Unit 9: WW2, The Cold War, and Modern Europe Questions

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Discuss the factors that led to US and USSR spheres of influence in Europe in the latter 20th century.
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Policy of Containment (1947) – In January 1947, George Kennan – U.S. Ambassador to the USSR – submitted a report to the U.S. Defense Secretary using the word “containment” for the first time: “The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” Containment – the idea of containing Communism in the countries where it existed and doing everything possible to keep it from spreading elsewhere – created a “us versus them” theme that divided the world into democratic versus Communist governments. •Truman Doctrine (March 1947). Pledged the US to contain communism in Europe and elsewhere and impelled the US to support any nation with both military and economic aid if its stability was threatened by communism or the Soviet Union. The Truman Doctrine became the foundation of the president’s foreign policy and placed the U.S. in the role of global policeman. As Foner reminds us, the Truman Doctrine “set a precedent for American assistance to anticommunist regimes throughout the world, no matter how undemocratic, and for the creation of a set of global military alliances directed against the Soviet Union.” (Give Me Liberty, p. 781; 2nd edition, p. 844) •American interests in Greece and Turkey (March 1947). The British had been propping up an anti-communist government in Greece for years. In February 1947, Britain informed the U.S. that it could no longer afford such aid and that it intended to withdraw from Greece. In August 1945, the Soviets began a series of naval maneuvers in the Black Sea and dispatched troops to the Balkans. Truman, invoking the Truman Doctrine, concluded that without U.S. intervention, Greece, Turkey, and the Map of Greece and Turkey after WWIIentire oil-rich Middle East would fall under Soviet control – i.e., the domino theory. â—¦On March 12, Truman appeared before Congress and declared that the preservation of peace and freedom for all American depended on containing communism – and protecting Greece was the start. â—¦Congress appropriated $400 million in aid to Greece and Turkey which helped the monarchy and the military to crush the rebel Communist movement. â—¦And how did Truman convince Congress and the American people? Senate leader Arthur Vandenburg told him he would have to “scare the hell” out of the American people. •Marshall Plan (June 1947). Designed by General George Marshall who became Truman’s Secretary of State, the Marshall Plan pledged economic aid to help rebuild war-torn Europe. After several meetings with Stalin, Marshall became convinced that a weak, starving, disheartened Europe was precisely what Stalin wanted because it would offer the best recruitment for communism. The Marshall Plan’s primary goal was to stop any communist electoral bids for power in northern and western Europe while, at the same time, promoting democracy and capitalism through the economic renewal of Europe. Sixteen nations signed the Marshall Plan and consequently, industrial production in those nations rose by 200% between 1947-52. The Marshall Plan thus became the cornerstone of the US use of economic policy to contain communism. Map of Marshall Plan Nations â—¦Those nations entered into a multilateral economic agreement with the U.S. that would build a viable capitalist economy in Western Europe. While the Plan was costly at first – taking 12% of the entire federal budget the first year – it proved effective in the long run by meeting American foreign policy goal of creating a capitalist Europe and revitalizing Western Europe â—¦Industrial production in the European nations rose 200% between 1947-1952. •National Security Act (July 1947). The NSA laid the foundation for expanded military forces and surveillance agencies within the federal government and was the first step in the creation of permanent, large-scale military spending as the basic stimulus for economic growth in America (the military industrial complex.) The goal was to keep the nation in a ready state of preparedness for war. It became the first program of peacetime military preparedness in US history. The NSA â—¦ Created the Department of Defense and National Security Council to administer and coordinate defense policies and advise the president. â—¦ Replaced the War Department with the new Department of Defense, led by a single secretary with cabinet-level status that supervised a united armed force – army, navy, air force. â—¦ Established the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) devoted to collecting political, military, and economic information for security purposes throughout the world. Such information was classified – secret from both Congress and the public. â—¦Became the basic stimulus for economic growth in the U.S. â—ľBefore WWII, about 900,000 civilians worked for the federal government with about 10% engaged in security work. â—ľBy the beginning of the Cold War, nearly 4 million people were on the federal payroll with 75% working for national security agencies. â—ľThe Pentagon, which opened in 1943, was the largest office building in the world and housed 35,000 people. When the State Dept. consolidated its various divisions in 1961, it moved into an 8-story structure covering an area the size of 4 city blocks. Soviet control over Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary and the subsequent denial of political and civil freedoms within these nations (early 1946) • Stalin’s “inevitability” of future wars thesis – a statement that future wars were inevitable with the West because of “present capitalist conditions” (Feb. 1946) • Stalin’s order that satellite nations end trade with Western nations (mid-46) • Soviet refusal to halt work on nuclear weapons (June 46) • Molotov Plan – the USSR’s version of the Marshall Plan – which was created to provide aid to rebuild the countries in Eastern Europe that were politically and economically aligned to the Soviet Union (1947) • Soviet overthrow of Czech government and installation of communist government (Feb. 1948)The Berlin Blockade and Airlift – April 1948-May 1949. In connection with the Marshall Plan, the US also sought to rebuild and integrate the western zones of Berlin Blockade photoGermany into a united nation compatible with US political and economic interests. Within a year after the introduction of the Marshall Plan, the US and Britain introduced a common currency in the western zones. In response, in June, 1948, Stalin denied rail and highway entry into Berlin, hoping that the West would abandon its effort to reunite Germany or face loss of Berlin. â—¦ Thus began a massive airlift of food, fuel, and supplies for the 10,000 troops and 2 million civilians in Berlin. A fleet of 52 C-54s and 80 C-47s began making two daily round-trip flights to Berlin, carrying 2500 tons every 24 hours. â—¦Within a few months, the daily airlift increased to 7000 tons. â—¦In May 1949, the Soviets ended the blockade – thus clearing the way for the Western powers to merge their occupation zones into a single nation – West Germany. â—¦Newsreels of Berlin Blockade at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GoIL9gVonQ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-UNWkbQk7Q&feature=related •The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – April 1949. Ten western European nations, the U.S., and Canada formed a military alliance declaring that “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against all of them.” Thus, the U.S. entered its first peacetime military alliance. â—¦Congress authorized $1.3 billion for military assistance to NATO countries and by 1952, 80% of all U.S. assistance to Europe was military. Since the creation of NATO in 1949, it has added new nations seven times. â—¦In response, the Russians formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955 – a mutual defense treaty between 8 communist states of Central and Eastern Europe in existence during the Cold War. On 25 February 1991, the Warsaw Pact was declared disbanded at a meeting of defense and foreign ministers from Pact countries meeting in Hungary. The Iron Curtain – May 1949. One of the first things NATO did occurred in May 1949 when it created the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), which joined NATO in 1955. â—¦The USSR countered by establishing the German Democratic Republic in their sector, thus creating what Winston Churchill called an “iron curtain” between free and unfree Germany and the free and unfree worlds. Map of Iron Curtain USSR nations â—¦Map of former Iron Curtain boundaries and former USSR nations at http://www.yourchildlearns.com/online-atlas/continent/cold-war-map.htm •Chinese Civil War, Communist Victory, and the Sino-Soviet Alliance – February 1946-February 1950 â—¦At Yalta, it was agreed that the Russians would be allowed to dominate in Northeast Asia and the Americans would control the Pacific, including Japan. China lay between the Soviet and American spheres of influence. â—¦After the war, the US moved quickly to consolidate its spheres of influence. â—ľGeneral MacArthur supervised the transition of Japan into a constitutional demoncarcy, shaped along Western lines. Communists were barred from all government posts. â—ľThe Japanese renounced war in their new constitution and agreed to rely on American forces to protect their security. â—¦Meanwhile, the Chinese civil war had been waging since the 1940s between the Nationalist Chinese of Chiang Kai-Shek in the South and the Communist forces of Mao Tse-tung in the North. During WWII, the two sides had come together just enough to fight Japan. â—ľBy Feb. 1946, a civil war was in full swing. Despite efforts of some Americans to get U.S. involved militarily, we limited ourselves to financial commitment ($3 billion) to the Nationalists – who eventually lost in 1949 and fled to Formosa/Taiwan.Map of China and Taiwan â—ľIn October, 1949, Mao declared the creation of the communist People’s Republic of China – known as “Red China” in the US. Truman decided not to reocgnize China, bowing to pressure within Congress that he was “soft on communism.” Instead, we recognized Taiwan as the formal government of China. â—ľThe 1950 Sino-Soviet alliance signaled a problem for the West. Mao and Stalin signed a mutual friendship pact to scare the US into thinking that the two powers represented an overwhelming and united danger to Americans. Some historians have theorized that had Truman recognized Mao, this alignment may never have occurred. Instead, Truman and his cabinet perceived a singular communist entity and menace in Asia that, in fact, simply did not exist. •The Nuclear Race – 1945-1953. In January 1950, Truman ordered his scientific advisors to develop a fusion-based hydrogen bomb hundreds of tiems more powerful than the atomic bomb. In November 1952, the U.S. exploded its first H-bomb in the Marshall islands – projecting a radioactive cloud 25 miles into the atmosphere and blasting a canyon a mile long and 175 feet deep into the ocean floor. The Soviets exploded their first H-bomb 9 months later. â—¦Proliferation of Nuclear Power •The Korean “Conflict” – June 1950-July 1953 •Sputnik – 1957. The USSR launched Sputnik in October, 1957. The 23 inch satellite travelled at 18,000 miles per hour, Photograph of Sputniktook 96.2 minutes to complete an orbit, and emitted radio signals that were monitored by amateur radio operators throughout the world. The signals continued for 22 days until the transmitter batteries ran out. Sputnik burned up on January 4, 1958 when it fell from orbit upon reentering Earth’s atmosphere. It had traveled about 37 million miles during its three months in orbit. •The Cuban Missile Crisis – October 1962.
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What factors led to the rivalry between the United States and the USSR.
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Relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were driven by a complex interplay of ideological, political, and economic factors, which led to shifts between cautious cooperation and often bitter superpower rivalry over the years. The distinct differences in the political systems of the two countries often prevented them from reaching a mutual understanding on key policy issues and even, as in the case of the Cuban missile crisis, brought them to the brink of war. The United States government was initially hostile to the Soviet leaders for taking Russia out of World War I and was opposed to a state ideologically based on communism. Although the United States embarked on a famine relief program in the Soviet Union in the early 1920s and American businessmen established commercial ties there during the period of the New Economic Policy (1921-29), the two countries did not establish diplomatic relations until 1933. By that time, the totalitarian nature of Joseph Stalin’s regime presented an insurmountable obstacle to friendly relations with the West. Although World War II brought the two countries into alliance, based on the common aim of defeating Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union’s aggressive, antidemocratic policy toward Eastern Europe had created tensions even before the war ended. The Soviet Union and the United States stayed far apart during the next three decades of superpower conflict and the nuclear and missile arms race. Beginning in the early 1970s, the Soviet regime proclaimed a policy of dĂ©tente and sought increased economic cooperation and disarmament negotiations with the West. However, the Soviet stance on human rights and its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 created new tensions between the two countries. These tensions continued to exist until the dramatic democratic changes of 1989-91 led to the collapse during this past year of the Communist system and opened the way for an unprecedented new friendship between the United States and Russia, as well as the other new nations of the former Soviet Union.
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Compare and contrast the Truman Doctrine with the Brezhnev Doctrine.
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Although the Brezhnev Doctrine does present the Soviets and other communists wanting to expand their government in help of bettering those around them just as the Truman Doctrine did, it seems as if Brezhnev was shooting for a different type of effect than Truman was when he was supporting Greece and Turkey. Brezhnev does believe that if communism is the same throughout the Soviet Union and its Satellite Nations then it would help them, but he was possibly aiming for Soviet domination throughout Eastern Europe as many of his predecessors had also aimed for. In the Truman Doctrine it seems as if the United States does want to place democracies into Greece and Turkey, but although they will intervene a good bit they will try to allow them to operate as a nation sufficiently by themselves. This shows the type of different opinions from the United States and Soviet Union. That The Soviet Union could almost be seen as a nation wanting to conquer Europe while U.S., who has a large amount of power, insists on nations’ they gave aid to rely on themselves so that the country want be seen as a puppet government.
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List the Soviet leaders in order starting from Stalin and ending in 1989. Next to each, give a single sentence summarizing their policies.
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Stalin- Starting in the late 1920s, Joseph Stalin launched a series of five-year plans intended to transform the Soviet Union from a peasant society into an industrial superpower. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev- A Russian politician who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War who was very lenient in policies and did de-stalinization. Leonid Brezhnev- Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was the archetypal Soviet politician associated with classic Cold War politics in the 1970’s. Seen as a hard line Communist, Brezhnev initially showed no intention of lessening the Cold War but by the time of his death, Brezhnev had met Richard Nixon, the US President, and some detected a thaw in relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov- A Soviet politician and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 12 November 1982 until his death fifteen months later. Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko – A Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev- A former Soviet statesman. He was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991 when the party was dissolved.
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What factors led to the downfall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989?
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On November 9, 1989, thousands of jubilant Germans brought down the most visible symbol of division at the heart of Europe—the Berlin Wall. For two generations, the Wall was the physical representation of the Iron Curtain, and East German border guards had standing shoot-to-kill orders against those who tried to escape. But just as the Wall had come to represent the division of Europe, its fall came to represent the end of the Cold War. In the White House, President George H. W. Bush and his National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, watched the unfolding scene on a television in the study, aware of both the historical significance of the moment and of the challenges for U.S. foreign policy that lay ahead. Not even the most optimistic observer of President’s Ronald Reagan’s 1987 Berlin speech calling on Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” would have imagined that two years later the communist regimes of Eastern Europe would collapse like dominoes. By 1990, the former communist leaders were out of power, free elections were held, and Germany was whole again. The peaceful collapse of the regimes was by no means pre-ordained. Soviet tanks crushed demonstrators in East Berlin in June 1953, in Hungary in 1956, and again in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Soviet military planners were intimately involved in the Polish planning for martial law in 1980, and Soviet troops remained stationed throughout Eastern Europe, as much a guarantee for Soviet security as an ominous reminder to Eastern European peoples of Soviet dominance over their countries. The Reagan administration’s strong rhetoric in support of the political aspirations of Eastern European and Soviet citizens was met, following 1985, with a new type of leader in the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (transparency) further legitimized popular calls for reform from within. Gorbachev also made clear—at first secretly to the Eastern European leaders, then increasingly more public—that the Soviet Union had abandoned the policy of military intervention in support of communist regimes (the Brezhnev Doctrine). On February 6, 1989, negotiations between the Polish Government and members of the underground labor union Solidarity opened officially in Warsaw. Solidarity was formed in August 1980 following a series of strikes that paralyzed the Polish economy. The 1981 Soviet-inspired imposition of martial law drove the organization underground, where it survived due to support from Western labor organizations and Polish Ă©migrĂ© groups. The results of the “Round Table Talks,” signed by government and Solidarity representatives on April 4, included free elections for 35% of the Parliament (Sejm), free elections for the newly created Senate, a new office of the President, and the recognition of Solidarity as a political party. On June 4, as Chinese tanks crushed student-led protests in Beijing, Solidarity delivered a crushing electoral victory. By August 24, ten years after Solidarity emerged on the scene, Tadeusz Mazowiecki became the first non-communist Prime Minister in Eastern Europe. In Hungary, drastic changes were also under way. The government, already the most liberal of the communist governments, allowed free association and assembly and ordered opening of the country’s border with the West. In doing so, it provided an avenue to escape for an ever-increasing number of East Germans. The Hungarian Party removed its long-time leader, Janos Kadar, agreed to its own version of the Round Table talks with the opposition, and, on June 16, ceremoniously re-interred Imre Nagy, the reformist communist leader of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. By October 23, ten months after political reforms began, Hungary adopted a new constitution allowing a multi-party system and competitive elections. The economic collapse of East Germany led increasing numbers of East Germans to seek to emigrate to the West. Thousands sought refuge in West German embassies in other communist countries, eventually forcing the government to allow them to emigrate via special trains. Visiting Berlin in early October, Gorbachev cautioned the East German leadership of the need to reform, and confided in his advisors that East German leader Erich Honecker had to be replaced. Two weeks later, Honecker was forced to resign, while hundreds of thousands marched in protest throughout major East German cities. On November 9, as the world watched on television, the East German Government announced the opening of all East German borders. In a fluid situation, the Berlin Wall came down when an obviously ill-prepared East German spokesman told reporters that the new travel regulations also applied to Berlin. Before the end of the month, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl unveiled a plan for reunification of the two Germany’s. As the Wall came down and the fears of a Soviet reaction receded, the dominoes started falling at a quickened pace. In October, riot police arrested hundreds in Prague after an unsanctioned demonstration; only weeks later, hundreds of thousands gathered in Prague to protest the government. Alexander Dubcek, the reformist communist who led the Prague Spring in 1968, made his first public appearance in over two decades. A new, non-communist government took the country’s reins on December 5, and on December 29, Vaclav Havel, the famed playwright and dissident, was elected President. In Bulgaria, protests lead to the removal of Todor Zhivkov, the long-time leader of the Bulgarian Communist Party, and his replacement with reformist communist, Petar Mladenov. The new government quickly announced that the government would hold free elections in 1990. Only in Romania did the events turn violent. Nicolae Ceausescu, an increasingly idiosyncratic relic of Stalinist times, refused any reforms. On December 17 in Timisoara, the army and police fired into crowds protesting government policies, killing dozens. Protests spread to other cities, with hundreds killed when Ceausescu ordered the violent repression of demonstrations on December 21. By the next day, Ceausescu was forced to flee Bucharest and was arrested by army units in the countryside. The interim government, led by a reformist communist Ion Iliescu, held a quick mock trial and Ceausescu and his wife were executed on December 25. By the summer of 1990, all of the former communist regimes of Eastern Europe were replaced by democratically elected governments. In Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia, newly formed center-right parties took power for the first time since the end of World War II. In Bulgaria and Romania, reformed communists retained control of the governments, but new center-right parties entered Parliaments and became active on the political scene. The course was set for the reintegration of Eastern Europe into Western economic, political, and security frameworks. Writing in his journal on November 10, 1989, Anatoly Chernyaev, foreign policy advisor to Gorbachev noted that the fall of the wall represented “a shift in the world balance of forces” and the end of Yalta.
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Describe the formation of the European Union and the problems faced by the EU after 2000.
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The formation of the European Union was due to a combination of factors: American involvement in getting rid of communism in Europe Western European nations feeling as if they had lost political and economic power Lessons learned from the “peaces” following both World Wars. Following World War 2, nations in Western Europe began a series of efforts designed to cooperate economically. These efforts were facilitated by the Marshall Plan (US plan to rebuild Europe following the war) as well as the formation of NATO. Both the Marshall Plan and NATO showed Western Europe the benefits and ease of mutual cooperation. 1951 – Formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg). The Coal and Steel Community resulted in vast material growth for the member nations as well as allayed fears and suspicions about cooperation. The 1956 Suez Crisis (in which British and French attempts to remove Egypt’s leader from power and prevent nationalization of the Suez Canal were thwarted by the US and USSR) showed Western European nations they did not have the strength on their own to be relevant in world politics. 1957 – The members of the European Coal and Steel Community form a new organization; the European Economic Community (EEC). The goals of the EEC were a free-trade zone, elimination of tariffs, free flow of capital and labor, and uniform wages and social benefits in all member nations. In 1988 the leaders of the EEC decided that by 1992 the EEC was to be a completely free-trade zone with no barriers between members states. In 1991 the Treaty of Maastricht made a series of proposals leading towards a common currency and a strong central bank. This treat was rejected by Denmark (initially) and just barely passed in Britain and France. The treaty took effect in 1993, transforming the EEC into the EU. In 1999, the euro was introduced and by 2002 it became the currency of 12 member nations. In 2004, 10 new members were added (total of 25). In 2004, the leaders of the member nations of the EU adopted a new constitutional treaty for the Union. The European Constitution was a long and detailed document that included a common bill of rights and a transfer of much power from member nations’ governments to a centralized EU government. In order to take effect, the European Constitution needed to be ratified by all member nations through their parliaments or through popular referendums. Surprisingly, France and the Netherlands overwhelmingly rejected the constitution in national referendums. Following this, internal budget arguments broke out amongst members nations. A further crisis occurred in 2008 when Ireland refused to support the creation of shared military and foreign policy institutions. The European political elites and their voting publics have become distanced from one another. The Western European economy has stagnated with high rates of youth unemployment. Smaller member nations feel ignored by France and Germany. Some nations feel the exchange rate of the Euro was unfair, putting them at a disadvantage when adopting it. Finally, voters are reluctant to give more power to the EU government in Brussels over their own governments.
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Describe the demographic shifts in Europe taking place in the latter half of the 20th century.
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During the 20th century the settlement patterns of people were disrupted greatly. The Nazi and Soviet forced migrations were the most dramatic of these shifts. Through various events, Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Finns, Chechens, Armenians, Greeks, Turks, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Bosnian Muslims, and others were displaced. Today, over one-third of every European nation’s population are urban dwellers (except in Albania). From 1945 to 1960: 500,000 Europeans left Europe each year. Composed of both rural dwellers and educated urban citizens. Based upon fear that there were not enough jobs. Largest outward migration of Europeans since the 1920s. There was also a return of Europeans from former European colonial holdings. 1 million French from Algeria to France British from East Africa, India, and other former parts of the empire. Dutch from Indonesia. Belgians from the Congo. Portuguese from Mozambique and Angola. Prior to World War 2, Europeans had infrequent contact with Muslims as neither group visited the others’ lands in large numbers. Furthermore, most European nations characterized their culture as either Christian or secular. Started in 1960, this began to change as a large wave of Muslim immigration to Europe occurred. This immigration was prompted by: Decolonization, European economic growth For example, West Germany openly invited Turkish guest workers and Britain invited Pakistanis. Today, many European nations have significant Muslim populations: Britain – 1.3 million, Germany – 3.2 million, France – 4.2 million. As a result, Europe may need immigrants in order to fill jobs in the future (yet most European nations are enacting stricter immigration laws).
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Vladimir Putin has been accused of trying to resurrect the Soviet Union. To what extent are these accusations true or false?
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False because under Putin’s leadership, the Russian economy began to improve with foreign debts being paid, and the ruble becoming a serious world currency. Most of Russia’s newfound wealth comes from oil. Under Putin, there was a significant tradeoff of political rights for economic stability. Putin’s leadership has been notorious for imprisoning and silencing his critics. (even though the economy is crashed now.) Even though Putin gave up the presidency in 2008 (couldn’t run for a third consecutive term), he took the position of prime minister and was still the leader of the nation. He has been determined to use the newfound economic stability to turn Russia into a major international power. He supported the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, largely because of worries that radical Islam would influence events in Chechnya. Which communist does not support democracies. But true because Putin’s cooperation with the US was short-lived however as he was one of the most vocal critics of the Iraq invasion. Since 2003, Putin has been highly critical of American foreign policy. At the same time, Putin has shown a tendency towards aggressive expansionism (see Georgia and Ukraine). In 2008, using the pretext of Georgian troops moving into South Ossetia , Russia invaded Georgia (a former SSR). Crushing the Georgian troops in South Ossetia, Russia used its military strength to recognize a South Ossetia and Abkhazan independent of Georgia. Since Russia militarily and politically dominates both regions, it has essentially annexed them. Very few nations however, recognize these nations as independent (only Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Tuvalu, and Nauru). It is likely that Russia’s actions are “payback” for the West’s recognition of Kosovo. Also he is slowing taking back the east.
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Discuss the changes in women’s opportunities from the 15th century to the 18th century and up to the 20th century.
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The women of the Renaissance, like women of the Middle Ages, were denied all political rights and considered legally subject to their husbands. Women of all classes were expected to perform, first and foremost, the duties of housewife. Peasant women worked in the field alongside their husbands and ran the home. The wives of middle class shop owners and merchants often helped run their husbands’ businesses as well. Even women of the highest class, though attended by servants, most often engaged in the tasks of the household, sewing, cooking, and entertaining, among others. Women who did not marry were not permitted to live independently. Instead, they lived in the households of their male relatives or, more often, joined a convent.A few wealthy women of the time were able to break the mold of subjugation to achieve at the least fame, if not independence. Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, was one such woman. As pope, Alexander VI attempted to use Lucrezia as a pawn in his game of political power. To further his political ambitions he arranged her marriage to Giovanni Sforza of Milan when she was thirteen, in 1493. Four years later, when he no longer needed Milan’s political support to as great a degree, he annulled the marriage after spreading false charges of Sforza’s impotence. Alexander VI then married Lucrezia to the illegitimate son of the King of Naples. The Borgia legend stipulates that Cesare Borgia, Lucrezia’s older brother, murdered Lucrezia’s son produced by this marriage. In 1502, at the age of 22, Lucrezia was again divorced and remarried, this time to the duke of Ferrara, Alfonso d’Este. She remained in Ferrara until her death in 1519, where she became a devoted wife and mother, an influence in Ferrara politics and social life, and a noted patron of the arts. Lucrezia’s sister-in-law, Isabella d’Este, was perhaps the strongest, most intelligent woman of the Renaissance period. She mastered Greek and Latin and memorized the works of the ancient scholars. She frequently gave public performances, in which she demonstrated her skill at singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. In 1490 she was married to Francesco Gonzaga, the duke of Mantua, and the pair shared a happy and loving relationship. Isabella exerted a great amount of influence over the Mantua court, and it was due in great part to her presence that Mantua became known as a major center of wit, elegance, and artistic genius. After her husband, the duke, was captured in battle, she ruled Mantua herself. She also influenced the economic development of the region, encouraging the development of the textile and clothing industry that became the cornerstone of the Mantua economy. As a patron of the arts, Isabella collected many paintings, sculpturres, manuscripts, and musical instruments, and encouraged Mantuans to support the arts. Starting around 1820, with the new generation of machines, women began to take over men’s factory positions. Most of the positions open to women were low-skilled or unskilled positions. Home production of textiles was more skill intensive than factory production. Large groups of female factory workers were almost always supervised by men. Most female factory workers were young unmarried women. Factory owners dislike employing married women due to the inevitability of pregnancy, the influence of the husband, and the responsibility for child-rearing. Around this time (1820 – 1830), women began to make up the majority of factory workers. By 1850, factory work accounted for less than half of all jobs for women. In Britain, many women were employed as domestic servants. In France, many women were employed working the land. Throughout all of western Europe, domestic cottage industries like glove making, lace making, and needlework still employed many women. Regardless of industry and workplace, all women were paid extremely low wages, were employed in low skill positions, and were treated extremely harshly while on the job. The combination of low wages, and low-skilled job opportunities meant that many women did not make enough money to survive by themselves. During this time, many women turned to prostitution in order to supplement their income. Prostitution was not new to European society, but this new transition from a skilled artisan economy to an unskilled labor economy meant that many more women than before were pushed into the practice. In certain instances, women would be propositioned by their factory supervisor and left with little alternative but to prostitute themselves for fear of losing their job or being harshly punished at work. Young unmarried women would either work in a factory or as a domestic servant in order to earn enough money for a dowry. Due to the mobility brought about by the new wage labor economy, many women found themselves pregnant from men who had no desire to marry them. Women would seek to get married so that they could assume domestic and child-rearing duties while living off their husband’s income. If dual-incomes were needed, it was usually the children sent off to work. Women often also assumed control of the household finances, especially if the children became wage-earners. In the mid-19th century, economic motivations for marriage began to give way to the idea of marrying for companionship. The practice of companionate marriage was first adopted by the middle classes (which didn’t need dual incomes) and were later adopted by working classes. Women from the middle and upper classes were expected to maintain the household and raise children. This focus on the home for these women became known as the “cult of domesticity”.

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