Julian Block12/12/2017HIST-105Final ResponsesQuestion 1.
The French Revolution was supposed to transform French culture, politics and society. But the French, who began in 1792 with a king, ended with an emperor in 1804. How and why did the revolution fail? How did monarchy move to revolution and then to empire? The French Revolution which began in 1789 was a time of enlightenment throughout all of Europe. People were beginning to question the traditional Monarch and the ideology of the Divine Right of Kings was rapidly dying. By 1804, they ended with an Emperor, and once the Empire fell, they went back to the Monarchy that they once had before. Thus, the French Revolution was a failure since they didn’t have a reliable government nor economic strategy for after King Louis was executed. After King Louis was executed via guillotine in 1793, his wife Marie Antoinette was executed 9 months later and the people of France had finally began to feel both social and economic freedom. With the lower class of France abiding to the enlightenment ideologies for so long, they felt as if now they would be able to finally have a say in their Government decisions and even felt that the problems would diminish now that the Monarch and upper class won’t be hogging the food supply.
The people of France were unfortunately mistaken about all of that since things only got worse with the beginning of the Reign of Terror.The French National Assembly, led by Robespierre had instituted radical measures where there was a demand to behead not only the monarch, but all who defy the revolution as well. This all caused countless amount of lives to be lost and there was no reason for it besides social control for the French Assembly. In 1794 Robespierre was finally executed and this led to a new demand for leadership in France. France was still in a state of poverty and had a lack of leadership during this time. It wasn’t until 1796 that a new leader began to stand out in France.
In 1796,Napoleon Bonaparte was a successful young general in France whom had just led the French army to defeat the armies of Austria. He kept leading the French Army to win more war throughout the late 1790’s and in 1799, he had seized power of the French Assembly and did so by invoking promises to restore Frances integrity. During his rule, he led more battles and invoked many tax reforms that didn’t necessarily help France, and when he started the Napoleonic wars in 1803, he declared himself as Emperor of France meaning that France has moved from being a monarch, to an Empire which defeated their initial purpose of a republic.
By 1830, France had become a Monarch again and had succeeded in none of their initial goals upon their revolution. In conclusion, The French Revolution was a failure because while their goal was to achieve economic and social freedom, they ended with an Emperor, and once the Empire fell, they went back to the Monarchy that they once had before. Thus, the French Revolution was a failure since they didn’t have a reliable government nor economic strategy for after King Louis was executed.
Instead all they got was more bloodshed, an Empire, and then went back to a Monarchy in 1830. Question 4. What were the causes of WW1? Were they long-term or short-term or both? WW1 had officially began in 1914 and was undoubtedly the first of its kind. This war had introduced brand new weaponry, military strategies, and overall had caused death tolls that far surpassed previous wars throughout the world.
WW1 was primarily caused by Nationalism and alliances, Imperialism, and Militarism. I will elaborate more on how these topics contributed to the war beginning with nationalism and alliances. Nationalism is what is widely believed to have sparked the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1917. This is considered to be the first official act of war beginning WW1. Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the throne in Austria-Hungary and the Serbians had rebelled since they were not wanting to be ruled by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Since a military chief of Serbia executed the heir of Austria-Hungary, this was the beginning of the primary conflict of WW1. On July 28, 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia and attacked Belgrade on the 29th.
This made other countries fear the nationalism of others and caused alliances to grow across the world and many suspicions were made as well. When the Germans allied with the Austrians and Russia allied with the Serbians, Germany also declared war on Russia which meant that this was now becoming a massive war. With the competition of Imperialism growing and a massive surplus of weaponry in the world, countries from all over the world were beginning to compete with and despise each other. Imperialism was causing a competition to expand the world since countries like Britain and France were colonizing parts of Africa.
Many Investors and Bankers at this time believed that if their countries could conquer and colonize other countries by means of Nationalism, then many business owners and world economies could flourish and skyrocket. So with these European Countries like Germany trying to imperialize other countries, this caused other countries to become wary and the stockpiling of weapons was beginning around the world causing suspicions of powerful weapons from other countries all over the world. The world’s Militaries was beginning to create very powerful weapons at the time of WW1. These include mustard gas, the Machine gun, Aircraft, and the hand grenade. These were all weapons that the world has never seen or even fathomed being used in battle before, so this was sparking panic for countries around the world. Also when you consider the facts that Nationalism and Imperialism were on the rise throughout Europe, Countries were becoming very military reliant because of the fear of these weapons. Militarism was playing a role as another global competition since the only way to be safe from Nationalism, is to have the most powerful military.
Germany for example was trying to secure themselves from the nearby countries of France and Britain by creating warships and even had achieved the first mustard gas used in combat in 1916. This was making Militarism a competition and necessity for countries with a fear of enemies nearby. This has unfortunately been the way of the world ever since because WMD and creating new forms of WMD is still a necessity for global militaries today. In Conclusion, WW1 was primarily caused by Nationalism and Alliances, Imperialism, and Militarism. As I previously noted, Militarism is unfortunately ongoing as are Alliances since they are a necessity in war, but Nationalism and imperialism were short term because Europe hasn’t dealt with as many issues of Nationalism or Imperialism ever since the second World War. WW1 however, was not the war to end all wars because for the time being, it failed at ending Nationalism and Imperialism thus leading to the second world war.
Question 8. If WW1 was “the war to end all wars,” why did WW2 occur? Be specific. WW1 was unfortunately not the way to end all wars since it failed at ending the problem of Nationalism which had provoked WW2. At the end of WW1, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles which demanded that Germany boundaries will be reassigned and that Germany would have to pay reparations for the damage they caused. Germany ended up not finishing these reparations upon Hitler’s rise to power in 1932. As a German soldier in WW1, Hitler believed that if Germany could re invoke Nationalism, that they could do it right this time, so that led him and his allies (the Axis Powers) to instantiate Nationalism once again thus WW2 had began.
The Axis Powers included Germany, Japan, and Italy. In 1937, Japan invaded China and Hitler decided to ally with the Japanese leader Fumimaro Konoe as they were both Nationalists with decently sized militaries. Hitler had also mad allies with Italy specifically with Mussolini which had meant that these three had now made up the Axis powers. In 1939, Hitler invades Poland which breaks his Non Aggression pact with Russia.
This officially put Germany at war with the USSR. At this point in time, much like in WW1, allies were beginning to form. Great Britain had formed allies with Russia and the United States and WW2 became Allied powers fighting for Capitalism or Communism, while the Axis powers were fighting for Nationalism and Fascism. WW1 clearly left Nationalism as a problem and allies were very important in this war as well. The military tactics were very similar to that of WW1, but a brand new form of WMD known as the Atomic bomb, was now introduced when the United States dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima causing Japan’s surrender and the other Axis powers fell at the same time as well. WW1 was undoubtedly not the “War to end all wars” because if anything, it provoked more warfare than had ever been seen throughout history. If anything, WW1 was the end to old wars and the beginning of new warfare, where allies and militarism are key to becoming a diplomatically secure country.
Hopefully Nationalism and Imperialism died with two world wars, unfortunately, globalized warfare using WMD and allied powers had only just begun during WW1 rather than ending anything.