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

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  1. Explain why the opponents of the Tsars from 1855 to 1917 were more successful than those who opposed the communist regime from 1917 to 1964.

    Stalin had also used brute force in forcing through his policy of collectivisation, albeit on a much grander scale. The army was continually used by communist and tsarist Governments, however one can point out that a reason why opponents of the tsars were more successful is due to the loyalty of the army. b****y Sunday showed that Nicholas II remained in power due to the loyalty of the army, however by 1917 it was a completely different playing field, which allowed the February Revolution to succeed.

    • Word count: 1172
  2. 'Communists and Tsars ruled Russia in the same way.' How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1855 to 1964?

    Lenin and Stalin were both determined to implement their own version of communism on Russia, continuing from the Tsarist determination to maintain autocracy. Lenin has constantly been argued to be a 'Red Tsar' as he was just as autocratic as the Tsars before him, despite having to consult leading Bolsheviks on major policy changes this had little effect, much like Nicholas II's complete ignorance of the Duma. Ideology also dominated policy under communist and tsarist regimes, as demonstrated by the continuity shown in Stalin's purges and the Tsarist policy of Russification.

    • Word count: 1246
  3. Assess the reasons why opposition to Russian Governments was rarely successful in the period 1855-1964.

    Tsars had also used military force in containing the peasantry, with Stolypin's necktie under Nicholas II and Alexander II continually employing military force prior to the Emancipation Act. The army was very important to the state, as the 1905 revolution demonstrated, and their continuing use of force against the peasantry is one reason why peasant opposition was rarely successful in the period. The peasantry also lacked a shared ideology and there were several other factors which meant a full scale peasant revolt was never likely to occur.

    • Word count: 1660
  4. To what extent did Russia simply exchange one authoritarian regime for another in the 1855-1964 period?

    Even though the ordinary Russian citizen initially saw little difference between Nicholas II and the new Provisional Government, the authoritarian regime of the Tsar had not simply been exchanged for another in the short term. However in the long term Lenin's Bolsheviks had seized power in the October Revolution. This was a significant turning point as the totalitarian Government of the Communist party were little different to the autocratic regime of the Tsar to some extent, especially under Stalin. His version of communism differed from that of Lenin before him which resulted in Stalin effectively being a 'red Tsar', devoted

    • Word count: 1210
  5. Trotsky described war as the 'locomotive of history'. Can it be argued that change in Russia in the period 1855 to 1964 was caused only by involvement in wars?

    As well as the Emancipation Act, failure in war led to a heavy increase in military spending under both Alexander II and Nicholas II. This remained the case under the communists too, as Stalin's fear of Germany provided the driving force for the 5 year plans and Lenin realised war communism was not working and replaced it with NEP. One can also point out that Russia's failure in war led to growing discontent amongst the masses who sought to bring about change by any means necessary.

    • Word count: 1217
  6. 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 from 1855 to 1964?

    Witte's Great Spurt and Stalin's initial 5 year plans occurred through a desire for Russia to improve industrial output and heavy industry respectively, which suggests that the need to modernise Russia's backward economy was at the forefront of their thinking. Whilst this is true to some degree, focus under Witte in particular was on key industries in specific areas, namely to boost the economy for military purposes, as opposed to the need to produce consumer goods. Clear parallels can be seen under Stalin where he expressed the need for Russia to catch up with the West in 10 years ''or

    • Word count: 1127
  7. Explain why the attitude of the British Governments towards Germany changed in the years 1919-1924

    meant that there was an uprising fear amongst the British Government about build up of power in France and also from the 'red scare' of Communist Russia. They ultimately wanted to retain a balance of power in Europe. On the other hand, the public opinion did not mirror that of the Governments'. Although a pacifist movement was becoming popular where many people did not want to create more war, many still wanted Germany to suffer immensely and take the total blame.

    • Word count: 1119
  8. How far were the ideas of the "Philosophes" responsible for the outbreak of the of revolution in France in 1789?

    It enabled the monarchy total power over France. Voltaire was highly influenced by English system of Government where the monarchy and government has shared and equal power. He even wrote books about this admiration of his and believed that France should adopt a similar system, however this was taken to as criticism from the French government and he was arrested and his publications were censored. This shows us that although Voltaire, a philosophe had much influence on the way people thought, their power was limited because the French government could easily intervene in them spreading their ideas.

    • Word count: 1243
  9. Free essay

    With reference to at least 2 European countries answer the following: Why did so many countries successfully succumb to Dictatorship in the years 1919 1939?

    Early dictatorships included, Lenin's Bolshevik regime in Russia, and a similar movement later attempted by Hungary's Bela Kun. In fact it wasn't until 1922 that Benito Mussolini set the pattern for a number of other leaders by assuming control of Italy. Eleven years later Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor in Germany with an even more ruthless regime. Between the wars there were 28 states in Europe. By the end of 1938 no fewer than 16 of these had become dictatorships. The Treaty of Versailles was a peace settlement signed after World War I with the main aim of 'making Germany pay' for its crimes.

    • Word count: 1413
  10. How far was the Russian Japanese war of 1905 the cause of the 1905 revolution?

    Russia lost the war to a smaller and supposedly inferior country. This led people to lose their faith in the government. The idea of going to war for Russia was to take over Japan's water ports for developing its navy and also the fact that Russian authorities rejected any compromise with Japan on the question of Korean land settlement. Russians believed that they were far superior in military strength than Japanese and took winning for granted. However Russia suffered humiliating defeats in the war. Due to miscommunication between the Ministers - Witte(who did not support the decision of going to war)

    • Word count: 1078
  11. Was Bolshevik takeover popular?

    On 4 July the Red guards and the pro Bolshevik Machine gun regiment occupied key points in Petrograd. They were joined by 5000 - 6000 sailors from the Kronstadt naval base and later 10,000 workers from the Putilov factory. But as it seemed that Lenin finally had Petrograd in his grasp, he lost his nerve and fled to Finland. The July days can be considered as Lenin's worst blunder. To absolve themselves of responsibility, the Bolsheviks went to unusual lengths to misrepresent the July uprising as spontaneous demonstrations which they sought to direct into peaceful channels.

    • Word count: 1411
  12. Alexander II deserved the epithet Tsar Liberator', how far do you agree with this statement?

    No longer could Russia hold her head high like she had done for the previous hundred and fifty years. There was little morale, and they did not keep up with military advances that were achieved by the British and the French. Alexander II was made more aware by the Crimean war of the faults in social and governmental systems of Russia. The early months of Alexander's reign saw an unparalleled degree of discussion in intellectual, noble and administrative circles, and an unusual consensus in favour of change.

    • Word count: 1530
  13. Why did World War II happen?

    It is notable that Hitler's foreign policy before the outbreak of war reflected earlier Weimar revisions of the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler's ideas of lebensraum however, were far more opportunist and aggressive, creating massive tension between Germany and the Allies. Within Germany however, Hitler was supported by many. The people were bitter against the crippling terms of the treaty of Versailles (dubbed it a "diktat") and the idea of lebensraum and a stronger empire would have appeared almost a utopia after years of economic struggle in the aftermath of the 1929 Wall Street Crash.

    • Word count: 1055
  14. Account for the aims of British foreign & imperial policy from 1856-1902

    much easier and contributed to Britain's prosperity. &, any change in the distribution throughout Europe could have threatened Britain's status as a great European power. Although the Concert of Europe wished to mainly use diplomacy to maintain peace, it was also agreed that sometimes aggressive tactics could be used, such as alliances being formed between the Great Powers in order to restrain other countries. Britain also wanted to retain its international status. This was not necessarily to be achieved through the preservation of the map of Europe fixed in 1815.

    • Word count: 1056
  15. the great depression was the main reason for hitler's rise to power

    Poverty began to set, and the middle class was especially hit as their standard of living began to fall. People this allowed an opportunity for Hitler to arise as well as the n**i party which beforehand had slow growth. Hitler delivered his speeches according to exactly what they needed at the desperate time. The people became tired of the political haggling in Berlin as well as their weakness, misery and suffering. As the people felt that they were in desperate times, they turned to anyone with the answer and that seemed to be Hitler. The economy went bust and political and economical instability occurred.

    • Word count: 1740
  16. The government of the n**i state was chaotic and lacked coherence in the years 1933 to 1939

    When considering whether the n**i state is chaotic, source V suggests that it was 'bordering on chaos' however, 'the exceptional nature of n**i governmental chaos can be pushed too far' implying that the chaotic nature of the n**i state is exaggerated by various interpretations of how the state was run 'factional intrigues and personal rivalries'. Additionally the interpretations of the 'competing agencies' cannot be seen as an explanation of how the 'Nazis went about achieving their goals'. Therefore one can argue how various interpretations could have exaggerated the idea that the n**i state was chaotic; nonetheless this does not discredit

    • Word count: 1142
  17. What was the short term significance of the Treaty of Versailles on the emergence of political parties from 1919-1920?

    It is also partially supported by the other sources which show how the treaty affected German people, and even opposing views agreed on the effect on Germans. This source gains credibility as it's supported by Feuchtwanger who states "The defeat of 1918 hit the German public with brutal suddenness"1. We can infer from this that the brutal suddenness would cause the people to become aware of all proceedings and be immensely interested in the progress of the treaty, as can be seen in the picture. The first major split was the communist uprising in 1919, which ended in a massacre.

    • Word count: 1548
  18. Why, and with what success did Alexander II embark on a series of reforms?

    Chartism shared the same demands and was strong in the same areas as radicalism in the 18th century. Interestingly its leaders were middle class with occupations as MPs, Landowners and O'Brien attended Trinity College in Dublin. Chartism was at its strongest in times of economic crisis. it came after the Reform act 1832, which gave the vote to some of the male middle class, but not the working class. The working class felt betrayed and there were many speeches made by 'radicals' demonstrating their feelings of betrayal and anger. In 1837, six men set up the 'people's charter' which collectively showed a new life and much better conditions for the English working class.

    • Word count: 1180
  19. Using all Sources and your own knowledge, assess the view that the Nazis successfully managed to control all aspects of German social life between 1933 and 1939

    This is shown in Hitler Youth organisations, many of the children who joined didn't actually 'love' the Furher like they were meant to and did not hope to serve the country; they joined purely because they wanted to have fun and join in with activities they couldn't do at school. However, once they had joined most of them were indoctrinated and sucked into the n**i lifestyle. The Nazis knew that a majority of Germans listen to the radio and so gained control over it.

    • Word count: 1396
  20. What was the impact of transport improvements on the nature of warfare 1792-1945?

    He then utilised this tactic to win the battle of Ulm. However, his men tired easily and speed became limited. Napoleon was getting through 70,000 men a year with this harsh training scheme and tactic. Furthermore due to this, Napoleon was unable to supply his army with food and other provisions and so living off the land was the only option. Although, this was fairly successful in highly populated areas, it wasn't so much in places like Russia which was a very sparse and rural country. Throughout this was it is easy to see that speed was the key, but it was something that Napoleon simply did not have.

    • Word count: 1472
  21. What in your own opinion were the main reasons that Russia had to be reformed by the mid 1850s?

    Returning Russians also desired the combined ideals of liberalism, constitutionalism and nationalism which existed in enlightened states such as France and the USA. The changing attitudes seen after the Napoleonic wars can be seen to be the seed of sympathy and a desire for western values to be implemented in Russia (westernisers) in the 1840's. This group, a prominent branch of the intelligentsia favoured the civil and political rights and economic productivity found in Western Europe. Although the influence of the Napoleonic wars may appear a weighty factor it is of course true it did not stir the serfs to

    • Word count: 1161
  22. Using all the sources and your own knowledge, a***s the view that popular unrest was the main cause of the fall of the monarchy in August 1792

    However this source should be read with caution as it was written by Robespierre who was a radical republican and a member of the Jacobins who became increasingly popular for his attacks on the monarchy and his advocacy of democratic reforms, so obviously any story of a uprising against the monarchy would be written about kindly and biased. The name of the newspaper (The Defender of The People) that the article was published in supports the view that the source is biased.

    • Word count: 1348
  23. How far should the first period of Alexander Is reign (1801-1815) be seen as liberal and the second half (1815-1825) be seen as repressive?

    allowed the nobility to travel, which had previously been illegal, as previous tsars had been afraid that the spread of ideas, which could destabilise their position as autocrat, but Alexander encouraged it. Alexander also had liberal ideas in law, and appointed commission to codify the law, which was in disarray, this would allow for better justice to be passed. Improving the education system was another liberal move he made, opening three new universities, and forty secondary schools, leading to an educating system that looked far more like that of Western Europe.

    • Word count: 1382
  24. To What Extent Was the Collapse of the Weimar Republic the Fault of Germanys Conservative Elite?

    Von Papen was chancellor between the months of June and November 1932. he relied heavily on presidential decree's and had no members of the Reichstag in his cabinet. Von Papen did a deal with Hitler that if Hitler was appointed chancellor then Von Papen would be Hitler's vice chancellor. Von Papen and Hindenburg had, however, plotted against Hitler; Von Papen claimed that within a month Hitler would be backed into a corner like a mouse. This however turned out to be wrong.

    • Word count: 1003
  25. Mussolinis econ policies

    Although Fascist Italy is shrouded in failure, there are some successes in his economic policy and these include the role of De Stefani, who reduced unemployment by 75% to 122,000 and created Italy's first ever budget surplus since 1918. Yet, the biggest economic success by far is Mussolini's ability to help after the 1929 Wall Street Crash, through the IRI (The Institute for Industrial Reconstruction) to help Italy's industries by buying shares previously held by banks. Despites these successes historian Robson suggest; the fascist were lucky enough to come to office just when the economy was on the turn- and they could claim all the credit.

    • Word count: 1115

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