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

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  1. Explain what Mussolini hoped to gain by entering the Second World War in 1940

    Additionally Mussolini felt that it would be a short war and the collapse of Britain and France was anticipated and close at hand. Mussolini was used to being on the winning side so wanted to enter with Germany to gain the most territorial gains. Mussolini wanted to expand and develop his colonial empire and he had ambitions in the Balkans, Africa and the Mediterranean.

    • Word count: 500
  2. Analyse Extracts 8 and 9 by Hildebrand and Watt. How far do you agree with the view that Hitler carefully planned out Germanys foreign policy years before he came to power?

    On the other hand, ?Intentionalists? believe in a master plan behind Hitler?s foreign policy that was intended to and was responsible for starting the Second World War. Hildebrand is an intentionalist and Watt is a structuralist. Hildebrand?s point of view is that even before coming to power, Hitler had distinct aims and knew how he would achieve them in a set out plan. Hildebrand says that the evidence for this is in Mein Kampf and the fact that Hitler met with the army leaders very shortly after becoming chancellor in 1933. Evidence external to extract 8 supports this idea also.

    • Word count: 898
  3. How far was the rise in Italian nationalism as a political force the main reason for the failure of the Giolitti programme?

    Giolitti?s attempt to ?absorb? the nationalists in 1911 was the Libyan war. The war was meant to raise national unity; however it caused an increase in support for the ANI and made their opposition to the liberal government stronger. The nationalists took credit for the war and denounced the liberals, blaming them for the loss of so many men during the fighting.

    • Word count: 481
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Why did Russia emerge as a superpower after WW2?

    The developments seen during 1928-1941 laid the foundations for future economic growth within Russia. By 1941, all farms in Russia were collectivised, which allowed enough food to be produced to feed the rapidly urbanising population. During this time, a generation of workers was trained, who following war could develop Russia?s industry further. Despite Germany?s scorched earth policy costing almost all of the progress made during the first two Five-Year Plans, the Fourth Five-Year Plan made Russia the fastest economy in the world.

    • Word count: 622
  7. To what extent was the Great Terror Stalins main form of social control during the 1930s?

    Said trust was an important form of social control as it inspired the loyalty of ordinary Russians. This loyalty was manifested in the wider Terror from Below, as people at a local level followed Stalin?s example by rising up against their bosses. For example, in Yaroslavl, the managers of a rubber factory were put on trial by their workers and turned over to the NKVD after being found guilty. Overall, the Great Terror was certainly a significant form of social control, as Stalin?s example was mirrored by ordinary Russian?s who used it to find scapegoats for their own discontent.

    • Word count: 914
  8. Which factor had the greater impact on Louis XVI's deteriorating position between July of 1791 and August of 1792: the King's failure; or the outbreak of war?

    However, at the outbreak of war, the consecutive defeats of the French army at the hands of the Austrians and Prussians caused these rumours concerning the "Austrian Party" to grow in popularity (and in truth: Marie had been informing the Austrian military of French plans). This almost directly impacted Louis, as his own wife (and to that extent he, himself) was accused of being a counter-revolutionary, leading to an increase in anti-monarchist sentiment amongst the majority pro-war sans-culottes, and a decrease in the King's standing.

    • Word count: 552
  9. Which factor had the greater impact on the authority of the French monarchy: the storming of the Bastille; or the October Days?

    Since Necker's initial dismissal the then Estates-General assumed that they would be arrested. However after the storming of the Bastille, Louis was pressured by his loss of control, to accept the National Assembly's will. Louis XVI could not control either the Parisians nor the National Assembly, as the military was no longer at his command, and what was left of it was being preserved at the Champ de Mars. Louis had lost five of the six soldier companies which he had placed in Paris earlier in the month (July), to desertion, usually to join the sans-culottes in their demonstrations.

    • Word count: 500
  10. 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
  11. Which factor of the "ancien rgime" caused more discontent: political/social issues; or economic issues?

    Louis’ wife, Marie Aintoinette, lived beyond her (and France’s) means, once spending 400,000 livres on a pair of bracelets. She was clearly out of touch with many people, who deemed her and her supporters traitors – believing them to be in fact supporting her homeland, Austria. Her consistent spending and France’s increasing budget was a significant factor of discontent during the “ancien régime”. Within the Church, many bishops held more than one diocese/bishopric. This meant that they earned large amounts of money from each diocese and was known as pluralism. Alongside absenteeism (obtaining income from a diocese, never visited by a bishop), pluralism made the Church appear to be more interested in monetary gain, than in the spiritual wellbeing of the French people, who were clearly very unhappy with such their bishops.

    • Word count: 631
  12. 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
  13. Fall of Napoleon

    Napoleon had in mind breaking down Britain by blockading them from ports to give them economic problems. Britain did not give up easily. As a revenge, they forbade trade between England and any nation obeying the Berlin Decree - the Continental System. Consequently, because Britain controlled the trade on the seas, Napoleon was not able to get some resources. The Peninsular Wars (1807?1814) were the wars that Napoleon fought when trying to take over Spain and other countries in the Iberian Peninsula. The British sent help to Spain and together, they defeated France. Napoleon said ?That unfortunate war destroyed me; it divided my forces, multiplied my obligations and undermined my morale?.

    • Word count: 978
  14. German horror at the terms of the Treaty of Versailles was the result of unrealistic expectations. Explain why you agree or disagree with this view.

    The ‘war guilt clause’ was seen as an unjust national humiliation science Germans believed they had been forced into a just war against the allies who had attempted to encircle Germany. The triple entente meant that Russia, France and Britain surrounded Germany, making them feel threated as they could potentially ally and attack at any time. This again was not a result of ‘unrealistic expectations’ as it was unfair for Germany to be allied against. Also making Germany pay £6.6 billion towards reparations could also be deemed as unjust as it was not only Germany partaking in the war, the allies were also responsible for damage.

    • Word count: 682
  15. To what extent did the increase in the persecution of witches in Europe from 1550-1650 constitute an attack on women?

    Indeed one strongly suspects that the development of witch hunting into a mass hysteria only became possible when directed primarily at women.? (Katz) ?All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman? What else is woman but foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil nature, painted with fair colours?.. Women are by nature instruments of Satan ? they are by carnal a structural defect rooted in the original creation.? (Heinrich Kramer, 1487)

    • Word count: 3620
  16. To what extent was Hitler responsible for the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939?

    Hitler Taylor argues was exactly the same as most European statesmen in that he wanted to make his country strong, powerful and respected. In this he was no different from the statesmen that had come before him. Taylor argues that many of his demands were in fact justified and that he simply carried on a tradition of expansionist German foreign policy. The controversial part of Taylor?s thesis is that Hitler was not alone responsible for the war. Taylor believes that Versailles and Appeasement were as much to blame as Hitler.

    • Word count: 2043
  17. How significant was Lenin between the years 1902-1918 to the formation of the Bolshevik Government?

    Lenin deemed this approach necessary as he was not content to wait for several decades while the BR was consolidated ? partly because as the Social Revolutionaries (SR) were ?uninterested in the intellectual necessities of Marxism?7, they would thus instigate an uprising when it suited them. Additionally, the proletariat were insufficiently large in number for Marx?s next stage, a communist revolution, to take place yet, so by bringing the revolution forward Lenin out manoeuvred fellow communists and the SR. The SR in particular were dangerous since their proposed land reforms gained them the support of the peasantry ? numbering 97

    • Word count: 3475
  18. How far did government policies change towards agriculture in Russia in the period 1856-1964?

    This encouraged the creation of a rural upper class of better off peasants, or Kulaks, in which the Tsarist government saw and found a source of support from[10]. In contrast, Stalin?s Communist Government viewed the peasantry as holding ?backward? religious views and, especially the ?bourgeois? kulaks, as a source of opposition and threat to his Soviet regime. The peasants were fiercely independent, so when Collectivisation was forced on them in the summer of 1929,[11] village priests urged that it was against God?s will[12] and many peasants resisted.

    • Word count: 3260
  19. n**i war production in the years 1939-45 was essentially inefficient. How far do you agree with this view?

    However, the annexations of Austria, Bohemia, Poland and Alsace-Lorraine by 1940 brought with them huge quantities of high-quality iron ore; in 1943 these areas alone produced 6.7 million tons for the n**i war effort. The supplies of iron ore to the German war economy increased from 13.4 million to 20.2 million tons between 1940 and 1943. Other areas of conquered Europe yielded raw materials that were vital for the war effort also: manganese from the Soviet Union; nickel from Norway; bauxite from France.

    • Word count: 1895
  20. The Golden Years of the Weimar Republic presented a faade of success which in reality masked serious underlying weaknesses. How far do you agree with this judgement?

    This was hugely encouraged by foreign investment (notably from America). From this, the economy was boosted and Germany was receiving more in loans than they were paying out in reparations. However, this was all merely a façade disguising the downfalls of this foreign investment. Germany still remained in masses of debt, they were still obliged to pay the reparations and, due to the heavy investment in industry, agriculture was severely neglected, affecting how Germany could sustain herself. With this lack of balance financially, there was a high rise in unemployment in Germany in the 1920s. Indeed, in 1927 the Labour Exchanges were created and the Unemployment Insurance Law was passed.

    • Word count: 1378
  21. How accurate is it to say that the most important result of the collectivisation of agriculture was the imposed communist control of the countryside in the years 1928-41?

    lead to trade which brought Russia and Stalin money that assisted in funding for Stalin?s policy for industrialisation. Furthermore, because Stalin needed agricultural reform to support his programme of industrialisation imposed communist control of the countryside was vital. Due to Stalin?s control and introduction of grain requisitioning, Russia saw the amount of grain procured more than double between 1928 and 1935, meaning that more grain and food was available to the city and for trading, strengthening Stalin?s industrialisation of Russia. Therefore, it is accurate to say that communist control of the countryside was the most important result of collectivisation of agriculture as it set the groundwork for Stalin?s industrialisation of Russia.

    • Word count: 985
  22. How successful was Louis XVIII in dealing with problems during his reign?

    Britain was satisfied as long as the Bonaparte family were wholly removed from office and there was no Republic government established, decreasing the chance of another revolution. Why it had to be Louis? Firstly, he was on the throne a year before the war; Secondly, he was old and overweight, he would not be ambitious to fight a war, or create one, he would not have much long to live consequently he can be manipulated by the Allies for their own benefit.

    • Word count: 512
  23. The Bourbon Monarchy was stable in the years 1815-1824. To what extent do you agree with this verdict?

    The Allies settled on Louis XVIII as he was old, fat and dull, not ambitious enough to go to war and they would be able to manipulate him for their cause whereas Louis Philippe was young and unpredictable. Louis XVIII obtained the throne in 1815, the Allies, nevertheless had heavy hearts on their decision. They were concerned that Louis? reign would be associated with the old regime of his brother, the country was verging on anarchy and animosity in parliament and social disorder.

    • Word count: 606
  24. How far would you agree that Charles Xs close relationship with the Ultras was the main reason for his downfall in 1830?

    But why is that? Firstly this would undermine the Charter, even though Article 6 states that ?Roman religion is the religion of the state? in Article 5 it allows ?Every one [to] profess his religion with equal freedom?? but by fully making the states religion Catholicism without the freedom of practise of any other religion will eventual become his downfall as it shows he is not willing to compromise for the people of France as he by ?divine right? the King will only do what God wishes, not the people.

    • Word count: 904
  25. How Successful Were The Agrarian Reforms of Stolypin 1906 - 1914?

    Stolypin changed this and introduced the method of consolidating the land which was used in the western world. Each farmer could consolidate any three strips and choose what they would farm. This then created the two new pes of farmers- Otrub and Khutor. Otrub would not live on the farm whereas the Khutors would this would then lead to the creation of the wealthy middle class- the Kulaks. The Kulaks then had enough money to buy out poorer peasants who would then move to urban cities which then improved the industry. This also meant the Kulaks could afford to buy more modern farming machinery which created a consumer demand for products.

    • Word count: 971

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