Analyze the last 100 years of European history, explaining how Europe (and in many respects, the world itself) has turned out like it has in our current day. This is not some random, sprawling essay, no matter how it appears to you, nor is it merely a chronology of events. The essay MUST BE based on and around the “isms” which, as you know, is the centerpiece of this course. Modern-day events that could be useful for you in providing examples of the impact of the “isms” include North Korea issues, rising nationalism in Europe, Middle East issues (such as ISIS, Syrian civil war, Syrian refugee crisis), economic challenges in Southern Europe, Brexit and the EU, or Ukrainian issues with Russia (there are other examples). In the end, you will want to build an analysis that will show how all of our modern-day issues are built out of decisions and choices from the previous years…in particular post-French Revolution and World War I. In the last half of the class, we have studied the world reeling from the mid-1850s that led to radical changes in the 1920s & 1930s leading to yet another massive war, World War 2. From there, Europe and the world has continued to deal in the aftermath of the decisions created in the early part of the 20th Century—choices about governing styles, economic strategies, ways of living, impacts of technology, and nationalism or globalism. Our discussions and assignments can help you—we started first noting how the 30 Years War was the beginning of the modern age. Note that when it finished, 1648, Hobbes had already written his main work, Leviathan. Just a few decades later, John Locke would stake out more ground about the issue of social contract. Our class shifted next to investigate the impact of the French Revolution, a critical point in modern European history. We talked then about trends from the Revolution such as liberalism and nationalism, critical steps on this issue of rights. As we moved toward the end of the 19th century, we looked at the emergence of socialism and events in Central Europe, and how individual liberty or economic equity was increasingly becoming the focus of the country. The development of Germany in 1870 became something of a focal point in that question, leading ultimately to the disaster of World War I. The post-Versailles world, then, was struggling with this same question of rights—what are the rights of humans? Does the human have the right to make as much money as they can? Or, are they limited by the concerns for economic equity? Is one culture of humans more advanced than another culture of humans? Should the advanced culture try to help the other culture? How should the government protect my rights? Can the government protect my rights while embracing socialism? Those questions ultimately led us to World War II and our final discussions. Those last discussions noted the ascension of Marx’s version of socialism or economic equity (or the English version proclaimed by John Maynard Keynes) in much of the world and how that contributed to the Cold War. Here, then, is the focus for your essay. First, explain HOW the 10 “isms” from our class set up the experience of the 20th century. This analysis should at least touch on the impact of the French Revolution in creating the atmosphere for the “isms.” This should take you about 2 pages. Second, develop the analysis on the impact of these “isms” to our modern time. This is the bulk of the essay, 3-4 pages. This is where you should use events of the 20th century (things we studied) as well as modern day issues as parts of your analysis. Modern day issues from the past 10 years that connect well here include, but are not limited to: North Korean Crisis, Immigration crisis in Europe, ISIS, Israel-Palestine, European economic crisis, Brexit, Russia vs Ukraine, rise of China, war on terror, Middle East Islam issues (Turkey, Kurds, Iran, Saudi Arabia), world trade tensions. Third, write a conclusion that provides your view of the coming 25-50 years; how will the “isms” continue to haunt us or guide us. This will be at most a page, but could be done well in a developed paragraph.
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