Twentieth-Century Europe

Discussion Questions I

I. Discussion Questions: Select any two (2) of the following questions and respond to it fully; answer who? what? where? why? or when? for each question; use specific historical examples from the lectures and the Merriman text to support general statements. Correct grammatical and spelling errors before submitting your essays. They are due while Unit I is covered in class.

1. Describe and evaluate the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900, indicating what it reveals about European civilization on the eve of the First World War.

2. List and describe in order of importance the major causes of World War I, indicating who (or what) you think was responsible for the war's outbreak. Provide a rationale for the order in which you place the war's causes.

3. Compare and contrast the expectations Europeans had in 1914 about the nature of war with the reality of trench warfare on the Western Front in 1916 and 1917. Make specific references to the three video clips, the material in the handout, and the Merriman text.

4. Describe the origins and course of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, especially the November (October) Revolution, indicating why Lenin and the Bolsheviks were able to triumph over their opponents in the long run. Explain also why communist revolutions failed elsewhere in 1918-1920. What does this pattern of success and failure tells us about the Russian Revolution?

5. Summarize the main features of the Versailles Treaty, including the War Guilt Clause (Article 241) and the operation of the "Versailles System" during the 1920s, and analyze its achievements as well as its failures.

6. Describe and analyze the Ruhr Crisis of 1923, explaining its significance for both the European nations as a whole and the Germans in particular during the 1920s.

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