American Revolution 1. John Adams once remarked, “The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people.” Evaluate what Adams was referring to in light of the philosophical, cultural and ideological causes of the American Revolution. 2. In 1763 Americans were proud citizens of the British empire but by 1776 they had taken up arms against the “mother country.” What key crises led to such a dramatic change of attitude and why did the colonists respond in such a violent manner? 3. Contrast the views of the Patriots, as seen in the writings of John Adams, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson, and the Loyalists, as seen in the writings of Daniel Leonard, Charles Ingles, and Samuel Seabury on the nature of the British Empire. Evaluate which side most realistically understood the relationship between Britain and her colonies in North America. 4. Was the American Revolution truly revolutionary? Analyze various interpretations of the nature of the American Revolution, and include your own assessment of this question. 5. Evaluate the military aspects of the American Revolution, including key turning points that led to the American victory. 6. Explain and evaluate why Canadian provinces such as Quebec and Nova Scotia did not join the lower 13 colonies in the American Revolution. 7. Analyze the degree to which Crane Brinton‟s definition of revolution fits the American Revolution. 8. “Only where government is weak, in will or means, can the war between revolutionary and counterrevolutionary forces manifest itself in a context where revolutionaries stand a chance of achieving their aims.” Evaluate the validity of this quote in light of the American Revolution. 9. “Wars of Independence in the Americas were primarily caused by economic grievances.” Discuss how far this claim is justified with reference to any one war of independence in the region in the period 1775 to 1850. 10. “Wars of Independence in the Americas were primarily caused by economic grievances.” To what extent do you agree with this view? Support your answer with detailed refeernce to any one war of independence in the period 1775 to 1824. Constitution 1. Analyze the Articles of Confederation and explain why they failed to adequately govern the new American nation. 2. Evaluate the debate over whether or not to ratify the new Constitution. Describe who tended to support the Federalists and Anti-federalists, give the key arguments of both sides (referring to the writings of the day) and explain why the Federalists prevailed. 3. “The Constitution was not really a victory for „We the people‟ but in reality was a conservative counter- revolution.” Evaluate the merits of this quote, giving evidence of both sides of the historical argument it raises followed by your own conclusion. 4. Contrast the differing national visions of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Next, share specific ways in which each leaders vision resulted in policies. Conclude with evidence to support an analysis of which vision was most in tune with the reality of the early republic. 5. “Alexander Hamilton was the most important leader of the early republic.” By evaluating his career, policies, vision and impact, assess the degree to which you agree with this statement. 6. Thomas Jefferson called the election of 1800 a “revolution.” In what ways was he correct / incorrect? 7. What were the goals of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and to what extent did it achieve them? 8. What problems faced the United States under the Articles of Confederation and how far did the Constitution solve them? 9. “I have already intimated to you the dangers of parties ...” (George Washington, Farewell Address in 1796). Why, despite Washington‟s warnings, did political parties emerge in the period 1796 to 1828? 10. To what extent were the grievances expressed in the Declaration of Independence successfully addressed by the Articles of Confederation? 11. “The Constitution of the United States, agreed between 1787 and 1791, was a revolutionary document for its time.” To what extent do you agree with this claim? 12. What were the main features of the Articles of Confederation, and how successful was the government that resulted from them? Latin American Wars of Independence 1. Considering the goals and causes of the Latin American Wars of Independence, in what ways were their results a success and/or failure? 2. Compare and contrast the roles of Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin in the struggles for independence in Latin America, and explain why each of these liberators died a disappointed man. 3. Explain how Mexico achieved its‟ independence from Spain, and evaluate how its experience was different and/or similar to the rest of Spanish America. 4. How did the policies and actions of countries outside the region influence the Wars of Emancipation in Latin America? 5. Evaluate the nature and importance of the role of Creoles in the Latin American Wars of Emancipation. 6. In what ways could the Independence movement in Mexico be seen as both unique and similar to other movements in the region, and in what ways did events in the 50 years after independence reflect this same dichotomy? 7. What similarities and what differences do you find in the causes of the American Revolution (1776) and the Latin American Wars of Independence (1810 and after)? 8. “Haiti‟s achievement of independence was unique in the hemisphere.” How far do you agree with this judgment? 9. By what groups and for what reasons was independence opposed in the United States in 1776 and in one Latin American country in 1810 and after? 10. “Wars of independence in the Americas were primarily caused by political factors.” To what extent do you agree with this statement for the period 1775 to 1850? 11. “Most revolutions in the Americas merely replaced the colonial rulers with a home-grown political elite.” How valid is this claim that Wars of Independence in the Americas during the eighteenth and nineteenth century did not mark a radical change from the past? 12. “Wars of Independence in the Americas were primarily caused by economic grievances.” Discuss how far this claim is justified with reference to any one war of independence in the region in the period 1775 to 1850. 13. “Wars of Independence in the Americas were primarily caused by economic grievances.” To what extent do you agree with this view? Support your answer with detailed refeernce to any one war of independence in the period 1775 to 1824. Slavery 1. “During the Jacksonian Age, the North and South developed into almost different nations within a nation.” Evaluate the legitimacy of this quote. 2. Explain how blacks both adapted to and resisted the cruelties of slavery in the United States. 3. Compare and contrast slavery in Brazil and the U.S. 4. Why did the controversies over slavery in the United States during the 1850s focus on the territories where there were few slaves, rather than on the Southern slave states? 5. Who opposed slavery in the Americas and why? 6. Analyze the major similarities and differences in the master-slave relationship in the slave culture of two countries of the region during the 19th century. 7. Analyze the conditions that produced slave insurrections either in the United States or Brazil. To what extent were these insurrections successful? 8. Analyze the main arguments of (a) those who supported slavery; and (b) those who opposed slavery. Civil War 1. “Slavery was the cause of the Civil War.” Evaluate the legitimacy of this remark. 2. Economic, social and political causes: which were most critical as causes of the Civil War? 3. To what extent was the expansion of slavery into the territories the primary cause of the Civil War? 4. Evaluate key reasons for Northern victory and Southern defeat in the Civil War. What issues did the war settle? 5. Evaluate the various Northern perspectives on how to treat the South after the Civil War, why the Radicals gained control of the reconstruction process, and what the years 1865-1877 were really like for the South. 6. Evaluate the goals, based on the successes and failures, of the Republican Party‟s Reconstruction policy after the Civil War. 7. What were the political causes and results of the Civil War? 8. Compare the political, economic, and military strengths and weaknesses of the North and South at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. 9. “The attempts in the Reconstruction period, 1865 to 1877, to solve problems caused by the Civil War failed African-Americans.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? 10. “Abraham Lincoln has been given greater credit than he deserves for the emancipation of slaves in the U.S.” How far do you agree with this statement? 11. “Wars may be started by a single incident. They are never caused by such an incident.” With reference to the Civil War, show how far you agree with this statement. 12. Analyze the immediate and longer-term political effects of the United States Civil War. 13. Why did the United States Civil War break out in 1861? Mexican Revolution 1. Was the Mexican Revolution a success? Evaluate this question in light of the goals outlined by the leaders of the revolution and the degree to which those goals were achieved between 1910 and 1940. 2. Why did the Mexican Revolution last so long? 3. Who deserves the title „Father of the Mexican Revolution‟ and why? 4. Evaluate the extent to which the leaders of the Mexican Revolution could be considered as either “revolutionaries” or “reformers”. 5. “Emiliano Zapata‟s aim was Land and Freedom.” How successful and how lasting was the influence of Zapata on the Mexican Revolution? 6. Analyze the role of the United States in the Mexican Revolution. 7. Assess the significance of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1940). 8. “The Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century was not one but two revolutions, one led by reformers and the other by revolutionaries.” To what extent do you agree with this view? 9. How important were economic grievances in causing the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910, and to what extent were the grievances solved by the Constitution of 1917? 10. To what extent were the aims of Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa realized during the Mexican Revolution (1910 to 1940). 11. To what extent did foreign intervention prolong the Mexican Revolution? 12. “By the end of the 1920s the original objectives of the Mexican Revolution had been abandoned.” To what extent do you agree with this judgment? 13. How successful were both moderates and radicals in achieving their aims in the Mexican Revolution by the end of the 1920s? 14. Examine the major stages of the Mexican Revolution (1910-20) and explain the programs of three of the most important leaders. 15. Analyze the political causes of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. 16. Compare and contrast the aims of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1923). 17. Analyze the results of the Mexican Revolution. 18. “The Mexican Revolution was a revolt of the impoverished many against the wealthy few.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? 19. “At times a rebel against injustice, at times an undirected destructive force, but Pancho Villa was always a national hero.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? 20. “Lázaro Cárdenas‟ rule (1934–1940) renewed the ideals of the Mexican Revolution.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? World War I 1. “Wars may be started by a single incident. They are never caused by such an incident.” With reference to World War I, show how far you agree with this statement. 2. Through a discussion of key points in the history of World War I when could the Central Powers have achieved victory, evaluate why they ultimately lost the war. 3. Analyze the results of United States participation in World War I (During and just after the war). Your answer should consider the following aspects: a) military; b) social and economic (on the homefront); c) political (national and international). 4. Describe major developments in the World War I peace process from the issuing of the 14 Points in January of 1918 to the signing of the Versailles Treaty in June of 1919. Evaluate especially the degree to which Wilson‟s ideas were reflected in the final treaty. 5. Considering President Woodrow Wilson‟s claims and the criticism of Senator George Norris, discuss reasons for and against U.S. entry into World War I and assess the degree to which the U.S. homefront reflected Wilson‟s ultimate goal of making the “world safe for democracy.” 6. “Germany must bear the ultimate responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War.” How far do you agree with this judgment? 7. To what extent can it be said that the First World War was caused by the alliance system? 8. Assess the importance of nationalism and selfish ambition as causes of World War I. 9. Analyze the results of the First World War. 10. “It was the U-boat campaign of 1917 which brought the United States into the First World War.” To what extent would agree with this statement? 11. Discuss the part played in the outbreak of the First World War by two states (excluding Germany). Rise & Rule of Single Party States 1. To what extent did Stalin‟s policies in the Soviet Union after 1924 promote the aims and reflect the ideals of the Bolshevik revolutionaries of 1917. 2. How and why did Stalin come to power in the Soviet Union? For what purpose and with what success did he use the power he won? 3. Evaluate the reasons for the rise of communist dictatorship in Russia by analyzing: (a) underlying economic conditions; (b) the impact of international events and wars; (c) the strength of alternative parties. 4. Analyze conditions that led to single-party states during the twentieth century. 5. To what extent is the role of the strong individual the dominant factor in the creation of a single party state? Use examples from at least two countries. 6. Assess the importance of each of the following factors in helping to bring Hitler to power in 1933: a) the Versailles Peace Treaty; b) anti-Semitism; c) the Weimar Republic‟s political structure; d) the Weimar Republic‟s economic problems. 7. “Single party regimes emerged between the wars in countries where traditions of democracy were short and unfamiliar and where a democratic system had failed to find solutions to current problems.” How appropriate and how adequate is this explanation? 8. Using examples from two countries, each from a different region, explain and detail what aspects of life are “totally controlled” in a totalitarian state. 9. “Single party regimes have all had one thing in common: they have all been the products of a crisis situation.” Examine, with reference to specific examples, the truth of this claim. 10. Compare and contrast the rule of any single party regime in Latin America with any European single party state. Consider economic, social and political aspects of the rule. 11. Assess the success and failure of two rulers of single-party regimes, each chosen from a different region, in solving the social and economic problems of their countries. 12. In what ways did Hitler follow the aims and ideologies that he had set out in Mein Kampf? 13. What are the common factors in the rise of single party states in developed and developing countries? Be specific in your answer. 14. Why was there so little resistance to Hitler‟s rule within Germany? 15. “Single party states need enemies. Even when enemies do not exist, it is necessary to invent them.” How far has this been true for two single party states each chosen from a different region. 16. Analyze the reasons for the longevity of Fidel Castro‟s rule in Cuba. 17. To what extent is it true to say that a successful economic policy is the most important factor for a single party ruler to remain in power? Examples should be given from two countries each chosen from a different region. 18. Compare and contrast the foreign policies of two rulers of single party states, each chosen from a different region. 19. To what extent is it true to say that a successful foreign policy is the most important factor for a single party ruler to remain in power? Examples should be given from two countries each chosen from a different region. 20. Assess the contributions of organizational and leadership qualities in maintaining in power two single-party rulers, each chosen from a different region. 21. To what extent was Castro able to achieve his aims between 1959 and 1990, and what prevented him from achieving more? 22. “Cuba, unlike other Latin American countries, has created a true social revolution.” How valid is this assessment of the impact of Castro‟s regime in Cuba? 23. “Promises of improved social and economic conditions win more support for would-be single-party rulers than ideological pronouncements.” How far do you agree with this claim? 24. Analyze the methods used by which either Castro or Stalin maintained his position as ruler of a single-party state. 25. Compare and contrast the domestic policies of Hitler and Stalin. 26. In what ways, and for what reasons, did two rulers of single-party states, each chosen from a different region, fail to achieve their objectives? 27. Why, and with what results, did Castro replace Batista as ruler in Cuba? 28. “In order to achieve and retain power a leader of a single-party state needed to be ruthless, blind to human suffering and yet charismatic.” To what extent do you agree with this assertion? 29. Analyze the successes and failures of Castro‟s social and economic policies in the period 1960-90. 30. Analyze the short-term and long-term consequences for Cuba between 1959 and 1995 of Castro‟s rule. 31. Analyze the methods used by one single-party state ruler in his successful bid for power. 32. Analyze the methods used and conditions which helped in the rise to power of one ruler of a single-party state. 33. Evaluate the successes and failures of one ruler of a single-party state. 34. For what reasons, and with what results for the economy of Cuba, did Castro become ruler of Cuba? 35. To what extent was the rise to power of Hitler due to personal appeal and ability? 36. Compare and contrast the domestic policies of two rulers of single-party states, each chosen from a different region. 37. “Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba because of the weaknesses of Batista‟s regime.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? 38. Compare and contrast the rise to power of two rulers of single-party states, each chosen from a different region. 39. Assess the importance of foreign policy for rulers of single-party states. 40. How and why did Fidel Castro rise to power in 1959? 41. By what methods, and with what success, did single-party rulers in power establish totalitarian regimes? Reference should be made to two examples, each chosen from a different region. 42. “A vigorous foreign policy played a vital part in the maintenance of power of single-party regimes.” With reference to two examples, explain to what extent you agree with this statement. 43. To what extent was the ruler of one single-party state successful in achieving his aims? 44. For what reasons, and with what success, did rulers of single-party states use foreign policy to maintain their power? At least two rulers should be considered. 45. Analyse the methods used by Castro to obtain power. 46. Compare and contrast the domestic policies of Castro and Stalin. 47. Analyze the conditions that enabled one left-wing leader to become the ruler of a single-party state. 48. Discuss (a) the ideology of, and (b) the support for, one right-wing ruler of a single-party state. 49. In what ways, and to what extent, was propaganda important in the rise and rule of Hitler? World War II 1. Explain appeasement, give examples of its use and evaluate its use as policy by Britain and France during the years that led to WWII, 1933-1939. 2. “The allies (Britain and France) are to blame for allowing Europe to fall into a war in 1939.” Evaluate this quote by discussing and explaining key events in Europe between 1933 and 1939. 3. Evaluate the U.S. shift from isolation to war between 1931 and 1941, considering especially the question of why Japan launched the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. 4. “By Dec. 1941, the United States was a belligerent in all but name.” Comment on this statement with regard to United States foreign policy in the decade before Pearl Harbor. 5. Evaluate why atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945, considering military, political and moral considerations that may or may not have been put forth or considered at the time. 6. “By definition, the „immediate‟ causes of war pose a greater threat to peace and are, therefore, more important than the „long term‟ or „basic‟ causes.” Consider the validity of this assertion in the case of the beginning of WWII in Europe. 7. Evaluate key factors that led the U.S. to enter the war in both the European and Pacific theaters. 8. Analyze strategies and assess key turning points that enabled the allies to achieve victory in both Europe and the Pacific. 9. In 1942, the Axis powers were on the brink of winning the war. Explain and evaluate key strategies and turning points that allowed the Allies to win by 1945. 10. Why was the United States called the “Arsenal of Democracy” during the Second World War? 11. How far do you agree with the view of some historians that Chamberlain‟s appeasement of Hitler at Munich was a mistake? 12. “The Second World War had one victor, the United States; one loser, Germany; and one hero, Britain.” Assess the validity of this claim. 13. “The Second World War changed the relationships of the New World with the Old as significantly as the Wars of Independence.” In what ways is this an accurate statement? 14. Assess the importance of nationalism and selfish ambition as causes of World War II. 15. Compare and contrast the causes of the First and Second World Wars. 16. In what ways did the causes of the Second World War differ from the causes of the First World War? 17. Analyze the results of the Second World War. 18. Compare and contrast the results of the First World War and the Second World War. 19. Why did the United States become involved in the Second World War? 20. Compare and contrast the causes of the First World War and the Second World War. 21. Compare and contrast the reasons for Germany's involvement in the First and Second World Wars. 22. Analyse (a) the long-term causes and (b) the short-term causes of the Second World War. 23. “The atomic bombs were necessary to end the Second World War.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? Cold War 1. Analyze the main stages of the buildup of the Cold War in Europe between 1945 and 1956. 2. Describe the causes, events and immediate results of the Cuban Crisis of Oct. 1962, and explain its significance in U.S./ Soviet relations. 3. Through their handling of Cold War crises, compare and contrast the different approaches to relations with the Soviet Union taken by presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy. Conclude with an evaluation of which president conducted the most effective foreign policy. 4. Assess the significance of each of the following in the intensification and spread of the Cold War: a) the Truman Doctrine; b) the Marshall Plan; c) the Korean War; d) the construction of the Berlin Wall; e) the Cuban missile crisis; f) changes in political leadership in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. 5. When, and how widely, did the Cold War spread beyond Europe? 6. Assess the effectiveness of the U.S. containment policy in Asia. 7. Compare the policies of two United States presidents in regard to the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1990. Which was more successful and why? 8. In what ways could Stalin be held responsible for the origin and development of the Cold War? 9. Assess John F. Kennedy‟s handling of Cold War problems during his presidency. 10. When and why was Germany the focus of Cold War hostility in the fifteen years after the Second World War? 11. “Detente defined, not friendship, but a strategy for relationships among enemies.” What brought about detente and what changes, if any, did it cause East/West relations? 12. How did fear contribute to the origin and development of the Cold War? 13. In what ways was Korea a typical example of Cold War conflict? 14. Define “spheres of influence” and assess their role in Cold War politics. 15. Examine the conflicting aims and policies of the U.S. and USSR which helped cause the Cold War. 16. Assess the importance in the development of the Cold War of two of the following: the Yalta Conference; Berlin; the Arms Race; non-alignment; South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). . 17. “The build up of missiles in Cuba in 1962 was a deliberate, provocative and unjustified action.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? 18. How did the foreign policies of the United States government respond to the perceived threat of Communist aggression during the late 1940s and early 1950s? 19. “Ideological differences played only a minor role in the origin and development of the Cold War.” How far do you agree with this statement? 20. Where, and with what effect, has the Truman Doctrine been applied in foreign policy? 21. What key political, military and philosophical mistakes did the US make in Vietnam? What lessons need to be learned? 22. Analyze how the U.S. became so heavily involved in Vietnam between 1945 and 1965. 23. Compare and contrast the different approaches to the Vietnam conflict by different American presidents between 1945 and 1973. 24. Assess the significance of the Vietnam War (1964-1975). 25. In what ways, and to what extent, did Eisenhower‟s foreign policy demonstrate the limits of American power in the 1950s? 26. Analyze the role of either Cuba or Vietnam in the development of the Cold War. 27. Analyze the political impact of the Vietnam War upon the U.S. between 1964 and 1974. 28. With reference to their aims and actions, examine the foreign policy of one of the following presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan. 29. Analyze the reasons for the outbreak of war in Korea in 1950. 30. “The Cold War was caused by fear, not aggression.” To what extent does this view explain how the Cold War developed between 1945 and 1949? 31. For what reasons, and with what results, up to 1963, did the United States adopt the policy known as „containment‟? 32. “The Korean War was a limited war, a civil war, and an episode in the Cold War.” To what extent do you agree with each part of this assertion? 33. Analyze the role of Germany in the origin and development of the Cold War. 34. “A product of the Cold War, and a reason for the prolonging of Cold War tension.” To what extent do you agree with this statement about the Vietnam War? 35. Compare and contrast the Cold War policies of Truman and Eisenhower. 36. How, and to what extent, did the conferences at Yalta and Potsdam contribute to the origin of the Cold War? 37. “Although it began in Europe the spread of the Cold War to other regions was a much more dangerous development.” To what extent do you agree with this judgment? 38. How and why did the policies of either the USA or the USSR affect superpower rivalry between 1950 and 1970? 39. Analyze the aims and achievements of the foreign policies of Truman (1945-53) and Bush (1989-93). 40. To what extent did events in the final years of the Second World War turn wartime allies into Cold War enemies? 41. In what ways, and to what extent, did the Cold War become less confrontational after 1970? 42. Assess the successes and failures of the foreign policies of either Harry Truman or Richard Nixon. 43. Compare and contrast the Cold War policies of two of the following U.S. presidents: Harry S Truman; Dwight D. Eisenhower; Ronald Reagan. 44. Assess the part played by differing ideologies in the origin of the Cold War. 45. In what ways, and with what results, was Germany the key focus of the early stages of the Cold War? 46. Analyze the causes of the Korean War. 47. “An unnatural alliance that was bound to fall apart after the defeat of the common enemy.” To what extent does this statement explain the origin of the Cold War? 48. Assess the successes and failures of the foreign policies of either Eisenhower (1953-1961) or Kennedy (1961-63). 49. In what ways, and to what extent, did the foreign policy of Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) affect the Cold War? 50. Analyze the effects of the Vietnam War on the United States. 51. Why, and with what consequences, did the United States get involved in Korea? 52. Analyze the successes and failures of the foreign policies of either Richard Nixon (1969-1974) or George H.W. Bush (1989-1993). 53. Analyze the origin of the East-West rivalry and explain why it developed into the Cold War. 54. For what reasons, and with what results, did the Truman Doctrine and the Mrshall Plan affect Cold War development? 55. Compare and contrast the roles of Korea and Vietnam in the Cold War. 56. Explain the meaning of two of the following and show how each affected the development of the Cold War: containment, brinkmanship, non-alignment, détente. 57. When and why did the Cold War end? 58. How effective was the United States policy of containment up to 1962? 59. For what reasons, and with what results for East-West relations, did the superpowers become involved in the affairs of one of the following: Korea; Vietnam; the Middle East? 60. How successful was Kennedy‟s foreign policy towards the USSR between 1961 and 1963? 61. Evaluate the role of the policies of the United States in the origins of the Cold War between 1945 and 1949. 62. Compare and contrast the role of two leaders, each chosen from a different region, in the development of the Cold War between 1953 and 1964. 63. Why did détente develop between 1969 and 1979? 64. “The Cold War came to an end primarily because of Gorbachev‟s changes in Soviet policies.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
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