1- Explain Otto von Bismarck was and the role he played in Germany`s unification and early years
Otto von Bismarck is a statesman from Prussia. He started uniting most of the German states, except Austria, into a powerful German empire through a series of wars in 1871. The newly created empire was then ruled by Prussian leadership. Prussian leadership is marked by its efforts to balance power among its states allowing the preservation of peace in Europe from 1871 to 1914.
2- Name the four mainstream political parties that existed in Germany in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In general, what groups did each represent?
German Conservative Party and German Imperial Party – these two political parties in general represent Germans who adhere and promote conservatism. Prominent to these parties are the owners of large estates and aristocrats living in the eastern provinces of Prussia who wants to pursue their economic interests in farming. Centre Party – represents political Catholicism. Social Democratic Party of Germany – represents the adherents of Karl Marx
3- What factors created the four-year-long standoff between the belligerents in World War 1 ?
4- What was Bismarck`s rationale for offering retirement benefits, health insurance, and disability insurance to workers in the industrial workplace?
Bismarck`s rationale was to balance its relatively low wages compared to that of the US. The gap between the wages of the two nations encourages German workers to migrate to US. By offering health insurance, disability insurance and other non-monetary benefits, he hoped to lower the number of Germans working abroad.
5- In the case of Germany`s Schlieffen Plan name four assumptions that caused Germany to miscalculate its ability to handle the inevitability of the two-front it had long dreaded?
1.) Russia will have slower preparation for attack
2.) French at the western end can be easily defeated, hence defeat France first then mobilize army troupes to battle Russia on the eastern end
3.) Underestimation of the British – Belgian Alliance
4.) The assumed that the Belgians will not be able to put up a strong resistance
6- What/When was the Kulturkampf ?: Who were its targets and what was it supposed to accomplish? Rate its success in accomplishing its goals:
Kulturkamf is a German policy with regards to security and the reduction of power and role of the Roman Catholic Church in Prussia. It was enacted by Otto von Bismarck in 1871 – 1878. It`s execution was centered in Prussia where it was successful in intimidating the practice of the Roman Catholic Religion. But it failed to reduce the church`s political influence. Instead, it energized the Catholics to become a political force, and some anti-Catholics were who were with him withdrew their support. The policy ended in 1880 hence it is justifiable to give the policy a low rating in its success.
7- World War 1 ultimately became a “war of attrition.” Explain what this means and how it might have influenced decisions military leaders made regarding their men in the trenches?
War of Attrition means to defeat an enemy by causing continuous loses of materiel and personnel on the enemy`s side. In this type of warfare the side with the most resources (personnel and materiel) will ultimately win. During WWI War of Attrition was done in the Western Front when German and French armies found themselves in virtually static positions. Each opposing side resorted to War of Attrition by deliberately meeting each other head on hoping to win by maximizing the casualties on the opposing side.
8- In general, how did the German people view the Russian Revolution? Why was this?
Because the Russian Revolution is an ensign on how the lower class or the peasantry were successful in overthrowing the rule of bourgeoisie, the Germans, depending on the class where they belong view the revolution in two conflicting ways. The German peasantry sees the Russian Revolution as an inspiration while the bourgeoisie viewed as something to worry about, as they may end up in the same fate as the Bolsheviks. Note that this is case because in Germany the political leaders are the bourgeoisie which is the same case in Russia before the Russian Revolution.
9- What was the problem of “unrestricted U-boat activity” ? How was it used to justify American entry into World War 1? Why did American leaders feel the need to do this?
The problem with unrestricted U-boat activity is that it has taken too many civilian lives and it affected even the neutral nations. Note that the unrestricted U-boat activity or sometimes called the unrestricted submarine warfare allows the sinking of ships without prior warning and without relocating its passengers first. The American government used this activity to enter into the war between Britain and Germany. Accordingly, the American government used the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, a liner carrying American passengers, to join the war against Germany. The American government viewed the unrestricted U-boat activity as unfriendly and provocative.
10- Why, despite the armistice being in place, did the Western Allies insist upon retaining the blockade of food and medical supplies to Germany at the end of World War 1? What do you feel are the ethical questions raised by an action such as this?
The blockade contributed significantly to the reduction of food supplies of the Central Powers including Germany resulting to widespread death due to starvation and diseases. The rationale which the allies gave in doing so, is to prevent resurgence of the German military force as well as to suppress revolutionary upheavals on the states of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany. The ethical questions raised in the implementation of these actions by the Allied forces, is, if their main reason for fighting the Germans is mainly due to humanitarian reason, then why did they allow the mass death of civilian Germans and Austro-Hungarians due to starvation and disease – is it justifiable to quell fire with fire?
11- Describe “No man`s Land” – What it was, where it was, and what it looked like:
No man`s Land pertain to under dispute or unoccupied lands situated between two warring parties due to uncertainty and/or fear. During WWI the term was used to refer to several hundred yards of lands full of men with machine guns, artillery, and mortars on both sides. An example of such land is the area between the trench lines in the western region of Germany when they invaded France.
12- The DVD on air power technology exposed a weakness of a free capitalist economy in wartime what was this weakness and how did it impact the growth of air technology during World War 1? How could its problems have been avoided?
The weakness of a free capitalist economy during wartime is that is makes it hard for a nation to collect enough resources to fund a war. The capitalist economy resulted in the slow growth of air technology during Word War I. One of the possible ways to avoid is to shift to state capitalism, wherein the government can have decision making powers over different industries.
13- “Article 231” was known as “___” Where did it appear and what were two provisions of it?
Article 231 which is also known as the “War Guilt Clause” is the first article in Part VII of the Treaty of Versailles. Its provisions include that Germany and its allies should accept that they were the ones to cause WWI and that they will be responsible in paying the damages caused by the war.
14- Comment upon the reasons for the gap between enlisted men and officers in the military in the World War 1 era: Where did it come from and how did it affect relations between two groups? Was this unique to any one of the armies involved?
During the WWI, enlisted men are in subordination by the officers. The main distinction between the two is the latter has undergone more rigorous military training to serve in his/her capacity as a military officer, while former are considered the workhorse of the military. Nevertheless, during the WWI, particular among the enlisted men and officers on the trench lines, both groups have realized their equal footing in times of war – that both need each other to survive.
15- Below are two posters from World War 1 used as propaganda, What raw emotions are they designed to stir up? Which side developed these particular posters shown here? How do you know this?
The two posters are aimed at stirring, pity and compassion for the German expansionism victims, and hatred towards Germans, and a sense of responsibility to relive the oppressed. These posters are obviously, from the Allied Powers, particular from the Americans. They have created these posters to convince the majority of the US citizens to support the war against the Germans and its supporters.
16- Historians often refer to World War 1 in terms of “the War Europe expected and the war Europe got.” Explain this phrase. How accurate do you think it is?
The phrase mean that it was the European powers themselves who caused the war, and in turn where the ones who suffered the most. It also means it (WWI) is what they – the European nations – deserved. This phrase is very accurate as it can be read from numerous history publications that, indeed, it the hostilities and conflicts among great European powers which lead to the Great War.
17- How did Belgium play such a pivotal role as being one of the “sparks” what ignited World War 1? (Name two Factors)
The German invasion of Belgium served as a spark that ignited WWI. Accordingly, Belgium had an agreement with the Britain (1389 agreement), which the caused the later to declare war against Germany to protect the latter. The ability of Belgium to hold off the German armies for 3 months enabled the French and the British to make preparations for a counter offensive against the Germans.
18- Which countries comprised the Triple Alliance? The Triple Entente?
The Triple Alliance was comprised of Germany, Astria-Hungary, and Italy. The Triple Entente, on the other hand was composed of Britain, Russia, and France. These two groups of nations are pitted against each other during the start of the first World War.
1. What caused World War 1? Who was at fault? What misguided beliefs about “national character” and “national destiny” caused the leadership of each of the nations to act more recklessly than necessary?
The Causes of World War I
World War I has many causes. Such factors include the hostility and conflicts among great European powers. Nationalism, Militarism, Alliances, and Imperialism also played major roles in starting the Great War. Nevertheless, the start of WWI can be traced back to the crisis in 1914 when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie Princip were assassinated. Due to the many events that transpired before, during, and after WWI, it is not possible to confidently identify a single organization or country to be at fault. Nevertheless, if the War Guilt Clause (Article 231) is to be accepted true, then Germany and its allies are to be considered as culprits of WWI. Moreover, the misguided beliefs about national character and national destiny caused the leadership of each of the nations involved in WWI to act more recklessly than necessary making bloodshed fiercer. The concepts of racial hierarchy and setting one`s nation above the others have proven to be effective recipes for large scale bloodshed and world wars. When a country wants to outwardly manifest their prestige, they would want to look strong in the face of other countries, and they tend to be less tolerant to provocations and intimidations. These desire to aggrandize prestige among nations usually result to reckless decisions with regards to responding to national threats or to intimidations from other countries. Another example of such is the pan-Germanism prior to WWI and became Nazism before WWII, which divided the German community into different stratum of hierarchy. This ideology also affects the foreign policy decisions of world leaders.
1- Explain Otto von Bismarck was and the role he played in Germany`s unification and early years