World Civilization

Free «World Civilization» Essay Sample

Question 1

According to Yapp, the reforms in the Ottoman Empire in 1820th did not have a significant influence on the situation in the country, and the politicians could clearly understand that (n.pag.). One of such politicians was Mustafa Reshid. For many years, he had been staying in France and England, where he worked as a minister of international affairs. Under the influence of Mustafa Reshid, there was developed a complex of new reforms. These reforms aimed directed at strengthening the Sultanate power, inhibiting national liberation movement in the Balkan countries, reducing pressure of the European countries on the Ottoman Empire, and reforming the governmental structure according to the example of the European states. Tanzimat reforms had a positive influence on the region of West Asia and Northern Africa because they improved the educational sphere and transport system, strengthened the power of Sultan, and reduced the influence of foreign countries.

In spite of the order of the reforms being planned during Mahmud II rule, it went through when his son Abdülmecid I headed the state. Karpat states that in November 1839 in front of the summer residence in Gülhane, there was declared hatt-i humayun that signified the beginning of the new historical period in the Empire – Tanzimat (13). The act contained three main ideas for the reforms: the guarantee of life and property security of each citizen regardless of their worship; the correct taxation of the population; the reduction military service.

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The reforms brought positive changes to the territory of the Ottoman Empire; however, due to the constant resistance of the officials in the country, only a part of these steps was carried out. The codes on land possession, civil and criminal affairs were accepted. After the official ascension to the throne, the sultan had to give an oath not to violate the accepted laws. The monetary reform was adopted; the salary of the officials was subjected to severe restrictions. More schools for ordinary people appeared, and there were railroads constructed all over the country. Moreover, there were created the first industrial enterprises. These measures allowed the remote parts of the Empire to integrate in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

The Crimean war inhibited the implementation of the reforms in West Asia and Northern Africa. During the first period of Tanzimat, the reforms of the administrative sphere, country government, economy, and culture were adopted. However, they did not have a significant influence on the life of poor people both in big cities and small villages. The limitations concerning the life of foreigners, especially their right to participate in the home affairs of the country, were not implemented.

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In the middle of the XIX century, the country faced the problem of the so-called Eastern question concerning the countries that turned into the colonies of the Ottoman Empire. Russia, France, and England engaged in a struggle with each other over the influence in the Middle East. Tanzimat reforms aimed at strengthening the sultan’s power over these territories and returning them from the zone of influence of other countries.

In the second half of the XIX century, Abdülmecid signed a manifest that declared the equality of all citizens of the Ottoman Empire before the law. The country declared the right of non-Muslim religious organizations to exist. The system of higher education was no longer influenced by the Islam religious organizations. Christians received the right to occupy official positions in the government. These reforms were favorable for the citizens of big cities as the majority of the population was the non-Muslim. As the bigger part of Turkish population lived in rural areas, the increase in taxation had a negative influence on these citizens. The equality of rights and the increase in taxation caused the protests of the indigenous population in the country.

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In conclusion, the Tanzimat reforms were directed at strengthening the country. Due to the changes that took place in the state, measures were taken concerning the liberation from foreign influence and the abolishment of nation liberation movements. The reforms provided various opportunities for the development of industry and trade.

Question 2

World War I is one of the most severe conflicts in the history of mankind. It started on August 1, 1914. Preston states that the main participants in the conflict were the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance (n. pag.). World War I significantly shook the capitalistic world and displayed a strong connection between war and economy. The military actions were highly dependent on the economic situation and the solution of economic problems. The paper investigates economic, political, and territorial reasons why the alliance systems were more interested in having war than in preventing it.

The first reason is that the political climate before World War I was characterized by an increased interest towards the questions of space and the ideological patterns of the beginning of the XX century. First of all, the social Darwinism was viewed the perception of international rivalry as a logical component of the struggle for existence. As a result, every European nation felt threatened. In such conditions, space was considered to be the main compound of national security. The second reason is that before the war the division of the world was completed, but it was not the final one. There were parts of territories that had to be divided between several countries. The Ottoman Empire was slowly losing the parts of its territory. Colony possession meant existence of markets and respect from other nations.

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The third reason is that the beginning of the XX century was also characterized by the appearance of unifying tendencies. Europe became the place of conflict of the united power that was concentrated around one powerful country. Each of such unions required a vast homogenous space and tended to inhibit the existence of heterogeneous organizations, first of all, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the mosaic country united only by the Habsburg dynasty. The forth reason is that Great Britain participated in the conflict due to the geopolitical habits that have been formed during the Empire’s existence. It planned to resist any big state that tended to establish control over Belgium, and, thus, to disconnect England from the continent.

Finally, the fifth reason is that Europe considered itself to be the place for military conflict and had to make it happen in the nearest future. For the first time in the history of humanity, the military and industrial potential became decisive in the conflict. This potential was an essential part of the national household of each country. The transformation of economy to the military type was carried out in the particular conditions of the contemporary environment. Moreover, the plan of Schlieffen stated that in case of the union of Russia and France it would be possible to resist Germany. In case of war, Germany first had hit the western states, to attack France by passing its defensive structures in Belgium regardless of its neutrality. Later, after conquering France, Germany had to start the war against Russia.

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Thus, every European nation planned the military actions beforehand. They changed their economies to the military type as the governments understood that there is a direct connection between war and economic situation in the countries. The main reason for the conflict was the desire to possess more territories as the governments considered them to be the basis for the nations’ existence.

Question 3

World War I had crucial influence on the further development of Europe and its colonies. The events of 1914-1918 changed the imagination of people about the world, life and death, enemies and allies. The crash of four empires (Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman), the creation of nine new countries, great numbers of killed and injured soldiers, officers, and civil population are not the only consequences World War I had in Europe and in the World. The influence of World War I on the civilian life in Europe and colonies was apparent in terms of decrease in population, the political division of the world, significant unemployment, the growth of criminality as well as the appearance of nation liberation movements.

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One of the most important outcomes of World War I was the loss of human lives. World War I took the lives of about twelve million people that did not participate in the direct struggle (Yapp). It destroyed four empires (Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman), and significantly changed the political map of Europe. It gave the world new types of weapons (tanks, gas), new war strategies (positional war), and other. World War I took the lives of many young people, and replaced them by the “lost generation.” In addition, according to the article “The 1918 Influenza Pandemic,” in 1918-1919, the influenza pandemic took lives of more than forty million people (Billings).

Another aspect of the World War I influence is the inability of people to return to ordinary life. After the World War I, people considered that it is possible to return to the peaceful life without suffering. However, the Versailles-Washington system of international relations turned out to be unable to regulate the life of people after the conflict. Oppressed and humiliated Germany lost its position of the great country and remained the only state that had the moral responsibility for the war. The national feelings of Germans were significantly hurt that could cause another conflict.

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World War I also resulted in raising the questions about the expansion of political rights in the colonies. There were nation liberation movements that aimed at receiving independence. The British Government also had to regulate the questions with the liberation movement in India. The same problems appeared in Palestine as the representatives of Jewish nation planned to return to the historical motherland and to create there an independent Jewish state. However, the local Arab population resisted the attempts of the creation of a new country. Great Britain supported the movement as it allowed it to expand its influence in the Middle East.

One more effect of World War I is problems in the social and political spheres in Germany. The growth of instability, unemployment, and criminality caused the social inequality in the country. Thus, there were necessary conditions for the formation of radical parties that aimed to seize power using the injured feelings of the German society. The isolated Russia lost immense territories and considered its position to be unfair. Moreover, western countries considered the Russian nation to be the source of communism that was threatening the structure of the capitalistic world.

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World War I changed the political and economic system of the world. However, it was obvious that this division was not final. People, who hoped for peace, had to overcome more difficulties. The representatives of German and Russian nations were not satisfied with the results of the war and wanted to change the situation in future. The colonies started nation liberation movements for independence. The Jewish nation decided to create a country where their rights would not be violated. Therefore, the world was about to begin a new conflict that resulted in World War II.

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