history essay

Essay: Please write a five- to six-page essay on one of the following three questions. Remember that the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate your mastery of the material. Please support your answer with specific evidence from a range of readings, lectures, and discussions. Please ask and answer the question in your first paragraph with a clear thesis and describe and explain why change occurred or failed to occur. Be careful NOT to place too much emphasis on the impact of a particular event, like World War I, unless you believe that emphasis is warranted. Think in sophisticated terms about the causes and consequences of change. NOTE: You must include at least six primary sources we’ve read in Overfield and on Carmen that address your question. Do not simply mention those sources—explain why they support or complicate your thesis.

Revolutions: What is a revolution? Select two societies that had deep-seated social revolutions (Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey) and one that had either an anti-colonial revolution (India, Egypt) or a fascist revolution (Japan, Italy, Germany). Why do some societies have revolutions, and others not? (NOTE: Consider the range of solutions that leaders put forward to solve the problems of their respective nations. Not all Chinese revolutionaries had the same goals, for instance, nor did all Indians.)

Nations: What is a nation? Why do you think the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries favored nations, or empires centered on nations, rather than far-flung empires like Russia, China, the Ottoman Empire, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire? Write about three nations (or nations in the making) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. How successful were they at nation building? Why or why not? Be sure to select at least one nation that you consider more successful than the others, and one that you consider less successful, according to your definition.

Democracy: Why did so few revolutions lead to the creation of democracies, as in India, when most led to one-party or authoritarian states? Note that most revolutions, the vast majority hoped to create democratic societies. That was true in Mexico, Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey. But competitive multi-party democracy did not win out. And why did some established democracies survive the turmoil of the Great Transformation, the Great Explosion, and the Great Depression (the United States, Great Britain, France), and others fail (Japan, Germany, Italy)? Select at least three nations—one a surviving democracy, one a failed democracy, and another a revolution that did not lead to multi-party democracy—and discuss them in depth in your answer.

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