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

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  1. In the years 1925-37, successive British Governments felt that Germany had legitimate grievances and this largely explains the policy of appeasement. How far do you agree with these judgements?

    A majority of Germany's grievances throughout the whole period stemmed from the Treaty of Versailles. Those grievances can then split into groups relating to specific sections of the treaty. Germany had mistrusted France, and since the Treaty of Versailles had never been happy with its eastern borders. To prevent any disagreements escalating the treaty of Locarno was signed, guarantying Germany's western borders, and stating that eastern borders would not be changed by force. This is therefore an example of appeasement caused by a German grievance.

    • Word count: 968
  2. Levels of Literacy in France during seventeenth-century French absolutism under Louis XIV and during the reign of Louis XVI immediately before the French Revolution of 1789

    There then was a division in France's society. They were divided into three estates, the clergy, the nobles, and the rest of the citizens which was a population of ninety-seven percent that was called the Third Estate. Most of the population were not allowed to participate in the decision-making process. The divisions in French society at the time had some obvious reasons, an example of one is the different social classes were either illiterate or literate. Divisions existed during king Louis reign, in men and women, the northern and southern regions of France.

    • Word count: 753
  3. How far does the North South divide in Italy explain the weaknesses of the Liberal State in the years 1896-1914?

    Farms run by capitalist tenant famers employing landless farm labourers on short contracts became the norm. This picture of economic acceleration and industrialisation was in complete contrast to the economy of southern Italy. The south consisted of the poorest farming areas as the hot dry climate mountains and malaria ridden coastal plains reduced the amount of land suitable for agriculture. In addition the system of landholding compounded the problem of economic underdevelopment in the south. The south was the region of the latifundia enormous noble-owned estates. They tended to show little interest in their lands, rejecting new agricultural methods.

    • Word count: 1140
  4. What caused the great terror? The seventeenth party congress of February 1934 is seen by many as the birth of Stalins Great terror, probably the most brutal era in Russias civil history.

    This however was not all, when Stalin finds out some of the elder communist party members tried to convince Kirov to run for party leader. Stalin's trust in the communist leaders is destroyed- he now knows he is not secure as the leader and his already deep-seated paranoia is worsened, he realises that he is not safe within his own party- this is the start of his extreme paranoia of just about everyone in the whole of Russia, but especially of people who held power.

    • Word count: 968
  5. The treaty of Versailles was shaped by French determination to exact revenge and to ensure Germanys permanent weakness How far do you agree with this view?

    It is extremely important when we look at the final draft of the treaty of Versailles to judge who had to the most influential role in the final draft of the treaty by first looking at the aims of the big three- Clemenceau, Wilson and Lloyd George. Clemenceau and Wilson polarised views on what should be done to Germany by the treaty - Wilson famous for his epically liberal views in his 'fourteen points' and Clemenceau wanting the precise opposite, wanting to Germany to suffer for destroying France.

    • Word count: 1116
  6. What is meant by the term responsive national state ? Why did it come to serve as a new unifying principle? Give examples of how this concept of state worked. How did this state differ from earlier ones in terms of its objectives and its appeal? Which nat

    One of the most prominent features of the period of the responsive national state was that the right to vote became a common thing. Universal male suffrage became a rule rather than an exception by 1914, with men not denied the right to vote due to economic condition or a lack of education. To this effect, the ability to influence the government became more or less universal as well- in an industrial society, this was an important aspect of living as the government's jurisdiction highly impacted the ways of production and labor, among other things.

    • Word count: 1459
  7. Agriculture-18th century. In Western Europe, from roughly seventeen-hundred to eighteen-hundred, there was a surge in economic and population growth.

    In this system, common lands were set aside for community use, and hard labor was abundant and common in relation to the land. This system was both inefficient and unjust, as it employed both hard labor and a complete lack of capitalism. The farming methods to come would be highly capitalistic. But by the middle of the eighteenth century, the vast majority of peasants in Western Europe had been freed from serfdom and many owned land. However, it still was not possible for peasants to increase their landholdings by taking land from more affluent landowners.

    • Word count: 1351
  8. To what extent is the most important reason for the rise of the Nazis Hitler himself?

    Hinderburg did think about Von Papen for chancellor but he realises this could bring problems to himself. In the end Von Paper insists that if Hitler is the Chancellor, there would only be a limited number of sits for the Nazis in the council. Hinderburg thought that if Hitler was appointed the Chancellor position he would be able to oversee what he was getting up to and what his future plans were. Hitler was given power in a seedy political deal by Hinderburh and Papen who foolishly though they could control him.

    • Word count: 1038
  9. Identify and analyze the political and cultural issues in the debate over Pan-Slavism.

    The political center of the Pan Slavic movement lay in the quest of power through unification. However, more people were doubtful of this idea rather than in favor of it. When looking at the distribution of the Slavs across various empires in Documents 1 and 2, we can see that while they were spread across a fairly range range of land, they were particularly concentrated the the Russian Empire, though most diversified in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The magnitude of the Russian empire in its own right thus almost repulsed some members of it from any sort of unification with other

    • Word count: 951
  10. How far were the domestic reforms of Alexander II mere window dressing by a Tsar whose main intention was to prevent more radical change?

    why the Tsar was really instigating the reforms, it shows that he was very aware of the feeling of unrest among the peasants, and as they made up 80% of the Russian population, the Tsar felt it would be wise to improve their situation and as a result this would strengthen Russia as a whole. This can therefore be seen as an act of the Tsar to keep control of his country and his seat in power. For that reason I feel that this shows that the main intention of this reform was to prevent any radical changes.

    • Word count: 672
  11. Revision notes - Russia to 1924

    / in 1866 a student attempted to assassinate the Czar ? tighter control of education / reduction in # of poor at Univs. / increased censorship / power of Zemstvo reduced / increased activity of the Secret police / political trials were taken to military court. o The Land and Liberty Party ? rebellion from below (the peasants) led by the anarchist Michael Bakunin o Evaluation of his reign: o Serfdom was ended o Reduction in the power of nobles o Develop. of industry. o Failure to carry out political change ?

    • Word count: 1325
  12. Bismarck did not plan the unification of Germany. He merely reacted to events.

    Moreover, with the extreme nationalism happening all over the European countries, the appearance of Bismarck was the most critical point of the whole unification process. As a Prussian, Bismarck is uncommonly loyal to his homeland and therefore, he would only allow the unification of Germany to happen with Prussia as the leader. War was necessary for unification because the balance of great powers would be imbalance as a result and so, Bismarck reformed the army till the point that he was known as Iron Chancellor.

    • Word count: 656
  13. How far had Mussolini achieved his aims in domestic policy by 1939?

    He therefore needed to alter this unfavourable circumstance decisively and carefully to take control of the parliament as a means to establish a totalitarian state which was the core in his domestic policy. In the totalitarian ideology basis, the supremacy over the individual rights of its citizens shouldn't be questioned as the popular Fascism slogan stated, "Everything within the State, nothing against the State, nothing outside the State.". This means liberalism was seen as the national enemy. In his domestic view, Mussolini saw that by having a liberal mind, people would soon voiced out their opinions and soon, his dictatorship would be in the stage of shattering.

    • Word count: 960
  14. How far do you agree that Parnell was the most effective leader of Constitutional Nationalism during the period from 1798-1921?

    Home Rule did not happen in Parnell's lifetime however, he is said to have set it in motion which is a fair statement due to his contribution, his consistent pushing of the Irish question at Gladstone helped make sure the Home Rule Bill came to fruition. O'Connell may have been the first Irish Nationalist Leader who made a positive impact in the field of Irish Nationalism. It was in 1798 that O'Connell set up his legal practice which was the stepping stone that helped prepare him for his career in politics.

    • Word count: 1682
  15. Assess the reasons why the Russian Revolution of 1917 ended in victory for the Bolsheviks.

    In fact, it can be seen as a transitional period for the Bolsheviks to take over and it was meant to be a temporary administration before a legitimate government was elected. Thus, it was powerlessness and was not a representative of the Russians as most of them were Duma politicians who like the Tsar, were also blinded by their powers and superior positions. In many ways, they cannot be considered as a revolutionary although they replaced the Tsar. As a matter of fact, they serve as a vehicle to prevent a revolution for the time being.

    • Word count: 1187
  16. How far do you agree that the Dumas were nothing more than rubber stamp assemblies?

    The Tsar pledged to introduce further civil liberties, provide for broad participation in a new "State Duma", and to endow the Duma with legislative and oversight powers. The first Duma opened on 27 April 1906 with roughly 500 deputies. Many radical left parties, such as the Socialist Revolutionary Party had boycotted the election, leaving the moderate Constitutional Democrats aka The Kadets with the most deputies. Second came an alliance of slightly more radical left wing parties, the Trudoviks, with around 100 deputies.

    • Word count: 967
  17. How did the Bolsheviks consolidate their power between 1917 and 1924?

    Lenin's 'April Thesis' in 1917 was a crucial step toward change as he called for a worldwide revolution, an end to the war and an end to the provisional government. The war with Germany was still happening but food production was plummeting and soon Russia was embraced by a devastating famine leading Russia to an economic crisis. As the Bolsheviks took control they immediately stopped all the freedoms that the proletariat had gained, as Lenin described Russia as "the freest country in the world."

    • Word count: 980
  18. In the process of consolidating his position, Napoleons reforms, had by 1808, destroyed the principles of the French Revolution. Discuss.

    In crowning himself Emperor, Napoleon had placed himself in a position above the rest of the country and whilst the Directory was, albeit corrupted, but run by five Directors which was an attempt at restraining those in power to change to dictatorship. This meant that Napoleon was the sole ruler of the country and that his descendants would take control after him, this mirrored the hereditary principle of a monarchy; which made the constitution even more of a return to the Ancien R�gime.

    • Word count: 3993
  19. How and why did the Weimar Governments collapse between October 1929 and January 1933?

    It appeared that Ludendorff's plan to shift blame from the army to the politicians had been very effective, but would lead to the violence and political unrest that would eventually destroy the Weimar Republic and, ultimately, democratic Germany. This almost instantaneous association between democracy and defeat did not serve well for promoting the new form of government. The German nation was a nation not familiar with the freedom of being able to rule themselves, having been under monarchical rule for centuries. Because of this, Germans looked to those who filled the role of leader (a new king, if you will)

    • Word count: 2930
  20. How accurate is it to suggest that the Treaty of Versailles was mainly responsible for the political and economic instability in Germany 1919-23?

    In fact, with the treaty taking 48% of Germany's iron ore, 16% of its coal and 15% of its agricultural land the country was effectively plunged into economic disarray, unable to export the materials and goods that had previously seen the country thrive. With such significant losses in land and resources, and therefore her productive output, coupled with the major reparations that the treaty forced the country to pay, it is clear that the Treaty of Versailles played a large role in the economic instability of 1919-23 within Germany.

    • Word count: 1385
  21. Was Stalins personality the most important reason behind the Purges? (24 Marks)

    Later Kirov was assassinated by a younger party member. It is unknown who had hired this assassin, but whether it was an enemy of his or the enemy in Stalin he had create, Stalin used his death to his advantage. This was done through the claim that spies and conspiracy against older party members was present. From here he introduced the Purges. Another reason it is said that the purges took place was to allow Stalin to assert his power on to the party, to allow his ways as a leader to continue.

    • Word count: 1345
  22. Stalins cult of personality was the result of the peoples desire for a leader to worship. How far do you agree or disagree with this statement?

    To begin with, the cult of Stalin grew with the people's psychological want for a leader. Considering the Russian people as 'Tsaristic', he was seen to be a worshipped character that was dearly idolised by his people. Tsaristicness' justified the cult in a way, as the Russian people had been exploited to a way of life which required loyalty and devotion to the cause found in a leader. However it went against the principle of Marxism. Although some records suggest that Stalin encouraged the cult, his daughter said that her father was particularly 'embarrassed' by the attention of the cult.

    • Word count: 845
  23. Describe the Russia that Tsar Nicholas II inherited

    Finally, Russia's large land mass made it difficult for communication and travel resulting in delays in enterprise and modernisation. Alexander III had been a conservative autocrat who during his reign in power (1881-1894) had reversed the reform of the political & social system begun by his father Alexander II. Alexander II had realised that Russia needed to modernise in order to compete against growing nations such as the US, France, Germany and the British Empire. He emancipated the serfs, giving them greater freedoms.

    • Word count: 1629
  24. How far do you agree that the only aim of the radical parties was to overthrow the Tsar?

    The Populists hoped that this would cause the old fashioned strong central government to fade away. This means that it was one of the aims of the Populists to remove the Tsar from power, although they were more opposed to the entire Russian system of Autocracy, and it's removal was to achieve further goals than to simply overthrow the leaders that they did not like, or did not feel were running the country affectively. The plans of the Populists to win the support of the peasants and serfs failed, as they were simply not interested in reform.

    • Word count: 870
  25. Assess the view that Russias communist leaders did less than the Tsars to improve the lives of the working class in the period 1855-1964.

    The peasantry also suffered constantly from famine throughout the period. Often, this occurred for reasons which can be directly traced to Russian Governments, in particular under Stalin where the manmade famine of 1932 to force through collectivisation had devastating effects on the peasantry in much the same way as the famine of 1922, which was also man made. In contrast to this, the famine of 1891 showed that the Russian state did actually pay attention to the peasantry, Alexander III acknowledged there was a problem and provided emergency funding in order to address the situation.

    • Word count: 1668

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