Word count: 666
  19. Why did men from Suffolk find themselves building the Burma-Siam railway?

    Because the British thought it impossible that the Japanese could get through the northern jungle they put all their defenses (big guns) up on the sea coast. The Japanese saw an opportunity; although they could not use trucks to get into Singapore via the jungle they could get through quickly by bicycle. After capturing Singapore and taking thousands of British men prisoner; the Japanese attacked Burma and approached the edge of India. Now they needed to supply their troops with food and weapons, so they had the idea to build a railway.

    • Word count: 878
  20. Nazi Germany Church State Essay

    The church prides itself on treating all human beings with the dignity and respect that they deserve which causes them to demand the right to intervene within an oppressive society. In reference to article two, it presents a member of the Catholic Church signing away on the Concordat which was Hitler's first step of slowly removing the influence Christianity had throughout Germany and silencing the Catholic Church. The control Hitler now had over the Catholic Church was helped by their compliance in signing the Concordat as Jesus looked down in antipathy as the Church moved away from what they believed in.

    • Word count: 988
  21. Trench Warfare

    Beads of sweat and mud trickle down my forehead and seep between my pursed, chapped lips. I can taste devastation in the depths of my throat, as it grows dry and sore. The stench of decaying flesh churns my stomach and lunges at my nose; I can't breathe. The appearance between the living and the dead has become indistinguishable. Many in the platoon have succumbed to trench foot, their skin molting rapidly into a green and yellow festering pus. I've trained myself to focus only on their eyes, but as I do I only see sadness and despair.

    • Word count: 648

    The Catholic Church still had a strong influence on many parts of life, though, even in Bismarck's Protestant Prussia. In the newly founded German Empire, Bismarck sought to bolster the power of the secular state and reduce the political and social influence of the Roman Catholic Church by instituting political control over Church activities. The attempt to suppress catholic support wasn't how Bismarck had intended it to be, as the kulturkampft was met with more opposition than he realised mainly the German centre party.

    • Word count: 388
  23. What are the reasons Haig decided to attack at the Somme and was Haig a good or bad commander?

    General Rawlinson, the General in charge of the British soldiers on the Somme, was not happy about the attack, and did not agree with Haig that it was a necessary thing to do. 'It does not appear to me that the gain of two or three more kilometres of ground is of much consequence, or that the existing situation is so urgent as to demand that we should incur very heavy losses in order to draw a large number of German reserve against this portion of our front.'

    • Word count: 910
  24. 'It was rapid advances in technology which allowed Britain to turn the tide of the Battle of the Atlantic against Germany by mid-1943'. How far do you agree with this judgment?

    Hedgehog bombs, which were used to destroy u-boats from ships in the Atlantic only detonated when they hit a solid object; i.e. A u-boat this development proved very effective as the hit rate rose from 7% to 25% once the Hedgehogs were introduced, again the enemy had limited time to launch a counter attack therefore the axis losses began to outweigh allied Naval casualties. HF/DF was a highly effective method of detecting u-boats and helped allied crews in anticipating the next enemy move; by using this, the allies could identify where Wolf packs of u-boats were laying and could therefore avoid them and ultimately any imminent attack.

    • Word count: 918

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