For Previous TLP (ARCHIVES) – CLICK HERE
SYNOPSIS [17th February,2021] Day 33: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. How did American entry change the course of World War I? Analyse.
Candidate are expected to write about America’s entry in 1st WW, shift from its neutral stance and analyse on how did American entry into world war changed the course of war.
America entered World War One on April 6th, 1917. Up to that date, America had tried to keep out of World War One though she had traded with nations involved in the war but unrestricted submarine warfare, introduced by the Germans on January 9th, 1917, was the primary issue that caused Woodrow Wilson to ask Congress to declare war on Germany on April 2nd. Four days later, America joined World War One on the side of the Allies.
- In 1914, when war was declared in Europe, America adopted a policy of neutrality and isolation. That neutrality extended to a policy of ‘fairness’ – whereby American bankers could lend money to both sides in the war.
- However, public opinion about neutrality started to change after the sinking of the British ocean liner Lusitania by a German U-boat in 1915; almost 2,000 people perished, including 128 Americans. Along with news of the Zimmerman telegram threatening an alliance between Germany and Mexico, Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. The U.S. officially entered the conflict on April 6, 1917.
American entry into World War One changed the course of the war –
- By the time the United States joined the Allies, the war had been raging for nearly three years. In those three years, Europe had lost more men in battle than in all the wars of the previous three centuries. The war had claimed the lives of millions and had changed countless lives forever. The Great War, as the conflict came to be known, affected everyone. It touched not only the soldiers in the trenches but civilians as well.
- After supplying humanitarian relief to faraway countries during the early part of the war, the United States proceeded to act further on a moral imperative, offering the commitment of the entire nation in the name of peace and freedom.
- The U.S. Navy was the second largest in the world when America entered the war in 1917. The Navy soon abandoned its plans for the construction of battleships and instead concentrated on building the destroyers and submarine chasers so desperately needed to protect Allied shipping from the U-boats.
- The entry of the United States was the turning point of the war, because it made the eventual defeat of Germany possible. It had been foreseen in 1916 that if the United States went to war, the Allies’ military effort against Germany would be upheld by U.S. supplies and by enormous extensions of credit.
- As one of the first total wars, USA mobilized women in unprecedented numbers on all sides. The vast majority were drafted into the civilian workforce to replace conscripted men, taking traditionally male jobs working on factory assembly lines producing tanks, trucks, and munitions.
- The experience of American army helped in formation of innovative strategies against Central Power.
- 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 Central Powers’ moral decreased because they knew they had to face the world’s most powerful economy. America’s involvement in the war fed up Germany’s chances of winning, which leads them to signing the armistice in November 11, 1918.
- Looking at 1918 in this new way, restoring the enormous impact of the U.S. military to its proper scale and significance, achieves two important things. First, it fundamentally revises the history of the First World War.
- Second, it brings out the thrilling suspense of 1918, when the fate of the world hung in the balance, and the revivifying power of the Americans saved the Allies, defeated Germany, and established the United States as the greatest of the great powers.
The U.S., which had won the war but had not experienced the conflict on its territory, became a first world power. However, USA call “war to end all wars” turned out to be the opposite. By ensuring Germany’s economic ruin and political humiliation through the Treaty of Versatile, the post-war settlement provided fertile ground for World War II.
2. How did the global economy shape up during the interwar period? Discuss.
Candidate is required to give socio economic conditions of Europe and America and the effects it had on the global economy, leading to Second World War.
During World War I, some 10 million Europeans were killed, about 7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million seriously wounded, mostly young men of working age and middle class backgrounds. This loss, combined with the destruction of land and property, led to a European situation of grave pessimism and poverty for many.
Socio-economic conditions during interwar period –
- Living conditions declined dramatically at the close of the war, the infant mortality rate skyrocketed, and life was quite difficult for Europeans of the period. The widespread material destruction totalled billions of dollars of damage in Europe.
- The war’s prosecution had cost the nations of Europe six and one-half times as much as the total national debt of the entire world during the years from 1800 to 1914.
- The Allies bore the brunt of the debt, and material damages, France especially. But the Central Powers were punished severely by the war’s concluding treaties. Germany lost 15 percent of its pre-war capacity, all of its foreign investments, and 90 percent of its mercantile fleet. The Treaty of Versailles imposed reparations payments which were generally considered intolerable and impossible.
- By 1920, prices in Hungary were 23,000 times what they had been before the war, and in Russia the multiplier was 4 million. A sharp depression in 1920 and 1921 corrected prices to some extent.
- Meanwhile, the European Allies had their own financial problems. They ended the war deeply indebted to the United States. The United States demanded payment in gold and dollars, which the Allies borrowed from creditor nations, creating even greater debt elsewhere.
- From 1925 to 1929, Europe entered a period of relative prosperity and stability. However, unemployment remained high, and population growth outstripped economic growth. During this time, world trade increased and speculative investment increased as the result of better economic times. US creditors, flush with capital coming in from Europe, led this speculative movement.
- As the Great Depression that had struck the United States in 1929 began to set in throughout Europe in the early 30s, banks began to collapse. Despite international loans, Germany, and Europe as a whole, plunged into depression, during which currencies collapsed and all hope of stability was dashed.
- While Europe struggled to rebuild during the 1920s, the United States prospered as the major creditor of the Allied nations. Collapse of foreign currencies, so US demanded payment in dollars and gold. US financial institutions benefited greatly from this influx of capital, and sought ways in which to invest it, driving up the US stock market by speculation, and often sending capital back to Europe in the form of loans.
- American financial experts favoured massive international loans as a means of increasing American exports, increasing employment, and strengthening the already mighty dollar.
- This period of outward prosperity belied the problems beneath. There was no international agreement on currency stabilization, so it was carried out haphazardly, in a varied, unsynchronized fashion by the nations of Europe, pushing America in great depression.
Effects of depression –
- The worldwide economic depression of the 1930s took its toll in different ways in Europe and Asia.
- In Europe, political power shifted to totalitarian and imperialist governments in several countries, including Germany, Italy, and Spain.
- In Asia, a resource-starved Japan began to expand aggressively, invading China and manoeuvring to control a sphere of influence in the Pacific.
- High unemployment in industrial countries of Europe and elsewhere.
- Bank failures and collapse of credit from US and other major financial giants.
- Collapse of prices in world trade
- Nazi Party’s growing importance in Germany; Nazi Party’s blame of European Jews for economic collapse.
- Due to the global crisis, there was a drastic fall in agricultural prices, the mainstay of India’s economy, and a severe credit contraction occurred as colonial policymakers refused to devalue the rupee.
- The decline of agricultural prices, which was aggravated by British financial policy in India, made substantial sections of the peasantry rise in protest and this protest was articulated by members of the National Congress.
- At the time of the Great Depression, the United States was the only industrialised nations with no form of employment protection or social security. In 1935, the United States Government passed the Social Security Act, which provided Americans with insurance and pensions for old age.
The New Deal –
- In 1933, a new government led by Franklin D Roosevelt introduced the New Deal. It included financial support for farmers and a construction programmer to create more jobs, Banks were more closely regulated and savings were better protected.
- One of the programs what aided in recovery from the Great Depression was a new set of construction projects that built dams and hydroelectric projects. And the Works Progress Administration (WPS), a permanent jobs program that employed 8.5 million people from 1935 to 1943.
Although the US Congress had adopted a policy of neutrality upon the outbreak of World War II in 1939, it was inevitable that the United States would not sit on the side-lines for too long. In preparation, defence manufacturing geared up, producing more and more private-sector jobs, hence reducing unemployment. This expanding industrial production, as well as widespread conscription beginning in 1942, reduced the unemployment rate to below its pre-Depression level. The Great Depression had ended at last, and the United States turned its attention to the global conflict of World War II.
3. With what objectives did Japan enter World War II? What were the consequences of its defeat? Discuss.
The question is asking you to discuss which necessitates a debate where reasoning is backed up with evidence to make a case for and against an argument and finally arriving at a conclusion. In simple terms an examiner expects one to discuss various perspectives and present a logical argument.
Hirohito (1901-1989) was emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He took over at a time of rising democratic sentiment, but his country soon turned toward ultra-nationalism and militarism. During World War II (1939-45), Japan attacked nearly all of its Asian neighbours, allied itself with Nazi Germany and launched a surprise assault on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbour.
WITH WHAT OBJECTIVES DID JAPAN ENTER WORLD WAR II?
- In September 1940, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, in which they agreed to assist one another should any of them be attacked by a country not already involved in the war.
- Japan sent troops to occupy French Indochina that same month, and the United States responded with economic sanctions, including an embargo on oil and steel.
- To Japan, war with the United States had become to seem inevitable, in order to defend its status as a major world power. Because the odds were stacked against them, their only chance was the element of surprise.
- A little over a year later, Hirohito consented to the decision of his government to battle the Americans.
- On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes bombarded the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbour near Honolulu, Hawaii, destroying or crippling 18 ships and killing almost 2,500 men. The United States declared war one day later.
WHAT WERE THE CONSEQUENCES OF ITS DEFEAT?
- Atomic bombs largely destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, respectively. On August 8 the Soviet Union declared war and the next day marched into Manchuria, where the Kwantung Army could offer only token resistance.
- The Japanese government attempted to gain as its sole condition for surrender a qualification for the preservation of the imperial institution; after the Allies agreed to respect the will of the Japanese people, the emperor insisted on surrender.
- The Pacific war came to an end on August 14 (August 15 in Japan). The formal surrender was signed on September 2 in Tokyo Bay aboard the battleship USS Missouri.
- Aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan formally surrenders to the Allies, bringing an end to World War II.
- By the summer of 1945, the defeat of Japan was a foregone conclusion. The Japanese navy and air force were destroyed. The Allied naval blockade of Japan and intensive bombing of Japanese cities had left the country and its economy devastated.
- By the end of the war, Japan’s cities were destroyed, its stockpiles exhausted, and its industrial capacity gutted. The government stood without prestige or respect. An alarming shortage of food and rising inflation threatened what remained of national strength.
Post-war investigators concluded that neither the atomic bombs nor the Soviet entry into the war was central to the decision to surrender, although they probably helped to advance the date. It was determined that submarine blockade of the Japanese islands had brought economic defeat by preventing exploitation of Japan’s new colonies, sinking merchant tonnage, and convincing Japanese leaders of the hopelessness of the war while the bombing brought the consciousness of defeat to the people.
2. Examine the forces that created the platform for Cold War.
Student should write down the reasons responsible for Cold-War in the post-WW2 world. The question is very simple and the student is expected to write the main forces and events that unfolded resulting in the Cold-War between erstwhile USSR and USA, culminating in the bipolar world for nearly 45 years.
Cold War, the open yet restricted rivalry that developed after World War II, between USA and USSR and their respective allies. The Cold War was waged on the political,e economic and propaganda fronts and had only limited recourse to weapons. The term was first used by the English writer George Orwell in an article published in 1945 to refer to what he predicted would be a nuclear stalemate between “two or three monstrous super-states, each possessed of a weapon by which millions of people can be wiped out in a few seconds.”
Forces that created the platform for Cold War –
- End of World War II and the Conferences of Yalta and Potsdam: The Yalta Conference, along with the Potsdam Conference, was an important event for the end stages of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. The purpose of the conference was for the three Allied powers to begin discussing how to reorganize Europe once Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany were defeated. While, World War II in Europe was not over yet, the Allies could see that the end of the war was near and that Germany would soon be defeated. However, it highlighted the divide between Stalin and the other two leaders. Neither side trusted the other and Joseph Stalin was resentful of the other two believing that they delayed the Normandy Invasion and Allied invasion of Italy to cause the Soviet army to struggle alone against Nazi Germany. This divide would be further highlighted at the later Potsdam Conference.
- The purpose of the Potsdam conference was for the three Allied powers to begin discussing how to handle the defeat of Nazi Germany, which had occurred just recently. Other goals focused on how the world would carry on after the war. While, World War II in the Pacific was not over yet, the Allies could see that the end of the war was near and that Japan would soon be defeated. It deepened the divide between the two superpowers- USA and USSR. As well, it is at the Potsdam Conference that Truman made Stalin aware of the American atomic weapons program (Manhattan Project) and that the Americans had developed the world’s first atomic bomb. It was also at this conference that a deep divide was created between the United States and the Soviet Union specifically. In general terms, the seeds of the Cold War were planted at the Potsdam Conference. The United States would bomb Hiroshima just days after the conference ended and World War II would be over in the just a few weeks, while the Cold War was just beginning. As such, Yalta and Potsdam Conferences as the start of the Cold War since they highlighted the growing mistrust and tensions between USA and USSR.
- Nuclear Arms Race: The next major cause of the Cold War was the emergence of nuclear weapons at the end of World War II. With the atomic bombing of Japan, the United States had begun the era of nuclear weapons and the nuclear arms race. On August 29th, 1949, the Soviet Union performed a test of their first atomic bomb codenamed ‘First Lighting’. These early years were important to the growing tensions and anger between the two superpowers. Because of the development of nuclear weapons, the two nations did not trust each other. As a result, they each spent the first few decades of the Cold War developing large arsenals of nuclear weapons. By the 1950’s each country had developed enough nuclear weapons to destroy the other. This development was an important aspect of the Cold War, as the stockpiles of nuclear weapons acted as a means of defense.
- Ideological Conflict: The third main cause of the Cold War was the ideological conflict that existed between the United States and Soviet Union. At the time, the Soviet Union was a communist nation that was based on the principles of collectivism or socialism, while the United States was a modern liberal democracy nation based primarily on the principles of individualism. This means that the Soviet Union was positioned on the far-left side of the economic spectrum, while the United States was position on the right side. This difference in ideology was a major source of the conflict between the two nations because throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union sought to expand communism to other regions and the United States sought to stop it with its policy of containment.
- Spread of Communism: The United States, led by Harry S. Truman feared that communism as an ideology would spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world. For example, after World War II both Greece and Turkey were facing financial crisis. Due to their proximity to Soviet territory and the rise of communism in recent decades it was feared that the two countries might fall into the Soviet sphere of influence and become communist. Essentially, the Truman Doctrine was the idea that the United States should attempt to contain the Soviet sphere of influence and the spread of communism. This foreign policy caused the United States to enter into conflict with the Soviet Union as it attempted to thwart Soviet expansionism in events such as: Berlin Blockade, Korean War, Vietnam War, etc. As such, many historians view this as a cause of the Cold War because it increased tensions between the two superpowers and led to several conflicts between the two superpowers.
The 1970s saw an easing of Cold War tensions as evinced in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) that led to the SALT I and II agreements of 1972 and 1979, respectively, in which the two superpowers set limits on their antiballistic missiles and on their strategic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. That was followed by a period of renewed Cold War tensions in the early 1980s as the two superpowers continued their massive arms build-up and competed for influence in the Third World. But the Cold War began to break down in the late 1980s during the administration of Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev. He dismantled the totalitarian aspects of the Soviet system and began efforts to democratize the Soviet political system. When communist regimes in the Soviet-bloc countries of Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989–90, Gorbachev acquiesced in their fall. Gorbachev’s internal reforms had meanwhile weakened his own Communist Party and allowed power to shift to Russia and the other constituent republics of the Soviet Union. In late 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed and 15 newly independent nations were born from its corpse, including a Russia with a democratically elected, anti-Communist leader. The Cold War had come to an end.
5. What were the long-term consequences of decolonisation in the African continent? Discuss with the help of suitable examples.
We need to define decolonisation and further mention both positive and negative consequences of decolonisation process in the African continent. We have to focus on long term perspective while listing down consequences.
Decolonization is a process in which colonies become independent of the colonizing country. Decolonization was gradual and peaceful for some colonies largely settled by expatriates but violent for others, where native rebellions were energized by nationalism.
After World War II, European countries generally lacked the wealth and political support necessary to suppress faraway revolts; they also faced opposition from the new superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, both of which had taken positions against colonialism. After World War II, only four countries on the African continent were independent: Ethiopia (Abyssinia), Egypt, Liberia and the Union of South Africa. All the rest was under the rule of the colonial European powers.
Positive long-term consequences of decolonisation in the African continent –
- Newly independent nations post-decolonization changed the balance of power within United Nations (UN), World Trade Organisation (WTO), etc.
- Political Awareness among Africans: Nelson Mandela caused removal of Apartheid and new beginning in South Africa, removal of Zimbabwe’s dictator Mugabe (2017), etc. highlight increased political awareness of erstwhile colonised African people.
- Adopting liberal ideas from colonizers: Democracy, constitutionalism, liberty, fraternity, etc. guided reforms in African countries.
- Integration of African nations with Global markets and gaining from benefits of Globalization.
- Progress and rapid urbanisation: Countries like South Africa, Nigeria, etc. are some of the bright spots that highlight innate potential of African countries.
- Formation of African Development Bank, African Union, etc. mark organized effort of African countries to eliminated socio-economic issues.
Negative long-term consequences of decolonisation in the African continent –
- Unnatural borders: They were plotted arbitrarily by the colonial powers in the nineteenth century and completely bypassed local ethnic structure. This has resulted in a number of ethnic and religious conflicts. Mali, Somalia, Northern Nigeria, Sudan, etc. Conflicts continue to disturb peace in African Continent.
- Neo-colonialism: Loans from abroad left African countries heavily in debt, and as they concentrated on increasing exports to pay for the loans. This made African nations heavily dependent on western European countries and the USA for both markets and investment and enabled those countries to exert control over African governments. France still interferes too much in political matters of its ex-colonies in Africa and keeps them dependent for its own benefits. Recently China has been involved in neo-colonialism in Africa.
- Instability of the post-colonial political systems: The weakness, lack of experience and lack of qualified personnel, etc. of state institutions contributed to the growth of corruption and frequent political upheavals, leading to the authoritarian rule of the often violent nature. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state. Some postcolonial leaders in the 1960s and 1970s sought to become “president for life”. Example: Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Equatorial Guinea, Paul Biya in Cameroon, and Yoweri Museveni in Uganda.
- Deep economic problems: Most African states had very little industry; this had been a deliberate policy by the colonial powers, so that Africans would have to buy manufactured goods from Europe or the USA. They often depended on only one or two commodities for export, making them vulnerable to global market price fluctuations. Nigeria, for example, relied heavily on its oil exports, Ghana and Cameroon (cocoa), Zambia (copper), Mozambique, Egypt and Sudan (cotton) and Ivory Coast, Zaire and Ethiopia (coffee). It
- Social consequences: 25 of the world’s bottom poor countries are in Africa, a child dies every 45 seconds of malaria, Africa accounts for more than a 25% of global burden of HIV/AIDS.
Decolonisation caused transition of sovereignty from coloniser to the colonised; it initiated a new chapter in post-World War-II world history. However, for African continent it was a mixed blessing and even today African countries continue to suffer and benefit from the aftermath of decolonization process.