north atlantic treaty organization made soviet leader nikita khrushchev H u m a n i t i e s
Learning Goal: I’m working on a history discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Shared Final Analysis (125 points). There is no embedded scoring rubric for this part of the Book Review Project. You will be graded based on the guidelines below.
Discuss three ideas, concepts, or events that made this class memorable for you. Please refer to weeks 1-8 discussions to compose your answers. You may also consult the book reviews. Three paragraphs – ten sentences in length for each paragraph will earn full credit for each paragraph. (25 points each paragraph x 3)
Look back at your introductions at the beginning of class and the rationale as to why we should study the History of Europe in the twentieth century. Identify three shifts in your perspective of Europe? (10 points)
Briefly comment on the famous little book by Snyder, On Tyranny – pick two points of interest as they relate to our class and explain why you selected these particular chapters. (15 points)
What new skill sets have you acquired as a result of taking this class? (15 points)
Successfully incorporated footnotes. (10 points) Below I have included overview of the course for the weeks and concepts that stand out
Europeans experienced many benefits from the imperial trade in Africa and elsewhere. Possession of money, leisure time, and homes to display cultural artifacts marked one class apart from the others. The wealthy had time to study, travel, and collect silks from China, art from Paris, bronzes from Persia, and marble statues from Greece and Italy. Those who could not go on the Grand Tour of Europe enjoyed Sunday visits to museums, expositions in Paris and sports activities. Events, such as the Olympics revived in 1896, became increasingly popular as venues for competition. In The World of Yesterday, the Austrian Štefan Zweig detailed the hopeful atmosphere in Vienna, where the arts, literature, and entertainment flourished. Life in European capitals reflected elements of imperial, military, and economic rivalries.
Competitiveness coincided with popular ideas about survival of the fittest. Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection and contests for resources resulted in a sea change of thinking about survival. His ideas spilt over into social values known as Social Darwinism, or only the strong survive. These concerns and the health of imperial subjects became a marker of competitiveness for war.
In order to compete, social scientists argued that everything could be improved with science, technology, and rational social policies. For example, the new field of sociology, or the statistical study of human behavior, included measures of well-being. Public health advocates emphasized good health and nutrition, exercise, and safe living standards as measures of social well-being. Infant and maternal mortalities declined, as did fertility rates. These social changes produced a rise in population and encouraged rural-urban migration and emigration from Europe to North America and Australia.
Improving standards for women meant longer lives and more opportunities for participation in the workforce and education. In 1869, John Stuart Mill and his partner, Harriet Taylor Mill, published The Subjection of Women, in which they argued that women deserved the same rights to property, their children, and the vote, as did men. Some feminists saw themselves, frequently, as little better than slaves. The activists believed they needed to secure a voice in elections to change society. Suffragists regarded their campaign, a word often associated with war, as an attempt to achieve the same status as men in terms of rank, privilege, and property ownership.
These changes improved the status of women through work in cities and factories. They worked independently, away from their family’s supervision. As improved farm equipment and crop yields freed them from laborious work in the countryside, they worked in factories. While farm work declined as the most critical sector of the economy, employment in the industrial and service sectors increased. Women moved into the cities to work as domestics, governesses, and nurses. Each occupation demanded that women remain unmarried and chaste. The laboring class grew markedly, and conditions gradually improved for workers compared to the earlier stages of industrialization. While the world economy was prone to respond to fluctuations of prosperity and depressions, the rising middle-class enjoyed the benefits of urban life replete with an ample supply of housekeepers, department stores, and leisure activities.
All classes did not share equally in the expansive economic growth. Karl Marx (1818-1883) and others challenged liberal laissez-faire ideas that restrained the government from interfering with the captains of industry in terms of workers’ benefits. Marx argued that your labor was the equivalent of landed wealth or money in the bank. In 1848, Marx published the Communist Manifesto with its ringing cry enjoining “working men of all countries unite!” Observers grew alarmed by the idea of working men uniting, in much the same way as Southern planters in the United States were fearful of slave rebellions. Such talk scared wealthy politicians who feared the concept of worldwide revolution, regardless of political boundaries.
During this era, the spectre of Marxism compelled governments to concede to the expansion of social welfare benefits. Debates relating to the quality of life took place in European capitals. Despite such efforts, over thirty million Europeans from southern and Eastern Europe emigrated to North America. Most left for higher wages because wages in the United States were twice as high as Germany and five times higher than those in rural Eastern Europe.
After the first decade of the twentieth century had passed, pre-war alliances, imperial competition, nationalism, and an arms race between Britain and Germany made conditions ripe for a potentially explosive war. The Balkans, formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, grew increasingly unstable; one fateful shot provided the spark for a war that destroyed optimistic hopes for a continually improving world.
After completing Week 2 of the course, you should be able to:
- Analyze how increased leisure time opened doors to international cultural venues and events.
- Assess the value of public museums and the expansion of education across all classes.
- Understand the powerful impact of Social Darwinism and Marxism on European mentalities.
- Analyze the role of demography and sociology had in defining public health concerns.
- Examine the feminist quest for European women’s suffrage in the run-up to the Great War.
- Demonstrate documentation skills.
Unconditional surrender by Germany, Italy, and Japan brought the end to hostilities in Europe on V-E Day, or May 8, 1945 and in the Pacific on V-J Day, August 11, 1945 and a new era of adjustments. The conference at Potsdam in July 1945, however, did not end on a positive note. Truman had put Stalin on notice about the atomic bomb at Potsdam; Churchill never trusted Stalin, so the Soviet dictator had little traction with his adversaries. Nonetheless, the Allies, Britain, the U.S., and France, under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle, commander of the Free French during the war, worked strenuously to avoid the Versailles Settlement mistakes and turn Germany and Japan into modern and economically sound democracies. Almost simultaneously, however, the remaining parts of the British and French empires began to crumble.
Britain, France, West Germany, and the U.S. had entered the Cold War era and began to consider how to manage their relationship with the U.S.S.R. Nuclear weapons and atomic energy changed the equation of power in Europe and the World. By the end of August 1945, President Truman ordered that all information relating to atomic bomb production be placed under top security. Unfortunately, he was too late; Klaus Fuchs, who had worked on the project, had shared the information with the Soviets.
Significantly weakened by war, Britain, France, and smaller countries encountered the collapse of their political and economic colonial power in Southwest Asia, Africa, and Asia. Decolonization in Southwest Asia, however, represented one of the long-term consequences of the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations. The mandate system divided up the former Ottoman territories, placing Syria under French control and Iraq, Palestine, and Jordan under British control. In 1946, these countries received their independence; but the partition of Palestine into two states, Israel and Palestine, was the most controversial. Britain entirely withdrew from Palestine in 1948, and in 1949, the United Nations recognized the state of Israel. Iran was nominally independent, but most of its oil resources were controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (a forerunner of B.P. or British Petroleum). The country faced a leadership crisis in 1951 when a new government took steps to nationalize its oil fields. The Iranian government was overthrown in 1953 in a military coup supported by the British and the U.S., an action that would come back to haunt the Americans following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Elsewhere in Africa and Asia, the “subalterns” (literally defined as lower class, but in postcolonial studies, it refers to colonized populations who were excluded from power in an imperial colony and the home nation) had always protested colonial rule. With the help of the U.S.S.R. and after 1949 the People’s Republic of China, anticolonial movements rapidly picked up steam. France fought and eventually lost a war for independence in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos (Indochina War, 1945-1954). Britain lost possession of its colonies in the Indian subcontinent (now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) and Burma, Malaya, and Singapore between 1947 and 1957. The Dutch recognized the independence of its former colonies in Indonesia between 1949 and 1963.
In Africa before 1950, the only countries holding independent status were Ethiopia, Egypt, Liberia, and South Africa. Beginning with the recognition of Libya in 1951 and ending with Namibia in 1990, at least forty nations became independent. Britain granted independence to important colonial territories such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania between 1957 and 1963. France also lost important colonies, including Ivory Coast, Mali, and Senegal, and the fruitless war against Algerian independence (1954-1962). Belgium granted independence to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1960 following decades of repressive rule. Portugal unsuccessfully waged a 13-year war to retain its colonies in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique between 1961 and 1974.
To remedy these losses, Britain resolved to work through the crisis by offering Commonwealth status and privileges to former colonies. France created the Francophone Union in 1986, with forty-one countries attending the conference. The organizations created a forum for discussion of shared concerns frequently educational in nature. Nonetheless, the crisis of national identities informed by race, religion, ethnicities, and culture, is as vexed as it was in the past. Ethnic and racial tensions continue to flare in urban centers such as London, Paris, Hamburg, and Vienna; at the same time, however, cities have become less monocultural and more cosmopolitan.
Writers, political philosophers, and feminists responded to a pending post-war and post-imperial world. Eric Williams published the classic critique of imperialism, as “hierarchical racialized bondage” in Capitalism and Slavery, in 1942. The philosophical ideas of Existentialism emerged as a response to the Holocaust appears in plays by Jean Paul Sartre and novellas by Albert Camus. The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir delineated the history of patriarchy. At the same time, Hannah Arendt responded to the Holocaust with a political treatise on totalitarianism. The intellectual spirit was unsettled and represented a generation willing to challenge imperial, racial, political, and patriarchal oppression.
After completing Week 7 of the course, you should be able to:
- Examine the American policy of containment of Communism on Europe and former and current colonies.
- Compare and contrast how colonial powers dealt with independence movements in Africa.
- Compare and contrast how colonial powers dealt with independence movements in Asia.
- Discuss the evolution of relationships between Europe and Southwest Asia.
- Complete Peer Reviews of the Book Review PowerPoint presentations.
- Read Week 7 Introduction and Learning Resources.
- Complete Week 7 Discussion.
- Complete B.R. 6 – Comment on two (2) peer PowerPoint presentations. Please note: There is NO assignment folder for this part of your Book Review project. This will be a discussion topic located in the Week 7 Discussion sub-module.
The military-industrial complex managed to share a portion of its investments in stabilizing the economy, restoring damages to towns and cities, and enabling families to return to peaceful lives. As a result, rebuilding Europe and Japan became an American story in part. In 1945, several ideas were proposed about how to help Germany recover, which had been divided into four sectors. The Morgenthau Plan proposed turning the entire industrial country into a large agricultural zone. George Marshall’s plan proposed a rebuilding program, a thorough de-Nazification program, and removing trade barriers between European trading partners.
In our final week, we will learn how rebuilding for a better world entailed the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Health Organization, a subsidiary of the U.N., helped to smooth and calm the waters for the Western powers. Notably, the strains that emerged from these tensions and became entangled with competition between the Soviets, Communist Chinese, and Allied Western powers could be quelled through international cooperation. Significantly, politicians and entrepreneurs such as Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman believed that if they could get France, Italy, Luxemburg, Belgium, Netherlands, and West Germany to form a free trade zone, the economies would become stronger by working together. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) signed into being in 1954 marks one of the highlights of the post-forty years of war. The European Union highlighted the achievement of collaboration. The creation of the euro currency and free passage, without passport controls from country to country, provided evidence of increasing integration.
Nevertheless, other challenges confirming the centrality of Western Europe as a global player persisted. These included wars in the Middle East relating to the Arab Israeli crises and indigenous independence movements in former colonies. Conflicts spurred by the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet response to the ECSC, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization made Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and the Politburo suspicious about encroaching tendrils of Western influence. In 1955, Austria, then occupied by Allied powers, received its independence if it remained neutral in the Cold War. The 1956 uprising and brutal repression in Hungary sent a clear message to the rest of the Eastern bloc countries: do not challenge the U.S.S.R. In 1963, the Soviets erected the Berlin Wall separating West from East Berlin. It took until 1989 for the Wall to come down, leading to the demise of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Joyous celebrations marked this event; these could well be the most significant event of this era because it permitted West Germany to be reunited with East Germany in the modern era.
The fall of the Berlin Wall can be attributed to two things. First, the military challenge, particularly regarding nuclear weapons, to the Soviet Union as planned by President Ronald Reagan almost bankrupted the Russian economy. By 1989, the U.S. alone could blow up the entire world over eighty times. Moreover, the Soviets maintained an even more significant stockpile of nuclear weapons. Therefore, nuclear disarmament talks dominated many foreign policy conversations in the 1980s. Second, the foresight of the Communist Party leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa brought fundamental changes to a stagnant economy and a fraying society. Gorbachev, a scholar of Communist thought, proposed that the country should have a more consultative government with better dissemination of information, or Glasnost. To achieve this goal, the country needed to reform in three ways. The term Perestroika is associated with this idea. This proposal called for more efficiency and automation of production processes, open economic transactions, and perhaps most importantly, the end of central planning.
The ongoing success of the European Union is most marked in everyday life by the Schengen Agreement, signed in 1985 in a small village in Luxembourg. This agreement worked towards the gradual abolition of checkpoints at all borders by 1990. Moreover, this agreement has facilitated not only trade but cross-cultural sharing and free migration of labor. In addition, the transition to a common currency, the euro beginning in 1999, increased the ease of transport of goods, services and tourists.
Even though Europe witnessed a significant loss of life during World War II, the post-war fertility spike resulted in the “baby boomer” generation, with tens of thousands coming of age in the 1960s. Once again, we see the power of demographic shifts in student protests and cultural challenges to the status quo. In this case, Europe, along with the United States, witnessed a revolution in values. Representing this shift were British bands, some more revolutionary than others, such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Yes, Genesis, and Queen, which dominated pop culture, Andy Warhol in art, and American cinema.
After completing Week 8 of the course, you should be able to:
Identify uprisings against Soviet domination, including the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the 1968 Velvet Revolution, and the Solidarity Movement in 1981.
Trace the evolution of the European Economic Community to the European Union
Correlate economic and social pressures from the West on the U.S.S.R. that resulted in internal reform (Perestroika) and external reform – looking westward (Glasnost) with the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Discuss the Schengen agreement and legal and illegal migration.
Examine urban cultural changes resulting from economic migration from across the European Union and less developed economies to the south.
Analyze the contribution of European pop culture, including Eurovision, to global culture.
The Importance of why we study European History
Thinking back to my first historical memories about what was learned in school relating to History would have to deal with the Pilgrims sailing from England to North America to establish settlements and escape religious persecution. The importance of studying European History has a shared relevance as all the other subjects within History. Moreover, studying European History will help us better understand the modern governments, political forms, businesses, culture, and their impact on the world. Also, the study of European History will help broaden our understanding and have a more informed view of the world.