History Essay Ideas

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Section One
1.       Until late in 1791, the French revolution was arguably a largely successful and positive transformation of a nation in need of reform. By 1793-4, France was at war, both internally against counter-revolutionary forces and externally against a coalition of European powers. What explains this negative turn of events? 2.       In France, Napoleon I is remembered as a great conqueror. Other Europeans hoped that he would be a reformer and liberator. Some believed he was, even if a flawed hero. In the United Kingdom, he was denounced as a monster and tyrant and is still remembered as such. Which interpretation is most correct? 3.       The Nineteenth Century has been called ‘the age of revolution’. It has also been called the ‘age of reform’. Which interpretation is most accurate?  

4.       Which 19th Century ‘ism’ had the greatest, and longest lasting effect?  
5.       Do you consider that political, social, economic or cultural changes were most ‘revolutionary’ in 19th Century Europe?  
6.       Consider the causes of the First World War. Could it have been avoided?  
 
 
Section Two
 
7.       Consider the causes of the ‘new imperialism’. Now think of the reasons for the collapse of imperialism in the 20th Century. Are there any common reasons for the emergence of European imperialism with explosive force in the 19th Century, and its collapse in the 20th?  

8.       By Eric Hobsbawm’s showing, the ‘short’ 20th Century ran from 1914 to 1991. He has labelled this period ‘the Age of Extremes’. Is he correct? If so, what factors defined this period?  
9.       The loss of European predominance, during the 20th Century, has been often described as a ‘suicide’. Is that an accurate description? Did Europe shape for, and then commit ‘suicide’?  
10.     Were the totalitarian structures emerging in the first half of the 20th Century entirely new developments? In what ways might they be thought of as expressions of trends long evident in...
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