1. Discuss the reality and significance of the Civil War in U.S. history. What were the factors that led to the outbreak of war? What were the long-term consequences of the conflict? Discuss Lincoln s role. What did emancipation mean to both sides in the war?
The reality of the US Civil War lies with the then economic and social differences between the Northern and Southern parts of the US, where Northern Federal states, grew industrialized, welcoming new cultures, while the Southern confederate states maintained an antiquated social order, and agriculture, utilizing the slaves in their farms. These socio cultural and political differences extended into conflicts on issues like taxes, internal improvement, and states’ rights versus federal rights, initialized the outbreak of war. Though the war brought along bloodshed and atrocity, in long term it opened the doors for civil rights, industrialization, and reconstruction of South, as well as preservation of the Union, and demolition of slavery from the South. Abraham Lincoln played an efficient leader in unifying the country, and declaring emancipation of slaves, the end of slavery from United States. Most of the people throughout the world welcomed Emancipation, but some of the Northern population, were not ready to work with black people, as the then rule allowed their participation in army. Some of the others were worried that free slaves would flee to the North, and thereby will take their jobs. In the South most of the planters were worried about slave rebellion, many of them joined Ku Klux Klan utilizing violence in order to stop slaves from gaining civil rights.
2. Examine the influence, both positive and negative, of western European and American knowledge and ideals on the Ottoman, Russian, Qing, and Tokugawa states in the nineteenth century. Why would these states be both, attracted to and repelled by these influences?
In the nineteenth century, Western European and American countries were, technologically advanced with rationalized ideals, strong military, dramatically expanding economies, and growing power over other countries. Asian empires like Ottoman, Russian, Qing, and Tokugawa states had negative impact from those revolutionary knowledge and ideals, as they failed to compete with more modern and industrialized rivals. Slow pace of technological advancement and internal conflicts, like population pressure, less agricultural production, declining revenue, and internal bureaucratic corruption, fundamentally shattered these countries. However, as a positive impact, these states were better equipped to face the twentieth century, and Japan and Russia attained reform effectively. The industrial development and progress of American and Western European countries attracted these states, while the constant completion with these powers repelled them at the same time, as they posed profound challenge to compete.
3. What were the legacies of nineteenth-century imperialism? What was anti-colonialism? In what ways is the world shaped today by the actions of nineteenth-century imperialists?
Imperialism names the time after the industrial revolution during the nineteenth century, when industrially advanced Western nations, and United States dominated other less progressive nations from Asia, Africa, and South America, by either using pre-existing native authorities, or forceful control. These imperial nations advanced their own economies, gained benefits of science, technology, religion, and political order by colonizing poor nations, which provided them with natural resources for industrialization. The colonized territories did get the legacies like infrastructure development, railways, and communications, new technologies, languages, crops, and animals with the addition of new values and religion, but with no industrialized or economic progress for them, which ignited conflicts between the ruling powers and existing indigenous states and empires.
This was the beginning of anti-colonialism, where natives fought against Western expansion, customs and Missionary Christianity; and slave rebellion in Africa that further evolved into the creation of new societies, and nations. The legacies of Imperialism had a profound political, social, and economical impact over the world. Australia, New Zealand, and some other countries erected themselves well, while Africa gained no progress; China went for Communism, Latin America ended up with revolutions with smuggling and gun culture, while many other nations are still struggling to rise up as an independent nation; United States developed into a powerful nation. In all the disruption of traditional culture brought about by the imperialism continues to influence modern world.
4. What role did women play in World War I? What effect would their contribution to the war effort have on their lives both during and after the war? How does this effect relate to concepts such as total war and the home front?
World War l was one opportunity for women to come out of domestic shell and contribute to then, essentially male dominated society. They played a vital role in keeping soldiers equipped with ammunition, transport system and nursing. With so many male war casualties, women got the chance to prove their efficiency in the job sector like transport, shipyards, warplane factories, and farms, thereby gaining gradual political power and new liberation in fashion and behavior by 1918. After the war, most of the women moved out of domestic services to factory works, wore bobbed hair, short skirts, and smoked, while some participated in Women’s leagues. The women’s International league for Peace and Freedom started around 1915 with collaboration of Women’s Peace Party to protest against the war. ‘Home Front’ was a title used to name the part of war that was not actively involved in the war, yet it was important to it, as it ensured the supply of war material to the war front. As most of the men were involved in fighting, women managed the home front, maintaining home economy, social front, politics and sometimes, manufacturing goods. When the countries involved in a war utilize all their populations and socio-economic and political resources in the war, it said to be a ‘Total War’. Women served the war as nurses, on the front lines, as drivers of ambulance drivers. Many Russian nurses died from enemy fires, while many of them gathered to force the end of war, though male dominant governments scorned or mocked them. After the war, many nurses got the chance to receive medical education utilizing their nursing experience, and since then women are climbing ways that are more successful.
5. Examine the causes and implications of the Great Depression. Why was the depression so widespread and so devastating? How did different countries respond to the depression? What would be the long-term consequences of the depression?
The Great Depression was a widespread and devastating economic slump that began in North America, and echoed through Europe and other industrialized regions of the world, from 1929 to 1939. After World War I farmers invested heavily in agriculture and machinery, but decline in farm commodity prices after war put them under heavy debt, which pushed them to hold their money. Less purchase gave rise to extra inventory, so manufacturers took less risk in business investments. To limit stock market speculations tightly, due to early rise in stocks in 1924, Federal Reserve raised the interest rates in hopes of slowing rapid stock price rise, which led to depressed interest sensitive spending in construction and automobile markets. Falling stock prices led to panic selling of stocks, as everyone wanted to sell the shares but no one to buy them, which further dropped stock prices. By the fall of 1930, depositors simultaneously demanded their bank deposits in cash, as they did not trust bank credibility anymore. The situation soon started influencing European economy as United States, a major creditor for those nations helping in reformation after the war, recalled their loans, causing European economy to tumble. Gradually most of the countries tried protecting their domestic production by limiting foreign imports, resulting into more than half of world trade slumping. One by one, countries attempted devaluation of their currency, which somewhat helped reestablishing employment, and a little ease in repaying debt. Great Depression inspired the government to take action in the economic processes, in the form of taxation, industrial regulation, deficit spending, public works, and social insurances to maintain economies, which are still in progress as a long-term consequence.
6. Latin American nationalism developed from the struggle of indigenous populations in this region with neocolonialism. What is neocolonialism? How did it manifest itself in Latin America and what was its impact on the evolution of Latin American nationalist identity?
The political independence from Spain and Portugal created new nations and states in Latin America, like Spanish American Republics and Brazilian Empire. However, the economic power just shifted to Great Britain rendering no change in basic socio-economic structures of Latin America. This post-independence stage, from 1880 to 1930, was ‘neo-colonialism’. Independent nations either still followed English and French footsteps in government, benefitting most of the elites, and controlling countries like United, and bestowed more power to military and church, , rendering great gap between rich and poor, and threatened Indigenous culture once again. During the 20th century, internal conflicts between the elites and the indigenous population created an unstable relationship between military and democracy, forming the beginning of Nationalism, but with Political and economic instability.
Mexico fought against Porfirio Diaz’s military rule, but Stability was still too far with the assassination of each President during his office term, until Lazaro Cardenas took office in 1934, when finally democracy started to surface. Most Latin American nations scooted out of the military in 1990s, with democratic elections, yet under continued economic and military dominance of the United States. Countries became independent, and had governments, but Independence struggles were mostly held under American banner, and the diversity of cultures made it difficult for national identity to take roots until late 1900s, when social movements helped the transition from authoritarianism to redemocratisation of the region. With more information about civil rights and confidence boost from International contacts, they strived for a national identity that is much different from that of European nations.
7. Discuss the origins of the Cold War. What were the fundamental differences between the Soviet Union and the United States? What role did ideology play in the Cold War? Examine the contrasting ideologies of the superpowers.
The Cold War was essentially an ideological war between two super powers that emerged after the World War ll, the Soviet Union and the United States. When the United States hid its intention of dropping the Nuclear Bomb on Japan until a few days before the operation, from Russia but the rest of the allies, the Soviet Union grew suspicious. Their suspicions were reinforced when the United States discontinued lend-lease aid to Russia after the War, so Stalin quickly broke the commitment of Yalta to allow free elections in Eastern Europe in exchange of a ‘buffer zone’ in its border states of friendly governments, immobilizing any future attacks to Russia. The United States perceived this ‘buffer zone’ as a threat to its future acquisition of future European market, and feared the spread of Communism unavoidable through it. The Soviet Union spread communism in the Eastern Europe with their support to Communist states of the region, when Europe and United States did not open a second front for attacking Germany. In 1946, Europe divided in two parts prosperous Western Europe, rebuilt under the support of the United States and Great Britain, and not so prosperous Eastern Europe covered by The Soviet Union, with a wall separating Berlin in two parts. Finally, Russia parted its ways from the rest of the Allies in 1948. United States turned Western Europe into its ally with financial help, and found its much-needed market for Colonial Liberal economy, which believed in private ownership, private profit, and free competition among privately owned businesses. The Eastern Europe had communist controlling government, where the government owned and governed wealth and resources, and planned the economic activities for the betterment of everyone. The fundamental difference between the two rested in their ideologies and their spread they intended. Later on, with no nuclear power, or positive foreign relationships, the Soviet Union could not stand against the Western European Nations and the United states, and ceased any efforts to gain control over the surrounding states.
8. Discuss China s one-child family rule. What would drive the Chinese to take such a drastic step? Have there been any unexpected problems associated with this rule? Compare this rule to actions taken by Indira Gandhi to slow India s population growth. How difficult is population control to enforce?
Considering the population growth in 1949 and 1976 as a social, economic, and environmental threat, with population of 972 million in 1979, the Chinese government took an extreme measure in family planning, ‘The One Child Policy’. Under the policy, a couple can have only one child, for not complying, the family faces consequences like, heavy fine, or forced abortion, forceful sterilization, employment termination, and difficult government loans, while adhering families get rewards like higher wages, better schooling and employment, and preferences in government loans. Besides, if both parents to be are single children; first child is a girl or with inborn deficiency, then they may have a second child but with three to four year gap, moreover every couple needs to get a permit before conceiving a child. However, the policy still has had many unexpected problems. People have aborted their girl children to have one male child, some second and third children are not registered, or they have to address their parents as uncle and aunt, and there is imbalance in natural ratio of girl and boy child. Moreover, Psychological research show one-child policy children to grow, less competitive, more pessimists and more risk averse. As compared to India, where growing population is a big concern, China has achieved much success with OCP by saving 300 million births, and raising the economic status.
In 1976 the then Prime Minister Late Indira Gandhi forced sterilization on male population by forceful vasectomy in government camps, which did not continue with government change after elections, but other measures, like family planning, other contraceptives, and late marriages are still in use. However, India has failed to implement any measure consistently, either because the uneducated population, or internal corruptive forces so far, while China has achieved population control, but is facing problems of less work force to continue economic growth. Ironically, India has been unsuccessful to counter overpopulation with more work forces and less employments, while China need to get rid of OCP with fewer youngsters than old people, but the family planning commission is unwilling to give up its own money churning existence. With modern medical sophistication, lower infant mortality, longer life spans, larger number of youths, less urbanization, lack of education, and early marriages contribute to consistently uncontrollable population growth. The world is too far from getting completely urbanized, and educated fully, hence population control is going to be a difficult goal for much longer.