1. What factors prompted the United States to enter the first World War? What were the consequences of the United States entering the war? Discuss.
United states had remained neutral during the initial years, though it did support the allied powers in kind. The initial pledge of Neutrality by Woodrow Wilson came to an end and United states entered World War 1 on the side of the allies in 1917.
Causes of the entry of USA into WW1:
Economic Interests: The government of USA and businessmen had provided huge loans to British and French governments to help in their war efforts, defeat of allied powers would have meant huge losses to America.
Atrocities in Belgium: Germany’s invasion of Belgium and subsequent atrocities on the citizens of neutral state had led to strong anti-German feeling in America.
Sinking of the Lusitania: British passenger ship Lusitania was sunk by German U-boat, which had many American citizens. This stained the relations between USA and Germany.
Resumption of submarine attacks: Germany had agreed not to attack civilian ships post the sinking of Lusitania, but it resumed the attacks soon after which finally compelled the USA to enter the war to support Allied powers.
Zimmermann Telegram: In 1917, German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann sent a telegram to Mexico suggesting that if the US should declare war on Germany, Mexico should declare war on the US In return, Mexico would get back the territory lost in the Mexican-American War. This telegram was intercepted and made public. This led to USA’s entry into the WW1.
Consequences of United States entering the war:
Entry of American troops was the greatest physical and morale booster for the tired and exhausted armies of the Allied powers.
America helped in the Second battle of Marne and defeated Germany marking the end of final attempt at victory.
The experience of American army helped in formation of innovative strategies against Central Power.
Rise of US as a world power – With European powers struggling with death, destruction and debt, US rose as the new superpower.
The entry of United States into the WW1 was probably the most significant event of 20th century which had far reaching repercussions throughout the world. It led to the emergence of United States as the new power centre and of a new world order.
2. How did the Versailles Treaty contribute to European political instability from 1919 to 1939? Analyse.
The Treaty of Versailles was signed between the allied powers and Germany (which was defeated) in the aftermath of WWI. It was based on the principle- “To the victors belongs all and The allies are the victors”. The treaty was in many ways victor’s dictation to loser because of which the instability in Europe couldn’t be arrested.
Several provisions and limitations of the peace treaty led to political instabilitu in Europe in following ways:
–Signing such a derogatory peace treaty reduced the public’s faith in Weimer republic govt. This energized the Right wing forces, who used this opportunity to overthrow the present government.
–The army was also scaled down, which reduced the means available to the govt to suppress the rising unrest against the political establishment.
–Treaty had ensured loss of several German territories in Europe and Africa, which decreased the govt’s revenue and lesser capability for development. Along with this huge war repatriations broke the country economically too.
–Feeling of humiliation among Germans led to resentment and consequently in rise of Hitler.
The treaty reduced the size of Austria and Hungary which made them economically vulnerable and unstable
Russia– which fought alongside allied powers wasn’t invited to negotiations which made it unhappy and it started tilting towards Berlin (signing of non-agression pact) and this further led to instability in Europe
Italy– The peace makers ignored the contribution made by Italy and this created resentment among its people leading to instability. Italy felt cheated as the victors Britain, France and USA didn’t kept any promises made to Italy. The huge loss suffered by Italy in WWI led to political instability which ultimately resulted in the rise of Mussolini and Fascism.
The treaty failed to accommodate the aspirations of the colonies. This resulted in further anti-imperialist struggle and an aggressive policy by Europeans as a response to it. This resulted in frequent conflicts.
League of Nations failed to address its objective of long term peace, in the absence of major power like USA.
Hitler and Mussolini followed an expansionist foreign policy waging wars in parts of Europe like Czechoslovakia leading to political instability there.
Union between Austria and Germany was broken as per the treaty and this led to instability on boh sides. nion of Austria & Germany was forbidden even tough huge German population in Austria.
Principal of ethnicity,nationality, self determination was neglected in reorganization of Europe internal border and creation of new independent states which has cause resentment in Turks, Arabs,Germans, Austrian etc.
Britain and France- Treaty of Versailles imposed huge war repatriation on Germany. This made it difficult for UK and France to extract money from Germany. Subsequently they were not able to pay loans to US, which created web of loans. This led to Great Economic Depression ultimately leading to resentment among the people.
Hence, it can be seen that Treaty of Versailles was like a dictated peace which further fueled the rise of Nazism and Fascism and led to WWII in 1939.
Best Answer: Raymond
Treaty of Versailles is considered by many historians as revenge treaty, unilateral in character which had sown the seed of Second world war.
Treaty of Versailles has contributed in economic instability in Europe :
1.Germany was not treated on equal terms and was humiliated and treaty clause was dominated by the allied party. Many sanctions was put on Germany. This has created resentment in Germans living in different parts of Europe.
2.Principal of ethnicity, nationality, self determination was neglected in reorganization of Europe internal border and creation of new independent states which has cause resentment in Turks, Arabs, Germans, Austrian etc.
3.Distribution of territory was to satisfy the allied power who kept the resource rich province. This has affected the economy of the other countries whose economy was engulfed in crisis.
4.Trade barrier was introduced by newly created state as a result economically weak state was not able to capture the market and their economy further deteriorated.
5.Russia did not got the fair share as communist regime was not invited to the negotiation table. Later Russian will help Germany in reconstruction.
6.Many of the Germans became refugee which was later used by Hitler to justify German aggression and expansion.
Treaty of Versailles was revenge treaty which was used by France and allied power to break and humiliate Germany. As Germany was large province and its internal reorganization was also not fair so it has created disturbances and instability in Europe.
3. What caused the collapse of the Soviet Union? What problems followed after its collapse? Discuss.
The collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR) was a landmark historical event, ramifications of which was felt across the globe.
Key factors that led to fall of USSR are,
–Reforms of Gorbachev:(Perestroika and Glasnost)The reforms introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev allowed more freedoms both economically and politically, this led to weakening of the iron hold the government had over the people which kept sentiments against governments in control.
–Nationalistic sentiments: USSR was composed of 15 republics with diverse ethnic and social charter. The loosening of control, meant the separative forces kept control by communism and strong government began to gain prominence.
–Weak Economy: The cold war compulsion of arms, race, space race, funding allies all led to heavy burden on soviet economy. The heavy production of capital goods over consumer good led to popular resentment over long breadlines etc.
–Social Turmoil: Due to lack of civil liberties and suppression of dissent.
–Impact of the development in western Europe and prosperity gained attention of the citizens in USSR,
–Loss of Afghan war: The soviet invasion of Afghanistan ended in defeat. This had economic consequences and loss of face for the government.
–Eastern European crisis: Eastern Europe was satellite region for USSR, it spread communism there. But starting with Poland and Hungary the defeat of communism there and strong fight against USSR influence there had similar impact in USSR itself
–Decreasing faith of citizens in the government.
Impact of disintegration of USSR
–Fighting among newly formed states which were formerly part of USSR for territorial and other disputes.
–Economic hardship and socio economic problems and consecutive shock therapy for economic transition.
–Increase in Private ownership,industrial disruption and increasing corruption in independent states.
–Resentment in Germany due to influx of migrants form poor Eastern European nations.
–Problems for USSR’s allies due to lack of economic support. One of the causes of 1991 economic crisis in India was fall of USSR.
–Unipolar world lead by United States of America. This affected the balance of power globally and changed US’ attitude towards its allies as seen in Bosnian crisis.
–Uprising in Chechanya.
–End of Cold war between USA and USSR.
However, by 1994 most countries had began to recover,Private sector took strong hold,consumer goods and services were widely available.Despite this the impact of USSR disintegration can be felt till this day.
4. The communal flare up in some parts of the country is a disturbing trend. Comment. What is causing this trend? Discuss.
Despite having completed 70 years of idnependence, India is still a nation in the making so far as community harmony between different religious groups is concerned. The recent communal riots in North 24 pargans in West Bengal and Bhadrak in Odisha point towards the same.
Why disturbing trend?
–Damage to the secular fabric of the country
–Push educated yet unemployed and gullible youth towards anti-social activities.
–Cause damage to public and private property which causes huge fiscal burden on the government and the individuals
–This might strengthen the agenda of enemies of the nation and terror groups who might use such events to further their cause of bleeding india by multiple cuts
–Loss of productive labor, government and private business when curfews and bandhs are imposed, According to Institute for Economic Peace , violence in India causes around 4% of loss to its GDP .
–Loss of national life and property where the greatest sufferers are common man.
–Impacts the intrnational image of our country and undrmines our constitutional values.
–Lethargic administration with no action on fringe elements involved.
–Mutual distrust among the masses. People take actions before talking else they believe, they will be at loss.
–Misuse of social media platform to spread fake and manufactured news.
–Glorification of people involved in such incidents by the respective communities.
–Political immaturity in both speeches and actions.
–Unemployment ,illiteracy and socio-economic backwardness which makes them prone to brain washing.
–Imbalanced regional growth with struggle for resources and even identity.
–Unequal socio-economical development among the communities since independence which has created an invisible barrier between communities who see each other not as colleagues but competitors for attaining the means of growth and development
–Cattle protection- Rise of cow politics and cattle protection demands have led to instance of lynchings and communal violence.
With continuation of such incidents one after another, the political class seriously need to look for reasons and remedies as they are no more mere aberrations. Communal riots challenge not just India’s long cherished ‘unity in diversity’ but the Indian democracy itself. If allowed unabated, it can prove the doomsayers right.
Q.5) The ongoing standoff at India China border demands recalibration of India’s policy towards China critically analyse.
India’s historical foreign policy stance vis-à-vis China has been guided by policy of Panchsheel (mutual trust, cooperation and non interference) has been put under considerable strain by recent skirmishes at border in Dokalam and Daulat beg oldi incidents.
Apart from these opposition by china to India’s entry to NSG, UN resolution 1267(Masood Azhar issue), stapled visa issue, assertive One-China policy has made Foreign policy observers and former NSA MK Narayanan for urgent need to recalibrate our foreign policy towards china to a more aggressive one.
But any Foreign policy change in a multipolar and multi dependent world order is not without its pros and cons, especially with a Global power and hegemonic neighbour like china
Assertion of sovereignty by India
USA Pivot to Asia would have a new reliable partner in India.
Can find new avenues in Trade diplomacy
Seek international cooperation to address bilateral issues (aksai chin, arunachal etc)
Can take moral high ground by Non recognition of One china policy (Tibetan settlement)
Permanent settlement of border issues – by demarcation and strengthening.
Both being nuclear powers can cause tensions
Experts like Brahma Chellaney opine that India –China are too much economically interlinked to pursue an aggressive stance against each other.
China and India new found bonhomie in multilateral fora like AIIB, SCO(Anti –terrorism) , BRICS (NDB, CRA), UNFCCC and WTO Doha round can come to an abrupt stand still
India can be isolated by its neighbourhood and any aggression can cause UNSC resolutions on it.
Hence there needs to be a calibrated, balanced yet assertive approach by India by Diversifying trade partners, Continuation of Bilateral border dialogue, Rising voice on International fora on CPEC yet pursuing its own strategic and economic benefits like OBOR , AIIB etc. within broader contours of Panchsheel.
Current standoff between India and China in Doklam region is one more addition to the increasing points of contention viz entry into NSG, UN resolution on Masood Azhar, Dalai Lama visit and CPEC. India and China are emerging centers of power in a transforming world order. China is fast increasing its influence in the region and being more assertive. This calls for a relook in India’s policy towards China.
India’s policy towards China which remains relevant :-
– Panchsheel: Non intervention and mutual respect are necessary for peace in the region.
– Trade relation : Beneficial to both countries, provided deficit concerns are addressed.
– Border talks : Continue negotiations at political and diplomatic level to resolve territorial disputes in western and eastern sector.
– Act East Policy : Improving relations with South East and Far East countries, most of which have disputes with China, gives India an important leverage.
– Engagement with other powers: Collaboration with Japan, US in form of Malabar Exercise are helpful to ensure rule of law in the region.
However, there is need for certain recalibrations in our policy :
– Be more realistic : Lessons from 1962 War must never be forget. India must swiftly improve its military and surveillance capacity viv a vis China. Rasing of Mountain Corps and track over Chinese investment are commendable steps taken.
– Widen scope of Act East Policy in form of strategic and defence partnership apart from economic relations.
– Partner with countries like Japan to develop connectivity infrastructure in region to counter BRI of China.
Nevertheless, while safeguarding our interests, we must take care not to antagonize China. Bridging trust deficit and improved relations would contribute to development of both and help in realization of Asian century.