4 Solved Questions with Answers
13. Explain how the foundations of the modern world were laid by the American and French revolutions.
The American Revolution and the French Revolution are considered as a cardinal epoch in world history. It gave a death blow to the old orthodox system of governance and installed modern ideals for governing nations.
American Revolution’s contribution to Modern World
- Principles of liberty and democracy: The declaration of independence proclaimed that “all men are equal”. It provided an impetus to the people of the world to demand liberty and freedom.
- Constitutionalism: The revolution led to the first written constitution in the world which served as an inspiration for many nations who borrowed many ideas from the American constitution.
- The American war of independence gave birth to a novel system of government, viz, Federalism. In the course of time, the federal form of government got popularity. This provided a nice template for powersharing in diverse countries that needed complex polities.
- Promotion of Human Rights: The American war of independence laid stress on the rights of the human being. The “Declaration of Rights” of Thomas Jefferson awakened the people about their rights.
French Revolution’s contribution to Modern World
- The democratisation of society: The French Revolution was a pan-European revolution. It hacked the roots of the ancient system in Europe and ended the centuries-old feudal system. Before the revolution, the society was based on inequality, disparity, privileges and concessions. The revolution attacked the roots of this disparity. It initiated a new social organization.
- Ideals of modernity: liberty, equality and fraternity brought political awakening in Europe.
- Secularism: The revolution ended the sovereignty, despotism and corruption of the Church. The importance of the worship of intellect and reason became more prominent.
- The people demanded not only political freedom but also right to property and freedom of expression. They also demanded voting rights. Women claimed equal rights with men.
- The Revolution aroused the spirit of nationalism. It paved the way for the unification of Italy and Germany. It also popularized the concept of democracy.
- Colonised peoples reworked the idea of freedom from bondage into their movements to create a sovereign nation-state.
- Tipu Sultan and Rammohan Roy are two examples of individuals who responded to the ideas coming from revolutionary France.
French and American revolution not only laid the edifice for a newly emerging egalitarian society and a new way of polity in their respective countries but they also acted as the philosophical basis and aspiration of the people of other nations. The revolutions highlighted the fundamentals of a civilised world which continues to shape the global aspirations of today’s time.
13. “There arose a serious challenge to the Democratic State System between the two World Wars.” Evaluate the statement.
The period between two world wars was relatively short, yet featured many significant social, political, and economic changes throughout the world. Politically, the era coincided with the rise of communism, starting in Russia with the October Revolution and Russian Civil War, at the end of World War I.
Challenges to democratic system:
- The conditions of economic hardship caused by the Great Depression brought about significant social unrest around the world, leading to a major surge of fascism and in many cases, the collapse of democratic governments.
- In the 1930s the breakdown of the League of Nations, the rise of aggressive dictatorships posed a serious threat to democracy throughout the world.
- After the Nazis took power and implemented their anti-semitic ideology and policies, the Jewish community was increasingly persecuted. In 1936, Jews were banned from all professional jobs, effectively preventing them from participating in education, politics, higher education and industry.
- The Spanish Civil War, (1936–39) was a military revolt against the Republican government of Spain, supported by conservative elements within the country. When an initial military coup failed to win control of the entire country, a bloody civil war ensued.
- The name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. It was ultra-nationalist, anti-semitic, anti-communist, anti-capitalist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith. Its members were called “Greenshirts’’ because of the predominantly green uniforms they wore.
- Fascism also expanded its influence outside Europe, especially in East Asia, the Middle East, and South America. In China, Wang Jingwei’s Kai-tsu p’ai (Reorganization) faction of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China) supported Nazism in the late 1930s.
The efforts of the League of Nations failed to maintain peace after the first world war. Eventually, Hitler’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 drove Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany, marking the beginning of World War II.
7. The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine. (2016)
The anti colonial struggles in West Africa as response to European imperialism assumed both violent and non-violent form of resistance and spanned from late nineteenth century to mid twentieth century. The form of resistance depended upon number of factors - influence of religion, nature of the colony, degree of imperialism etc.
The role of intellectuals in the freedom struggle in various phases stood out as beacon of hope for later movements (apartheid in South Africa in second half of twentieth century). One of the outstanding figures in West Africa colonial struggle was Samouri Toure. He created large Mandinka Empire in West Africa and his struggle is a significant example of pragmatic resistance against French. He manufactured firearms, relocated his kingdom and engaged in diplomacy with both French and British.
Another form of resistance continued alongside violent resistance i.e. , the use of propaganda through press and literature by intellectuals. J.T. Jabavu established the press ‘Native opinion’ (Imvozaba NTsundu) through which Black south Africans expressed their opinions. The ‘Lagos weakly Record’ was founded by John Payne Jackson, an America-Liberian journalist who was influential in Lagos, Nigeria in 19th–20th Century.
Besides press, the African intelligentsia also used societies, clubs and associations as vehicles for arising consciousness and disseminating information. The Gold Coast Aborigines Rights Protection Society (APRS) was one was one such associations formed in 1880s. In 1898 the ARPS successfully sent a petition to London to address issues with land Bill, and later for repealing the Town council ordinance. Another important organization founded in twentieth century was the ‘National Congress of British west Africa’ located in the gold cost which consisted of mostly African intellectual.
4. What problems were germane to the decolonization process in the Malay Peninsula? (2017)
MalayPeninsula was under the British influence since they first came in the late 18th century looking towards Southeast Asia for new resources. Since then the British East India Company traded and partly controlled the region. The growth of their China trade further increased the company’s desire for bases in the region near it.
The decolonization of Malaya Peninsula was an extension of the series of decolonization movements going across the Asia and Africa and was influenced from this process which speeded-up after the World War-II.
MalayPeninsula was a multi-racial, multi-cultural society with Malay Chinese and Indians forming major ethnic and interest groups which wasa suitable condition for colonial powers to consolidate their regime.
- Fall of Singapore and Japanese advances in
MalayPeninsula during the World War–II forced the British to consider reassessment of its non-interventionist policies in favourof ethnic cooperation and multiracial government in this region. But with the presence of diverseinterest of different groups reaching toa consensus was a tough task.
- Cold War ideological rivalry was prevalent in Malayan Peninsula too where with the rise of
comminternaligned communist parties like MalayanCommunist Party and Chinese Communist Organization, the fear of Malayan Peninsula falling to the Communists emerged. It was a nightmare for the liberal democracies/ colonial powers (i.e. British) which ensured transfer of power to ideologically friendly regimes.
The decolonization of Malayan Peninsula was largely a result of
longreconciliation process between the Malayan nationalist and the European colonial powers. Their mutual compromise gave the British the confidence to speed up the process of decolonization through a smooth decolonization process.