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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
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  1. "Mussolini's foreign policy was completely successful in the years 1922-35" - How far do you agree?

    The main foreign policies that focused on this aim was the Corfu incident in august 1923 and the Locarno pact January 1925. In the Corfu incident Mussolini believed/ wanted the disputed Dodecanese lands with Greece and after the Italian General, Enrico Tellini, was murdered he used this as a motive to forcefully occupy and claim the lands. However, these efforts didn’t lead to Italy gaining any material achievements as they couldn’t gain/maintain the land due to the threat of the League of nations.

    • Word count: 972
  2. '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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. "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
  9. How effectively did Weimar governments deal with the problems faced between 1919-1929?

    However, by the end of 1923 political and economic stability were being restored to Germany, and the Weimar did not face any challenges until 1929. Overall, I would say that the republic effectively managed with the problems it was faced during 1919-29. During the Weimar Republic the political system faced some of the problems ineffectively as the Weimar Republic failed to provide a stable government this was because very few Germans really believed in democracy. The government was constantly unstable because there was no election threshold in the constitution, this resulted in a lot of smaller parties being elected to parliament.

    • Word count: 2033
  10. 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
  11. A Stalinist but not a Marxist country. How accurate is this judgement of the USSR up to 1939?

    Stalin had used his personality cult for his own benefit and wanted to ensure an unwavering and everlasting support from the Soviets, and turned USSR from a once Marxist-Leninist country to a Stalinist country. Stalin?s policies were also not based on what was practiced under Marxist ideology. During his rule, he had promoted women?s status and family values which was not evident according to Marxist theory. Stalin had passed the Family Code 1936 to strengthen family values. Under the Family Code, the government began to award payments to women with large families, banned abortions, and made divorces more difficult to obtain to ensure the strengthening of family ties and values.

    • Word count: 831
  12. Was the work of Gustav Stresemann the main reason for the Weimar governments ability to overcome the challenges it faced during 1919 to 1929?

    Which of these challenges were overcome and in what ways? 3. To what extent had Germany recovered from these challenges? A fundamental challenge faced by the Weimar government was the highly conservative nature of the German political culture. Following the establishment of the Weimar Republic, there was a prevailing sentiment of suspicion towards democracy. People were accustomed to the traditional forms of government ? this new system was based on discussion and elections, which in a way made it appear more weak and indecisive to many.

    • Word count: 2074
  13. How far do you agree that opposition to the Weimar Government In the years 1918-32 was rooted in a hatred of the Treaty of Versailles?

    This belief was nicknamed the ?Stab in the back? myth and was one of the reasons why so many people resented and opposed the Weimar government. Groups such as the Freikorps formed out of a hatred of the terms in the Treaty of Versailles. The Freikorps were a group of ex-soldiers who lost their jobs as a result of the military restrictions put on Germany in the Versailles treaty. Their aim was to overthrow the Weimar government and replace it with a military dictatorship.

    • Word count: 769
  14. 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
  15. Why did the Reds win the Civil War - Russia essay plan

    Because they had abundant resources while the Whites did not? Paragraph 2 (Short) (6mins) The Reds won the Civil war partly because of their enemy?s disunity and lack of organisation. The Reds could therefore exploit the White?s major weaknesses in order to secure a victory. = Unity + Organisation * Whites: Some members were liberal and just satisfied with the returning of the Provisional government * Whites: The generals distrusted each other ? Didn?t communicate with each other about attacks ? bases already far apart * Reds: Conscription was introduced and Trotsky hand picked loyal soldiers ? army increased from

    • Word count: 601
  16. Explain how Italian military weakness in the period 1940-43 contributed to Italy's failure in the Second World War.

    The Chief of the Army staff complained to Mussolini. Mussolini assured him that there was no need for concern as the army was mainly intended for show and not for action! Mussolini gambled everything on a ?lightning war? or ?guerra lampo?. This was inoperable partly because Italy had no equivalent to Germany?s Panzer divisions (not enough tanks for this), and, partly because Italian generals were intensely suspicious of such methods.

    • Word count: 575
  17. Explain the reasons for the rise of Fascism in Italy between 1919 and 1922

    In 1921 the Fascists were included in the Giolitti?s list of election candidates which gave them more respectability. Fascist ideology was vague, promising something for everyone; it seemed to offer an end to class divisions. Some liked its anti-socialism and others liked its revolutionary syndicalism. Young people especially were attracted by the emphasis on change. The Fascists also had the support of influential people and groups, such as the King. The King was disillusioned with parliamentary leadership and feared a left-wing coup. Mussolini?s participation in government would have provided welcome strength against the left wing threat.

    • Word count: 504
  18. Explain how the closer relations with Hitler in the period 1940-43 contributed to Italy's failure in WW2.

    It appeared that the war would soon be won by Germany. It was, therefore, imperative to ?assist? Germany before the opportunity to gain economically and territorial gains from the war was lost. He feared being isolated in a German dominated Europe. Militarily, Germany was not a trustworthy ally. Mussolini pushed ahead with the ?parallel war? despite the fact that Germany was unlikely to co-operate with Italian desire for French colonies. Hitler was unwilling to hand France?s North African colonies to Italy, preferring to leave them and the French Med fleet under the puppet Vichy regime to ensure the latter?s permanent collaboration.

    • Word count: 502
  19. Explain how the failure to prepare for war in the period 1940-43 contributed to Italy's failure in the Second World War

    Despite pre-war claims that Italy would have an army of up to 12 million, the armed forces in practice never reached even the size of the Italian army in the First World War. The army, navy and air force were ill-supplied, barely any defences existed against aerial bombing, Italy?s intelligence network was inadequate and all branches of the armed forces competed against each other in ordering supplies. Large sums had been spent on rearmament, and 11.8% of national income had been spent on armed forces, but much of it had been squandered on purchasing inadequate weaponry and on providing luxurious living quarters for officers.

    • Word count: 506
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Explain the successes of Mussolinis foreign policy up to 1939.

    When the Greeks refused, he ordered the bombardment and occupation of the island of Corfu, off the Greek mainland. Ultimately the Duce had little choice but to withdraw, although he did receive the 50 million lire compensation. Another success was Fiume in 1923. Within 2 weeks of the settlement of the Corfu crisis, Mussolini installed an Italian military commander to rule the disputed Italian-speaking port of Fiume. He also experienced success at Locarno in 1925. He enjoyed being taken seriously as a European statesman, and hoped that his apparent moderation would lead to concessions of some sort from Britain and France.

    • Word count: 606
  23. In what ways was Mussolini cautious in his approach to Foreign Policy in the 1920s?

    Undoubtedly, however, they helped to consolidate Mussolini?s domestic position. In August 1923 an Italian general and four of his staff were assassinated in Greece. The Corfu incident of 1923 was an exception to this cautious approach, but the British led the other European powers in opposing this Italian Aggression, and Mussolini was forced to give up Corfu. The episode showed that Italy was not strong enough to resist the more powerful countries of Europe. Mussolini would clearly need to work with Britain rather than against her in pursuing his ambitions ? at least in the short term.

    • Word count: 498
  24. Explain the aims of Mussolinis Foreign Policy in the 1920s.

    Italy would achieve great-power status via military build-up, diplomatic intrigue and, if need be, war. She would one day be the dominant power in the Mediterranean, would develop and even expand her colonial empire in Africa, and would have the Balkans as her own sphere of influence. The Duce would be the architect of all this, and would have transformed the Italians into a more energetic and aggressive people in the process.

    • Word count: 505

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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