(Answered): World War and Cold War


(Answered): World War and Cold War

Please answer the following 4 questions using 400 words for each question. Use 4 scholarly references and cite using Chicago style citation and bibliography FOR EACH QUESTION. QUESTION 1: Failure of Democracy in Interwar Europe If anything may be said to be truly European, it is democracy. Yet, democracy is very fragile. It is significant that, of all the new democracies established after World War I, only two survived past 1935 (which two countries were they?). Despite its deep roots in Europe, it was not democracy that was the dynamic political movement in the interwar period, but the totalitarian philosophies of fascism and communism. Mussolini proclaimed it the Fascist Era (Era Fascista, or E.F.) and dated everything from the successful conclusion of the March on Rome–using Roman numerals, of course. To many Americans, Mussolini seemed dynamic and progressive, Others saw the communist state established in Stalin’s Soviet Union as heralding the wave of the future. Not until the murderous reality behind both fascism and Stalinism became apparent did they lose their admirers in the West. For some, with particular reference to Stalinism, this did not happen until after World War II. Progressive or not, what is certain is that both fascism and communism built on ideas and principles deeply rooted in European history and culture. To some extent, totalitarian thinking is more European than democratic thinking. Democracy derives from belief in the fundamental rights of the individual in society–what the Germans call Gesellschaft. The notion that individual rights reign supreme–as described in Locke, Hume, Smith, Jefferson and so on–has always been more an Anglo-American conception, rather than a European one. Europeans tend to think in terms of community–the German word is Gemeinschaft–in which the rights of the individual are balanced against the good of the whole. Europeans as a rule shrink from the full implication of individual freedoms–that untrammeled freedom also means untrammeled freedom to suffer. It is not coincidence that social programs–health care, welfare, free education–are far more pronounced in Europe than in the United States. Europeans are willing–albeit sometimes grudgingly–to pay far more in taxes than we are, just to maintain what most see as essential services. Take one or more individuals from the list below. Briefly classify their political orientation. You may, if you wish put them in one or more of the following categories: authoritarian, totalitarian, fascist, and/or communist. Why did they seize power? How valid were their reasons? Adolf Hitler Antanas Smetona Antonio Salazar Bela Kun Carol II Engelbert Dollfuß Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco Bahamonde Heinrich Brüning Ioannis Metaxas Joseph Pilsudski Joseph Stalin Jozef Tiso Kārlis Ulmanis King Alexander King Boris Konstantin Päts Kurt von Schleicher Kurt von Schuschnigg Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja Miklos Horthy Vidkun Quisling Zog I QUESTION 2: Italian Fascism and Soviet Communism Looking back, the 1930s seem dominated by the rise of Hitler and the horrors of Nazism and World War II. Until very late in the 1930s, however, Hitler seemed to many people to be but a pale shadow of his southern predecessor. The regimes that seemed to offered dynamism were Fascist Italy and the Communist Soviet Union. Hitler seemed a silly-looking man in baggy pants and a bad haircut. By contrast, Mussolini seemed to be dragging Italy up by its bootstraps. Italy was definitely the least of the Great Powers. Italy had no resources and precious little industry. Under Mussolini, Italy acquired a modern air force and navy and apparently a large and modern army. Moreover, fascism modernized and expanded the Italian economy, promoted Italian cultural and social development. Mussolini built up the Italy as an autarkical state, improved agriculture and education and seemed to be well on the way to building a dynamic vibrant new Italy. Mussolini himself was portrayed as a renaissance man—superbly parodied by Jack Oakey in Chaplin’s Great Dictator–a must-see for students of twentieth century Europe–a great statesman, an athlete, a man who could strip off his shirt to dig ditches in the morning and play the violin in the afternoon, all the while imposing his own personal rule on his country. The universal slogan in Italy was “Mussolini ha sempre ragione”: Mussolini is always right. The only disturbing note was his emphasis on military strength and an ideology of conquest. Mussolini declared the creation of a new Roman Empire and pronounced the strategically central Mediterranean as Mare Nostrum: our sea. To those worried about fascist expansionism, the communist Soviet Union offered an alternative. Soviet propaganda stressed the new communist state as a workers paradise; like Mussolini, Stalin was engaged in pulling Russia into the modern era. The Soviet Union was filled with vast industrial projects and—although conservatives continued to worry about revolutionary communism, Stalin’s ussr stressed revolution by example; Stalin’s advocated no conquest and deprecated expansionism. Moreover, it was Stalin who seemed to be willing to oppose the fascists, Stalin who aided the Spanish republic and Stalin who promoted cooperation on the part of the left in opposing fascism. Only later did it become apparent that all was false: Mussolini did not make the trains run on time, the Italian economy remained under-industrialized and resource-poor. The Italian air force, the most modern in the world in 1936, was obsolete by 1940; the army was ill-equipped and obsolete, its armored equipment more dangerous to Italians than to the enemy; only the navy was up to great power standards, and it suffered from shortages of fuel oil and vital equipment. Most Italians remained illiterate and poor. Not until very late in the game did the murderous character of Stalin’s regime become apparent. The cost of Stalin’s enforced modernization of the Soviet economy were horrendous: no one knows how many people died in the forced labor projects and collectivization, but they number in the millions. Stalin himself became more paranoid and murderous as he grew older. The purges of the 1930s grew in intensity and contributed millions more to the body count of Stalin’s regime. Why would anybody be a fascist? Or a communist? Why did democracy do so poorly in the Interwar period? Why did it survive in some countries and collapse in others? QUESTION 3: True or False: World War II was the first modern war. Why or why not? QUESTION 4: The historian John Lewis Gaddis has argued that without Joseph Stalin there would have been no Cold War. Although the behavior of the western powers and the United States may have contributed to the Cold War, it was Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union that created the situation in which the Cold War occurred. Therefore, the Soviet Union must shoulder most of the blame for the Cold War. Is this correct? Why or why not?

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