Friday, May 15, 2015

20th-21st Century Discussion

1. What were the circumstances allowing Benito Mussolini to gain control of the Italian government? After World War I, even though Italy came out a “winner”, the people felt the need for a strong leader to defeat the nations enemies as well as establish a new order. (felt gypped by allied powers?) Founded Fascist Party in 1919…

2. Describe the pattern of development in China and Russia during the last 20th to early 21st centuries.
While China began to thrive in the new globalization, Russia was suffering from the implications of globalization. This soon began to change as the Russian government began to reform accept political democratization.

“The Russian and Chinese development model combines an acceptance of market forces and global integration with a rejection of neoliberal economics and liberal democracy, and the reaffirmation of nationalism and sovereignty.”*

Figure One Contrasting reform paths *

Western advice
Politics First
Shock therapy
Strong influence
Economy first
Controlled transition
No influence

Also in the 70s China and USSR experience a cooling of relationships.

3. Know the major causes of the Great Depression.
War Debts
Government Inflation/Deflation (the following are really symptoms of this cause..)
Stock market Crash of 1929 and financial panic
Bank Failures
Lack of demand for products

4. What were the implications of modernity, the idea of ‘being modern’, in the 1920s and 1930s?
Many visions of “modernity” competed, but mass production, mass consumption, and mass culture were common to all. However the Great Depression made many think twice about their “modern” ideas. This in turn popularized the rise of liberalism, authoritarianism, and anti-colonialism.

“Liberalism, which wed capitalism and democracy, suffered during the Great Depression as economies collapsed. While many considered alternatives, liberalism survived by granting more power to the state. Authoritarian regimes exalted the state by subordinating the individual and rejecting democracy in favor of authoritarian control and government distribution of “national” resources. Anticolonialism rejected liberalism, calling it a mechanism of imperialism, and sought the expulsion of foreign powers from native lands. Modernity, after all, first required independence.”

5. Know the goal of the Marshall Plan.
U.S. enact provide Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, or the Marshall plan to help rebuild countries after World War II by providing economic assistance. Also meant to prevent Communism from gaining a stronghold.

6. Know the countries which disappeared after the collapse of communism in 1989.
East Germany
South Vietnam
United Arab Republic
Ottoman Empire
Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Union)

7. What new 20th century development increased the possibility of successful rebellion against oppressive governments?
Easier access to information. Media publicize wars and governmental affairs.

8. Know why the development of nuclear weapons made contact between the US and USSR LESS likely.
Because they both had the potential/means to destroy the entire world. Thus direct contact was avoided.

9. What influences of Wilson’s Fourteen Points are seen in the Treaty of Versailles?

-Most importantly the League of Nations was set up to guarantee political and territorial independence.

-Land returned to Poland, France, Belgium, Denmark, and Russia, and occupying armies removed

-Overseas colonies handed over to League

-Countries supposed to reduce weapon numbers, especially Germany whose armies were supposed to be reduced to a mere 100,000 men and battleships to 6, while submarines were completely banned for her.

-Many penalties on Germany including “War Guilt

10. What provisions were made for ordinary people in Second World countries compared to First World countries? (I attempted to answer the question, but also gave some more info about the different events…etc. that these circumstances led to or occurred at the same time as.)
First World:
Technological goods, foods, houses, appliances…etc. are made cheap and available to ordinary people, improving their standard of living immensely.

Yet racial persecution and struggles were striving and led to racial civil rights movements as well as women’s civil rights movements.

Second World:
Russian Economic and standard of living improved dramatically, although not to the point of the West’s prosperity.

USSR launched first satellite into space in 1957

USSR bury U.S. in Iron production, but US still world economic power and developed important technology during this time

“Eastern Europeans all clamored for higher standards of living, on par with the West, but the Soviet economy simply couldn’t provide that—that was the product of capitalism.”
~Dr. Favelo 

11. Know why the end of the Cold War led to outbreaks in the Balkans.
“… remains of Yugoslavia, groups of Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, ethnic Albanians, and others fought for control.” ~Tignor 815

People did not see themselves as members of pluralistic communist communities. Many people desired independence and did not want to be second class citizens because they were ethnic minorities.

“Even, Soviet republics rejected communism and a planned economy for some form of democracy and capitalism.” Tignor 815

12. How was a liberal, democratic model of government perceived by the end of the 1930s?
As mentioned in question 4, after the Great Depression, people were desperate for aid and were willing to give up much of their Capitalist and Democratic, Liberalist freedoms. Liberalism did survive, but only as the people allowed the taking away of individual rights and the giving of more rights to the state.

13. In post-WWII Western Europe, communism lost its appeal. Why?
1 People realized no matter how wonderful it sounded, it simply did not work!

2 People like to own things, they prosper under their own initiative rather than the thumb of a government

3 Bad experiences with governments who attempted to enact Communism

14. What is symbolic about the “Prague Spring”?
Students rally for freedoms and soviets crush them (literally). After a desperate student doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire at one of these protests, the Prague Spring served as a symbol for dissenters. Underground orthodox churches sprang up.

Prague Spring: (1968) “Program of liberalization under a new communist party in Czechoslovakia that strove to create a democratic and pluralist socialism.” ~Tignor Glossary

15. Know the circumstances under which NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) became an influential part of the international community.
NGO’s advocated for environment protection and civil rights while also providing aid internationally.

Because of their ability to minister and act in different countries regardless of the type of government, or it’s allies NGO’s became quite popular as well as powerful.

16. What was Stalin’s plan for replacing capitalistic agriculture with socialist agriculture?
“Collectivization was an attempt to modernize industry by nationalizing all firms and businesses, forcing peasants off of private lands and into kolkhozes (agricultural communes run by the government), eliminating the kulaks (the well-off peasants), and fixing prices of all wages and food.”

Stalin developed “five year plans” to accomplish these goals. Farmers, and workers rebelled against his oppressive plans, which ultimately failed as he was forced to give the people some of their rights bacj in order to keep the population from more rebellion, starvation, and poverty.

17. Know the features of South Africa’s Apartheid system.
“Afrikaner whites dominated South Africa politically and militarily by enforcing extreme legal discrimination known as Apartheid.

Black Africans were banned from white neighborhood, white jobs, white facilities, and even free elections.

At times the oppression turned particularly violent, such as the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960, when white police opened fire on black protesters, killing 69” ~Dr. Favelo

18. What weakened the Soviet Bloc in the 1970s and 1980s?

-Soviet reliance on brutality and crushing repression in contradiction to it’s welfare policies.

-Rising economic might and radicalism challenged Soviet government.

-News about the prosperity in first world countries inevitably made it’s way to the Soviet public, they began to yearn for the freedoms and ease of living they heard about on their radios. This obviously weakened the Soviet’s claim that their way was better.

-The Soviet Bloc collapsed showing it’s obvious shortages, lagging health care, and political lies.

-Some states ceased to exist, while other’s jut broke apart.

19. Know the characterization of India after its independence.
After Britain granted India it’s independence, disunity still remained between Hindu and Muslim, especially since Hindu culture contributed significantly to the new nation.

British divide colonies into two states.

In August 1947 a million Hindus and Muslims, instead of rejoicing over independence, slaughtered each other. Gandhi was able to stop the violence for a time and get 12 million people out to go to their preferred religious state.

20. What was the negative outcome of the end of colonial rule in Sub-Saharan Africa?
Third World States attempted to create a “Third” more humane way of government, different from the West’s democracy or Asia’s totalitarian governments.

“Politically, Third World leaders found themselves drawn into alliance arrangements, hosting U.S. or Soviet military bases, while also trying to build up their own military forces. Far from accomplishing their visions of a “third way,” many Third World nations fell to dictatorships willing to play the superpowers off each other for arms and assistance.”

~WTWA Summary

21. Know what the Green Revolution is.

America entered a new age filled with scientific and technological improvements, which brought unprecedented amount of success. Unfortunately Americans began to see the damaging affects these new innovations were having on their environment. Environmentalism became a theme in many social protests.

22. What caused Japan to turn toward authoritarian rule in this time period?
After World War II Japan had to do some serious reconstructing. The U.S. military gave it’s protection and, “American technology, investment, and markets, meanwhile, stimulated economic development and allowed Japan to produce one of the world’s most powerful economies.” At the same time the Japanese skillfully orchestrated much of the success.

23. The majority of German casualties during WWII were caused fighting against whom and why?
Battle of soviet union?


24. What were the impacts of WWII on Social Darwinism and its justifications for colonial rule?
The belief that Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution justifies the right of the ruling classes or countries to dominate gave countries the justification to rule over other people groups, giving them little to no rights.

25. What was the role of African people in governing Europe’s African colonies following WWI?
After World War II, while the colonies’ “master’s” were re-arranged, most did not receive independence and were not allowed to take part in the government or important jobs which were reserved for the white settlers.

Colonial Africans had also fought in WWII and expected reparations.

Soon this changed, as the inevitable Decolonization of colonies took place and African governments rose up in an attempt to create a “3rd way.”

Further Reading and helpful sources: