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

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  1. To What Extent was the Idea of 'Lebensraum' the Main War Aim of Hitler's Military Conquest?

    Hitler once remarked "Mankind has grown strong in eternal struggles and it will only perish through eternal peace"2; you can see here clearly that Hitler saw the German's superiority was only maintainable through war. Richard J Evans supports the view that this was the most important when he says "What remained central... was the long term drive for living space in the East"3. Here he clearly states that throughout the years of the Third Reich Hitler constantly had behind all his plans the wish to employ his Lebensraum policy, and we can therefore conclude that Evans believes this is the

    • Word count: 2535
  2. How successful were Stalin's economic policies?

    Stalin's aims were partially achieved. During the first Five-Year Plan especially, but also throughout the whole process of industrialisation, emphasis was placed on heavy industries, for example coal, iron, steel and electricity. As a result of the large amount of investment put in to these areas, the production of heavy industry greatly increased, though it is difficult to know the exact increase achieved, due to the unreliability of the official Soviet Union figures. Between 1928 and 1941, coal production is thought to have increased six-fold, while steel production quadrupled.

    • Word count: 2047
  3. How successful was Napoleon III?

    As well as this propaganda book he had also written 'L'Extinction du Pauperisme' which showed his concern for the poor and so in turn he gained support from the working class. In all Louis Napoleon was very popular as he had not be involved in the June days which meant that his image as a man of the people was still intact, he had managed to gain the support of the elites presenting himself as a man of property, law and order and he had achieved popularity with the poor by exploiting the Napoleonic legend which provided a promise of better times ahead and by publishing his propaganda book.

    • Word count: 2641
  4. How far were long term causes more important than short term causes in the fall of the Bourbons in 1830?

    The first long term cause which leads to the fall of the Bourbons was the inherited instability throughout France. This inherited instability was caused by a split in society as there were many different groups in the French society such as the old Bourbon nobles (this consisted of Ultras and royalists) and the pays legal (who were middle class liberals), as well this there was also the instability of the French politics because the different social groups wanted different regime's such as the Bourbon noble wanted a Bourbon absolute monarchy and the pays legal wanted a constitutional monarchy. This led to the fall of the Bourbons because it was difficult to reconcile all groups with one regime which meant that there was always unrest within one of the groups which constantly put pressure on king at the time.

    • Word count: 2495
  5. How far did Stalin manage to modernize Russia by 1938?

    Collectivisation is something that displays this clearly. It was a great plan, one that would evidently help transform the peasants into socialists and prospering components of the society. However, the lack of careful planning and the megalomania of the state led to unrealistic expectations which eventually led to more backwardness than modernization. Bad planning meant that the entire system did not function smoothly, as there were no specialists to guide the process. Russia did not have the capacity to carry out reform on such a scale, leading to destructive results.

    • Word count: 2619
  6. Success of Daniel O'Connell's Catholic Emancipation Campaign

    for the Tories. His appointment caused an immediate split when Peel and Wellington walked out. Canning however only lasted a few months, with the next PM Goderich being removed by the King not long after his appointment due to the fact he tried to establish pro-Catholic coalition government with the Whigs and Radicals. The party remained split and the 'Canningites' left government when the King appointed Wellington who was against Cat Eman. All these divisions in the British Government made the chance of Cat Eman all the more likely. The government was faced with the election of O'Connell in Clare in 1829.

    • Word count: 2675
  7. How far had Hitler achieved his Third Reich?

    Independent unions had been destroyed and certain groups were pressurised out of employment, particularly Jews and married women. The Youth Service (RAD) also took thousands off the unemployment register. Hjalmar Schacht (President of the Reichsbank and then Economics Minister) used innovative methods and exploited greater state intervention, to meet Germany's economic needs and ease inflation. But problems arose over the growing balance of trade deficit. Schacht's New Plan of 1934 partly dealt with this by regulating imports and utilising bilateral trade agreements. Remarkably, the period saw unemployment decrease from almost 6 million to 1.6 million by 1936. Some of this was down to certain groups not being counted as unemployed, and in hindsight, Hitler's accession to power started when the worst of the recession was over.

    • Word count: 2920
  8. How effectively did Irish Catholic and nationalist leaders advance their cause in the years 1801-1921?

    All Catholics supported O'Connell and thanks to the Catholic Rent were able to show it. O'Connell was able to oppose Fitzgerald in the County Clare election where he won an easy victory. Electoral success was difficult for O'Connell because before Emancipation Catholics were unable to sit in Parliament. After O'Connell's achievements, leaders after could try to alter matters through legal means whilst taking seats in Parliament. Parnell was elected as a Home Ruler due to his commanding figure and personality. Parnell gained skill at speaking to mass audiences, a tactic which had been vital in O'Connell's popularity.

    • Word count: 2987
  9. The Bolsheviks came to power in October 1917 mainly because of the effects of the First World War.

    Deaths and casualties, soaring inflation, a dislocated communications system, hunger and deprivation all of which were presided over by ineffective ministries and an incompetent Tsar. Consequently the Russian people lost their morale and a sense of hopelessness undermined the people's belief in the tsar's god-given authority and by 1917 the Tsarist system had lost all claims to the Russian people's loyalty. The basic explanation for Russia's decline into revolution is an economic one in regards to the war and what effects it had on the economy.

    • Word count: 2614
  10. No Hitler: No Holocaust How far is this statement by the historian Michael Marrus accurate and comprehensive in attributing responsibility for the Final Solution?

    Structuralists such as Raul Hilberg have argued that the extermination plans evolved in stages, as a result of initiatives and improvisations from bureaucrats who were responding to other policy failures. In this essay Hitler's responsibility will be assessed in terms of context, chronology and historiography, along with what implications other groups had on Hitler's responsibility. Marrus stating "No Hitler: No Holocaust" is someways accurate as Hitler himself certainly held a firm position within the responsibility for the Holocaust, however it's been questioned whether this position was higher in reality or via inspiration.

    • Word count: 2414
  11. How successful was Louis of imposing absolute control on government in the provinces?

    Examples of these are the provincial governors and the parlements. Traditional historian's believed Louis tried to reduce the powers of these government bodies to show he was gaining the absolute power he needed to be an absolute monarch. To begin with Louis took various measures to lessen the power of the parlements. There were many steps which he took to do this. He firstly decided to cut their judicial wages by a third. Louis wanted to show the parlements he was the main leader in France and no one can question him.

    • Word count: 2596
  12. Impact of The Great Famine on Irelands Society, Economy and Politics

    left many people angry and bitter. Some Irish people viewed landlords as their enemy and maintained ownership of land was vital if another famine was to be prevented. Others believed that there was only solution to ensure that a famine would never happen again In Ireland and that was for Ireland to rule itself. One of the Social impacts of the famine was that people had smaller families. This was largely due to perceptions at the time that more people meant an extra person to feed.

    • Word count: 2332
  13. To what extent do you consider that Hitler and the Nazis had achieved their aim of social revolution and unity (Volksgemeinschaft) by 1939?

    The male youths would also learn about military and geography in classes, keeping information guide-lined so that the students would not study subjects that taught them things that might contradict Nazism. From this you can see evidence that Hitler was creating a very fit and military like male youth which was what he wanted for his Volksgemeinschaft The aim for girls was very different however and their education was formed mainly around preparing them to be the perfect mothers and wives, including subjects such as Eugenics which would teach them how to look for the perfect husband-someone of the Aryan race.

    • Word count: 2861
  14. How well equipped was Tsar Nicholas II to deal with the problems that faced him in 1900?

    This was because the liberals were mainly made up of upper and middle classes so would have little interest in the peasants, who were angered by the lack of democracy in Russia. They were influenced by foreign ideas especially European liberal ideas where democratic governments were in place in many countries. They didn't want the Tsar to be removed, instead they wanted him to surrender some power and run a constitutional monarchy. The main danger of the Liberals was that if reform was granted then this may start the 'ball of change rolling' and the people wanting more and more reform and change and the Tsar would find it hard to resist this demand.

    • Word count: 2050
  15. "The first world war was the result of long-standing rivalries between the great powers". How valid is this view.

    The long-standing rivalry between Austria-Hungary and Russia too played a role. There were also general long-standing rivalries, common to all the European powers. The scramble for Africa was the proliferation of conflicting European claims to African territory. The rivalry in context here is not a particular rivalry between two countries but a greater long-standing rivalry between all the powerful nations in Europe. In terms of the time period involved, it is fair to describe the scramble for Africa as a long-standing imperialistic rivalry between the great powers, in their struggle for colonies.

    • Word count: 2997
  16. The people(TM)s community(TM). How far did Nazi policies between 1933 and 1939 go towards creating a national community of unified mind, will and spirit " the volksgemeinschaft?

    Added to this, some rival groups were also set up to counteract the influence of the Hitler Youth. The main groups were the Edelweiss Pirates and Swing. The Edelweiss Pirates were boys aged 14-17 and wore a particular uniform. Many of the members were the working class trying to escape the intrusive Nazi system. They did activities like weekend camps, hikes and they sung songs about sex and food which the Nazis didn't like. Some of the groups were highly politicised and had links with the KPD.

    • Word count: 2801
  17. Can Napoleon's rise to power merely be attributed to his control of the government?'

    from trouble makers within the crowd who escaped from the meeting and did not come back. Thus, Napoleon's life was spared and allowed him to go on to rule over France. Nevertheless, how did Napoleon come to gain this control and loyalty from the army? It would seem that it came mostly from Napoleon's previous successes, particularly in Italy. Here a young, seemingly insignificant general won dramatically against his enemies and created the Legend surrounding him. It was during these early campaigns that Napoleon acquired the loyalty of many of his soldiers. But how did Napoleon come to gain this role of general which allowed him to win control of the army?

    • Word count: 2566
  18. "Hitler's foreign policy successes between 1936 and 1939 rested on his remarkable tactical skills and ability to exploit his opponent's weaknesses?" Discuss this view.

    However, when France signed the Franco-Soviet pact, Hitler deemed that it had broken the Locarno treaty, and so used this as reasoning to reoccupy the Rhineland. The reoccupation in itself was a huge gamble - the German army was still notably weak at this point, and any opposition from France would result in them having to withdraw immediately. Nonetheless, Hitler disregarded the opinion of his generals (all of whom were opposed to the move), and ordered German forces into the Rhineland on 7th March, 1936, to be met by no opposition whatsoever.

    • Word count: 2605
  19. Would you agree with the view that conflict over Berlin in the period 1945-1990 was entirely the fault of the Soviet Union?

    The nations present at the conference, together with France would each occupy a zone and in view of the size of the Russian army, it was agreed Russia would occupy Berlin and the Eastern half of Germany. Each of the victorious nations controlled one of the zones and a sector of Berlin. The Allies (Britain, America and France) ran their zones differently to the areas controlled by Russia. Russia wanted to ensure Germany remained weak to prevent any further acts of aggression and to protect its own people from further attack.

    • Word count: 2571
  20. How well does Alexander II deserve his reputation as The Tsar Liberator(TM)?

    affairs in the empire: "I am not handing over the command in the good order I should have wished, and I am bequeathing you much worry and distress." Nicholas had left behind a dispirited country, humiliated by military inferiority, threatened by bankruptcy, and peasant disorders seemed to be increasing ominously. The Crimean War had revealed just how deep-seated Russia's problems were; communications were poor, industries inadequate for a modern war and administration was corrupt and ineffective. The State arsenals, for example, held less than half the weapons required and many of these were broken.

    • Word count: 2679
  21. How far was the First World War the main cause of the fall of the Romanovs in February 1917?

    However, the Russian public still had reason for unrest as the Tsarist system was oppressive and inefficient, isolating progressive elements in society, with Witte's and Stolypin's advances not being enough to alter the Tsarist system. These post-1905 changes were, in fact, superficial, as the Duma had severely limited powers, and only represented the interests of the autocracy and the Liberals, making the lowers classes feel repressed from the political aspects of Russia, and therefore producing and encouraging many extremist opposition parties to the Tsarist regime.

    • Word count: 2836
  22. Why did the Revolutions of 1848 did not lead to a united Germany?

    the forum of German Politics and that was the desire of the educated middle classes, many of these were liberals and a fair few of them were nationalists, furthermore in the late 18th to 19th century the middle classes had the ear of the working classes e.g destruction of the Ancien Regime in France, this was caused by middle class ideas being put into action by a forceful working class mob, like France, the German middle classes could stir the peasants and 'Handwerker' into action, this is what the autocrat rulers feared most.

    • Word count: 2713
  23. Why was Prussia able to win the war with Austria in 1866?

    Prussia never got the respect it deserved from Austria and it is not surprising due to the indecisiveness of Fredrick William IV. Prussia was a slightly backward country during the Vormarz period and although it was called a great power it did not have the imperial force of Russia, Britain or Austria for example. Many Prussian were peasants and the Prussian government relied on the Junker class also many of the Junker looked to Austria for guidance, they did not behave like a great power in the Vormarz period, they along with the smaller German countries behaved like client states to Austria.

    • Word count: 2832
  24. The attitude of the Austrian and Prussia government towards the Unification of Germany

    The Austrian Empire would never join the Erfurt Union under Prussia so she was excluded. Also the Schleswig Holstein Crisis, which began in 1848 did not help relations between Austria and Prussia either in fact they just descended from peaceful friends into fierce rivals. For a unification of Germany to take place either Austria and Prussia would have to unite or one of them would be defeated in a war and therefore excluded from a united Germany. As you can see by the examples, unifying Austria and Prussia was almost inconceivable at this time and neither side wanted a war at this time so unification was out of the question.

    • Word count: 2778
  25. How significant were the obstacles to German Nationalism between 1815 and 1919?

    These states were much stronger individually in order to protect from French expansionism and the change in the number of states was never intended as a nationalist move - indeed, German Nationalism was feared as an unwanted move in the balance of European power. It included prominent non-German minorities like Czechs in Bohemia, and excluded German minorities like in Schleswig, and some states were ruled by foreign princes. 1815 represented a big step backward in racial nationalism for the German people.

    • Word count: 2060

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