Twentieth-Century Europe

Discussion Questions II

I. Discussion Questions:  Select any two (2) of the following questions and respond to it; answer who? what? where? why? or when? 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 II is covered in class.

 1. Imagine that you are a German citizen writing in 1929 your memoirs of the previous decade (1918-1929).  Your essay should be in the form of a memoir and it should stress what you think were the most important events that took place during these years.  What sort of future would you predict for Germany in the coming decade (the 1930s)?

2. Compare and contrast the March on Rome, which brought Mussolini to power in Italy and the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor of Germany in 1933. What do these events reveal about Fascism and Nazism as political movements?

3. Explain the meaning of the phrase "Socialism in One Country," indicating its place in the power struggle that took place in the Soviet Union following the death of Lenin. Indicate also how it relates to Stalin's agricultural and industrial policies during the 1930s.

4. Historians often characterize the changes in how Europeans of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries thought about the great questions concerning man, nature, society, history, and God as the Crisis of European Thought. Summarize the main features of this crisis, illustrating your points with specific examples. Then, evaluate the relationship of this crisis to European cultural movements during the 1930s.

5. Discuss the Course and Consequences of the Great Depression of 1929, indicating what influence they may have had on political and international events between World War I and World War II.

6. What did the Nazis wish to accomplish with the policy of Gleichschaltung? Evaluate their success.

7. Summarize the major characteristics of Totalitarianism, using specific historical examples to illustrate each of the three major variants.

8. Explain the origins of World War II in Europe within the context of Hitler's foreign policy between 1933 and 1939. In the course of your essay, analyze the statement: "World War II was inevitable, and nothing the allies could have done could have prevented the outbreak of war."


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