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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. 'Clever propaganda was the reason Mussolini stayed in power so long.' Discuss this view

    In December 1925, all journalists were required to be on a register drawn up by the fascist party. This was effective in preventing any dissemination of news that could potentially harm the fascists. Furthermore, in 1924, Mussolini created a state radio network to spread propaganda, public address systems were set up in cafés, restaurants and public squares to reach every member of Italian society. In 1924 the L’Unione Cinematografi ca Educativa was created to make documentaries and newsreels made compulsory to show in cinemas. The fascists effectively ensured that only the successes of the regime were shared leading people to believe in only the fascists success.

    • Word count: 1237
  2. Trotsky was the key reason for the Red Victory in the Civil War How valid is this view?

    Although Trotsky was not the key reason, he was a significant contributing factor to the success of the Reds. Although the Bolsheviks possesed resources and power, the quality of morale and dedication in an army play an equally vital role. Trotsky had extreme methods, but created an army with strong morale and dedication to its victory. Against this, the disunited white forces with low morale and conflicting interests, Trotky created an important advantage for the Reds. Trotsky's reorganisation of the army was also vital.

    • Word count: 1461
  3. Bismarck successfully controlled the political opposition he faced in the years 1871-1890. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

    The May Laws included measures which meant that all priests had to attend secular universities, and needed state approval for their religious appointments. Clergy which resisted could be fined, exiled or imprisoned. However, by 1878 Bismarck accepted that he had failed and exiled clergy were allowed to return. The failure of the Kulturkampf meant that Bismarck had not only failed to control political Catholicism, but had helped politicise a Catholic minority which felt under siege. Their sizable representation in the Reichstag meant that Bismarck often needed their support to pass laws, which gave the party leverage over Bismarck.

    • Word count: 1030
  4. To what extent did the extreme right and extreme left pose a problem for the Weimar Government 1918-1923?

    Not only did the army not help the Weimar government when it was faced with the Kapp Putsch, General von Seekt was also promoted to the position of Chief of the Army Command once the putsch was over. This displays the weak position of the government over the army, as the general who refused to help the government against Dr. Kapp and the freikorps was promoted, not reprimanded. As a result, the extreme right posed a greater threat than the extreme left because the government could not guarantee that the army would put down a right-wing putsch.

    • Word count: 1325
  5. Totalitarianism in Mussolini's Italy

    To further secure the establishment of a one-party state, in October 1926 following an assassination attempt on Mussolini's life all political parties were banned and their deputies expelled from the Chamber. The central control of the localities was further tightened by closing government councils, they were now to be governed by local councils appointed by government officials (the Podesta). The pyramid of state authority now stretched directly down from Mussolini to the most rural and backward province. The use of terror and the establishment of the police state is another key characteristic of totalitarian regime.

    • Word count: 1020
  6. How successfully did Mussolini manage opposition to his regime

    The Acerbo law stated that the party that had gained the majority of votes in the election would receive two-thirds of the seats in parliament (provided that it had at least gained 25% of the votes cast). The passing of the Acerbo law transformed the electoral system and secured Mussolini's parliamentary position after the March 1924 elections, in which the fascists gained 65% of total votes cast. However it also gathered increased opposition towards Mussolini to which Mussolini acted powerlessly against.

    • Word count: 1145
  7. "A society of onlookers and bystanders. How far do you agree with this description of German society from 1933 to 1939?

    events.[2] Moreover, Frei talks of the popular reaction to the boycott of Jewish shops as being far from widespread support, with the majority of people were unable to "identify with it."[3] Having been called by the Gauleiter of Nuremberg in March 1933 without any popular demand, the majority of Germans neither opposed the boycott nor supported it; a sense of collective indifference seems to best characterise the reaction of ordinary Germans. The fact that many households stocked up on goods from these shops in anticipation of the boycott and continued to patronise them after it ceased, reveals that although the

    • Word count: 1562
  8. Russian failure during the Russo-Japanese war was the principal catalyst for Revolution in Russia in 1905. How far do you agree with this statement?

    Despite Japan being widely viewed as an inferior military power, the war provided many humiliating defeats for Russia and after a final naval embarrassment at Tsushima in May 1905, Russia withdrew its remaining forces from Manchuria and accepted the Japanese control of Korea and Port Arthur. This defeat seems to prove to be a significant catalyst for the 1905 Revolution. Defeat to an Asiatic power contributed further to the view that the Tsarist government was incompetent and drew yet more attention to the government?s shortcomings as opposed to averting attention as was intended.

    • Word count: 1438
  9. Essay plan. To what extent was the First World War responsible for the downfall of the Romanovs in 1917?

    Nicholas did this by issuing a set of Fundamental laws on the 23rd of April 1906, the eve of the opening of the first Duma. * The Fundamental laws only reinforced the Tsar?s autocratic power and disengaged any potential government reform of Parliament by seizing its power. * Nicholas?s half hearted idea of reform was not intended to satisfy the people?s desire for a share in representative government but to only safeguard his position as Tsar. * This started to become evident to the people when the third Duma (1907-1912)

    • Word count: 1448
  10. To what extent would you agree that Mussolinis invasion of Abyssinia was his greatest failure in foreign policy in the period 19221939?

    The Ethiopian government replied by requesting a League of Nations investigation. The League agreed and set up an inquiry. Mussolini had no interest in waiting for the results of such an investigation, as he had already issued a secret order for the ?total conquest of Ethiopia? in Dec, 1934, and was intent on building up his military forces in the area. Even though Mussolini gained Abyssinia, it can be viewed as a failure for many reasons. The war had been very expensive. It had forced the government into borrowing and had diverted industrial production into armament production. It contributed greatly to the poor state of the Italian economy in the years leading up to the Second World War.

    • Word count: 1160
  11. The most important effects of the First World War on Italy between 1915 and 1918 were political. How far would you agree with this statement?

    Membership rose from 50,000 in 1914 to over 200,000 by 1919. There were close state-industry links (centralisation) in an attempt to make sure Italy could produce the armaments it needed, regardless of the economic cost. As the war progressed economic decline only worsened the divisions in government. Giolitti?s neutralist stance led to him being politically isolated from 1915 after being accused of defeatism. Furthermore, the humiliating defeat at Caporetto led to reorganisation and promise of major social reforms, because military failings were always blamed on the weak government.

    • Word count: 1212
  12. To what extent did the n**i regime overturn the Weimar education system?

    Although religious education remained optional as it was in the Weimar period, Nazism was taught in a religious was, often comparing Hitler to Jesus and a daily ?Heil Hitler? salute first thing in the morning. The second aim that the Nazis had was to change the whole curriculum. They wanted everything that children learnt to teach them loyalty to Hitler and to the n**i regime. This meant a very strong positive view of German and a negative view on Germany?s enemies and society?s ?undesirables?.

    • Word count: 1120
  13. Mussolini created a loyal nation of fascists between 1926 and 1939. How far do you agree with this statement? (20 Marks)

    Education for boys was to make them militaristic loyal fascists. They were trained in sport and fitness. Activities included wrestling, boxing, and b**b throwing, marching and shooting. Evidently to some extent this education was successful in making young men loyal to Mussolini and to Italy, many of the young soldiers were prepared to die for their country and stuck it out right until the end of the fascist reign. However, many of the young boys would?ve just enjoyed all of the outdoor activities and found it exciting, rather than having a feeling of loyalty and being brainwashed.

    • Word count: 1326
  14. How important were the financial problems of the French Crown in bringing about the French Revolution in 1789?

    The irony of this system was that these Estates held most of France?s money, while the peasantry and bourgeoisie paid the most, despite their financial disadvantage. This was important as it caused the Crown?s tax revenue to fall far from its potential, which was needed to resolve the other financial matters at hand. Another reason for the Crown?s falling short of its potential was the actual process of collecting taxes. Private bodies (usually the infamous ?Farmer?s General?) were hired by the Crown to collect the tax, with a pre-arranged minimum income.

    • Word count: 1141
  15. To what extent did Kaiser Wilhelm have the real power within the second Reich?

    For instance, he could appoint and dismiss chancellors; the Reichstag did not elect them. Therefore, those who wished to join the government had to appeal to the Kaiser?s wishes, resulting in an unelected body being chosen by an unelected ruler because the Kaiser?s position was hereditary. This gave the Kaiser a lot of power to shape Germany, even though the Chancellors had legislative initiative, if they depended on the Kaiser then it was really his policies being introduced in the Reichstag. Following the Kaiser and Bismarck?s tense relationship, the Kaiser wished to pursue a period of ?personal rule?.

    • Word count: 1459

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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