04.20.14

A.P. European History
Chapter Discussion Questions

Text: "The Western Heritage Since 1300, AP* Edition" (Kagan, Ozment, Turner) by Pearson

 


Questions
1)  CHAPTER 9 – THE LATE MIDDLE AGES: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL BREAKDOWN (1300–1453)
2)  CHAPTER 10 – RENAISSANCE AND DISCOVERY
3)  CHAPTER 11 – THE AGE OF REFORMATION
4)  CHAPTER 12 – THE AGE OF RELIGIOUS WARS
5)  CHAPTER 13 – EUROPEAN STATE CONSOLIDATION IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
6)  CHAPTER 14 – NEW DIRECTIONS IN THOUGHT AND CULTURE IN THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES
7)  CHAPTER 15 – SOCIETY AND ECONOMY UNDER THE OLD REGIME IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
8)  CHAPTER 16 – THE TRANSATLANTIC ECONOMY, TRADE WARS, AND COLONIAL REBELLION
9)  CHAPTER 17 – THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT: EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY THOUGHT
10)  CHAPTER 18 – THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
11)  CHAPTER 19 – THE AGE OF NAPOLEON AND THE TRIUMPH OF ROMANTICISM
12)  CHAPTER 20 – THE CONSERVATIVE ORDER AND THE CHALLENGES OF REFORM (1815–1832)
13)  CHAPTER 21 – ECONOMIC ADVANCE AND SOCIAL UNREST (1830–1850)
14)  CHAPTER 22 – THE AGE OF NATION-STATES
15)  CHAPTER 23 – THE BUILDING OF EUROPEAN SUPREMACY: SOCIETY AND POLITICS TO WORLD WAR I
16)  CHAPTER 24 – THE BIRTH OF MODERN EUROPEAN THOUGHT
17)  CHAPTER 25 – THE AGE WESTERN IMPERIALISM
18)  CHAPTER 26 – ALLIANCES, WAR, AND A TROUBLED PEACE
19)  CHAPTER 27 – THE INTERWAR YEARS, THE CHALLENGE OF DICTATORS AND DEPRESSION
20)  CHAPTER 28 – WORLD WAR II
21)  CHAPTER 29 – THE COLD WAR ERA AND THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW EUROPE
22)  CHAPTER 30 – THE WEST AT THE DAWN OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
 
Answers
1)  Q CHAPTER 9 – THE LATE MIDDLE AGES: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL BREAKDOWN (1300–1453)
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What were the underlying and precipitating causes of the Hundred Years’ War? What advantages did each side have? Why were the French finally able to drive the English almost entirely out of France?

2. What were the causes of the Black Death, and why did it spread so quickly throughout Western Europe? Where was it most virulent? How did it affect European society? How important do you think disease is in changing the course of history?

3. Why did Pope Boniface VIII quarrel with King Philip the Fair? Why was Boniface so impotent in the conflict? How had political conditions changed since the reign of Pope Innocent III in the late twelfth century, and what did that mean for the papacy?

4. How did the church change from 1200 to 1450? What was its response to the growing power of monarchs? How great an influence did the church have on secular events?

5. What was the Avignon papacy, and why did it occur? How did it affect the papacy? What relationship did it have to the Great Schism? How did the church become divided and how was it reunited? Why was the conciliar movement a setback for the papacy?

6. Why were kings in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries able to control the church more than the church could control the kings? How did kings attack the church during this period?
2)  Q CHAPTER 10 – RENAISSANCE AND DISCOVERY
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What was Jacob Burckhardt’s interpretation of the Renaissance? What criticisms have been leveled against it? What did the term mean in the context of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy?

2. How would you define Renaissance humanism? In what ways was the Renaissance a break with the Middle Ages, and in what ways did it owe its existence to medieval civilization?
3. Who were some of the famous literary and artistic figures of the Italian Renaissance? What did they have in common that might be described as “the spirit of the Renaissance”?

4. Why did the French invade Italy in 1494? How did this event trigger Italy’s political decline? How did the actions of Pope Julius II and the ideas of Niccolò Machiavelli signify a new era in Italian civilization?

5. A common assumption is that creative work proceeds best in periods of calm and peace. Given the combination of political instability and cultural productivity in Renaissance Italy, do you think this assumption is valid?

6. How did the Renaissance in the north differ from the Italian Renaissance? In what ways was Erasmus the embodiment of the northern Renaissance?

7. What factors led to the voyages of discovery? Why were the Portuguese interested in finding a route to the East? Why did Columbus sail west across the Atlantic in 1492?
3)  Q CHAPTER 11 – THE AGE OF REFORMATION
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What problems in the church contributed to the Protestant Reformation? Why was the church unable to suppress dissent as it had earlier?

2. What were the basic similarities and differences between the ideas of Luther and Zwingli? Between Luther and Calvin? How did the differences tend to affect the success of the Protestant movement?

3. Why did the Reformation begin in Germany? What political factors contributed to its success there as opposed to France, Spain, or Italy?

4. What was the Catholic Counter-Reformation? What reforms did the Council of Trent introduce? Was the Protestant Reformation healthy for the Catholic Church?

5. Why did Henry VIII break with Rome? Was the “new” church he established really Protestant? How did the English church change under his successors?

6. How did the Reformation affect women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? How did relations between men and women, family size, and child care change during this period?
4)  Q CHAPTER 12 – THE AGE OF RELIGIOUS WARS
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How did politics shape the religious positions of the French leaders? What led to the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and what did it achieve?

2. How did Spain gain a position of dominance in the sixteenth century? What were Philip II’s successes and failures?

3. Henry of Navarre (Henry IV of France), Elizabeth I, and William of Orange were all politiques. What does the term mean and why does it apply to these three rulers?

4. What led to the establishment of the Anglican Church in England? Why did Mary I fail? What was Elizabeth I’s settlement, and why was it difficult to impose on England? Who were her detractors and what were their criticisms?

5. Why was the Thirty Years’ War fought? Was politics or religion more important in determining the outcome of the war? What were the main terms of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648?

6. Why has the Thirty Years’ War been called the outstanding example in European history of meaningless conflict? Was it really such? Were the results worth the cost of the war?
5)  Q CHAPTER 13 – EUROPEAN STATE CONSOLIDATION IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What were the sources of Dutch prosperity and why did the Netherlands decline in the eighteenth century? Why did England and France develop different systems of government and religious policies?

2. Why did the English king and parliament quarrel in the 1640s? What were the most important issues behind the war between them, and who bears more responsibility for it? What was the Glorious Revolution, and why did it take place? What role did religion play in seventeenth-century English politics?

3. Why did France become an absolute monarchy? How did Louis XIV consolidate his monarchy? What limits were there on his authority? What was Louis’s religious policy? What were the goals of his foreign policy? How did he use ceremony and his royal court to strengthen his authority?

4. How were the Hohenzollerns able to forge their diverse landholdings into the state of Prussia? Who were the major personalities involved in this process and what were their individual contributions? Why was the military so important in Prussia? What major problems did the Habsburgs face and how did they seek to resolve them? Which family, the Hohenzollerns or the Habsburgs, was more successful and why?

5. How and why did Russia emerge as a great power but Poland did not? How were Peter the Great’s domestic reforms related to his military ambitions? What were his methods of reform? How did family conflict influence his later policies? Was Peter a successful ruler?

6. What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Ottoman Empire? How did the Ottomans deal with religious minorities? Why did the empire discourage interaction between its subjects and people from Europe? How did its failure to adapt to modern technology undermine its power?
6)  Q CHAPTER 14 – NEW DIRECTIONS IN THOUGHT AND CULTURE IN THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What did Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton each contribute to the scientific revolution? Which do you think make the most important contributions and why? What did Francis Bacon contribute to the foundation of scientific thought?

2. How would you define the term scientific revolution? In what ways was it truly revolutionary? Which is more enduring, a political revolution or an intellectual one?

3. What were the differences between the political philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke? How did each view human nature? Would you rather live under a government designed by Hobbes or Locke? Why?

4. Why were women unable to participate fully in the new science? How did family relationships help some women become involved in the advance of natural philosophy?

5. Why did the Catholic Church condemn Galileo? How did Pascal seek to reconcile faith and reason? How did English natural theology support economic expansion?

6. How do you explain the phenomena of witchcraft and witch-hunts in an age of scientific enlightenment? Why did the witch panics occur in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries? How might the Reformation have contributed to them?
7)  Q CHAPTER 15 – SOCIETY AND ECONOMY UNDER THE OLD REGIME IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What kinds of privileges separated European aristocrats from other social groups? How did their privileges and influence affect other people living in the countryside? What was the condition of serfs in central and eastern Europe?

2. How would you define the term family economy? How did the family economy constrain the lives of women in preindustrial Europe?

3. What caused the Agricultural Revolution? How did the English aristocracy contribute to the Agricultural Revolution? Why did peasants revolt in the eighteenth century?

4. Why did Europe’s population increase in the eighteenth century? How did population growth affect consumption?

5. What was the Industrial Revolution and what caused it? Why did Great Britain take the lead in the Industrial Revolution? How did consumers contribute to the Industrial Revolution?

6. How did the distribution of population in cities and towns change? How did the lifestyle of the upper class compare to that of the middle and lower classes? What were some of the causes of urban riots?

7. Where were the largest Jewish populations in eighteenth-century Europe? What was their social and legal position? What were the sources of prejudices against Jews?
8)  Q CHAPTER 16 – THE TRANSATLANTIC ECONOMY, TRADE WARS, AND COLONIAL REBELLION
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What were the fundamental ideas associated with mercantile theory? Did they work? Which European country was most successful in establishing a mercantile empire? Least successful? Why?

2. What were the main points of conflict between Britain and France in North America, the West Indies, and India? How did the triangles of trade function among the Americas, Europe, and Africa?

3. How was the Spanish colonial empire in the Americas organized and managed? What changes did the Bourbon monarchs institute in the Spanish Empire?

4. What was the nature of slavery in the America? How was it linked to the economies of the Americas, Europe, and Africa? Why was the plantation system unprecedented? How did the plantation system contribute to the inhumane treatment of slaves?

5. What were the results of the Seven Years’ War? Which countries emerged in a stronger position and why?

6. How did European ideas and political developments influence the American colonists? How did their actions, in turn, influence Europe? What was the relationship between American colonial radicals and contemporary political radicals in Great Britain?
9)  Q CHAPTER 17 – THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT: EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY THOUGHT
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How did the Enlightenment change basic Western attitudes toward reform, faith, and reason? What were the major formative influences on the philosophes? How important were Voltaire and the Encyclopedia in the success of the Enlightenment?

2. Why did the philosophes consider organized religion to be their greatest enemy? What were the basic tenets of deism? How did Jewish writers contribute to Enlightenment thinking about religion? What are the similarities and differences between the Enlightenment evaluation of Islam and its evaluations of Christianity and Judaism?

3. What were the attitudes of the philosophes toward women? What was Rousseau’s view of women? What were the separate spheres he imagined men and women occupying? What were Mary Wollstonecraft’s criticisms of Rousseau’s view?

4. How did the views of the mercantilists about the earth’s resources differ from those of Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations? Why might Smith be regarded as an advocate of the consumer? How did his theory of history work to the detriment of less economically advanced non-European peoples? How did some Enlightenment writers criticize European empires?

5. How did the political views of Montesquieu differ from those of Rousseau? Was Montesquieu’s view of England accurate? Was Rousseau a child of the Enlightenment or its enemy? Which did Rousseau value more, the individual or society?

6. Were the enlightened monarchs true believers in the ideals of the philosophes, or was their enlightenment a mere veneer? Was their power really absolute? What motivated their reforms? What does the partition of Poland indicate about the spirit of enlightened absolutism?
10)  Q CHAPTER 18 – THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Why has France been called a rich nation with an impoverished government? How did the financial weaknesses of the French monarchy lay the foundations of the revolution of 1789?

2. What were Louis XVI’s most serious mistakes during the French Revolution? Had he been a more able ruler, could the French Revolution have been avoided or a constitutional monarchy could have succeeded? Did the revolution ultimately have little to do with the competence of the monarch?

3. How was the Estates General transformed into the National Assembly? How does the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen reflect the social and political values of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment? How were France and its government reorganized in the early years of the revolution? Why has the Civil Constitution of the Clergy been called the greatest blunder of the National Assembly?

4. Why were some political factions dissatisfied with the constitutional settlement of 1791? What was the revolution of 1792 and why did it occur? Who were the sans-culottes, and how did they become a factor in the politics of the period? How influential were they during the Terror in particular? Why did the sans-culottes and the Jacobins cooperate at first? Why did that cooperation end?

5. Why did France go to war with Austria in 1792? What were the benefits and drawbacks for France of fighting an external war in the midst of a domestic political revolution?

6. What were the causes of the Terror? How did the rest of Europe react to the French Revolution and the Terror? How did events in France influence the last two partitions of Poland?

7. A motto of the French Revolution was “equality, liberty, and fraternity.” How did the revolution both support and violate this motto? Did French women benefit from the revolution? Did French peasants benefit from it?
11)  Q CHAPTER 19 – THE AGE OF NAPOLEON AND THE TRIUMPH OF ROMANTICISM
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How did Napoleon rise to power? What groups supported him? What were his major domestic achievements? Did his rule fulfill or betray the French Revolution?

2. What regions made up Napoleon’s realm, and what was the status of each region within it? Did his administration show foresight, or was the empire a burden he could not afford?

3. Why did Napoleon decide to invade Russia? Why did the operation fail?

4. What were the results of the Congress of Vienna? Was the Vienna settlement a success?

5. Why did Romantic writers champion feelings over reason? What questions did Rousseau and Kant raise about reason?

6. Why was poetry important to Romantic writers? How did the Romantic concept of religion differ from Reformation Protestantism and Enlightenment deism? How did Romantic ideas and sensibilities modify European ideas of Islam and the Middle East? What were the cultural results of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt?
12)  Q CHAPTER 20 – THE CONSERVATIVE ORDER AND THE CHALLENGES OF REFORM (1815–1832)
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What is nationalism? What were the goals of nationalists? What difficulties did nationalists confront in realizing those goals? Why was nationalism a special threat to the Austrian Empire? What areas saw significant nationalist movements between 1815 and 1830? Which were successful and which unsuccessful?

2. What were the tenets of liberalism? Who were the liberals, and how did liberalism affect the political developments of the early nineteenth century? What is the relationship of liberalism to nationalism?

3. What difficulties did the conservatives in Austria, Prussia, and Russia face after the Napoleonic wars? How did they attempt to solve those difficulties at home and in international affairs? What were the aims of the Concert of Europe? How did the Congress of Vienna change international relations?

4. What were the main reasons for Creole discontent with Spanish rule, and to what extent did Enlightenment political philosophy influence the Creole leaders? Who were some of the primary leaders of Latin American independence? Why was Brazil’s path to independence different from that of Spanish America?

5. What were the main provisions of the constitution of the restored monarchy in France? What did Charles X hope to accomplish? Why did revolution break out in France in 1830? What did this revolution achieve and what problems did it fail to resolve?

6. Why did Britain avoid a revolution in the early 1830s? What was the purpose of the Great Reform Bill? What did it achieve? Would you call it a “revolutionary” document?

7. By approximately 1830 how had European political ambitions and the ideas of liberalism and nationalism begun to undermine the Ottoman Empire? Which Ottoman territories were lost by that date?
13)  Q CHAPTER 21 – ECONOMIC ADVANCE AND SOCIAL UNREST (1830–1850)
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What inventions were particularly important in the development of industrialism? How did industrialism change society? Why were the years covered in this chapter so difficult for artisans? How was the European labor force transformed into a wage labor workforce?

2. How did the industrial economy change the working-class family? What roles and duties did various family members assume? How did the role of women change in the new industrial era?

3. What were the goals of the working class in the new industrial society, and how did they differ from middle-class goals? Why did the working class and the middle class pursue different goals?

4. Why did European states create police forces in the nineteenth century? How and why did prisons change during this era?

5. How would you define socialism? What were the chief ideas of the early socialists? How did the ideas of Karl Marx differ from those of the socialists? What historical role did Marx assign to the proletariat?

6. What factors, old and new, led to the widespread outbreak of the revolutions in 1848? Were the causes in the various countries essentially the same, or did each have its own particular set of circumstances? Why did these revolutions fail throughout Europe? What roles did liberals and nationalists play in the revolutions? Why did they sometimes clash?
14)  Q CHAPTER 22 – THE AGE OF NATION-STATES
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Why did the Ottoman Empire attempt to reform itself between 1839 and 1914? What was the result of these efforts?

2. Why was it so difficult to unify Italy? What groups wanted unification? Why did Cavour succeed? What did Garibaldi contribute to Italian unification?

3. How and why did Bismarck unify Germany? Why had earlier attempts failed? How did German unification affect the rest of Europe?

4. What events led to the establishment of the Third Republic in France? What were the objectives of the Paris Commune? How did the Dreyfus affair affect the Third Republic?

5. What problems did Austria share with other eastern European empires? Were they solved? Why did the Hapsburgs agree to the Compromise of 1867? Was it a success?

6. What reforms did Alexander II institute in Russia? Did they solve Russian’s domestic problems? Why did the abolition of serfdom not satisfy the peasants? What were the goals of The People’s Will?

7. How did the policies of the British Liberal and Conservative parties differ between 1860 and 1890? Why was Irish home rule such a divisive issue in British politics?
15)  Q CHAPTER 23 – THE BUILDING OF EUROPEAN SUPREMACY: SOCIETY AND POLITICS TO WORLD WAR I
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How did the Second Industrial Revolution transform European society? What new industries developed, and which do you think had the greatest impact in the twentieth century?

2. Why were European cities redesigned during the late nineteenth century? Why were housing and health key issues for urban reform?

3. What was the status of European women in the second half of the nineteenth century? Why did they grow discontented with their lot? What factors led to change? To what extent had they improved their position by 1914? What tactics did they use to effect change? Was the emancipation of women inevitable? How did women approach their situation differently from country to country?

4. What were the major characteristics of Jewish emancipation in the nineteenth century?

5. What was the status of the European working classes in 1860? Had it improved by 1914? Why did trade unions and organized mass political parties grow? Why were the debates over “opportunism” and “revisionism” important to the Western European socialist parties?

6. What were the benefits and drawbacks of industrialization for Russia? Were the tsars wise to attempt to modernize their country, or should they have left it as it was? How did Lenin’s view of socialism differ from that of the socialists in Western Europe?
16)  Q CHAPTER 24 – THE BIRTH OF MODERN EUROPEAN THOUGHT
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Why was science dominant in the second half of the nineteenth century? How did the scientific outlook change between 1850 and 1914? What was positivism? How did Darwin and Wallace’s theory of natural selection affect ethics, Christianity, and European views of human nature?

2. Why was Christianity attacked in the late nineteenth century? Why was Leo XIII regarded as a liberal pope? Why was the papacy itself so resilient?

3. Why did Europeans feel superior toward Islam? How did Islamic thinkers respond to the European challenge?

4. How did social conditions of literature change in the late nineteenth century? What was the significance of the explosion of literary matter? How did the realists undermine middle-class morality? How did literary Modernism differ from realism?

5. What were the major movements associated with the rise of modern art?

6. How did Nietzsche and Freud challenge traditional morality?

7. Why were many late-nineteenth-century intellectuals afraid of and hostile to women? How did Freud view the position of women? What social and political issues affected women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? What new directions did feminism take?

8. What was the character of late-nineteenth-century racism? How did this character become associated with anti-Semitism?

9. How did many ideas associated with Modernism conflict with feminist goals? What were new departures in turn-of-the-century feminism?
17)  Q CHAPTER 25 – THE AGE WESTERN IMPERIALISM
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What features differentiate the New Imperialism from previous imperialistic movements? What features did they have in common?

2. What was the imperialism of free trade? How did it lead to violent conflict between Britain and China?

3. What challenges did the British face as they tried to assert their control over India? Why was India so important to the British?

4. What led to the “Scramble for Africa”? What did the European powers hope to gain from their colonization of the continent?
5. What sparked the Boxer Rebellion? How did the Boxer Rebellion set the stage for the collapse of the Qing?

6. What role did technology play in nineteenth-century Western expansion? What technological innovations were most important in this context?
18)  Q CHAPTER 26 – ALLIANCES, WAR, AND A TROUBLED PEACE
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What role in the world did Bismarck envisage for the new Germany after 1871? How successful was he in carrying out his vision? Was he wise to tie Germany to Austria-Hungary?

2. Why and in what stages did Britain abandon its policy of “splendid isolation” at the turn of the century? Were the policies it pursued instead wise ones, or should Britain have followed a different course altogether?

3. How did technology change the nature of warfare in the early twentieth century? Is it accurate to describe World War I as a “total war”?

4. How did developments in the Balkans lead to the outbreak of World War I? What was the role of Serbia? Of Austria? Of Russia? What was the aim of German policy in July 1914? Did Germany want a general war?

5. Why did Germany lose World War I? Could Germany have won, or was victory never a possibility? What were the benefits of the Treaty of Versailles to Europe, and what were its drawbacks? Was the settlement too harsh or too conciliatory? Could it have secured lasting peace in Europe? How might it have been improved?

6. How did Lenin succeed in establishing Bolshevik rule in Russia? What role did Trotsky play? Was it wise policy for Lenin to take Russia out of the war?
19)  Q CHAPTER 27 – THE INTERWAR YEARS, THE CHALLENGE OF DICTATORS AND DEPRESSION
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How did the Bolshevik revolution pose a challenge to the rest of Europe? Why did Lenin institute the New Economic Policy? Could the Russian Revolution have succeeded without Lenin? How did the Comintern affect Western socialist parties? How did Stalin overcome Trotsky and establish himself as head of the Soviet state? How did the Bolshevik revolution result in the split of the socialist parties in western Europe?

2. What was fascism? How and why did the fascists obtain power in Italy? To whom did they appeal? What were the differences between the fascist dictatorship of Mussolini and the communist dictatorship of Stalin? What was the status of women under these regimes?

3. Why did the Great Depression of the 1930s occur, and why was it more severe and longer-lasting than previous depressions?

4. How did Hitler’s economic policies differ from those Britain, Italy, and France used to confront the Depression? Why did some nations deal with the Great Depression more effectively than others?

5. Why was Czechoslovakia the only viable democracy in eastern Europe? What forces worked against democracy in the region?

6. Was the failure of the Weimar Republic in Germany inevitable? Between 1919 and 1929, what were the republic’s greatest strengths and weaknesses? Why did the Versailles Treaty loom so large in domestic German politics? What was the position of the Nazi Party in the late 1920s?
20)  Q CHAPTER 28 – WORLD WAR II
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What were Hitler’s foreign policy aims? Was he bent on conquest, or did he simply want to return Germany to its 1914 boundaries?

2. Why did Britain and France adopt a policy of appeasement in the 1930s? Did the West buy valuable time to rearm at Munich in 1938?

3. How was Hitler able to defeat France so easily in 1940? Why did the air war against Britain fail? Why did Hitler invade Russia? Could the invasion have succeeded?

4. Why did Japan attack the United States at Pearl Harbor? How important was American intervention in the war? Why did the United States drop atomic bombs on Japan? Was President Truman right to use the bombs?

5. How did experiences on the domestic front in Britain differ from those in Germany and France? What impact did “The Great Patriotic War” have on the people of the Soviet Union?

6. What was Hitler’s “final solution” to the Jewish question? Why did he want to eliminate Slavs as well? To what extent can it be said the Holocaust was the defining event of the twentieth century?
21)  Q CHAPTER 29 – THE COLD WAR ERA AND THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW EUROPE
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How did the United States and the Soviet Union come to dominate Europe after 1945? How would you define the policy of containment? In what areas of the world did the United States specifically try to contain Soviet power from 1945 to 1982? Why were 1956 and 1962 crucial years in the Cold War?

2. How did Khrushchev’s policies and reforms change the Soviet state after the repression of Stalin? Why did many people consider Khrushchev reckless?

3. Why did the nations of Europe give up their empires? How did World War II affect the movement toward decolonization? How did Gandhi lead India toward independence? How did French decolonization policies differ from Britain’s? How did the United States become involved in Vietnam?
4. What internal political pressures did the Soviet Union experience in the 1970s and early 1980s? What steps did the Soviet government take to relieve these pressures? What role did Gorbachev’s attempted reforms play in the collapse of the Soviet Union? What were the major events in Eastern Europe—particularly Poland—that contributed to the collapse of communism? What are the major domestic challenges to the new Confederation of Independent States?

5. Was the former Yugoslavia a national state? Why did it break apart and slide into civil war? How did the West respond to this crisis?

6. How did the American response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, divide the NATO alliance? Why do some European nations feel able to dissent from the U.S. position in the Middle East when they rarely did so during the Cold War?

7. What were the major causes for the rise of radical political Islamism? In what ways is the present U.S. intervention in the Middle East a result of decolonization and in what ways are other factors at work?
22)  Q CHAPTER 30 – THE WEST AT THE DAWN OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
A
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How did migration affect twentieth-century European social life? What internal and external forces led to migration?

2. In what ways was Europe Americanized in the second half of the twentieth century? How do you explain the trend toward a consumer society?

3. How have women’s social and economic roles changed in the second half of the twentieth century? What changes and problems have women faced since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe?

4. How did the pursuit and diffusion of knowledge change in the twentieth century? What have been the effects of the communications revolutions? Has Western intellectual life become more unified or less so? Why?

5. What did Nietzsche and Kierkegaard contribute to existentialism? How was existentialism a response to the crisis of the twentieth century?

6. What were the technological steps in the emergence of the computer? What changes will computers bring in the next decade?

7. What were the major steps in the emergence of the European Union? Why is the Union now facing crisis?