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CCSU HIST 234 - Finals History Paper

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History 234 – European History - Final Exam Questions: 1) It is sometimes said that the history of humanity is the history of progress. Using evidence drawn from the course, assess the validity of this statement. (obligatory question) Overall, history of humanity has been one of progress, but hasn’t been linear. Technological, medical, communication advancements, but digression in terms of people’s relationship with one another. There was an immense shift in the way people lived and worked, and society would not be as advanced as it is today without it. The agricultural society progressed to an industrial society that was technologically advanced which benefitted most of the people, but hurt others. The Industrial Revolution which took place from 1760 to 1840 was one of the most important event in the modern era. The revolution has introduced new means of transportation, power, communication, production, and an improvement in the way people live and function in society. The railroads that exterminated famine were one of the advantages of the revolution, as they made it possible for people to access food in areas that previously had meager resources or no access at all. The revolution encouraged authors to be innovative, contributing to artistic movements and pieces that strained our society and culture. As there was no danger of hunger anymore, this minimized the incidence of democratic revolutions and did not agitate anybody who was ready to revolt against their government. As industrializing nations' development capacities were limitless, the economy was upheaved and a lot of jobs were generated in areas such as the banking sector and people's management. At various levels and at different times, the Industrial Revolution benefited everyone depending on the social status to which they belonged. Progress always has its consequences such as the Holocaust due to Hitler and Stalin’s terror. The Scientific Revolution made humanity think about the laws of nature, and what makes up our world. They started questioning why things are the way they are and started looking for proof beyond just blind faith in religion. This led to the Enlightenment where encyclopedias were created to explain the world. Copernicus and Kepler helped destroy the Ptolemaic system. The Enlightenment was all about progress, Voltaire solely believed that humans were given the tools by God through natural laws to better themselves and society, Especially through the Enlightened Despotism that is the monarchies wanting to rule with science or a reason. Many countries tried to incorporate the general good of the people and believed that true intelligence was inward of the self/society and not outward which is God/spirituality. There was an optimism about human progress and the eternal laws of ethics in nature that existed and will continue to exist before and after humans. It produced skepticism, institutions that could not defend beliefs or laws with reason were dismissed. People were made to think more for themselves and devise their own ethical principles rather than allowing outside institutions to dictate for them. Montesquieu analyzed the idea of separation of powers to provide checks and balances; Voltaire advocated religious toleration and deism, Diderot edited the Encyclopedia, or Classified Dictionary of the Sciences, Art, and Trades. The ideas and thoughts that came about during the Enlightenment were a spark for the beginning of revolutions across Europe, beginning with the French Revolution. It was crucial to the progress of humanity, it would no longer tolerate the huge social and economic inequalities of their country, had to rise up to do something about it. There was an increase in literacy, and the printing industry saw the increase in publishing of journals, books, and newspapers. There was a development of a public opinion for the first time. The new government formed was represented by the people, an all-inclusive society, united by the country; the first democratic army that fought for democracy. The goal was to create a Republic Of Virtue (Jacobins) and an improvement of human nature. The revolution mobilized the population, democratized an army and reintroduced the notion of citizenship in Europe. It put into practice the notion of “nation”, the idea that country is more than just the sum of its classes, estates and rulers. Napoleon reaffirmed the principle of religious toleration, which spread to the rest of Europe. There was equality among Frenchmen, and it enabled other European revolutions. When Napoleon became a threat to others, they convened at Congress Of Vienna to force him out in exile, prevent “another Napoleon” and deter potential aggressorfrom taking power which was somewhat successful for hundred years. The Industrial Revolution transformed Western Europe, it altered the way people lived and worked, there was new means of power, transportation , communication and production. For machines to exist, there was a need for development in the education system, intellectual freedom and scientific societies where people could exchange ideas. There was a need for political stability within the country and non interference to an extent. There were transformative inventions such as steam engine, railroads which eliminated famine and no limits on what the country could produce, and created a lot of new jobs. Everyone benefited but in different degrees. Liberalism emerged as a by-product of Industrial Revolution, the ideology that claims to know the future and understand human experience, has moral quality and liberty is useful, a means to achieve other ends which means progress could be achieved if people are free. Prevention of expression from anyone prevents progress. There was a free trade between nations which benefits everyone, conducive to peace that is countries that trade with each other are less likely to go to war. Social Darwinism describes the various theories that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same Darwinism laws of natural selection as plants and animals. Imperialism helped in the advancement

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